rss_2.0Economics and Culture FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Economics and Culture and Culture Feed the Consumer Dynamics of AI in North Macedonian E-Business<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Research Purpose</title> <p>This study investigates the dynamics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in e-business, particularly from the perspective of consumers in North Macedonia. The research aims to identify and evaluate the benefits and challenges of AI integration in e-business, explore the ethical concerns related to AI decision-making, and understand the impact of AI on consumer behaviour and preferences.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Design/Methodology/Approach</title> <p>The research adopts a mixed-methods approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative analyses. Primary data was collected via a structured questionnaire distributed among various demographic groups to gauge the level of awareness and experiences with AI in e-business. A range of statistical tests, including ANOVA and correlation tests, were employed to assess the significance of the data collected and to test a set of hypotheses concerning consumer perceptions and experiences of AI.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Findings</title> <p>The results reveal that demographic factors such as age, status, education, and occupation do not significantly impact the level of understanding, awareness, or experiences with AI among Macedonian consumers. Participants exhibited a level of high awareness of the importance of AI in e-business and rated their shopping experiences with AI more positively than traditional methods. Trust and reliability in AI did not significantly differ across demographic lines. The findings of this study have significant policy implications, especially in guiding the ethical and responsible integration of AI in e-business. They suggest a need for policies emphasising consumer data protection and privacy, given the heightened awareness and concern among consumers regarding using their personal information. Furthermore, the results advocate for the development of regulatory frameworks that ensure transparency and fairness in AI algorithms, addressing potential biases that could negatively impact consumer trust.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Originality/Value/Practical Implications</title> <p>This research contributes novel insights into the Macedonian consumer market’s perception of AI in e-business, a topic scarcely covered in existing literature. The findings underscore the necessity for businesses to adopt AI responsibly and ethically, highlighting the importance of prioritising fairness, privacy, and transparency to leverage AI’s full potential in e-business. This study stands out in its exploration of AI in e-business from the consumer perspective in North Macedonia, a context not extensively covered in existing literature. The originality of our research lies in its focus on a comprehensive range of consumer-centric factors, including awareness, experiences, ethical concerns, and behaviour related to AI in e-business.</p> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Movable Cultural Heritage Through Libraries in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Cultural heritage in movable or immovable form contributes with its tools to the creation of a coherent and inclusive society. The cultural direction of the society should be built on the basic principles of inclusion, equality, participation and availability with the help of marketing and marketing communication. The aim of the contribution is, on the basis of the data database of culture, which is implemented by institutions under the authority of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, to determine the use and sustainability of non-periodical publications registered in libraries in the Slovak Republic, which should lead to the creation and maintenance of mutual understanding between them and the public with the ultimate goal of supporting knowledge the society's potential.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The object of the research werw 1738 libraries of the Slovak Republic, using the statistics for period 2016-2020. We used eighteen fifferent indicators, such as „active library services users“, „library visitors“, etc.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> There is a strong statistical dependence based on the obtained results for the research questions and the multiple correlation dependence between the number of libraries and indicators such as the number of book units, the number of loans, and the number of visitors. Because of this, it was possible to outline new recommendations to support the sustainability and development of public libraries in the Slovak Republic.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Through the continuous generation of knowledge and data in this area, the research activity and results of this work could contribute to increased awareness of the importance of culture and the building of the society's good reputation. By developing a public relations communication tool, public administration institutions could significantly contribute to the development of knowledge potential not only in the Slovak Republic. This requires building relationship management and strengthening the communication of the investigated institutions towards the public with the intention of strengthening these ties.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Art Events Into Marketing Activities - Good Practice By European Zoos<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose</bold>. In today's business world and for over a hundred years, art events have been used to develop a brand, promote awareness, and increase the number of customers. Art is a useful tool for a company to promote and advertise its products. As some authors mentioned, arts can enhance the company's image: <bold>i</bold>n marketing and selling, art can brand a company's culture and products; arts can also act as a social connector in the workplace and beyond and in marketing, art can brand a company's culture and products, it helps to further community relations (Anderson, 2017). Companies can use not only art events to attract customers and diversify target audiences but also institutions such as zoos. Attracting visitors through art events is especially important for those zoos that cannot afford rare animal species or special spaces and landscapes. Nowadays, most cultural activities in zoos are done under the educational programs - educational activities provided by zoos not only concern animals, biodiversity and the environment but may have cross-academic roots, like arts, geography, theatre, engineering and technology, physical and mental health, even math (Zareva-Simeonova et al., 2014.) Social media development gives the zoos an excellent opportunity to make these activities visible and allows them to incorporate art, music, crafts, games, and storytelling into the zoo experience. Videos, artistic content and online read-alongs can draw kids and their families into the zoo community long before stepping foot into the zoo. (Softplay, 2023). The most active in attracting visitors with art and culture activities are USA zoos, from the usual placement of art objects in the zoo territory and celebration of various holidays to master classes with professional artists who teach visitors to draw animals and art residencies. This research aims to identify European best practice examples of zoos using art events that attract more local visitors and tourists and classify art events in zoos.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Using the document analysis method, the home pages of different zoos worldwide were analysed. In antiquation, partly structured interviews with zoo representatives and artists were made.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The results of the research will be presented at the conference.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The research summarises the experiences of different zoos in organising art events. It creates a typology of art events that can be used by representatives of different zoos when planning additional activities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Kehler Management System: Integration of External Stakeholders in the Quality Assessments of Municipal Administrations<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Research purpose</title> <p>The Kehler Management System (KMS) is a tool for assessing quality in municipalities. Due to technological advancements, globalisation, greater market dynamics, changing values and demographic change, municipalities find themselves in a complex and dynamic field of tension. The diversity and complexity of these fields of activity and relationship structures continue to increase, making it difficult for municipalities to adapt their processes.</p> <p>However, in the first stage, the focus of KMS was limited to the internal perspective of the municipal administration. This was coherent in terms of an initially necessary reduction of complexity, but in terms of a holistic view, this is insufficient. Following the successful introduction of the KMS for quality assessment in the internal structure of public administration, the concept is being expanded to include the external perspective of stakeholders. The question is: “How can the satisfaction of various stakeholder groups in the municipality be measured in a way that incurs significant participation and produces relevant results for the decision-makers in the municipality?”</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Design / Methodology / Approach</title> <p>The research design takes the form of a case study and focuses on the municipality of Ottersweier. The basis for developing the external perspective is determining the stakeholder groups interacting with a municipality. Six stakeholder groups are identified: Residents, local businesses, business partners of the administration, capital providers of the administration, civil society actors such as associations, clubs and interest groups, and corporations and institutions under public law, e.g. neighbouring municipalities. In analogy to the KMS's approach to the municipal administration's internal perspective, the first step is identifying impact factors grouped into success clusters. To assess the impact factors, questions relevant to the impact factors are developed. Questionnaires were developed and tested for the stakeholder group of residents, local businesses and clubs. All questionnaires were tested in the Ottersweier community.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Findings:</title><p>The survey brought about significant results that aligned with the staff's experience in the municipality. Local businesses indicated a "General Satisfaction" of 81%. They were especially satisfied with the work of the administration. The impact cluster is considered to be fulfilled. However, 18 companies indicated a willingness to relocate out of the municipality for other reasons.</p> <p>The survey of the clubs showed a high level of satisfaction with the service quality of the municipality for this stakeholder group. The general satisfaction of the clubs was 98%.</p> <p>The evaluation of the residents' views showed that the two impact clusters, "General satisfaction" and "Administration," were above the 80% hurdle. The results for the impact clusters "Municipal Policy" and "Supply and Infrastructure"were noteworthy. Both the survey of residents and local businesses obviously failed to meet the KMS target of 80% effectiveness for these two impact clusters. A closer examination of the detailed questions revealed that both stakeholder groups perceive the same areas as particularly deficient: communication and implementation of the municipal council's mission statement and public transport.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Originality / Value / Practical implications</title> <p>In previous surveys of residents in various municipalities without using the KMS, the participation of residents was so low that only limited conclusions could be drawn about the quality of municipal services. Therefore, an attempt was made to keep the number of questions to residents as low as possible to increase the survey's acceptance. The response rate was significantly expanded concerning the number of residents compared to previous surveys.</p> <p>Since two stakeholder groups perceived two areas as deficient independently of each other, "Municipal Policy" and "Supply and Infrastructure", the municipality of Ottersweier must conduct a weakness analysis in order to develop a plan for action to improve the services. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews with residents can be used for this analysis. Also, the motives for local businesses to consider relocation should be investigated in more detail.</p> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Cultural Content in the Digital Environment in the Post-Pandemic Latvia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> COVID-19 has a huge impact on the life-style in modern society, including the switching to online studies and remote work. The majority of the studies view the consequences as negative, while at the same time the pandemic have enhanced some positive changes. The goal of the research is to find out, how the time spent online and the content consumed online are changed due to pandemic as well as to determine what cultural content young people are consuming online.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> To achieve the research purpose author conducted a survey, using own developed instrument – questionnaire. In total, 1029 respondents participated and 934 questionnaires were valid. The survey was conducted in December 2020 using snowball sampling. The developed questionnaire contained 14 questions were grouped into 2 sections: A) Questions about consumption on cultural content online before and during the pandemic and B) Respondent profile.</p> <p><bold>Findings</bold>. Totally the number of hours young people are spending online in post-pandemic period increased because of COVID, but most fastest growth is by those who spent more than 8 hours (from 15 to 100 persons). 53,2% from all respondents are spending about ¼ of all time online consuming cultural content, and 23,2% are not consummating cultural content online at all. 3 main significant reasons why the youth is spending time online are: it is easy and fast (77%); the digital environment is always along in the phone (77%); in the digital environment it is possible to communicate with friends (65%). Spending time online most respondents are consuming informative content, including news and blogs (64%) and the content related to hobbies or leisure (60%), but the cultural content was ranked with just 26%. The most used digital cultural content is movie watching (30,5%), seminars and courses about culture (18,6%), conferences dedicated to culture topics (17,1%), tours in world museums (16,3%) and study books (15,9%). Further, gender, like gender, can not be considered both a significant factor and a predictor of digital consumption. Unlike the two, occupation and place of living are predictors for share of online cultural consumption: occupation appeared to be a moderating factor for digital consumption of cultural content, which make Latvian findings different from what appears in literature.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The results of the research are representing changes in online consumption of culture goods and services caused by COVID-19. As the target group of this survey are youth from 18 to 25 years old, they can be used by evaluating potential and planning of culture goods and services online for this target group. It because evident, that some of the post-pandemic cultural consumption trends appeared as the impact of pandemic, enhancing cultural consumption growth in certain areas, involving more youngsters to cultural consumption compared to pre-pandemic period.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Moderating Role of Governance in the Globalisation-Life Expectancy Nexus: Implications for Socioeconomic Development<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <sec><title style='display:none'>Research Purpose:</title> <p>One of the most recent global aims is to increase life expectancy since healthy people are seen as human capital that may boost the economy. The study investigates the role of governance in the globalisation-life expectancy nexus using 39 African countries between 1996 and 2019.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Design/Methodology/Approach:</title> <p>The study uses a Panel-Spatial Correlation Consistent augmented with the Least Square Dummy Variables (PSCC-LSDV) approach. The study uses a dynamic two-step system, the Generalised Method of Moments (GMM), as a robust model to solve the endogeneity problem.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Findings</title> <p>The results from the PSCC-LSDV approach reveal that globalisation increases life expectancy in the selected African countries.The approach is more efficient since it can be used with cross-sectional dependent variables when other techniques like fixed and random effects methods may be ineffective. Likewise, the result from the GMM estimator is consistent with the PSCC-LSDV approach. The effect of globalisation on the life expectancy nexus without the inclusion of governance is positive. Meanwhile, the moderating (interactive) effect of governance on the relationship between globalisation and life expectancy is negative, indicating that globalisation and governance are substitutes for each other. This means that globalisation positively influences life expectancy, but the governance conditions in Africa weaken this positive effect.</p> </sec> <sec><title style='display:none'>Originality/ Value/ Practical Implications</title> <p>Previous studies have shown that globalisation can have a negative, a positive or an insignificant effect on life expectancy in different countries. This discrepancy may arise from the use of different methods, different variables being measured, or different countries. None of these studies, to our knowledge, look at the moderating effect of governance on the globalisation-life expectancy nexus. Furthermore, unlike this study, most studies that look into the role of governance in the relationship between globalisation and life expectancy do not employ an aggregate index. The moderating role of governance from the two approaches confirms that governance interacts with globalisation to weaken the positive impact of globalisation on life expectancy. Put differently, the existence of poor governance in the African region drains the positive effect of globalisation on life expectancy in Africa. However, we expect life expectancy in African countries to improve in the face of good governance.</p> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of CSR Activities Connected to Covid-19 in Czech and Slovak Businesses<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research Purpose</bold>. The COVID-19 pandemic was very demanding for business entities which have to introduce new managerial tools and approaches to protect the health of employees and maintained continuity in the company's activities. Most countries worldwide have implemented policies and guidelines that protect employees from potential risks related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study aims at identifying if any difference exists (and what these differences are) between Czech and Slovak companies in the emphasis they pay to the corporate social responsibility (abbreviated: CSR) activities connected with the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> A questionnaire composed of Likert scale statements, whose reliability was tested with Cronbach's Alpha (0.797), was sent to daughter companies (subsidies) of foreign multinationals (pioneers in CSR activities in SK), who were selected based on stratified randomisation. We obtained data from 360 Czech and Slovak companies (180 from CZ and 180 from SK). We tested whether the differences were statistically significant using a non-parametric test, namely the Mann-Whitney U test.</p> <p><bold>Findings</bold>. We identified a statistically significant difference between Czech and Slovak companies only for one factor - extra employee benefits, which include, for example, the possibility to test at the workplace or take voluntary quarantine with income compensation, etc. Other CSR activities connected with the COVID-19 pandemic were realised with the same emphasis in both countries. We observe that most of the companies use these practices. However, assisting the communities and society is somewhat neglected by the majority of them. In this regard, we argue that it is important to support communities more as the money spent for it may come back in the form of purchases by consumers.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> In the same vein as previous works, we studied the differences between SK and CZ, two countries which shared for a long time the same history and culture. The originality here is the investigation of CSR practices connected to COVID-19 in the two countries. Findings have theoretical and practical implications. Theoretical as they contribute to expanding the literature on CSR and practical as we present to what degree the organisations and their managements from the sample put emphasis on CSR activities adopted to fight and limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Strategies for Sustainable Vehicle Fleet Management<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Against the backdrop of climate change, pressure is growing in the transport sector to reduce CO<sub>2</sub> emissions. Numerous companies are therefore setting specific targets to curb the CO<sub>2</sub> emissions of their own vehicle fleets. As a rule, this requires the replacement of combustion vehicles by vehicles with alternative drives. In addition to the selection of suitable technologies, economic aspects play a prominent role in this transformation process. Based on a practical case study, potential implementation strategies for achieving a specific CO<sub>2</sub> target are to be examined for a parcel service provider. The focus here is on a fleet of diesel combustion vehicles from the small van class with a permissible total weight of fewer than 3.5 tons, which are to be replaced by vehicles with electric drive (BEV) in order to achieve a specific CO<sub>2</sub>-savings target. The research objective can be easily extended if one considers, on the one hand, that climate protection cannot be limited to individual countries but has to take place on a global level and, on the other hand, that sustainable strategic planning of vehicle fleets also concerns other vehicle segments, such as company cars for individual transport or trucks with higher permissible gross weights.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> In the first step, framework conditions and criteria are defined that are needed for an evaluation of the implementation strategies. In the second step, a practical case study is constructed. In the third step, different scenarios and strategies for the conversion of the vehicle fleet are designed in order to achieve the set CO<sub>2</sub>-emission targets. In the last step, the economic and ecological effects of the different strategies and scenarios are measured and analysed with the help of the calculation tool "DIPO-tool", which was developed at the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society LUBS for research and teaching purposes. To evaluate sustainability, in addition to the established metrics for Tank-to-Wheel (TtW) and Well-to-Wheel (WtW), a holistic life cycle approach is implemented that takes into account emissions during vehicle production.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Against the backdrop of expected further technological development and numerous parameters with a considerable leverage effect on economic and ecological evaluation criteria, it seems advisable from the point of view of sustainability to use alternative drives as soon as possible. From the point of view of economic efficiency, a more differentiated picture emerges depending on the framework conditions, e.g., subsidies.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The originality of the approach lies in the application of a practical case study and the attempt to reduce the complexity of the decision problem by using an Excel-based calculation tool. The value of the study lies in the realisation that, due to the complexity, a simple optimisation approach does not seem viable but rather the evaluation and analysis of different scenarios. The practical impact can be described in the sense that the used DIPO-tool can provide effective support for sustainable implementation strategies for vehicle fleets.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Concept of Industry 4.0 Still Interesting for Scientists due to the Emergence of Industry 5.0? Bibliometric Analysis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Through Industry 4.0, also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, new technologies or traditional production resources have been transformed into intelligent objects enhanced by the possibility of identification, scanning, and networking. In recent years, the concept of Industry 5.0 has already started to be discussed. However, is Industry 4.0 an uninteresting or sufficiently researched topic for scientists? The main aim of the scientific article is to perform a bibliometric analysis of the Industry 4.0 issue. The aim was supported by six research questions that reflect the publication trend in the years 2012–2022, the most publishing countries, the most used keywords, the Web of Science category, and authors and publishers.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The data was obtained from the renowned Web of Science database. The monitored period was 2012–2022 for Industry 4.0 and 2016-2022 for Industry 5.0. The year 2023 was excluded from the analysis, as the year 2023 is not finished. The total number of publications that were used in the bibliometric analysis was 20,151 (I4.0) and 293 (I5.0). VOSviewer and MS Excel were used for graphical data processing.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The oldest publication dedicated to Industry 4.0 in the Web of Science database dates back to 2012. The most scientific articles were seen in 2021, namely 4,326 (I4.0) and 201 in 2022 about I5.0. In 2022, 3848 publications were published. In addition, authors from Germany (2,450), Italy (2,318), China (1,515), and the USA (1,220) address the issue of Industry 4.0. All the countries of the Visegrad Group, Poland (859), the Czech Republic (859), Slovakia (539), and Hungary (282) are most concerned with this problem. If the publications are divided into categories according to the Web of Science database, most of them are included in the categories Engineering Industrial, Engineering Manufacturing, Engineering Electrical Electronic, Computer Science Theory Methods, or Computer Science Information Systems. Publications on Industry 4.0 are published mainly by publishers such as IEEE, Elsevier, Springer, and MDPI. The authors who are most devoted to the mentioned issue are Popkova, Martinek, Rauch, Bogoviz, Silva, and Xu.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The added value of the scientific article is the summarisation of theoretical starting points from the field of Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0. Likewise, the article is original from the point of view of conducting a bibliometric analysis, focused on the development of the number of publications, the authors who are most devoted to the given topic, the most commonly used keywords, or countries that focus on Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 issues the most. The originality of the article also lies in the mapping of the publications of the monitored issue for the entire previous year, 2022.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Barriers in Digital Transition and Digital Transformation: Literature Review<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The research aimed to identify digital barriers in the digital transition and digital transformation in businesses and industries under the umbrella of human resource management. The topicality of the research relates to the need to identify digital barriers impeding digital transition and transformation that can be addressed through the prism of human resource management policies or that can be related to human resource management.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The research method was the analysis of the keywords and keyword concordances, conducted on the sample of the created corpus of 50 recently published scientific papers, which were analysed using the text analysis instruments <italic>AntConc</italic> and <italic>Voyant Tools</italic>.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Two digital barrier types were postulated - individual and organisational barriers, which were further spread across five digital barrier areas - human resource, technological, management, business development, and financial ones that were able to accommodate the following barriers: general human resource, staff resistance, psychological, staff digital competences, decision-makers digital competences, internal information exchange, external information exchange, data processing, technical, IT complexity, poor usability, cybersecurity, general management, business structure, business 4.0, industry 4.0, creativity, and costs.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The created structure of digital barriers provides human resource departments with a global picture of barriers that should be reviewed within their competence areas to ensure the recruitment of specialists capable of conducting specified digital operations and the continuous development of digital competencies of the entire labour force of the organisation. The suggested digital barrier structure can also be used to develop the organisational strategy for the digital transition and digital transformation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Literacy of Customers of the Selected Slovak Bank as a Basis for Managerial Decision-Making<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The main goal of the article is to determine the current level of financial literacy among clients of the selected bank in Slovakia. This finding will be compared with the average level in the country. In the survey, we focused on determining their financial literacy level. Currently, a lot of attention is paid to the issue of financial literacy. In connection with financial literacy, a lot is said about education. Therefore, in the paper, we focused on finding out the relationship between financial literacy and the level of education as such. We also compared the financial literacy of the survey sample with the overall financial literacy in Slovakia.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> For the purposes of this article, an anonymous online questionnaire survey focused on the financial literacy of customers of the selected bank was conducted. By analysing theoretical knowledge and existing surveys, we established hypotheses, which we subsequently verified statistically. When analysing theoretical knowledge and surveys in the Slovak Republic, we found that there is a large number of surveys focused on financial literacy. The output and support of each of them are primarily focused on increasing financial literacy through education. We, therefore, assumed, given that financial literacy has been in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools for several years, that financial literacy is related to the availability of goods. We also assumed that financial literacy in the Slovak Republic is increasing. To verify the hypothesis, we used two statistical methods - the Chi-Square test and the Mean Congruence Test. The reason for choosing customers of a specific bank for the purposes of our survey was the number of respondents' answers. We managed to collect the most answers for the bank mentioned.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Through the selected statistical method, we found that in our survey, the number of correct answers is not affected by the level of education. It was also interesting to find that the level of financial literacy of the selected region in 2022 is not higher than the overall level of financial literacy of the Slovak Republic determined on the basis of a survey from 2012.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The proposals and recommendations that emerged from the survey relate to increasing the financial literacy of customers of the selected bank. We focused our recommendations on education and conducting surveys, both for customers and for the bank's management. The bank can use these recommendations as a basis for managerial decisions. It is necessary to increase the financial literacy of customers. It is also necessary to support the field of marketing, especially communication with customers. It is only up to the management of the bank to decide which customers it will have and how it will retain or expand them.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Place as a Brand. Theory and Practise of the Place Branding<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The purpose of the research project was to evaluate the status of place branding as a scientific discipline and to check whether this concept has been concretised during exploration and articulation. An additional objective was to check the theoretical status of place brands.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The study used an approach based on the analysis of 'place brand' models developed in the literature since models are central to the scientific procedure. These models were then confronted with the empirical observations of the authors using the Flexible Pattern Matching (FPM) method.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> A consulting and practical approach is noticeable, especially in the ever-new 'process models' (how to create and manage 'place brand'); moreover, these models are scientifically insignificant and practically unworkable. Descriptive models (what a 'place/territorial brand' is) do not reveal signs of concretisation. There is undoubtedly a phenomenon of 'forcing' empirical data.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Based on the analyses done, it can be concluded that none of the examined models meets the requirements of lawlike generalisations. In the practice of place branding, carried out by territorial units, the only common element is the usage of the name and logo of the place. It can also be argued that the basic concept of 'place brand' is poorly defined. The research method used (FTM) has not been applied in the analysis of place brands so far; however, the examination done in this article proves its usefulness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Circular Textile Industry Development<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Identify the main textile exporters in the global world that would have the greatest impact on the development of geared textiles.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> TOPSIS analysis has been applied as the most widely used efficiency measurement technique. The six criteria in the current research have been selected to describe the leading players in textiles globally and are available in a public database. In addition to the TOPSIS analysis, a clustering method has been employed to identify distinct groups among the countries under examination. Through this clustering analysis, countries with similar characteristics and practices.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The analysis of the textile and clothing industry has revealed the top ten economies that make the most significant contributions to global textile production. Through a comprehensive assessment based on predetermined criteria, these economies have been closely scrutinised, resulting in the European Union securing the leading position, followed by Malaysia in second place and China in the third. The leading position of the European Union can be attributed to its robust economic infrastructure, strong policy frameworks promoting sustainability, and a growing commitment to circular economy principles within the textile sector. Malaysia's second-place position may be influenced by its strategic investments in the textile industry, favourable business environment, and initiatives to foster sustainable practices. China's third-place ranking can be attributed to its substantial textile manufacturing capacity, extensive supply chains, and efforts to integrate circular economy principles into its textile production. The research findings indicate that several factors influence the rankings, including the level of economic development, technological advancements, population size, availability of cheap labour, and the influence of fashion trends, among others.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The circular textile industry is a relatively new field, with the European Commission announcing the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles in 2022. This strategic initiative aims to propel the development and adoption of circular textile practices throughout the European Union, setting a benchmark for other regions to follow. It is important to underline that the study was carried out on a global scale in order to assess the world's main textile exporters. In order to assess the progress of circular textiles, we employ the TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) method. This approach allows us to rank and assess countries based on their implementation of strategies and initiatives for developing a circular textile industry. Furthermore, we utilise a clustering method to identify distinct groups or patterns within the data, enabling a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences among countries in their circular textile. This clustering analysis helps identify clusters of countries that exhibit similar characteristics or practices, facilitating the identification of best practices, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among countries within each cluster. The findings of this study hold significant value and practical implications for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and researchers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Impact of Influencer Marketing on the Decision-Making Process of Generation Z<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Currently, the Internet is used by almost 5 billion users worldwide, of which 80% actively use at least one of the social networks. And marketing managers are well aware of this fact, as they had to switch to a new way of attracting potential customers. One of these methods is also influencer marketing as a form of marketing communication. In influencer marketing, the emphasis is placed on influencers with a significant impact on the community on which marketing activities and campaigns can be oriented. It is a method of non-violent and natural promotion of a product or brand, which acts on the consumer as a natural part of the space in which it is located. Especially one generation of consumers, Generation Z, is considered to be the target segment for influencer marketing due to their digital skills and inclination to social networks. The main aim of the article is to determine the impact of influencer marketing on the decision-making process of Generation Z. This also includes providing the theoretical background and analysis of influencer marketing from the viewpoint of Slovak and foreign authors.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> General scientific methods were applied for the processing of the data as well as mathematical-statistical methods to evaluate the data collated from the results of the questionnaire survey and to statistical hypothesis testing. The important source for secondary data was scientific research, annual company reports, statistical databases, and published professional publications. In order to find out the impact of influencer marketing on the decision-making process of Generation Z, a questionnaire survey was conducted.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> A successful marketing campaign on social media in cooperation with influencers requires the correct selection of the influencer according to their follower base, profile focus, credibility or reach, which is measured by Engagement rate. The number of followers is not as significant as the relationship that the creator has with their fans. When choosing an influencer, it is also necessary to take into account the way they promote products, ask them for originality and creativity, and prefer long-term collaborations to one-time contributions. These steps can bring a lot of benefits to the company, from which it will subsequently profit. Based on the analysis and results of the questionnaire survey, it is thus clear that the implementation of influencer marketing in marketing communication of Slovak companies targeted at Generation Z brings many benefits, including building relationships with Generation Z, increasing their loyalty and improving the company image.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Finally, measures for effective influencer marketing usage targeted at Generation Z are proposed, and its benefits are highlighted.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Prediction Model Development and its Implications on Financial Performance in Slovakia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Financial distress being a global phenomenon makes it impact firms in all sectors of the economy and predicting corporate bankruptcy has become a crucial issue in economics. At the beginning of the last century, the first studies aimed to predict corporate bankruptcy were published. In Slovakia, however, several prediction models were developed with a significant delay. The main aim of this paper is to develop a model for predicting bankruptcy based on the financial information of 3,783 Slovak enterprises operating in the manufacturing and construction sectors in 2020 and 2021.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> A prediction model that uses the appropriate financial indicators as predictors may be developed using multiple discriminant analysis. Multiple discriminant analysis is currently used in prediction model development. In this case, financial health is assessed using several variables that are weighted in order to maximise the difference between the average value calculated in the group of prosperous and non-prosperous firms. When developing a bankruptcy prediction model based on multiple discriminant analysis, it is crucial to determine the independent variables used as primary financial health predictors.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Due to the discriminant analysis results, the corporate debt level of the monitored firms may be regarded as appropriate. Despite the fact that the model identified 215 firms in financial distress due to an insufficient debt level, 3,568 out of 3,783 Slovak enterprises operating in the manufacturing and construction sectors did not have any problems with financing their debts. The self-financing ratio was identified in the developed model as the variable with the highest accuracy. Based on the results, the developed model has an overall discriminant ability of 93% since bankruptcy prediction models require strong discriminating abilities to be used in practice.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The principal contribution of the paper is its application of the latest available data, which could help in more accurate financial stability predictions for firms during the current difficult period. Additionally, this is a ground-breaking research study in Slovakia that models the financial health of enterprises in the post-pandemic period.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Matching Model in E-Commerce: How Users Benefit<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> During the last decades, e-commerce sales have been rocketing, and this tendency is expected to increase over the following years. Due to the digital nature of e-commerce, one actual item can be sold on various e-commerce platforms, which leads to the exponential growth of the number of propositions. At the same time, the title and description of this item might differ. All these facts make more complicated for customers the process of searching on online platforms and change business approaches to the development of competitive strategy by e-commerce companies. The research question is how we can apply a machine learning algorithm to detect, based on the product information such as title and description, whether the items are actually relevant to the same product.</p> <p><bold>Methodology.</bold> We suggest an approach that is based on a flexible textual data pipeline and the usage of a machine-learning model ensemble. Each step of the data processing is adjustable in dependence on domain issues and data features because we can achieve better results in solving the item-matching task.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The item-matching model is developed. The proposed model is based on the semantic closeness of text descriptions of items and the usage of the core of keywords to present the reference item.</p> <p><bold>Practical implications.</bold> We suggest an approach to improving the item searching process on different e-commerce platforms by dividing the process into two steps. The first step is searching for the related items among the set of reference items according to user preferences. The reference item description is created based on our item-matching model. The second step is surfing proposals of similar items on chosen e-commerce platforms. This approach can benefit buyers and sellers in various aspects, such as a low-price guarantee, a flexible strategy of similar products shown, and appropriate category-choosing recommendations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Vehicles from an Economic Point of View<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> In recent years, the importance of moving from a linear economy to a circular economy in every area and sector of the economy has been discussed more than ever before. This includes discussions on a net zero energy system as the basis for a fully decarbonised electricity sector. The increase in demand for electricity and the push for net zero emissions are leading to a focus on using electric vehicles to meet the EU's sustainability targets. The European transport sector is responsible for a significant part of the European Union's total greenhouse gas emissions. The main aim is to evaluate the impacts of the automotive industry from an economic point of view because the increase in sales of electric cars can lead, among other things, to the mitigation of environmental problems.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Electric cars and biofuel cars are the two most discussed solutions in the transport sector. As EVs are sustainable to the extent that their energy sources are sustainable, the main aim of this research paper is to investigate the impacts of the chosen electric vehicle types from an economic point of view, especially the sales of electric vehicles in the time period of 2010-2021. Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles' sales situation will be analysed in Europe and globally. The assumptions and hypotheses were set and verified through regression and correlation analysis.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The research results have confirmed our assumptions that the number of vehicles sold in Europe and worldwide is increasing with time. During the time period under consideration, electric car sales increased worldwide. 6,600,000 battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles were supplied in total in 2021, representing a 45% increase from the previous year. The most significant growth in car sales in Slovakia was in 2021, but only one-tenth of one per cent were electric vehicles.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> A gradual shift of the main interest from automakers to electric vehicles is seen. At the same time, there are other questions connected to electric vehicles that need to be addressed and analysed, such as their high price, charging options and infrastructure and, nowadays, the electricity price.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Impact of Human Resource Development on Poverty Incidence in Nigeria: A Bound Testing Approach<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose:</bold> Eradicating poverty in the world requires some strategies, such as the poor having adequate access to productive assets and increasing their returns on assets, having adequate access to education and health facilities, increasing their access to job prospects, at the same time complementing these resources with other incomes. Hence, the goal of this study is to examine the link between human resources development and poverty in Nigeria, using annual secondary data from the Statistical Bulletin of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1990 to 2020.</p> <p><bold>Design/methodology/approach:</bold> The Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) Technique was explicitly employed to arrive at the statistical and logical conclusions in determining the impact of human resource development in the face of poverty. In addition, the bound testing approach was used to measure Nigeria’s long-run relationship between human resource development and poverty.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The study revealed that human resource development has a statistically insignificant but non-decreasing impact/effect on poverty incidence in Nigeria, based on the short-run ARDL assessment. Furthermore, the bound testing approach also indicates that there is indeed a long-run relationship between human resource development and poverty incidence in Nigeria. The study, therefore, concludes that poverty is inescapable and, hence, creates underdevelopment. The study advises governments at all levels to develop and implement policies and programs aimed at improving or enhancing the welfare and well-being of the masses through job creation in order to close the income gap between the affluent and the deprived.</p> <p><bold>Originality/value/practical implications:</bold> Fighting poverty in Nigeria has been one of the major priorities of most governments in Nigeria. These can be observed from the nationwide planning policies that have been focused on adequate provision of access to both human and natural resources. There has been an enormous call for the massive upgrading of the productive capacity of the people through investment in human resources. This paper is one of the several articles employed to evaluate the impact of human resource development on the incidence of poverty in Nigeria.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Region Inhabitants’ Media Usage Specifics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> There is a growing trend of society believing more and more in public broadcasting and media because they can objectively explain and reflect on what is happening in the world and Latvia. As the pandemic escalates, people are increasingly listening to what professional journalists and experts are saying. The survey organised by the National Media Council (, 2021) also shows that trust in public media in Latvia has been growing. However, one important challenge now is handling misinformation and false news, mostly seen on the Internet and social media. To be able to trace and analyse misinformation and false news that might have a significant impact on the population, first, it is important to identify the traditional and digital media as well as other Internet sources that have been frequently used by the population. The purpose of this study is to identify media platforms, including regional media, that are in daily use by the Vidzeme region’s population.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> A quantitative research method was used in this study, specifically, a survey, which consisted of a questionnaire comprising 18 questions on media use. Overall, 333 respondents living in the Vidzeme region participated in the survey. The questionnaire was designed in collaboration with Alberta College communication students. It included questions on traditional (TV, radio, magazines, newspaper) and digital media (portals, social media) that the population uses to access daily and weekly news.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> 1) The most frequently used media are social media (87.5%), while the Internet (85.5%) is considered the most reliable source of information. 2) Regional media continue to be an essential source of information for local communities.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Communication specialists of regional municipalities can use the results of the study to strengthen communication with the population via municipality websites and newspapers, thus, contributing to regional, local, and fast-growing micro-media ecosystem understanding. One limitation of the study is the limited scope of research, which is why the authors are planning to expand the research into the study of other regions of Latvia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Effect of the Degree of Job Satisfaction on Organizational Loyalty: Empirical Study in Mascara Employment Agency<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> This study aimed to identify the effect of the degree of job satisfaction on organizational loyalty through the dimensions of salaries, incentives, and bonuses; conditions and nature of work; relationship with colleagues; and relationship with superiors.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> We conducted an empirical study in the employment agency of Mascara for a sample of 53 questionnaires, where the SPSS program was used for statistical processing and data analysis, and to test the hypotheses, simple and multiple linear regression was used.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Based on the results of the SPSS adopted in testing the research hypotheses, the study concluded that there was no statistically significant effect of salaries, incentives, and bonuses; conditions and nature of work; and relationship with colleagues on organizational loyalty. In contrast, there is a positive effect of the relationship with superiors on the organizational loyalty of the employees of the employment agency.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> This study developed a model to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational loyalty. This study presents important implications for staffing agency managers wishing to improve job satisfaction in order to achieve organizational loyalty. At the practical level, these results can be used by managers in order to achieve organizational loyalty and identify problems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue