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    Computer literacy and use of ICT as key factors of micro-enterprise success
    (Technická Univerzita v Liberci, ) Werber, Borut; Rajkovič, Uroš; Urh, Marko; Žnidaršič, Anja; Ekonomická fakulta
    The objective of this paper is to emphasize issues connected with micro-business financial success and adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) as possible factors to determine further organisational growth. This understanding is based on the results of an investigation conducted in Slovenia between May and December 2009 in 134 Slovene micro-enterprises. Data for the main study were collected via structured interviews with owners or top managers of micro enterprises. We used some demographic questions about the business annual turnover, computerisation, owner’s characteristics and some questions about the financial investments in ICT. To visualize and define factors we proposed a research model of annual turnover dependency in micro enterprise. The research focused on characteristics of owners of the enterprise, investments in ICT and characteristics of enterprises’ usage of available ICT in correlation to business annual turnover. The results indicate that adoption, the number and type of hardware and software are positively associated with the micro- enterprise success. An important factor is also formal education of the manager and/or owner and his or her computer and ICT knowledge and skills. We also found out that use of internet, eBusiness and number of used business software contribute to enterprise’s success. We can confirm that micro-enterprise informatisation can be the basis for a healthy economy growth if adequate knowledge and skills are present. To increase growth in micro-businesses we can use this and additional factors (intentions to growth, size, annual turnover, industry type, …) as filters to separate potential growing micro-enterprises from others that represent more than 94% of all enterprises in country. When we defined target group we can start to encourage growth with knowing methods from best practices all over the world. Based on our survey and on the review of literature, recommendations have been given how to be more effective and efficient in encouraging the growth of micro-enterprises.
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    Foreign markets entry motives and strategies of polish exporters
    (Technická Univerzita v Liberci, ) Ďaďo, Jaroslav; Wiktor, Jan W.; Źbikowska, Agnieszka; Ekonomická fakulta
    The article presents the results of research on the strategy of Polish companies that export their products to foreign markets. It presents motives, conditions and forms of expansion and is comprises of three parts. In the first one, the theoretical aspects of a company’s internationalization are discussed, with stress on motives and forms of entering foreign markets. The second part is concerned with the complex problems regarding methodology of research – goals, hypotheses, methods and description of study sample are the main focus here. The synthetic, summation of the results of the study are presented in the third part. The study verifies the hypotheses regarding motives of internationalization and concrete forms of entering foreign markets. The most powerful premises to internationalize Polish companies are market motives. The relationship between the size of the company, decision to start export goods and the nature of expansion (offensive, as well as defensive) has been ascertained. One of the strong motives for internationalization among companies belonging to SME group, were encouragements and invitations for cooperation from foreign partners. However, the main strategy was direct export, complemented by other forms of expansion, of lesser importance. In the expanding process Polish exporters took advantage of direct investments, via establishing divisions and subsidiary companies that deal with distribution of products. The waterfall strategy proved to be the most common in entering foreign markets – used by roughly 70% of the examined exporters. The research could be a contribution into the process of scientific examination and development of international business practice. It can also provide a ground for further discussion on marketing internationalization, methodology of formulating marketing strategies, their nature and assessing their effectiveness on international markets. Last but not least it can encourage more such scientific studies and research conducted by international teams of scholars.
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    The importance of design in business practices of czech companies
    (Technická Univerzita v Liberci, ) Kramoliš, Jan; Staňková, Pavla; Richtr, Michal; Ekonomická fakulta
    In the context of discussions about the role of innovation in business policy and marketing activities, questions of design to participate in the innovation success are often considered. The main aim of this paper is to comprehensively review the sources of design management. Furthermore, the study shows current situation in Czech business. This paper also attempts to analyse and identify the awareness of companies of various sizes concerning the importance of design. The primary aim of research was to investigate companies´ concern for design in relation to other factors: price, quality and reliability. A comprehensive review of the extant literature and journals identified several sources of design approach for Czech companies. The research consists of two main parts. Firstly, a method of smart internet Google SpreadSheets questionnaires designed by the authors was used. Total of 168 entries collected from 305 addressed respondents were used in the research. In the second part of research, the results were analysed using quantification and by means of seeking a mutual dependence. The results obtained were subjects to a statistical study. The results of the research have offered interesting findings. It was discovered that design represents a very important competitive factor that influences firms’ final decision. On the other hand, quality, reliability and price are still perceived as more interesting factors of innovation. Briefly, design is not likely to be perceived as the main innovation factor in the Czech Republic. This paper identifies several interesting aspects regarding design within Czech companies, including the mindset of management.
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    Determinants of bank social responsibility: case of Croatia
    (Technická Univerzita v Liberci, ) Ivanisevic Hernaus, Ana; Stojanovic, Alen; Ekonomická fakulta
    Recently fi nancial sector and its responsibilities have come under great scrutiny. This has led to putting more emphasis on social responsibility of fi nancial institutions, primarily banks, due to their powerful and infl uential position. Banks have an impact not only on fi nancial and economic system, but on a wider community as well. Their socially responsible practices in particular may have important social implications, what is even more emphasized within bank-centric fi nancial systems, typical of CEE countries. Due to a lack of existing research, the aim of the paper is to assess social responsibility of banks at individual and industry level in a specifi c CEE context. At bank individual level, focus is put on factors of bank size, ownership status and fi nancial performance, while at the bank industry level the structure of granted loans is included in the analysis. The framework for assessing bank social responsibility is derived and adapted from previous research conducted by Cuesta-Gonzalez, et al. [23] and Scholtens [81]. It is applied to Croatian banking sector, while the level of social responsibility is empirically related to factors at bank individual and industry level. Research fi ndings offer an overview of social responsibility of Croatian banks. The results demonstrate that bank social responsibility is related to factors of bank size and ownership status at the individual level, and to the structure of granted loans at the industry level. However, the nature of the link between bank social and fi nancial performance did not prove signifi cant. Such findings offer a wider lesson of what factors are associated with social performance of fi nancial sector. Additionally, they may serve as a useful reference point for further investigation of socially responsible practices in Croatia and other CEE countries.
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    The role of management decisions in explaining firm market exit
    (Technická Univerzita v Liberci, ) Došenović Bonča, Petra; Ponikvar, Nina; Pušnik, Ksenja; Tajnikar, Maks; Ekonomická fakulta
    We study factors of fi rm market exit and focus on the role of the fi rm’s management. We assume that the quality of decisions made by the fi rm’s management can be assessed by the firm’s technical and cost efficiency levels. We argue that the decisions of management are an important determinant of fi rm market exit and hypothesise that the characteristics of the macroeconomic environment infl uence the impact of technical and cost effi ciency on fi rm market exit. This is why we study whether the importance of decisions that are relevant for attaining technical effi ciency and decisions that contribute to cost effi ciency for firm market exit depend on the macroeconomic environment of the analysed fi rms. Such an analysis reveals which types of managerial decisions are relevant for fi rm market exit in differing macroeconomic environments. We use a logistic regression for rare events to estimate non-nested microeconomic models of fi rm market exit in Slovenia for two periods characterised by differing macroeconomic conditions. The results confirm that firms in which decisions of management result in inferior effi ciency are more likely to exit the market. Even though a fi rm’s management plays many relevant roles within the fi rm, our research demonstrates that those management decisions that refer to input selection and their substitution are those which are most crucial for preventing a fi rm from failing and ensuring its survival. We also fi nd that in differing macroeconomic environments different types of management decisions explain fi rm market exit. The results show that technical effi ciency has a more signifi cant infl uence on a fi rm’s market exit compared to cost effi ciency in a favourable macroeconomic environment, while cost effi ciency has a more signifi cant infl uence on a fi rm’s market exit than technical effi ciency in unfavourable macroeconomic conditions.