Contemporary Issues in Social Science: Volume 106

Cover of Contemporary Issues in Social Science
Subject:

Table of contents

(25 chapters)

Prelims

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Abstract

Introduction: The liberalization tendency in the economic system of most countries in the world exists in the last years. Our last research proves that in most cases liberalism gives a positive effect on social-economic development (including pension system). However, constructive potential of economic liberalism is not everlasting, it means, first at some stages there is a certain end for the liberalization of the economy. Secondly, after a certain level (before the last level) liberalism may bring out an imminent shortage (the market sinister) in the free market in a destructive way. That is why one of the essential (and very difficult) duties of economic science is to define effective ranges of liberalism (accordingly, government regulation) for each certain country during a specific time frame. One of the differences of the pension system from other social protected chains is that this system is capable to liberalize. Is it possible to measure the degree of the government regulation of the pension system? Unfortunately, this chapter has revealed that there is no such methodology. The author has created a methodology for the first time that allows to measure the degree of government regulation in the pension system. This methodology is called the Index of Liberalism (Dirigisme) of Pension System (IL(D)PS). By calculating IL(D)PS, the author finds out that the regulation degree (interval) of the pension system. Measurement of the degree of government regulation in the pension system allows evaluating the social consequences of the implemented reforms. IL(D)PS has been calculated on the basis of four indicators: (i) ratio of the private pension assets (%GDP); (ii) ratio of the public pension expenditures (%GDP); (iii) social security tax rates for employers; and (iv) restrictions for investment of the pension funds. At the initial stage IL(D)PS has been calculated for 31 countries. Among 31 countries, there are developed, emerging, post-socialist countries and countries known for their revolutionary reforms in the pension system. According to IL(D)PS, the most dirigiste (leftness) countries are France (0.868), Greece (0.732), Italy (730) and Azerbaijan (0.704). According to the IL(D)PS, the most liberal (rightness) countries are Australia (0.208), Denmark (0.223), the Netherlands (0.231) and Canada (0.237). In Azerbaijan, pension provision is under governmental monopoly (extreme dirigiste system). The private pension system in Azerbaijan has not been formed yet. Azerbaijan has a certain degree of liberalization of the pension system. Aim: The author wants to measure the degree of the government regulation in the pension system. Method: The author have performed correlation, analytical-statistical and cross-country analyze. Findings: The degree of the government regulation in the pension system has been measured in 31 countries.

Abstract

Introduction Summary: Tourism is accepted as a multidisciplinary industry .Hoteliers and tour operators/travel agencies (TO/TA) count as two main stakeholders in the tourism sector, and they are interdependent with regard to their marketing and service objectives. Distribution channels, as TO and TA, are an important part of tourism growth. As TOs and TAs are the intermediaries between tourist and tourism service providers. Tourists travel to satisfy or fulfill their dreams because travel is a need for psychological relief that motivates people for temporary movement to different places and different countries. The research aims to examine the effects of perceived stakeholder conflict factors (PSCF) issues identified from the existing literature on guests’ outcomes in accommodation establishment located in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus. PSCF is, namely, misinformation, unmanaged bookings and operational mistakes involving quality-price inconsistency and unsolved guest’s problems should be considered by both parties. Therefore, the objective of this study is to address the research gap regarding the effects of PSCFs on guests’ perceived value (GPV), guest satisfaction (GS) and behavioral intention (BI). Purpose: This study aims to investigate stakeholders conflict and its effects on guests’ outcomes, namely GPV, GS and BI associated with accommodation establishments, which has not been examining empirically before. Design/Methodology/Approach: This study conceptualized PSCFs and developed a scale for assessing this conflict and its outcomes. Through careful instrument development process, four sub-dimensions and 17 items of PSCFs were identified. Findings: The overall PSCFs’ effects obtained indicate that GPV, GS and BI are associated with accommodation establishments, and are negatively affected by the unsatisfactory relationship between these two key stakeholders. Originality/Value: The study empirically tested the conceptual model through conducting survey research to collect data from the guests whose trips were organized through a TO/TA and staying in five-star or four-star accommodation establishments located in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.

Abstract

Introduction: Considering the facts that hospitality employees belong to the category of low paid workers, tips are an important source of their incomes. It is very important to determine the nature of the relationship between dependence on tips among hotel employees on their job satisfaction due to the possible influence on their turnover intentions. Aim: The aim of this chapter was to investigate the relationship between job satisfaction, the dependence on tips and turnover intentions among hotel employees. Method: Data were collected during spring 2020 in the hotels on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. A total of 213 employees from different departments were included in the research. Findings: Correlation analysis showed that there is a small negative correlation between job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Significant medium correlation is calculated between dependence on tips and turnover intentions. Significant negative correlation exists between job satisfaction and dependence on tips.

Abstract

Introduction: Performance evaluations are a critical tool in evaluating tourism development of countries where the tourism industry provides a significant share of the GDP. One of the measures used in performance evaluation of the financial decision-making units is economic efficiency. Aim: This study aims at measuring tourism-related technical efficiency performance of six European countries: Spain, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, and Portugal. Method: Tourism revenue and visitor numbers are referenced as output variables. Within the model, the natural and sociocultural index and substructure index were formed. Data envelopment analysis was applied for these datasets. Results: Considering tourism revenues, Spain, Italy and Greece managed to use their natural and cultural resources efficiently. In contrast to these countries, inefficiency level scores were measured for Turkey, Portugal and France. In the model based upon the number of visitors, all other countries apart from Turkey and Portugal achieved the most efficient score. As for substructure index, the score of decreasing returns to scale for the countries of Italy and Spain in terms of tourist numbers is noteworthy. Conclusion: The implementation of efficient tourism policies and strategies hold great importance in terms of tourism efficiency. Implications: Even though Portugal and Turkey are rich in both natural and cultural assets, low scores seem to stem from failure to realize their potentials. Strategies should be developed to diversify tourist products. Originality of the Paper: This study differs from other studies in the literature with regard to the composition of the wide input components.

Abstract

Behind the source of environmental problems lie many factors. If we do not wish to ruin the world for future generations after making our own world uninhabitable by abusing the resources, we need to think and question many issues starting from our philosophy of science to our ways of consumption and from alternative technologies to the madness of the consumer society. The economic model applied today is the linear economy model which was developed after the industrial revolution. This model is based on the production and consumption process, which is entirely based on the take–make–dispose understanding in industry, agriculture and trade. The first priority in this cycle is the industry rather than the environment. However, the population is expected to increase gradually in half a century that will cause lack of food and shelter problems in every sense. As an alternative to linear economy, circular economy is defined as an economic approach that the value of products, materials and resources are kept as long as possible in the economy whereas the amount of waste is the lowest. The concept of circular economy is based on a transition to restorative industrial economy, renewable energy, reducing the use of toxic chemicals meanwhile avoiding waste. In this context, the consumer movement consisted of individuals who have high awareness and consciousness of the environment, reshapes consumption decisions and correspondingly initiatives are created. Adopting an understanding called lifestyle of health and sustainability, the consumers prioritize by making their consumptions sustainable, protecting green marketing practices and the ecological system for future generations.

Abstract

Purpose: The main objective of this study is to provide an overview of the extent of labor and skills shortages that exist in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Malta and gain insights into the dependency on foreign labor. Methodology: This study draws upon primary data generated from two research instruments, namely in-depth interviews and an online questionnaire. Various in-depth interviews were conducted with key institutional actors. In addition to the interviews, six locally based companies were requested to complete an online questionnaire. Secondary data from ICT surveys, official documents were consulted. Findings: Findings emerged from this study relate to each of the four seminal thematics, namely, demand and supply, rationale for employing foreign labor, wages, and challenges of foreign labor employment. Practical Implications: This study examined the current contribution of foreign labor in the ICT sector. Unsustainable growth in the ICT sector creates a demand for skilled labor which is currently not locally available. Significance: ICT is one of the most rapidly developing economic sectors in Malta. Labor shortages can slow down economic growth, if not addressed. The annual number of ICT graduates is insufficient. For this sector to continue to thrive and further consolidate itself within the Maltese economy, there will be a continued dependency on the importation of highly skilled foreign labor.

Abstract

Introduction: According to the effective market hypothesis, investors act rationally when making an investment decision. The hypothesis assumes that investors invest in a way that maximizes their returns, taking into account the new information received. If the information released on the market is interpreted in the same way by all investors, no investor would be able to earn above the market. This hypothesis is valid in case of efficient markets. In the event that investors show irrational behavior to the information released on the market, the markets move away from efficiency. Overreaction behavior is one of the non-rational behaviors of investors. Overreaction behavior involves investors overreacting by misinterpreting the new information released to the market. According to De Bondt and Thaler’s (1985), overreaction hypothesis in the event that investors overreact to the news coming to the market, after a period the false evaluation, the price of the security is corrected with the reversal movement, without the need of any positive or negative information. Aim: The purpose of this study is to examine investors’ overreaction behavior in mergers and acquisitions. For this purpose, overreaction behavior was analyzed for companies whose stocks are traded on the Borsa Istanbul, which were involved in mergers or acquisitions. Method: In the study, companies that made mergers and acquisitions for the period 2007–2017 were determined, and abnormal returns and cumulative abnormal returns were calculated by using monthly closing price data of these companies. Moreover, whether investors overreact to the merger and acquisition decision is examined separately for one-, three- and five-year periods. Findings: As a result of the research, it has been observed that there is a reverse return for one-, three-, and five-year periods. However, it has been determined that the overreaction hypothesis is valid for only one year.

Abstract

Despite developments in the fields of technology and health, some people may still have congenital or acquired disabilities. In our world, where one in every seven consumers is disabled, these consumers also have the right to utilize the services offered to them in the best way as the other six. With the developed technology and innovations, it has become easier and more inexpensive for disabled consumers to access products and services. The number of disabled consumers is also increasing day by day in the tourism sector. However, the designs of touristic products are not suitable for every type of disability. The concept in disabled tourism that is known as “Quiet Tourism” in the literature represents the group including consumers with hearing and speech loss. This section aims to present consumers with hearing and speech loss who have to continue their lives this way becoming a new market for accommodation firms and what types of difficulties and opportunities may be encountered. It is aimed to show that the existing infrastructure at accommodation firms is not adequate, but there is a considerable potential.

Abstract

Introduction: On November 17, 2019, in the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei in China, the first COVID-19 case was determined. In the process since the first news of the epidemic up to now, substantial changes have been experienced in our living conditions. Due to the coronavirus epidemic that has shaken the entire world and had highly severe effects, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to several changes in our lives from the economy to politics and from education to consumption. Significant changes have been experienced especially in consumer behaviors. Purpose: With this study, it is aimed to investigate the changes experienced in the uncertainty and risk perceptions of consumers with the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the entire world and reveal the changes observed in consumer behaviors. Methodology: Within the scope of the research, research results measuring the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior were examined. Findings: – Uncertanity, risk and fear, which are generated by COVID-19, and the precautions of the New Normal led to some changes on both consumer behaviors and tourism sector. Based on this, within the scope of this research, the changing decisions and behaviors of consumers from COVID-19 and after, and the changes in some sectors and especially in the tourism sector were examined and predictions were determined for the future.

Abstract

One of the most important effects of the financial and economic crisis is the reduction of commercial activity. Since 2013, the proportion of closed commercial properties in the commercial center of Athens has peaked, reaching the 32.3% of the total number of ground floor properties. This phenomenon varies from one neighborhood to another and, as a result, it is necessary to be further studied carefully across the Athens Metropolitan Area (AMA). Apart from spatial issues related to the special characteristics of the Athenian neighborhoods, another topic has to be examined: the potential relationship among the urban morphology, the use of urban spaces (accessibility, walkability, livability, etc.) and the increased number of closed commercial properties. This research is a combined study between the commercial activity in the pre- and post-crisis period and the morphological characteristics of commercial streets in three Athenian neighborhoods (Kypseli, Nea Ionia and Aghios Demetrios) that have been exploited as case studies. The purpose of the research is to understand the impact of the crisis over time and to highlight critical variations that are related to the geography of an area. Results highlight the hypothesis and thus, sustainable mobility planning may be initially considered as a regeneration policy for commercial activity in the post-crisis era.

Abstract

Introduction: The credit default swap (CDS) represents a country’s credit risk premium. CDS premium changes by being affected by several factors. These changes are followed by international investor for their investment decisions. CDS premium is important for country to determine the country default risk correctly. Purpose: In this study, the authors seek to examine the effects of macroeconomic indicators on the CDS premium, which is used as a measure of sovereign credit risk. Accordingly, in addition to the CDS premium, economic growth, the inflation rate, the interest rate, the real exchange rate, the net foreign debt rate, and the foreign trade deficit rate were employed to represent macroeconomic indicators. Methodology: The relationship between the given variables during the period spanning from 2009:I–2019:II in Turkey was analyzed with the help of the Dolado–Lütkepohl causality test and the autoregressive distributed lag method. Findings: The inflation rate, the real exchange rate, the interest rate, the net foreign debt rate, and the foreign trade deficit rate, which are among the macroeconomic variables (excluding economic growth), have a positive effect on the CDS premium in the short term as well as the long term. The effect of economic growth is negative. Additionally, from an economic standpoint, the coefficients of macroeconomic variables are in the expected direction. These findings verify the effects of macroeconomic indicators on the CDS premium.

Abstract

Introduction: Despite its significance, the research on international migration with a specific focus on the European Union (EU) needs to be strengthened with comprehensive studies, for developing better immigration and integration policies. Considering the amplitude of migration flows in Europe and recent challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, the Brexit decision and humanitarian dimension of the migration phenomena (asylum seekers and refugees), the need for better immigration and integration policies within the host countries’ labor markets stands out as a major research direction, especially in case of immigrants looking for better working and living conditions. Aim: This chapter aims to design specific immigration clusters within the main EU-10 destination countries (including Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, UK, Germany, Austria, and Sweden) (cluster analysis procedure); and to identify feasible ways and specific policies for immigrants’ labor market success (spatial analysis and macroeconometric models). Method: The methodological framework consists of two parts: (i) immigration clusters analysis, based on the interlinkages between several fundamental migration coordinates, namely, economic welfare at destination, employment opportunities for the foreign population, migrant integration policies and associated governmental efforts, educational background; and (ii) spatial analysis models, namely spatial lag–autoregressive and spatial error, and other three econometric procedures, respectively, the robust regression, Panel Corrected Standard Errors, and Arellano-Bond Dynamic Generalized Method of Moments. National data compiled for the 10 main EU receiving economies during 2000–2015, with a particular focus on Spain were used. Findings: The impact of the proposed research is reflected through a set of new specific tailored ways, policies and strategies that can be adopted and implemented by the policy-makers across Europe. Our empirical results show that, overall, EU-10 countries still fail to identify immigrants with high levels of education and skills acquired to enhance their potential for labor market integration. Policy-makers should always monitor the specific ways in which migration policies lead to concrete positive labor market outcomes for immigrants and that the tools used for implementing these policies are suitable in achieving predefined migration goals. Therefore, a particular focus should be on developing a new immigration system to select migrants for their skills and high level of human capital, by following the best practices examples of other receiving countries.

Abstract

Introduction: Financial development has a direct impact on the housing market by facilitating access to credit. The increase in housing loans resulting from the relaxation of the credit constraint causes an increase in housing demand and house prices. Purpose: This study aims to examine the relationship between financial development and house prices in Turkey, using the variables: the domestic credit to the private sector and total housing and consumer credits. Methodology: To determine any long-run relationship between financial development and house prices, the autoregressive distributed lag methods are used, covering the selected variables such as real GDP, inflation, mortgage interest rate, and stock price from 2010Q1 to 2020Q2. Findings: The study’s findings show that both variables representing financial development have a statistically significant and substantial positive effect on house prices. Besides, the selected macroeconomic variables have the theoretically expected impact on house prices.

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic, which started in China and spread rapidly all over the world in a short time, can be considered as a dynamic struggle that forces all individuals and therefore organizations to act with new strategies. When considered in terms of its effects and consequences, it can even be regarded as the beginning of a new world order. In this new order, individuals who are unintentionally exposed to chaos theories and possible disaster scenarios related to Covid-19, both in their daily life and in organizational life, can make an effort to continue their lives with the increase in their anxiety levels. While this new order, which shakes the vital balance, forces individuals to struggle, the managers of the organization become a part of this struggle. In addition to the individual struggles of the employees, organizations are also in a separate struggle as providing the necessary support. In this chaos environment, it is important that the psychological health of the employees and the strategic moves of the organizations are mutually supportive in order to ensure a healthier working life. Therefore, this research was carried out with the support of current data and literature to evaluate the Covid-19 pandemic under the headings of remote work, work−family balance and the psychological reflections they cause. In this context, the changes caused by covid-19 were evaluated from the employee’s point of view, and inferences were made from the possible consequences of the situation.

Abstract

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. The policy responses to this outbreak have caused many impacts on our daily life and economic activities around the world. Also, this outbreak has affected financial reporting practices of the firms. Thorough financial reporting in such uncertain times plays an essential role in providing qualitative financial information. It is very important for a firm to increase transparency and report on the impacts of possible risks in times of uncertainty. Furthermore, stock markets may react to COVID-19 as they have already responded to major events like disasters, news, environmental and political events. This study investigates whether and how firms’ providing information about COVID-19 pandemic in their financial reports plays a role in explaining the stock market reactions. For this, annual reports of companies included in BIST-100 index in Turkey is used to analyze the capacity for detecting risks early and determine whether there is an association between early reporting about COVID-19 and the stock risk.

Abstract

Every citizen can be financially and economically active in certain circumstances if he or she has competencies, such as financial literacy. Current academic research suggests that financial literacy may be more important than income level and professional qualifications, as the decisive factor in the future will not be the amount of financial resources available to a person but the ability to manage them effectively and achieve their goals. Financial literacy competencies help different social groups to achieve private financial stability, acquire skills such as private financial planning, savings (including the third pillar of pensions), and their diversification, private capital multiplication, and openness to new business initiatives. The study aims to find out how financial literacy has developed in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Particular attention is paid to factors influencing the level of financial literacy. Research methods used are analysis of scientific publications and previously conducted research, analysis of surveys’ data on financial literacy and their factors, comparative time-scale analysis using regression trendline calculations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The research results proved the impact and interconnection of main financial inclusion aspects such as account ownership, use of the Internet, availability of ATMs, and bank offices on financial literacy level. The main factor influencing the demand side of financial services is numeracy knowledge; a strong correlation has been found between PISA mathematics average scores for countries and their literacy level. The analyzed savings factor (voluntary savings for pension, life insurance, and investments in mutual funds) showed a heterogeneous situation – the ranks of countries differed from the financial literacy levels. It draws the attention of government policy-makers to attract citizens to these long-term investment and social security products by strengthening the supply side of the financial services.

Abstract

Introduction: Climate change and the limiting nature of fossil natural resources are compelling elements that have driven the search for environmentally friendly alternatives to the traditional economy. In this context, as the main pillar of bioeconomy, biomass can contribute to energy sustainability, temper effects of climate change, and make the use of natural resources more efficiently. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have a relatively common economic history of agriculture playing a pivotal role in the former centralized economy. Purpose: This chapter analyzed the importance of biomass produced from residues of crops in CEE countries. This analysis is regarded as incentive to take a deeper look at biomass in CEE countries with acknowledged agricultural potential. CEE countries have been part of the former European socialist bloc, with agriculture being a core component of the centralized economy. Even though their economies have been undergoing a lengthy transition process to the market economy, this sector of activity still holds a significant share. Therefore, CEE countries provide a suitable ground for our analysis. Methodology: The authors selected characteristics of the agricultural sectors and development, and assess their relationship with biomass production in the CEE countries, using an Ordinary Least Squares method. Then, the authors investigate the environmental implications of crop biomass production in a similar framework. Findings: The results reveal that the agricultural biomass sector contributes to economic development, and it does not have negative implications for environmental indicators. These results show that biomass production is a sustainable target to be pursued.

Abstract

Global warming is a process that takes place 11,500 years after the end of the last Ice Age. The main identified reason is the increased emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Since the nineteenth century, GHG evolution has recorded a quantum leap from the previous linear development. Human is the main factor behind this evolution, through industrialization and the exponential increase of population. Based on these, the chapter’s primary goal was to highlight an original method of predicting the future evolution of GHG emissions in the domains of Energy (including Transportation), Industry Processes and Product Use, Agriculture, and Waste Management. The novelty of the research consisted of testing several variants of functions (power, exponential, inverse trigonometric) to identify, from a group of variants. This optimal function would generate those predictions, which are closest to the real values. The causes that create GHG emissions in each of the four domains were the foundation for the analysis. This chapter focuses on two main subjects: first, the identification of a smooth function to predict the evolution of GHG emissions, and second, the function’s use to estimate the projections of GHG emissions in the coming years for the four domains: Energy (including Transportation), Industry Processes and Product Use, Agriculture, and Waste Management. An observation was that the weights of these four domains remain relatively the same despite the reductions in the total GHG emissions.

Abstract

This chapter aims to examine the influence of governance on entrepreneurship in several countries, members of the European Union, in 2012–2017. The selection of the countries was based on human development index and expected years of schooling criteria, thus considering several sustainable development goals, involving the governments’ roles, the private sector, civil society, and citizens. The empirical analysis consisted of correlations, principal component analysis, and regression models. The Pearson correlation coefficient evidenced a series of negative relationships, statistically significant, between the governance indicators and business demography. The principal component analysis returned two main components for our database: the main one incorporates five governance proxies (control of corruption, rule of law, regulatory framework, government effectiveness, and political stability), while the second component is based on the voice and accountability. Therefore, the first governance component is more related to the public sector, while the second one reflects the involvement of civil society. The regression analysis considered besides the ordinary least squares model, the fixed effects and random effects model to emphasize whether or not differences across countries would impact the regression results. Several entrepreneurship variables were employed as dependent variables: business demography, high growth enterprise rates by employment, employer enterprise net growth, and business demography by size class. The consistent regression results emphasized an indirect impact from public governance toward high growth enterprise rates by employment and employer enterprise net growth. Based on our findings, the main conclusion is that public policies do not support entrepreneurship or the national context for entrepreneurs’ development. Moreover, the citizens’ involvement and their opportunities to participate in public decisions in terms of supporting entrepreneurship are also limited.

Abstract

Introduction: Nonfinancial reporting is the way in which a company provides information to stakeholders on the social, environmental, and economic impact and performance of its past and present activities. Aim: The objective of the chapter is to analyze the stage and the way of implementation of the requirements of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive by the Romanian companies. Method: In order to carry out the study, we analyzed, structured, and synthesized the public information in order to identify companies that have the obligation to report, thus 721 companies were identified with more than 500 employees on December 31, 2019. Results: The main identified characteristics of the companies consisted in the fact that most of them carried out the activity in the manufacturing industry, had their headquarters in the Bucharest-Ilfov region, most of the companies operating according to Company Law were not listed on the stock exchange. Regarding the financial indicators, 81% of companies registred profit and 52% had a turnover of more than 50 million euros. Regarding the manner of application of the Directive requirements, from the analyzed sample of 22 companies listed on the stock exchange, it was found that 41% of the companies chose to present the nonfinancial information in a separate report. Conclusion: The level of compliance with reporting requirements is still uncertain, as for most companies the information are not public, only listed companies are concerned with improving reporting. İmplications and Originality of the Chapter: The study may be a benchmark in further analysis of the transparency of nonfinancial information conducted by companies and may help in future analysis of their evolution over time.

Abstract

Social enterprises are becoming more and more important for social inclusion and reduction of poverty. Many countries world-wide have accumulated valuable experience in organization of social entrepreneurship and finding innovative approaches which are also analyzed by academic researchers and discussed on international level. Aim: To identify the specific value segments among consumers of Latvian social enterprise products and services in order to provide practical recommendations for implementation of consumer-focused marketing strategies and more effective communication patterns based on an in-depth understanding of the values within the target audience. Methods: The analysis of previous conducted research and scientific publications, analysis of social enterprise consumer survey results, for survey data analysis are applied analysis of descriptive statistics indicators of central tendency or location – arithmetic mean, mode, median, indicators of variability or dispersion – range, standard deviation, standard error of mean and cluster analysis. Results – The results of this study provided detailed descriptions of the respective segments from the demographic point of view, outlined their shopping behavior, preferences for information channels, which altogether form a comprehensive set of practical recommendations for Latvian social enterprises for more effective communication with consumers as well as for public authorities looking to increase the awareness about social entrepreneurship within Latvian society. Implications: The possible applications of research results for organization of work of social enterprises including application of digital marketing. Originality of This Chapter: Since the academic research has only relatively recently started paying attention to the specific marketing aspects of social entrepreneurship, this innovative study contributes to a persistently growing and valuable body of literature which will serve as a guideline for both social enterprises as well as public authorities seeking to find more effective communication strategies.

Abstract

Recent development of internet applications and increase in application of various information technology have supported growing demand for new skills related to ICT and internet use, computer literacy and technical digital skills. New technologies have changed many aspects of life and have led to significant differences in digital skills, computer literacy, ICT and internet use along the usual dimensions of social inequality. Purpose of the study is to analyze main challenges and problems of digital inequalities in households in Latvia by regions, territories and income and level of education. Design/Methodology/Approach: This chapter analyzes scientific publication and previous conducted research results and data of Digital Economy and Society Index, Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (2019) data and Eurostat. Data are analyzed using indicators of descriptive statistics (indicators of central tendency or location – arithmetic mean, mode and median), indicators of variability (indicators of dispersion – range, standard deviation and standard error of mean), cross-tabulations by region, territories, income and level of education and analysis of variance are used. Findings: The results of analysis indicated that there are differences between rural and urban Internet access, socioeconomic differences between people with different income and education that affects their ability to access the Internet and digital skills. Practical implications: Latvia would benefit from motivating life-long learning, investing on digital technology and raise awareness of the importance of digitization. Originality/value: The results of this chapter can provide valuable pointers for decision-makers how to improve digital skills and digitalization process in regions of Latvia and how digital inequality can be reduced.

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Abstract

Purpose: Risk is a multifaceted concept, and its identification requires complex approaches that are often misunderstood. The consequence is that decisions are based on limited perception rather than the full value and meaning of what risk is, as a result, the way it is being tackled is incorrect. The individuals are often limited in their perceptions and ideas and do not embrace the full multifaceted nature of risk. Regulators and individuals want to follow norms and checklists or overuse models, simulations, and templates, thereby reducing responsibility for decision-making. At the same time, the wider use of technology and rules reduces the critical thinking of individuals. We advance the automation process by building robots that follow protocols and forget about the part of risk assessment that cannot be programed. Therefore, with this study, the objective of this study was to discover how people define risk, the influencing factors of risk perception and how they behave toward this perception. The authors also determine how the perception differed with age, gender, marital status, education level and region. The novelty of the research is related to individual risk perception during COVID-19, as this is a new and unknown phenomenon. Methodology: The research is based on the analysis of the self-administered purposely designed questionnaires we distributed across different social media platforms between February and June 2020 in Europe and in some cases was carried out as a interview over communication platforms such as “Skype,” “Zoom” and “Microsoft Teams.” The questionnaire was divided into four parts: Section 1 was designed to collect demographic information from the participants; Section 2 included risk definition statements obtained from literature and a preliminary discussion with peers; Section 3 included risk behavior statements; and Section 4 included statements on risk perception experiences. A five-point Likert Scale was provided, and participants were required to answer along a scale of “1” for “Strongly Agree” to “5” for “Strongly Disagree.” Participants also had the option to elaborate further and provide additional comments in an open-ended box provided at the end of the section. 466 valid responses were received. Thematic analysis was carried out to analyze the interviews and the open-ended questions, while the questionnaire responses were analyzed using various quantitative methods on IBM SPSS (version 23). Findings: The results of the analysis indicate that individuals evaluate the risk before making a decision and view risk as both a loss and opportunity. The study identifies nine factors influencing risk perception. Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that we can continue to develop models and rules, but as long as the risk is not understood, we will never achieve anything.

Index

Pages 437-447
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Cover of Contemporary Issues in Social Science
DOI
10.1108/S1569-37592021106
Publication date
2021-05-25
Book series
Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-80043-931-3
eISBN
978-1-80043-930-6
Book series ISSN
1569-3759