rss_2.0Economics and Culture FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Economics and Culture and Culture Feed as a Revenue Generator for Small and Medium Companies in Developing Countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The subject of this paper is the role of e-commerce for companies in increasing their competitive advantage in the market during and after the pandemic. The paper monitors the digital transformation and e-commerce implementations in a developing country (North Macedonia) and whether this can lead to a better position in the market.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The design of the research contained both a literature review from relevant secondary sources, as well as primary research through empirical analysis. The empirical analysis was performed through a survey questionnaire containing 28 questions of open and closed nature, including a five-point Likert Scale. The data was subject to quantitative and qualitative analysis and presented in the paper.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> E-commerce has been seen as the future of shopping; however, due to the pandemic, the adoption rates increased significantly in the past two years. Primary data from the research shows that consumers in developing countries are open to online shopping, with satisfied trust and security parameters. The research implies that companies can safely implement e-commerce by following several important aspects to ensure customer interest in converting to their e-stores.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The paper contributes to the e-commerce research field by providing newer data after a global situation-changer, such as the pandemic. The research data can be utilized to compare statistics and generate trends for developing countries in further research, as well as broader usage for customer preferences from other academics and the business sector.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Relationship Between the Industry-Level Economic Development and Human Development in Latvia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> There is some empirical evidence of the relationship between economic and human development at a country level. Human development is most frequently proxied by the Human Development Index (HDI). Considering the fact that HDI is a measure covering the fields of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the overwhelming idea of the research is to determine the impact of sector economic development on the achievement of SDGs. The research goal is to establish if there is a relationship between economic development, using Latvian sector statistics, and the human development of Latvia.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The paper uses different types of regression analyses of the longitudinal data to determine if there is a relationship between HDI and economic development indicators in different sectors of the Latvian economy. The sample includes industry-level data on eight industries and HDI data collected from 2010 to 2020. The regression analysis was applied to HDI as a dependent variable, and a selected set of industry variables was assessed as a group of independent variables (both individual for industries and aggregated on the country level). The set included the indicators of the turnover of companies, number of companies, added value, total personal costs and number of employees in full-time employment.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The findings partly support the proposal that economic development relates to human development because some factors of economic growth have formed a statistically strong relationship with HDI (added value, total personal costs, and the number of employees in full-time employment), while others have not (turnover and number of companies). The fact that some statistically proven relationships had a positive while others had a negative direction suggests that the relationship between economic development and human development is bidirectional depending on specific indicators.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> There is an obvious research gap in the investigated field in Latvia and even in the Baltics. The current paper contributes to the knowledge base about factors affecting human development and enlarges the statistical data basis. Besides, this study contributes to the development of national strategic plans by determining which sectors and which indicators have a significant impact on HDI. Research information will be useful for the NAP report after 2027 for assessing the level of achievement of strategic goals, especially in the priorities “Strong families, healthy and active people”, “Knowledge and skills for personal and national growth”, and “Competitiveness and material well-being of companies”.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Service Sector in Lithuania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> This study aims to assess the impact of selected economic indicators (independent variables) on the turnover of food and beverage service companies in Lithuania.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> In order to achieve the intended goal of the study, an analysis of scientific articles was performed, with the primary aim of finding out the consequences of the COVID - 19 pandemic on the Lithuanian economy and selecting five independent variables that could affect the turnover of food and beverage companies. After analysing the literature, five independent variables were highlighted: the number of tourists accommodated, the statistics of Vilnius Airport flights, the number of employees hired, the unemployment rate and inflation.</p> <p><bold>Findings</bold>. The correlation and regression analysis results show that the turnover of catering and beverage enterprises and the number of accommodated tourists are strongly correlated (r---gt--- 0.90). Meanwhile, the linear correlation between the number of Vilnius Airport flights and the number of hired employees with the research variable is average (0.60 ---lt---r ---lt---0.70). However, the linear correlation of macroeconomic factors such as unemployment and inflation with the turnover of food and beverage enterprises is statistically insignificant.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The originality of this article is that it studies the valuable topic of the COVID-19 crisis in service sectors, which substantially impacted Lithuania’s economy and adversely affected the economic performance of the region in general. The results of this research will contribute to future monitoring and crisis planning in particular sectors.</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 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 and Adapting the Existing Automotive Business Model: A Case Study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The paper examines how to successfully adapt the existing business model, develop and introduce a new program in a company and gain new customers.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> It has adopted a case study approach, with an online survey of customers’ needs, interviews with employees, and Porter’s five forces of competitive position analysis.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Based on the results of the study, an innovative business model has been proposed to enhance the company’s business and ensure a sustainable business. The proposed low-cost Car Fix service brings additional customers to the company, as the most significant emphasis has been placed on ensuring a high level of service quality and consequently achieving high satisfaction of Car Fix service users, fostering the image and recognizability of the whole company.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Due to the fast changes in the business environment, which is getting increasingly complex, resourceful management has to continuously develop, innovate and expand the company’s customer base. The paper offers a template for how to analyze the competitive environment and introduce a sustainable competitive advantage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Materiality Challenge of ESG Ratings<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The ESG literature supports a positive correlation between a firm’s ESG performance and its financial performance; however, the details of this relationship are ambiguous, which has led to conflicting results in the literature. This article asserts that this ambiguity is largely related to the fact that ESG studies rarely consider the important issue of materiality. This article is an expanded replication of analysis by Williams ---amp--- Apollonio (2022), a study that called for deeper analysis of both materiality and the causal link between ESG ratings and financial performance.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> This methodology calculates Pearson Correlation coefficients between Bloomberg ESG scores and abnormal returns for S---amp---P 500 firms from 2020 to 2022 after controlling for the material issue of GICS sectors.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The results show no relationship between ESG scores and abnormal returns, and the conclusion is that controlling for GICS sectors is not the methodology that will clarify the presumed positive correlation between ESG performance and financial performance.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> This study is one of the few that addresses materiality in ESG ratings. The finding that controlling for GICS sectors does not sufficiently control for materiality is a significant building block for future researchers. This article suggests that more granular categorization of sub-industries using a larger sample than the S---amp---P 500 is likely to be useful future research.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Issues of Defining and Classifying Cultural Centres<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Cultural centres are multifunctional interdisciplinary cultural institutions that provide access to culture and a wide variety of cultural services, promote citizen participation in culture, offer lifelong learning opportunities and perform various other functions. Cultural centres are a phenomenon shared with many other countries, especially former Soviet republics; however, although historically different models of cultural centres have also been developed in Western countries, the field has been relatively little studied in an academic setting. The aim of this research is to study the problems of defining and classifying cultural centres, to identify the most characteristic functions of cultural centres in Europe and suggest a classification model based on the functions of cultural centres.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Research design is qualitative research. The research strategy uses qualitative research methods - the data extraction and analysis methods that are characteristic of qualitative research. The following methods were used: a comparative analysis of scientific literature, document analysis as well as secondary data analysis. Qualitative content analysis was used as the method of data analysis.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Although the literature review shows that there is no single definition and characterization of cultural centres in Europe, researchers generally identify three parameters that characterize most cultural centres (regardless of their legal form): multifunctionality (offer and functions); socio-cultural aspect and orientation towards the local community; having a building/technical equipment. The author has identified and proposed a chart with four main dimensions characteristic of cultural centres: art/culture; education; leisure/recreation; social.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> As a result of the study, the author has developed a model for classifying the functions of cultural centres, laying the ground for further academic research of cultural centres and their roles in society. The four main dimensions characteristic of cultural centres open new directions for research on the impact areas of cultural centres for a society: education, wellbeing, integration, community development, participation in culture etc. The results of the research will be used by the Association of Latvian Culture Centres for the development of cultural centres in Latvia. The research results will be partly used for further research within the framework of Dita Pfeifere’s doctoral thesis. They will be useful for researchers in other countries who conduct research in the field of cultural centres. The practical implication of the research is related to the development of the Law on Cultural Centres in Latvia, clarifying terminology used in the law and the segmentation of cultural centres.</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 of the European Population and Deprivation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> To quantify such a subjective phenomenon as deprivation, we can use direct questions or more objective composite indicators, including more characteristics of the situation of individuals. Moreover, when ageing is of interest, the usually used indicators should be updated to reflect the needs of ageing citizens. The European Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe provides a vast database connected to the European population over 50. Two indicators for material and social deprivation from the survey are used to describe both types of deprivation in European welfare countries. The well-being of elderly inhabitants is a challenging problem for European economies; for this reason, information on the development of deprivation might be helpful to address future problems even before they become.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Data from the survey are used to describe differences between both deprivations and to analyse the impact of age, education and gender on the deprivation level. Regression and correlation analysis are used for the analysis.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The welfare countries relatively control material deprivation, but social deprivation is a more serious problem. The deprivation is slowly increasing with age with the positive impact of education. The gender is less significant. The situation is not similar in European countries, and the clustering of countries corresponds with the quality of life indicators and the country’s welfare.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Quantification of the subjective phenomenon is shown. Data-driven information on deprivation during the ageing process in the European Union is given.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Management Policies and Work Accidents<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The aim of the research is to demonstrate the impacts of an absence of organizational policies and strategies in the field of work security on enterprise competitiveness. The movement of loads in the warehouses of industrial and distribution companies is critical in optimizing the times of availability of products to market. This is an activity that, in the field of management, appears to be simple and not very complex, duly framed by national and international laws. However, when poorly managed, it can express significant costs that affect competitiveness and even significantly affect the operational functioning of companies. Knowing that the safety of cargo handling by different equipment presupposes rules and safety policies at different levels, the present study aims to demonstrate the economic impacts based on a real situation in one of the largest handling equipment companies in Portugal.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Given the nature and objectives of the study, which seeks to demonstrate that the work security rules and policies compliance or non-compliance has benefits or costs and affects the competitiveness of economic organizations, the work was developed based on three phases. The first phase focused on direct observation of safety practices in operational activities. After this observation, in a second phase, we proceeded to collect and analyze existing data in the company under study, referring to the number of work accidents recorded in the past. In the last phase, we sought to understand and justify the results with the company’s top management. This last phase provided the understanding of the administrators’ view on the subject and the confrontation with the associated impacts, not only at the financial level but at the level of the company’s operation.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> This study made it possible to show the impact (associated costs) on organizational performance and that this reality, unfortunately, is not often part of top management’s concern. As a management issue that is often relegated to middle management, this study demonstrates the frequent failure to comply with safety rules due to the pressure of daily activities, the increased number of accidents with the personnel growing in the company, and that this situation can be enhanced through the low degree of control by the enterprise top management over the existing reality. With this concrete study, it was possible to verify the weak relevance of the topic for the company’s administration and the assumption of the difficulty in regularizing the existing situation. The need to review management practices and models in this field became evident.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The relevance of this study made it possible to point out to the top management administration that, in terms of competitiveness. However, the direct costs of the operation are relevant; there are indirect and opportunity costs, such as accidents or unavailability of equipment, which represent costs that can compromise the competitiveness of the company. This study also had the advantage of providing management with evidence of the existing reality in the company, which tends to be undervalued or go unnoticed in the day-to-day company’s current activities. In addition, it should also be noted that a proposal for an improvement plan for the company’s safety was made available.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’ Perceptions of Constraints to Quality Assurance Implementation in Higher Education in Algeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> This paper aims to explore Algerian academics’ perceptions of constraints to quality assurance recently implemented in higher education.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> Data was collected through a survey. An online questionnaire with a 5-point Likert scale was distributed to the Algerian academics through a snowball sampling method. In total, 121 answers were collected and treated using descriptive statistics.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The analysis reveals that academics perceived constraints in all dimensions examined in this study. The main constraints were: the low involvement of different stakeholders in quality assurance projects, the weakness of internal and external communication, the absence of evidence of compliance with the national standard, the lack of involvement of academics in the development of action plans and the lack of follow-up.</p> <p>These constraints seem to hinder the quality assurance implementation process at the Higher Education Institutions (of the sample). These results may represent a challenge for institutions.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The study is original in that it examines a recent subject that is little dealt with in Algeria. The main contribution of this research is an analytical discussion of perceptions of academics about quality barriers encountered in Higher Education Institutions, leading to a significant enrichment of the literature.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue it Doomsday? First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on the Polish Cultural Industry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The COVID-19 pandemic has become a theme of the research on the functioning of the economy and particular industries. The same concerns were raised regarding the issue of the cultural industry. Therefore, the content of this paper was dictated by the recognition of the impact of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic on the activities of the cultural industry in Poland. The formulated research question reads: “How did the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic impact the economic standing of the Polish cultural industry?”</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The conducted literature review, whose purpose was to recognise the threads of the scientific discourse on the pandemic and cultural industry together with the cultural issues of business activity in a broad sense, was based on the use of the VOSviewer software, based on the data obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection. This concerned publications from January 1, 2020, to April 4, 2022. The part of the paper that leads to answering the research question uses the inductive method. It is based on the analysis of the quantitative data and information obtained from Statistics Poland (GłównyUrządStatystyczny), research reports as well as media releases.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> It was determined that in the first year of the pandemic, the number of cultural events, as well as the number of their participants, drastically decreased. There was also a change in the structure and value of expenditures of the citizens of Poland. This caused a drastic fall in revenues from the activity conducted by cultural institutions at the beginning of 2020. The situation improved after the disbursement of the government aid. However, even one year after the first lockdown, the increased debt of the art industry can be pointed out.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Determining in a broad way the impact of the first wave of the pandemic on the cultural industry in Poland concerning the economic standing is a novel approach. The previous studies focused on the situation of particular types of cultural institutions and possibly on the people associated with them. Due to its specificity, the conducted research also makes it possible to identify potential research problems relating to this industry. On the one hand, these potential studies are in line with the research threads represented in world literature. On the other hand, they concerned the specificity of the Polish cultural industry.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Appropriation of Different Web-Based Idea Management System Types<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST), developed by Poole and DeSanctis (1990), implies that the application of information communication technologies (ICT) alone does not automatically lead to better outcomes and is dependent on the appropriation by the users of these ICT systems. So, authors in this paper research web-based idea management system (IMS) application adaptation and their relations with different IMS types and how it is all related to idea quantity (number of ideas generated). Do different IMS application types have different adaptation and appropriation levels?</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The method applied for data collection was a global survey of &gt;500 web-based IMS experienced organisations. The survey creation was based on the AST to evaluate web-based IMS in 8 different AST areas. In this paper, the authors analyse blocks about appropriation and adaptation. The survey was distributed through 100 web-based IMS developers that shared it with their clients (organisations that use web-based IMS). The holistic answer to the research question was based on 500 responses from diverse enterprises (different sizes, industries, and countries): the data analysis - statistical analysis. The study only deals with available commercial web-based IMS, not with privately designed or non-commercial IMS.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Different types of IMS applications have different adaptation and appropriation levels that could result in different outcomes. All adaptation and appropriation elements based on Innovation diffusion theory, Appropriation Scales and UTAUT models have a different impact on outputs. This paper answers the question: do different IMS application types have different adaptation and appropriation levels by exploring IMS application adaptation and their relations with different IMS types and how it is all related to idea quantity (number of ideas generated). Results prove that different IMS application types have different adaptation and appropriation levels: (H1) Active IMS provide higher adaptation and appropriation levels in the idea generation process than passive; (H2) External IMS provide higher adaptation and appropriation levels in the idea generation process than internal; (H3) Mixed IMS provides higher adaptation and appropriation level in idea generation process than internal.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The research contributions can be summarised as follows: (1) the practical contribution helps organisations to predict what kind of idea quantity organisations could expect from different IMS application types based on their different adaptations and appropriations in the companies; (2) the research results highlight the elements of adoption of different types of IMS for organisations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Marketing as a Tool for a Sustainable Municipal Waste Management<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The purpose is to study the household attitudes toward waste separation and prevention and present an innovative model of efficient and sustainable waste management.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> In the empirical part, an online survey was implemented to research residents’ attitudes and intentions regarding handling household waste. It resulted in 228 valid responses, used for a quantitative analysis to answer the set hypotheses.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Regardless of the good results of waste separation in the municipality, the research showed that households do not know how to classify certain waste according to the type properly. It was confirmed that the use of penalty programs does not contribute to a higher level of waste separation. The already high awareness of the importance of separating waste could further be strengthened through the tools of social marketing as a factor for social change.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> It has been proven that residents’ motivation is an important factor that indirectly influences households to separate, prevent and reduce the generation of new amounts of waste. Changing people’s attitudes, mindsets, and behavior to be environmentally friendly is the best way to prevent further encroachment on the natural environment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Factors Determining Lithuanian Public Debt to Foreign Countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The study aims to examine which indicators influence the amount of Lithuanian public debt to foreign countries.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> First of all, in order to find out what could be preliminary indicators influencing the public debt, a comprehensive literature review has been done. This was implemented with the main goal of finding out the influencing independent variables, which were used for the next calculation. Successively was the selection procedure of the appropriate methodology for solving similar tasks. The pairwise and multivariate regression analyses have been carried out with the collected data.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Empirical research has shown that all independent variables are significant and can be used for pairwise regression analysis. After doing this, the authors found that no regression equation could be completed with no variable, which means that none of the variables affects the dependent variable (altogether). A multivariate regression analysis was also performed to check the impact of the selected variables on public debt. The regression equation was succeeded only when the criterion “population” had been eliminated. The results show that GDP, the unemployment rate, inflation and the minimum wage (in composition) may have an impact on the government’s external debt.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Due to the emergency (pandemic) situation, the Lithuanian state borrowed a considerable amount of money from the European Commission - last year, it was planned to borrow 2.7 billion according to the initial budget, but due to the situation, the debt was increased by 5.1 billion Euros. The concept of reasoning the amount of public debt to foreign countries is valuable not only in the concept of the COVID pandemic. This empirical research analyses the critical substances which affect the public debt based on factual statistics, correlation analysis and pairwise and multivariate regression.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Integration Policy and Manufacturing Firms Value Added in Nigeria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research Purpose:</bold> The paper investigates the impact of the backward integration policy on manufacturing firms’ value added in Nigeria. It complements the existing literature and extends the frontier of knowledge by evaluating the impact of backward integration policy (local raw materials as proxy) on manufacturing firms’ value added in Nigeria.</p> <p><bold>Design/Methodology/Approach:</bold> Firm-level data were sourced from the annual reports and statement of accounts of 49 sampled manufacturing firms, Central Bank of Nigeria statistical bulletin, National Bureau of Statistics annual abstract and Nigeria Customs Service tariff books for the period (2002-2020). The Fisher-type Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF) unit root test procedure was employed to examine the stationarity properties of each of the variables used in the study. The test was necessary to verify the time series property of the panel data employed. Thereafter, the Pooled Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method was employed for the regression.</p> <p><bold>Findings:</bold> The findings show that backward integration policy through the use of local raw materials in production significantly led to an increase in manufacturing firms’ value added in Nigeria. An increase in the use of local raw materials in production leads to an increase in value added by all sampled firms across manufacturing industries in Nigeria. The findings also reveal that fixed assets, employment, energy cost and exchange rate have a significant positive influence on the value added of all sampled manufacturing firms, while the tax has a significant negative coefficient, implying that as tax paid by firms increases, the value added of manufacturing firms declines in Nigeria.</p> <p><bold>Originality/Value/Practical implications:</bold> Most previous studies focused on a single industry, but this study investigates the impact of backward integration policy on manufacturing firms’ value added in Nigeria. The study covers a wide range of firms and industries more than previous studies. It uses firm-level and panel data of manufacturing firms in Nigeria, which makes the study unique. It is the first study that hypothesises that backward integration can be used to improve the value added of manufacturing firms and consequently reduce import dependency, promote Nigeria’s product competitiveness and create more employment in Nigeria.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Project Management Approach. A Critical Success Factor in Digital Transformation Initiatives<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The main objective of this work is to highlight the adoption of project management practices in companies’ digital transformation initiatives as a critical success factor. Thus, on the one hand, we will seek to systematize the importance of project management practices in the digital transformation of economic organizations and, on the other hand, analyze them based on a digital transformation project of one of the largest publishing groups in Portugal. Having previously studied the process of digital transformation of the warehouse through the adoption of a Warehouse Management System, it is now important to analyze to what extent the transformation process was successful and to what extent the management as a project contributed to the achievement of the intended objectives and generated economic value.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The first part of the study was carried out through surveys to managers for a general characterization; the second part through the adoption of the focus group technique for analysis and study in greater depth of a case study. In the first phase, the focus group adopts semi-structured interviews with the different managers of the group’s different companies and respective departments. In the second phase, a joint reflection on the organizational and economic value creation was developed based on the different existing perspectives of the digital transformation project. This reflection allowed a more objective analysis of the results obtained, the adequacy of management options, and the deviations.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Technologies analysis investment is a management principle, and the project management approach facilitates this practice. It is essential to carry out a careful project management approach and analyze the economic and financial viability of the investment. The disruptive changes associated with digital transformation make it difficult, and it is not easy to achieve the strategic objectives associated with these investments. So, the adoption of a project management approach seems to be critical for the success of the implementation of digital transformation initiatives. The current study highlights three critical aspects in the global assessment of IST investment: the importance of analyzing the objectives achieved; the importance of economic and financial analysis in determining the return on investment; and the relevance of the analysis being carried out by the stakeholders involved as a way of perceiving, individually and collectively, the diversity of the benefits achieved.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The digital transformation of companies is a current reality and justifies a project approach to guarantee success in economic and organizational initiatives. However, it is important to analyze how management adopts the associated practices and whether it is aware of the importance of evaluating the intended results.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue for the Development of International Cooperation for Professional Orchestras<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> Due to the COVID pandemic, the culture and leisure industries were affected by many restrictions and canceled projects and events. Possibly cultural sector is one of the most affected by COVID-19 and one of the latest to recover from the pandemic restrictions (Radermecker, 2020). This situation changed not only the consumption habits of the cultural events attendees’ but also stopped many projects, both national and international forcing cultural institutions, including the sector of professional music, to find new solutions for concert activities locally and new possibilities for development. The orchestra RĪGA used this time to review the area of international cooperation and to find out how to look effectively for partners abroad. The purpose of the study is to determine how the professional orchestras can identify potential partner countries and which aspects should be taken into account in order to ensure sustainable and successful international cooperation in the field of classical music.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> The study used empirical research methods: questionnaires and in-depth interviews, as well as modeling on international cooperation on the basis of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. In total 149 musicians of three Latvian professional orchestras took part in the survey. Five in-depth interviews with the musicians with international experience and orchestra managers were conducted.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> Intercultural differences must be considered to promote international cooperation, so the authors conclude that with the help of Gert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, it is possible to assess the potential cooperation opportunities and threats of countries by comparing them. After in-depth interviews with experts and the analysis of the survey, it can be concluded that all respondents emphasize the need to develop a strategy for the promotion of international cooperation for Latvian professional orchestras. The results of the questionnaire show that the musicians of all 3 Orchestras consider that specific countries of international cooperation were named - Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany, which is in line with expert advice and the results of Hofstede’s 6-dimensional analysis.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> Based on the research, both empirical and theoretical, a model for international cooperation for professional orchestra was developed. The model consists of 3 aspects – existing cooperation on the city-level (partner-cities), countries which are closer to Latvia in according to Hofstede’s 6-dimension model and personal contacts of musicians and music managers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Driver of Sustainable Development in Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><bold>Research purpose.</bold> The link between culture and sustainable development has been frequently debated by European authorities and academicians. Culture is treated as a tool for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and considered as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. The research goal is to investigate the relationship between culture-related indices and a country’s sustainable development based on European sample data.</p> <p><bold>Design / Methodology / Approach.</bold> To complete research, culture-related statistics indicators from Eurostat were collected and regressed against the SDG index, based on data covered 2016-2019.</p> <p><bold>Findings.</bold> The relationship between culture-related indices and SDG score was specified using European statistical data. The most significant impact on sustainable development measure was revealed regarding the factors “cultural employment” and “government expenditure on culture”.</p> <p><bold>Originality / Value / Practical implications.</bold> The current research differs from most studies that investigated cultural issues using the mathematical apparatus versus the commonly used practice of interviewing consumers or representatives of the cultural sector. The results of this research could be used by municipalities, the cultural private sector, and NGOs by arguing for funding and applying for EU grants. On the other hand, the results and approach of this research could be transposed to other regions to understand the common cultural impact on sustainable development in the non-EU part of the world.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue