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.
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.
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.
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 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.