The emergence and evolution of globalization have produced major changes not only in the economy, but also in society and environment. In the 21st century, today’ s companies are increasingly operating at a global scale. They have to act locally and think globally. Today’ s companies are facing higher expectations from society and stakeholders. This is why, they must assume multiple responsibilities both locally and globally. Besides their economic responsibility, social and environmental responsibility has become a key element of their business success. The best-run companies are aware of the importance of the three main dimensions of sustainability in the 21st century: social sustainability, environmental sustainability and economic sustainability. In this respect incorporating social responsibility into the corporate strategies and policies represents a major concern for all kinds of companies. Derived from corporate social responsibility, the concept of corporate citizenship has become a main issue in the business literature. Corporate citizenship is about companies taking into account the impacts of their products and/or services and activities on the society and the environment. More and more people, groups and NGO are calling on businesses to be good citizens. A responsible corporate citizenship imposes an ethical behavior upon companies and represents a main factor in obtaining business success.
The paper highlights a part of the results of the research carried out at the level of Romanian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the period 2007-2010. One of the objectives of the research was to determine the way the Romanian SMEs use the results of evaluation and monitoring of customer satisfaction in the process of redesigning and improvement of the quality of products and services. These results were compared with those obtained in a study with the same purpose, conducted by the authors, in 2003-2004; it resulted a major progress in the process of evaluating and monitoring customer satisfaction by SMEs in Romania.
Furthermore, the research carried out showed that there is still significant reluctance in terms of using the results of this process, in connection with the concerns to ensure a sustainable performance for these companies.
One of the current concerns of the academic environment in economics is highlighting the importance of competences that higher education graduates should display when they step across the threshold of the real economy. To this effect, the identification of those competences which are compatible with the needs of the real economy may serve as a solid basis for developing adequate curricula and obtaining remarkable educational outcomes reflected in the graduates’ performance as entry level employees. It is undeniably true that the said competences must meet the standards set by the real economy or by the regulations of accreditation bodies. The process by which these standards are defined or identified requires a strong sense of coherence between the academic curriculum and the needs of employers, as basis for the graduates’ comprehensive training in knowledge based economy. In this context, we set to conduct an exploratory research by means of which we may emphasize how the corporate world perceive the marketing training received by the entry-level employees as graduates of professional higher education institutions, and how to adjust the curriculum to improve graduates employability. The survey was conducted by using the face-to-face questionnaire administration. Data were collected in the Transylvania counties during October 2010, as part of a field survey. The employer’s perception, as highlighted by the answers received from the surveyed corporate entities, gives us reasons to state that practical experience cannot be substituted for the academic training in knowledge based economy; it can, however, strengthen its fundamental role in establishing the guidelines of moral and professional conduct such as learning and the theoretical approach to some practical situations of the real economy. Moreover, we appreciate that a continuous correlation between the practical needs and the academic training is imperative.
During the last decades, the social responsibility of institutions, public as well as private, has been subject to intense debates, activities and academic research. The aims of the paper are to highlight in short the importance of the social responsibility of institutions, and to analyze the results of a research regarding students’ perceptions on corporate social responsibility activities of a Romanian university. By using primary data obtained from a survey based on a questionnaire a set of three hypotheses was tested during our research. The information was processed by using the SPSS software. The results of our research emphasize that students attach importance to the corporate social responsibility at academic level, a fact indicated through their involvement degree in the specific activities of this concept.
In the immediate future, intergenerational knowledge transfer is one of the knowledge-based economy’s main challenges since an inner motivational force powers knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer from individuals to groups and organization must follow knowledge creation in order to transform individual into organizational knowledge, along the epistemological dimension of the Nonaka’s knowledge dynamics model. Moreover, the knowledge intensive organizations increase their fluxes of knowledge across different age layers and different departments, reducing in the same time the company knowledge loss. The academic environment is, by nature, an age layered field or a nested functional structure. Intergenerational knowledge transfer becomes any university main driving force, while understanding its dynamics is important for academic life improvement. The purpose of the paper is to present some of our research results in the field of intergenerational knowledge transfer in the academic environment of the knowledge-based economy. We performed a qualitative and quantitative research of the knowledge transfer process in the academic environment, using the Analytic Hierarchy Processes (AHP). We analyzed the faculty staff attitudes toward cooperation, competition, and innovation as main priorities in performing research, writing books and publishing scientific papers. The above-mentioned activities are based on intergenerational knowledge transfer and lead to learning processes at individual and organizational levels. Respondents are members of the academic staff of economics and business faculties from the main Romanian universities.
The paper advocates the role of universities in the knowledge-based economy as suppliers of entrepreneurship education in order to stimulate the emergence of entrepreneurs among their graduates. The paper presents the University of Seville (US) in Spain and the Academy of Economic Studies (AES) in Bucharest, Romania as two case studies. The first part of the paper describes and compares the offer of entrepreneurship education in both universities. This analysis reveals the increasing interest in introducing and promoting entrepreneurship education since the implementation of the Bologna educational process started. The second part of the paper investigates the entrepreneurial intentions among graduates at both academic institutions. This empirical research is based on two surveys carried out among 93 graduates of the US and 98 graduates of the AES in 2010. Following the hypotheses of Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour, Personal Attitudes towards starting-up and Perceived Behavioural Control -self-efficacy perception- are studied as primary antecedents of the entrepreneurial intention. The analysis reveals the existence of higher entrepreneurial intentions for the AES. This seems to be due to more positive personal attitudes towards entrepreneurship for the graduates at the AES, whereas no significant differences in self-efficacy can be appreciated.
Corporate social responsibility and sustainability are key issues in the current business environment. Accountants play a crucial role in organizations in areas closely related to corporate social responsibility such as reporting, transparency, ethics, legal compliance, communication with stakeholders, and resource consumption. The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of accountants within the corporate social responsibility, with an emphasis on the Romanian case. Via literature review and job-offer analysis, we investigate the existence of corporate social responsibility practices in Romania and its implications on the accounting profession. We find that such practices are developed to an incipient but increasing extent in Romania. Romanian accountants are increasingly called to transpose the general framework of CSR, which is legal compliance, communication with stakeholders and performance measurement, thus leading to an increase in the importance of the accounting function in an organization. The following step would be the accountants’ involvement in specific actions regarding environmental and social implications, but this is very rare in Romania. We suggest the Romanian higher and professional education adjusts more to the realities of the current business environment.
Nowadays, the universities, as driving forces of innovative economy and as components of modern society, based on knowledge and collaboration, face a number of challenges and difficulties. In order to overcome them and to create/ensure the bases of eScience education and research activities, universities have to change culturally, strategically, and operationally. The paper highlights the need for ICT (Information and Communications Technology) use and its implications for higher education. In addition, the study places the theoretical aspects into a specific context, combining technologies through interfunctionality in order to ensure academic education agility and innovation. This involves the use of knowledge, process management, service oriented architectures, and Cloud solutions, exemplifying on the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest case. The integrated approach is extended using the SharePoint 2010 platform to improve academic management and achieve harmonization of teaching and research and development content and methods with European Union standards. The platform has been implemented and tested within two AES departments and the Master’s Degree Studies in Computer Economics. The results have encouraged the integration of the proposed solution within the institution. The study was based on the authors' competences in the areas addressed and was joined with a rigorous analysis of technology trends and various EU countries (Italy, Germany France, Belgium, Netherlands etc.) universities outputs regarding knowledge economy implications for economic higher education studies.
Over the last fifty years, the theory and practice of contemporary marketing have been influenced by the focus of its applicative approach over a major landmark of the business world. A short characterization of its different orientations, from consumer oriented marketing to holistic marketing, can only lead to the conclusion regarding the formative complexity of the specialist working in this field. The profile of this specialist is to be understood in such a manner as to have a competitive response, based on the decisions he/she must make, in random and undetermined decisional circumstances. His/her inclusion in lucrative activities, the level of financial motivation and the requests to be confronted with are analyzed in the context of the working force market in Romania. The formative role played by the upper echelon of the Romanian school over future marketers is also emphasized.
The present article presents a series of strictly current preoccupations regarding the relationship between the new services’ economy and the concept of sustainable development, relationship which is mediated by the public awareness of the value of some natural environment components, traditionally considered as free goods. Although many influent scholars highlight the necessity of a new economic model - based on the recognition of the superior quality of human activities that preserves the environment, including resources considered to be abundant - there are still a lot of problems related to the correct interpretation and valuation of the services in this new approach. The article discuses the experience of a big international corporation involved in environment related services in including sustainable development considerations in its quality management system. At Veolia Environnement the quality management of its service activities is based, besides the classic economic and financial indicators, on a series of sustainable development indicators, chosen by the company, pending on the respective service activity. The critical analysis of these indicators shows interesting results, from the point of view of the long term efficiency of the activity. It is a possible model for other companies, independently of size or specialization.
It is necessary not only a social or moral approach for health services but an economic approach, too. The economic concepts and tools need to be adapted and adjusted because of particularities of this domain. The laws that are available for health services are very strictly and affect the promotional activities too, because of health specific, a higher perceived risk and emotional side of health transactions. There are some promotional activities that are forbidden (the advertisement for medical services, the exterior posting, and publication of brochures) and for others there are strict rules (the advertisement of medicines, the firm, and the mass media communication) with the possibility to apply sanctions for any breaches. The direct communication patientphysician is unrestrictive and represents the better promoting way; a satisfied patient draws three other patients about the same services but an unsatisfied patient moves away eleven other patients. So the know - ledge of health law and deontologic code is obligatory for all people involved in the healthcare system.
Over time it has been shown that education is the most efficient and economical way to change the thinking of people to a specific problem and to produce the desired attitudinal change. Increased awareness and education are important tools in support of sustainable development, and complement the legal, regulatory and economic. This article presents a study made by the authors aimed to identify how students who have completed specialized studies in Economy Trade, Tourism and Services of the Department of Economics and Business Administration Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi perceive the concept of sustainable development and concerns of current managers on applying it in commercial activity; if they have mastered specific knowledge and if they feel that on their future job, as merchants or decision makers in commercial activity, will be able to consider strategies on sustainable development. An adjacent objective is related to perception the university's role in supporting sustainable development concept, by choosing disciplines, subjects taught and the transmission and the imposition of knowledge.
The paper presents a project management competencies model, using an ontological approach. The ontology, named PMCatalog, was developed in the framework of the project CONTO, financed by Romanian through the grant 91-037/2007. PMCatalog is consistent with the competence definition and PM competence elements included in the International Competence Baseline, the competency standard of the International Project Management Association. The main PMCatalog’s use cases for commercial activities in sustainable development projects are described. Ontology was developed using the Protégé editor.
The National Authority for Consumers Protection, Romania (NACP Romania) is the institution which records various trends from one development region to another as well as from one county to another. The indicators of NACP Romania activities are firmly correlated with other important macroeconomic indicators, even at the level of Romanian counties, hypothesis verified by the authors in a previous research. (Stefanescu & Gabor, 2008) The paper tests the hypothesis that in the last decade there have been numerous structural changes regarding the economic indicators at county level and we will analyze the evolution of these structural changes in two different periods, respectively year 2000 and 2006, and especially the clustering of Romanian counties, taking into account the macroeconomic indicators and those recorded by NACP Romania, using a descriptive method of data analysis, the principal component analysis (PCA). By applying the PCA method, we can obtain useful information for NACP that, according to its specific tasks, cooperates with local government authorities regarding the development of consumer education strategy and the organization of control activities. In this regard, depending on the level of economic development of each county, the consumption characteristics of the population, the earnings level, as well as the GDP per capita, the NACP can develop differentiated strategies, adapted to the features of each county.
This article explores the ethical binom promise-expectation specific to the relationship firm-consumer ,being built upon certain previous researches which discovered: significant changes in consumers’ values and life styles influencing the process of collectingin- formation about products; efforts carried out by com- panies in order to understand the present consumer’ requirements, to prioritize their requirements, co-operate with them to suggest priorities and enhance satisfaction; the growing manifestation of certain ethical attitudes of both companies and consumers. Not only did we ask ourselves why these ethical attitudes don’ t transform more rapidly or always in ethical behaviours in both cases but also what is actually happening at the level of the relationship between the two behaviours in the permanent pilot station which is the shop. As there is no field or activity which can be independent from ethics, the more it is available in case of marketing, the marketing function being excessively aimed at by the ethical criticism. Managerial ethics is strongly connected with social responsability, not identical , the latter becoming a corporate marketing strategy adopted by management who may no longer choose ethical indifference. As the sole existance of a code of ethical behaviour does not yet solve the problem, measures taken to clarify both monitoring and implementation procedures are growing, as well as the development level of the code and the way of supporting and adhering to this standard. Which is valid also in case of shops, as a connection point between thecitizen and the local community which is confrontingwith the challenge represented by the growing pressure with ethical connotations of customers’ expectations. It is important to mention that for some time the International Association for the Distributive Trade, AIDA Brussels oferrs the Trophy „The Victory of Ethics”. It is the industry and commerce responsability to properly communicate and ensure the comfort ofconsumers, building their trust. Consumers, to make decisions regarding their actions, go through perceptual and learning processes, and trying to harmonize their own desires with the moral behaviour which favours the well-being of the society gives them certain internal tensions. Despite the increase in ethical preocupations however ethical attitudes and preocupations of consumers are not always manifested in their actual behaviour . Our paper puts forward an understanding of the progress made in terms of effectiv ethical commitement at the organizational level and consumer level, trying to provide direction to further research of the common experience synthesized by the ethical binom promise-expectation, that will generate new knowledge.
Academic education services entered Romanians habits more than a century and a half ago, at the beginning as a need for professional development mostly. Paradigm shift from the traditional perspective on education to the knowledge society perspective requires the increasing competitiveness of higher education systems. From this perspective, universities should collaborate frequently with other research institutions, private companies and public institutions, and participate in international research networks, to produce the optics change regarding the protection of educational services consumers: the next generation of students. To determine the above-mentioned change the authors developed and executed the pilot survey, which granted the possibility of testing the set of questionnaires and the relevance of questions. The survey was a random one; most of the responses are complying with the actual configuration in economic higher education institutions. The research objective “Investigation of student opinion of the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies on changes recorded in the Romanian higher education” consists in the development of an accurate picture of the changes that occurred and are occurring in our education system. The originality of the paper resides in the feasibility of implementing the research results reflecting changes that require an appropriate management allowing institution and its members to accomplish the implementation of changes required by Bologna process in the interests of its main beneficiaries: the students.
This paper points up the methodological inadequacy of the "student evaluation of teaching" as a research program. We do this by reference to three, interrelated arguments. The first is that the student evaluation of teaching cannot claim to capture the wisdom of a crowd because, as a research program, it fails to meet Surowiecki's conditions for the existence and articulation of the wisdom of a crowd. The second argument extends the first, by stating: (a) the "student evaluation of teaching" research program fails to provide the methodological controls needed to differentiate cause from effect, or put differently (b) the methodological underpinnings of this research program is tantamount to the misapplication of a closed-system paradigm to an open social system. The third argument has two parts. These are that this research program is predicated on: (a) a false analogy between the workings of a business and a university, and therefore (b) on a mischaracterization of the student-professor relationship. These three arguments, these three failures, suggest that the "student evaluation of teaching" research program is methodologically ill-conceived and incoherent, and therefore cannot, with any credulity, serve as a guide to the administration and governance of a university.
Being currently under the pressure of the various imbalances induced in the natural and social environment and faced with the deficiency of its own incremental growth, the economic system – which is exclusively focused on the economic performance – is currently going through a stage of global structural changes meant to connect it to the simple values of the community, society and even humanity as a requirement for its survival and development through the sustainable competitive advantage. Taking into consideration that globalization tends to quickly standardize technologies and to equalize the rates of profits, the area of competitive advantage is extended beyond the area of economic factors (product differentiation, cost reduction, etc.) in interferential areas, where factors such as social responsibility assumed by corporations become levers to increase competitiveness. Corporate social responsibility circumscribes the company’s set of obligations to the stakeholders (individuals, groups or organizations that are directly or indirectly affected by the actions, goals and policies of the corporation) in a certain system of reference. The multiple groups that make up the reference society of a corporation lead to a multitude of expectations. The legitimacy of these expectations embraces various degrees of validity. Responsibility is a continuous dynamic process meant to harmonize and balance the interests of various groups and the roles they play in relation to and for the purpose of the common good. So far, no system of indicators has been unanimously accepted and no methodology has been crystallized for measuring the effect of the social effort made in the sphere of social responsibility. Nevertheless, research performed over the past years has shown that an ethical behaviour involved in the issues of the natural, social and business environment has an obvious positive influence on the reputation and sales of the corporations. The corporations’ competitive strategies should include – apart from specific goals such as market share, product differentiation or smart promotion – the goal of harmonizing stakeholder expectations. In this context, the commitment to social responsibility becomes an important pillar in gaining the partners’ and the public’s confidence, along with a recognition that would strengthen the company’s market position and its commitment to a competitive sustainable approach.
This study investigates the influences of claim specificity, the product’s environmental relevance, and the respondents’ proenvironmental orientation on the effectiveness of green advertising among Turkish consumers. An experimental study is conducted using hypothetical print advertisements for two product categories (laundry machines as a high relevance product; DVD player as a low relevance product). Findings indicate that the specificity of the green claim does not exert a significant effect on consumer evaluations towards high relevance product advertisement, while specific green claims significantly improve the communication effectiveness of the low environmental relevance product advertisement. The theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed.
In this modern era of societal marketing business ethics and social responsibility are becoming the guiding themes for marketing strategies and practices. Within the field of ethics and social responsibility environmental and green marketing topics are the central topics, which are closely related to biodiversity and sustainability. This paper suggests a different approach to assessing the variables of consumers’ green purchasing behavior. Based on thoroughly researched secondary data, this conceptual paper suggests a framework integrating the so far incoherent frameworks as proposed by previous authors. Emanating from this eclectic and chronological literature review, the paper will also propose further missing links that need to be included in the proposed integrated framework. Based on this holistic framework, in a future study, the authors will explain a sustainability index of green consumer behavior, which will be tested empirically in the study. In fact, from the proposed integrated framework, in total eight vital factors/aspects of green/environmental issues are likely to have an impact on consumer green purchasing behavior. Demographic variables will play an intervening or mediating role in the framework.
The paper presents an analysis of the main ethical aspects concerning the Romanian real estate intermediation sector. The analysis tries to evaluate the true utility of real estate agents’ services and to assess the potential negative effects of an unethical behavior for the clients. In Romanian real estate market, there are at least three issues that endanger the business ethics of intermediaries. First, as the prices increase very fast, the transactions involve larger and larger amounts of money that attract entrepreneurs with weak intrinsic ethical standards. Very often, they fail to understand the instrumental value of business ethics too. Thus, instead of building a reputation in the market they prefer an immediate gain. Secondly, the real estate brokerage is poorly regulated in Romania. According to the motto “if not forbidden, it's permitted”, the real estate agents adopted very lax ethical standards. The third factor is the deficit of public information regarding the real estate market and the activity of real estate agents. The press usually reproduces the views of leading real estate agents, instead of providing authentic investigations of their services. The main conclusion is that there is evidence that the Romanian real estate agents try to maximize their profits by manipulating the economic environment rather than providing valuable services for their clients.
This study examines the asymmetric behavior of macroeconomic aggregates for Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania by employing Triples test of Randles et al. (1980). The results reveal that while most of the macroeconomic series for Bulgaria and Croatia are characterized by asymmetric behavior; comparatively, a small number of series for Romania were found to be asymmetric. The results imply that policy-makers and researchers should be cautious when forecasting these series and making inferences using linear econometric methodologies since linear models are not capable of generating asymmetric fluctuations.
The Bulgarian and Romanian European Union membership coincides with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform. Applied till the 80s of the 20th century, the system of European subsidies which aimed at developing a functioning agricultural sector led to constant surplus of basic agricultural goods with high budget prices. During the 90s production quotas (e.g. the milk quotas of 1983) were introduced an emphasis was put on ecologically clean agricultural production. The CAP reform of 2003 reorganized the European subsidies in accordance with demand and stimulated farmers to produce what the market needed. Direct subsidies changed from payments based on territory to payments for farms. In order to cut surplus, the EU introduced an intervention system; fix quotas for the production of milk and sanctions for breaking them; restrictions on the export subsidies and the amount of cultivated land/number of bred animals for which farmers can receive subsidies. Bulgarian and Romanian farmers receive direct payments which maintain their incomes stable but lower compared to these of their European counterparts. At the same time they have to meet the same requirements concerning environment preservation, food safety, and humane treatment of animals (a requirement for “cross compliance”). These factors together with the heavy dependence of the agricultural sector on climate make the issue of researching the possibilities for minimizing investment risks through product diversification extremely significant. The main aim of this article is to identify the risks in the agricultural sector and assess the priority usage of various forms of diversification as an instrument for controlling risks. In addition, the article outlines / studies the possibilities for adding value to the agricultural sector by diversification of products and activities. The article is written as follows: M. Nikolova – chapter 2; M Linkova – chapter 1; abstract, introduction and conclusion joint action.
Given the conditions of European Strategy for Labour which was ratified also by Romania, that states an intensifying implementation at national level of labour policies and especially those regarding young person labour market integration, and taking into consideration the great human and agricultural potential of Lower Danube Region, we consider the implementation of national and regional programmes in order to train agriculture and rural development specialists to be very necessary. This article inquires the necessity of training agriculture and rural development specialists within Lower Danube Region in the context of cross-border cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria. This research starts by analysing the European and national legal framework of adult training in those two fields. Subsequently, the main premises and advantages of those activities were emphasized. It is good to mention that the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania, and the D. Tsenov Academy of Economics in Svishtov, Bulgaria, proposed themselves to cooperate in the field of “human resources development – common development of skills and knowledge”. The legal base exists as the Romania-Bulgaria Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 is enforced. Furthermore, a four years comparative study of the number of persons trained for the main jobs in rural area, including farmer, in Lower Danube Region was conducted. All these led to the idea that it is necessary to continue and to stress adult training of farmers and rural specialists as a solution for rural economy development and social welfare. Also, comparative analysis of supply and demand of professionals in the field of agriculture was elaborated. The main educational programs in training agriculture and rural development specialists were identified and some problems and perspectives were worked out. This research can be considered as a first step of future deeper and profound collaboration of Tsenov Academy of Economics, Svishtov and the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest in terms of creation of common Romanian-Bulgarian Research Area, as a part of European Research Area (ERA). It includes joint knowledge and skills development through cross-border linkages and exchanges between the universities, in accordance with Romania – Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013.
The research shows whether tools and instruments used for agro-food products’ marketing are moral or not. Studies on agro-food products’ marketing are available; however , none of these focuses on the ethical approach of marketing activities of agro-food compa- nies. In answering this question, a piece of qua- litative research is carried out on customers, focusing on their perceptions whether marketing is moral or not. The respondents were chosen among clients of hypermarkets, having a background in agricultural marketing studies. The reasons that support this choosing are that theY may critically assess the marketing activity and they have a better level of understanding the questions contained in the guide of discussion. The results show that consumers perceive some activities of agro-food producers less moral in those regarding products’ content, packaging, price, and promotion. This conclusion has implications for processes of decision making on marketing that agro-food companies should take into account. Managers of these companies should know the criticisms that con- sumers bring up to their marketing activities. It requires further research regarding the direction of how these decision processes might be improved in order to be more ethical to consumers.
Because real choice is an important quality parameter for the retail sector, managers of retailing companies need an instrument to assist them in optimising the diversity of options provided to their customers. In this paper, using the weighted diversity index of Guia u and Guia u), some possibilities to obtain the optimal joint distributions of a probabilistic experiment and the corresponding optimal diversifications to a certain probabilistic system are proposed. These results can be used in ecology, in economy or in problems of allocation or of transportation as an example of diversity management.
The research originated from comprehending the way students, as consumers; perceive the involvement of bodies empowered to protect their rights and interests, including consumption-modernizing programmes. Among the cross-scientific research methods used by our research, the survey has been chosen and applied in three universities from various countries: Constantin Brancoveanu University of Pitesti – Management – Marketing in Economic Affairs Faculty, Romania, Fernando Pessoa - Business Science Faculty, Portugal and University Degli Studi di Milano – Political Sciences Faculty, Italy. For data processing, comprehensive methods of analysis and statistic-mathematical methods have been used, while for data analysis the method of comparing interviewed students’ opinions and the causal explanation have been used. The paper’s originality consists in drafting a direct, quantitative research, based on the scientific research of students’ opinions, future opinion originators, in three countries with various development levels. In addition, Romanian profile literature does not enlist many scientific papers approaching the analysed topics, while international research papers exist, but only to a small extent. The main results of research reveal the occurrence of dissimilarities and similarities relevant to students’ perceptions, regarding the approached subject.
The paper aims to identify potential connections between migration and food consumption habits of Romanian immigrants in Andalusia, Spain and to study a series of factors that may contribute to the establishment of these connections. The analysis was based on a series of information obtained through a field research carried out between January and June 2011 among the Romanian immigrants in Andalusia (306 respondents). The analysis’ results revealed the fact that after migration, the Romanian immigrants who took part in the study felt a series of changes in their food consumption habits, mainly resulting in consuming a higher proportion of the food products specific to the host country, compared to the food products specific to their country of origin. The analysed factors that may influence the relationship between migration and food consumption habits were encountered in the specific scientific literature, namely the length of residence and immigrants’ age. The analysis revealed the fact that among different groups of respondents by length of residence and age, there are statistically significant differences in what concerns their perception regarding the changes in their food consumption habits after migration. The length of residence is positively correlated with the changes in food consumption after migration, while age is negatively correlated.
In order to exceed the circularity of formal economic thinking, the authors of the present paper favour the models of thinking specific to physics, which are also constructed statistically and mathematically, in an attempt to find an answer to the reunion of similar small and medium enterprises (SMEs), into multinational corporations. A model based on the theory of similitude is thus made use of, born from the very essence of physics, and having an economic and social destination and a complex impact. The physical models intended for economic systems are expressed as systems of partial differential equations, and the result becomes a new vision of reality. This paper details an original model based on physical similitude for SME amalgamation under the name of multinational corporations. After an introduction to the physical theory of similitude, the first section describes the physics model because of the reunion of similar SMEs. The real birth of some corporations in Serbia forms the content of the second section; the economic and social phenomena relating to the generation of such corporations, and the corporate social responsibility are emphasized. The idea of social complexity and its impact as the fifth dimension of a modern multinational corporation conclude the paper.
This paper grew out of the central issue addressed in Trading Up: Consumer and Environmental Regulation in a Global Economy by David Vogel, namely the impact of economic globalization on consumers’ protection regulations. Reviewing the extensive matter of consumer protection, with a thorough analysis of European Union last issued data, the paper summarizes and analyzes the contributions of ISO quality management standards to consumers’ protection based on a chain of logically connected concepts and activities. The approach was double-sided, intercrossing the qualitative and quantitative arguments joined with the analysis of the correlation between the efforts and effects in consumers’ protection area. Due to a yet continue divergence regarding the regulatory processes, of a visible movement to the development and implementation of more stringent standards as well as a new means for implementing integrated quality management systems, the paper suggests and develops an implementation model of integrated quality management systems, based on Jorgensen 2006 model and improved through adding the new ISO 26000 standard.
The Code of Ethics is a set of basic principles whose purpose is to guide tourism development and to serve as a frame of reference for the different stakeholders in the tourism sector . The main objective of the Code of Ethics is minimi- sing the negative impact of tourism on the environment and a cultural heritage while maximizing the benefits of tourism in promoting sustai- nable and responsible development, including poverty alleviation, as well as understanding among nations. The Code of Ethics is not a legally binding instrument and therefore its acceptance is voluntary . The voluntary nature of this instrument is a feature on wich the WTO places particular emphasis. The application of the Code may, nevertheless, be advanced by the incorporation of its contents and provisions into appropriate legislation, regulations and professional codes. Such provisions, based on the Code and adopted at national or industry levels, would be binding according to the terms of reference of each adopting constituency. In 2004, after five years from the adoption of the Code, World Committee on Tourism Ethics, a specialized structure (body) of the WTO, decided to carry out a survey his members to assess the degree of implementation of the Code and for the establishment the future strategy for promoting and the implementation of the Code. The results indicate that a great part of the WTO’ s members had already incorporeted the principles of the Code into their laws, regulations or tourism development plans. Romania is one of the countries in which the Code has been implementated; this has been translated and disseminated among the varios tourism stakeholders; the provisions of the Code have also been incorporated into regulations and professional codes and the NTO incurages the entrepreneurs in adoption their own code.
The modern consumer behavior has been very complex in the recent context of budgetary restrictions occurred after the global crisis, but it has also been changed and influenced by different selections of strategies in order to purchase and use the products/ services. The supply results have also been changed, according to a better response to consumer needs, specific to the new consumption cycle. The consumer reaction to the green products/ services has been highly influenced by the economic consequences. A new role of experience and adaptability of consumers could be seen as completed by anticipation strength. A more aggressive response related to the quality of products/ services on their entire life cycle, but yet quasi-ignorance in the aspects of environmental consequences it still result. The main objective of the paper consists in offering a better understanding of the new philosophy of Romanian consumers based on different simple models of replacing generalized durable goods (GDGs) in a simple, but intuitive analytical framework. The impact of Rabla programs over the eco-friendly products consumption within the proposed hypothesis has been strongly limited by the economic component (by the costs associated to maintenance, the energetic products consumption and the environmental taxes).
Among all the different types of risks that can affect financial companies, the operational risk can be the most devastating and the most difficult to anticipate. The management of operational risk is a key component of financial and risk management discipline that drives net income results, 2capital management and customer satisfaction. The present paper contains a statistical analysis in order to determine the number of operational errors as quality based services determinants, depending on the number of transactions performed at the branch unit level. Regression model applied to a sample of 418 branches of a major Romanian bank is used to guide the decision taken by the bank, consistent with its priorities of minimizing the risk and enlarging the customer base ensuring high quality services. The analyisis reveals that the model can predict the quality of the transactions based on the number of operational errors. Under Basel II, this could be a very helpful instrument for banks in order to adjust the capital requirement to the losses due to operational errors, predicted by the model.
The article investigates a less approached domain in the theoretical papers and in the research field, namely the quality of social public services. In the first part we present some characteristics of social public services and their importance within the public budget construction and for the local communities. Starting from the identified characteristics we made a research focused on quality assessment in social public services. The initial step was made considering the processes administration approach, because an efficient administration leads to an increased efficiency, efficacy and finally to a better quality. The basic assumption is that, within the assessment process, assessing the quality for the supplier is essential. Moreover, quality should be related to process and to organizational structure from which it derives. The research covers the Public Services of Social Assistance (PSSA’s), the selection of investigation units was made by the three administrative-territorial levels and using the questionnaire as data collecting technique. Data interpretation was made both for regions and areas of residence, using techniques of descriptive statistical analysis. The results reveal significant quality differences between regions and also between areas of residence, concerning the following issues: organisational structure, human resources, the existence of a social services developing plan, partnerships concluded with civil society organisations, social needs uncovered and barriers to access to social public services.
Improving quality represents for all organizations and especially for those in services one of the most important strategies for enhancing performance and competitiveness. In the current social and economic context, the evaluation of the performance of organizations must be approached holistically. Performance means a special result, obtained in a certain field, which expresses the quality of the adjustment of the organization to the conditions in the environment. Currently, it is necessary to rethink the whole approach to the ways of evaluating performance. The continuous quest for meeting and even surpassing clients’ expectations, the involvement of all employees in the organization and the permanent improvement of quality represent important dimensions of Total Quality Management (TQM). As any strategy, TQM comprises a series of activities which lead to meeting all the quality objectives, by optimum use of available resources and of the strengths of the organization. The European model of excellence (the EFQM model established by the European Foundation for Quality Management) provides a set of criteria which can be applied to any enterprise and subsidiary so as to assess performance obtained through TQM. The EFQM model represents a non-prescriptive framework which recognizes the existence of numerous different approaches allowing organizations to obtain sustainable excellence. This framework contains basic concepts specific to The European Quality Award (EQA). Our study presents the use of the European model of TQM as a reference point for management and of the improvement of the quality of services rendered by educational organizations, giving practical applicability and utility to the theoretical concepts presented. It proves that by applying the European model of excellence to assess the performance of educational organizations, a real diagnosis can be performed, which contributes to the elaboration of strategies for improving the quality of training and educational services, adapted to the realities of each school.
The discrepancy between the amplitude of erosive processes set off in the environment and the level of the measures taken to stop or to counter-balance the pollution effects, limited by the way of life, technologies, knowledge and conscience, entails high demands for the society as a whole and for each individual. This approach aims the addressing of the issue of consumer’s ecological behaviour as a process of conscious assumption of responsibilities for environmental preservation and manifestation of attitudes oriented to promoting the values of the ecosystem and delimitation of specific behavioural typology. In this respect, we proceeded at the holistic analysis of the domain’s inherent and specific conditions that allowed detection of influencing factors of the adoption of an ecological behavior and their synthetic structure into three groups of determinants: economic, psychosocial and organizational. In these three major coordinates, there are designed types of ecological behaviour, their effectiveness being at the intersection of the projections of different degrees of intensity considered on the chosen axes. Based on deductive reasoning there can be determined orthoscopic actions that are focused on eliminating the cause that generated behavioural deviations.
The paper presents the results of a questionnaire based survey, conducted at the level of training service providers in Romania, which are more and more interested to implement internationally recognized management system models. The objective of the research was to assess the degree of fulfilment by these organizations of the criteria defined by the Common Quality Assurance Framework CQAF, which was developed by the European Forum for Education and Training Quality. Taking into consideration the obtained results, the authors have established there is a correlation between the degree of fulfilment of the criteria regarding planning (leadership, objectives and values, strategies and planning, partnership and resources) and the degree of fulfilment of the criteria regarding the results obtained by these organizations in relation with the client and stakeholder needs fulfilment, personnel requirements fulfilment and the ones related to the profitability of the organization.
This paper assesses the exchange rate convergence in selected euro-candidate countries using an alternative approach to official exchange rate stability convergence criterion. We apply various versions of correlation analysis on daily returns and implied GARCH volatility of nominal exchange rates of the euro, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Polish zloty, Romanian leu, Slovak koruna and Croatian kuna vis-à-vis US dollar. The results suggest that none of the eurocandidates' currencies achieved a sufficient degree of convergence. If anything, a majority of the currencies analyzed in the paper experienced a departure from convergence during the recent period.
The higher education system represents a vital means for a country to nurture its economic development and social cohesion. All over the world there has been an increasing interest in quality assurance (QA) in higher education, reflecting both the growing importance of higher education services and their valuable contribution to societies. As higher education services moves beyond national borders, the need for international cooperation in QA have increased in the last decades. Moreover, there is an internationalization of QA in higher education and the Asia-Pacific region is a good example. The paper examines the current academic literature surrounding QA in higher education in Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing the case of Japan. Based both on literature review and the experience of a Japanese visiting professor the paper deals with the emergence and development of QA systems in higher education in Asia-Pacific region and focuses on the case of the Japanese higher education system (JHES). The paper shows that the need for international arrangements and approaches to QA in higher education is clearly demonstrated by the case of Asia-Pacific region. It also shows that, facing the challenges of a highly competitive knowledge driven global economy, the region has begun to establish and implement an agreed set of QA principles in higher education. Commitment to quality by all higher education providers from the region has proved to be essential. The importance of quality provision in cross-border higher education made the JHES to implement a new approach in QA.
The present paper has as its target to present the regulations characterizing the quality of educational services in higher education, with a view to identifying the system which is the most efficient and revealing for their real quality. This approach also takes into account the central role that key intellectual and cultural responsibilities play in the development of modern society, as well as the moral impact of higher education on society as a whole. The authors reach the conclusion that, in order to have real quality in higher education, it is important to introduce a quality management system and to constantly improve it, using as feedback the satisfaction of clients and other interested parties, with the intention of attaining performance and excellence.
Cause-related marketing as part of corporate social responsibility, becomes an increasingly used tool by companies operating in the market. Many studies have shown the benefits of cause related marketing campaigns, including attracting new customers, increasing sales of products or services, creating a favourable brand image and raising funds for a social cause. This article is structured in two parts. After analyzing the concept of cause-related marketing and main trends regarding research in this area, a case study on the influence of cause related marketing on consumer attitudes is presented, as reflected by the analysis of a questionnaire administered to youth.
An important component of the quality of life, the consumers’ rights and interests protection has become a priority of the European Union policy, a type of policy based among others on the results of the Eurobarometer type studies. Our study is a secondary analysis of the data provided by the special EB 69.1 Eurobarometer on the topic of „Consumer Protection on the Domestic Market” (Euopean Commission, 2008). We focused on aspects connected to the Romanian consumer: the ascribed factors which influence the purchasing decision related to gender, age, level of education, residence, the level of protection felt by the consumer, ways of consumers’ protection as they are seen by the consumers themselves, the mechanism of safety product assessment done by the consumers. From the data analysis in the present study we concluded that numerous Romanian consumers do not know the laws and the institutions entitled to protect their rights, but are discontent regarding the manner their rights are observed; they have as a main purchasing criterion the price; the producers take advantage of the lack of information and attitude of the consumers regarding their rights; and the consumers, lacking a suitable education, remain only at the level of discontent, of not trusting the possibility of their rights being respected, which in its turn causes a low level of self-protection. In these conditions we consider necessary the systematic education of the consumers as well as producers regarding the quality, the safety of the marketed products, of the attitude regarding the disobedience of the producers/suppliers for the regulations in this area, doubled by an increased interest from the authorities for consumer protection and a manifestation of individual or associative civic sense.
The paper analyses the genetically modified organism products (GMP) in relation to genetically modified organisms (GMO) from two perspectives: 1) from the theoretical standpoint, discussing the GMO and GMP trade conditions and 2) from the practical perspective, namely analysing the availability of GMP in the Lithuanian market. With the growing of genetically modified products (GMP) levels, it becomes important to examine the situation of genetically modified products. According to various studies on Lithuanian public opinion on genetic modification, genetically modified organisms and their products, we can provide for the future of GMOs in the Lithuanian market. Although there are different opinions about genetically modified products not only in Lithuania, but also throughout the world, the level of development in this area increases every year. This is one of the reasons for which it is necessary to know and explore the Lithuanian population, as the buyer of the genetically modified products, and to examine the Lithuanian market of these products. Although the market is limited for these products, it is still very important to know as much as possible about genetically modified organisms and their effects on humans and the environment, and the future of the people, as consumers have their own opinion about them.
The third party audit of the systems of quality management may be performed by quality auditors, who represent a certain certifying body, fulfilling the rules of good practice provided therein. Being the interface between the certifying body and audited clients / organisations in different fields of activity, the auditors are selected and trained permanently with a view to improve their performance and implicitly the image of certifying body. The objectives of the article are to present the rules applied within international certifying bodies, from the perspective of that involved directly for almost ten years in this activity, simultaneously with university activity. With respect to the manner of collecting the information, the article relies on the experience of the author in the capacity of third party auditor, competent in the following fields: education, research, trade, tourism, services. The practical issues emphasized in the article refer to the rules appropriated by third party auditors within famous international certifying bodies TÜV Rheinland and respectively TÜV Austria, where the author of the article began and respectively carries out his activity currently. Their image and fame is due to the rules of good practice, fulfilled in these certifying bodies for over 130 years. The article presents the stages of theoretical and practical formation of an auditor, the objectives to be reached on each stage of preparation, what his activity involves within the certifying body, the collaboration with the other auditors, permanent training and experience exchanges during the international conferences organised by certifying bodies, practice of audit, possibility of maintaining as auditor and advancing as chief auditor, the status of third party auditor.
As today’s society heads towards digitalization, the virtual environment gains a growing importance. Shaping the e-environment in accordance to the real environment in order to favour the activities and processes going to take place there requires a thorough design. However, cultural attributes of reflected inherently by design play a core part in how the information displayed on websites is perceived. The present paper aims to bring a perspective about transposing the proper communication structure into the website design, from the cultural point of view and from genders point of view, as it resulted from a research of Romanian students from Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies.
The ability to redefine inter-firm relationships and processes, internet-enabled and other Business to Business (B2B) mechanisms facilitate the integration and management of inter- or intra-organisational business processes that produce value for customers. B2B e-commerce in supply chain management (SCM) becomes more important due to its performance implications. Process integration involves upstream and downstream coordination with supply chain partners. In these interactions, supply chain B2B e-commerce helps minimize complexity and increase flexibility while enhancing a higher degree of communication and operational efficiency.
The paper investigates the long-run relationship between commerce intensity and a measure of sustainable development for ten ex-communist countries that have recently joined the EU. The originality of this paper consists in applying the co-integration testing techniques for panel data regarding commerce and the “authentic” savings rate, an indicator of sustainable development, which determines the productive base that will be inherited by future generations. Econometric tests suggest a negative long-run relationship between commerce intensity and sustainable development. This result is in agreement with conclusions of other studies that have documented, in the region, an economic growth fueled by the adoption of unsustainable western consumption ideals, a low public consciousness about ecological values and weak institutions dealing with environmental issues at both government and civil society level. The negative correlation that was found could be a symptom for an evolution stage towards an economic and social maturity where commerce expansion is synchronized with accumulation of wealth that will be inherited by future generations.
Globalization and the growing pressure on medium sized enterprises to take responsibility for their operations has resulted in an increasing number of medium sized companies becoming aware of Corporate Social Responsibility. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility is incorporated in medium sized enterprise operations by focusing on how these companies describe, integrate and monitor Corporate Social Responsibility and how they allocate financial resources for it. In order to shed light on this issue, three case studies were conducted in the Bamberg-Forcheim Region of Germany. Documentation and interviews were used as data collection methods for this study. The conclusions drawn from the findings of this study include the following: the working methods of medium sized enterprises regarding Corporate Social Responsibility are new and therefore not yet established. Corporate Social Responsibility is not yet considered an important part of medium sized enterprise operations. Neither are enterprises very eager to implement and monitor this concept because of the high investment of time and finances involved. Businesses prefer to concentrate on their employees (training, social activities, extra-work activities etc) rather than to integrate, monitor and allocate resources for Corporate Social Responsibility.
A significant number of breaches in the security of electronic banking (e-Banking) system is reported each year, drawing attention to the need to protect and inform customers about the risk of exposure to malicious actions initiated by cyber-criminals. Financial institutions and consumers recognize the fact that attacks and financial frauds are becoming more complex and are perpetrated by a different class of criminal. This class is increasingly sophisticated and uses technology as part of their strategy. Furthermore, the specialists forecast that the current global recession is likely to increase the frequency of internal fraud and security breaches. The present research tries: (1) to analyze the potential dangers threatening the security of e- Banking services through a comprehensive investigation of the relevant literature; (2) to identify the tools and methods that can ensure the consumers’ protection in E-Banking, (3) to present the results of a pilot study regarding the Romanian consumer perception on the protection and security related to E-Banking services