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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2020

This chapter analyses the current situation and perceptions of quality assurance (QA) in adult education (AE) in Latvia. In the Latvian context, QA in AE is a challenge…

Abstract

This chapter analyses the current situation and perceptions of quality assurance (QA) in adult education (AE) in Latvia. In the Latvian context, QA in AE is a challenge. According to recent studies, QA should have a formative character in order to facilitate targeted benefits for adult learners, whereas in practice AE in Latvia is more focussed on the institutional perspective rather than the individual’s needs and wishes. This is in contrast with the humanistic approach to adult learning and andragogy principles, which emphasise learner-centred education. The aim of the chapter is to research opportunities for improving the QA process in AE in Latvia in order to increase personal benefits for an individual. The systematic review of scholarly papers, monographs, scientific reports on QA in AE conducted in Latvia in the twenty-first century indicated a contradiction between the theoretical concepts applied to AE in Latvia and the implementation of the QA process in practice. This chapter contributes to the overall understanding of the terminology used in AE in the country, analyses the prevailing concepts and elaborates conclusions for QA improvements based on humanistic pedagogy principles.

Details

From Pedagogy to Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-106-8

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Brent McKenzie and Emily Hunter

The focus of this research is to present a case study of a small Latvian-based non-profit organization (NPO), O fonds (Oncology Foundation), and how they are an exemplar…

Abstract

Purpose

The focus of this research is to present a case study of a small Latvian-based non-profit organization (NPO), O fonds (Oncology Foundation), and how they are an exemplar of the challenges facing NPOs in countries that do not have a strong history of NPO success. The research is supported through primary data collection of multiple interviews and correspondence with the key informant of O fonds, the CEO. These insights were supported with secondary data analysis of the history of NPOs in emerging markets, as well as the history of cancer screening in Latvia.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to address the gap in the existing research literature, a single firm case analysis was selected to provide the context of the study. A series of semi-structured questions focused on O fonds branding and rebranding activities were posed to the CEO of the firm. Subsequent personal interviews were conducted to analyze and interpret the original results. This primary data were linked to secondary data about the practices of O fonds, NPOs in Latvia and the roles and challenges of NPOs in emerging markets.

Findings

The analysis of the findings from the primary data collection found that O fonds' rebranding effort helped to achieve a more stable and significant place for NPOs in the healthcare sector in Latvia and of equal importance with the Latvian general public. Tangible results included more financial support from donors, with an added benefit of increased joint marketing activities with corporate donors. Furthermore, active involvement with O fonds and medical professionals resulted from the rebrand. Also, there was an increase in referral patients to O fonds so they could attempt to get these people support for cancer screening.

Research limitations/implications

Questions as to issues of validity from the use of a single case study, and greater issues with a single case, single interview method are acknowledged. This potential limitation, with respect to this study, was deemed to be lessened based on the use of multiple interviews and sourcing of secondary company material with the CEO of O fonds. Further support by way of sharing of a secondary data, and organizational insights helped to address any major limitations in the research methodology, as helpful information and materials that might not have been readily available, or unavailable without this level of trust, could be obtained.

Practical implications

Exploring how NPOs can rebrand their firm to better meet the needs of society and be most impactful will contribute to both managerial practice and academic literature. By examining how a non-profit rebranding process occurs, in an emerging economy, and determining how effective rebranding can be utilized as a turnaround strategy, is a contribution of this research. Given the limited non-profit rebranding literature, particularly in emerging markets, this study provides exploratory insights within a new context to help propel the field of knowledge.

Social implications

NPOs have been shown to play a valuable role in communities across many regions of the world as NPOs enable citizens to come together to collectively work toward a common goal with the purpose of bettering society. With respect to the focus on O fonds their aim of increasing early detection of cancer continues to rise, but more positively, the incidents of treatable cancer are also rising as the result of the former. Regrettably, this positive trend in increased cancer screening does not equate to lower mortality rates across all countries, particularly countries in emerging markets such as Latvia.

Originality/value

This is one of the first known studies of an NPO in the emerging market of Latvia, in general, and in the Latvian healthcare sector specifically. As there is a dearth of research in this field of study, and the fact that NPO growth is a critical component of society growth in emerging markets, there is an important contribution to be made to both practice, and society, from the findings from this research.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Līga Ozoliņa and Marika Rosˇā

The purpose of this paper is to review and evaluate energy use and performance, as well as existing energy efficiency policy and measures in the Latvian industrial sector…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review and evaluate energy use and performance, as well as existing energy efficiency policy and measures in the Latvian industrial sector, in order to highlight possible scenarios for energy efficiency improvements in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature review and data analysis.

Findings

It is concluded that the existing energy efficiency measures for the industrial sector in Latvia do not work effectively. Also, it is expected that the planned measures for energy efficiency improvements for the industrial sector will not reach the defined energy saving targets in the framework of the Latvian NEEAP. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a common strategy on energy efficiency in the industrial sector in Latvia. This should be accomplished by reviewing the existing literature and data, as well as drawing up new, well‐designed energy efficiency measures.

Practical implications

The results of this study can be applied and used in the development of energy efficiency policy for the industrial sector in Latvia. The paper also points out the main weak points of existing policy measures that can be improved in order to meet the energy saving target for the Latvian industrial sector.

Originality/value

In this paper, the Latvian industrial sector's energy efficiency policy and related measures have been organized and evaluated for the first time. Also, the importance of energy efficiency improvements in the industrial sector has been highlighted. This is evident from the fact that, currently, almost no energy efficiency measure for the industrial sector in Latvia works sufficiently.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Andris Spricis

Reviews trends in environmental protection and sustainability in Latvia and introduces a programme in this field at the University of Latvia in Riga. Concludes that…

Abstract

Reviews trends in environmental protection and sustainability in Latvia and introduces a programme in this field at the University of Latvia in Riga. Concludes that regional changes are necessary.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Tatjana Volkova and Inga Jakobsone

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dominant strategy and business models of companies and to analyse the awareness of design and the stage of design application…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dominant strategy and business models of companies and to analyse the awareness of design and the stage of design application in business in its broader sense from the perspective of business executives in the manufacturing sector and professional designers in the design industry that lead to creating successful business models in Latvia and Estonia.

Design/methodology/approach

The questionnaire was used with two target groups – business executives (based on NACE 2, B-E sections, i.e. manufacturing companies) and professional designers in the design industry (NACE 2, M 74.10 section). In the first target group, 374 responses of business executives in Latvia and 371 responses of business executives in Estonia were received; in the second target group, 85 respondents in Latvia and 42 respondents in Estonia providing professional design services were analysed to identify the level of design awareness and its application in business in the respective countries.

Findings

There are national and regional specifics in Latvia and Estonia based on the development level of micro and macro factors that influence the entire innovation ecosystem. When comparing both countries in these terms, both target groups specify that design is applied more frequently in the processes of product development in Estonia, thus leading to new forms of innovation, than it is in Latvia. Conversely, in Latvia, many business managers still focus on short-term business solutions and cost-reduction as a sole challenge, with limited awareness of management approaches based on the broader application of design as a powerful innovation source for product development, improvement, and renewal of business models.

Research limitations/implications

A suggestion for further research is to replicate the study in Lithuania and explore the perspective of other stakeholders.

Practical implications

The results of this research demonstrate the necessity to change the thinking patterns of business managers in order to develop their skills and capabilities to recognize emerging new driving forces of innovation unfolding through awareness of design and opportunities for its extended application that create successful business models for continuous value generation.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to understanding the current stage of awareness of design and its application in the manufacturing sector in the Baltic States.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1992

Maris G. Martinsons and Krisjanis Valdemars

After the rapid and dramatic demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, 15newly autonomous republics are restructuring their economies afterdecades of central Communist planning…

Abstract

After the rapid and dramatic demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, 15 newly autonomous republics are restructuring their economies after decades of central Communist planning. The three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia had successful market‐oriented economies during more than two decades of independence between World Wars I and II and were comparatively strong performers within the USSR after being occupied in 1940. A case study of Latvia looks at the historic factors and political issues which are shaping the current reform process. A contrast of state‐run, collective and private enterprises is used to illustrate the rapid changes which now place Latvia at the forefront among post‐Soviet reformers. This analysis of the early progress and problems forms a foundation for considering the reform prospects across the former Soviet Union and leads to a suggestion that the results in Latvia will play a bell‐wether role.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Elina Dace and Dagnija Blumberga

The purpose of this paper is to determine the production and energy potential of refuse derived fuel (RDF) in Latvia, in order to understand how large an impact municipal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the production and energy potential of refuse derived fuel (RDF) in Latvia, in order to understand how large an impact municipal waste incineration with energy recovery has on waste management and energy supply systems in Latvia.

Design/methodology/approach

The results of the study are based on historical data of municipal solid waste (MSW) management. The potential of RDF in Latvia is estimated and future sources of RDF production until 2020 are projected. The calculations of RDF potential are based on data on MSW generation, landfilling and composition, and on the calorific value of RDF fractions. The study also takes into account experimental results of RDF production trials in one landfill in Latvia.

Findings

The amount of MSW landfilled annually until 2020 will grow, therefore new waste management options will have to be found in order to comply with EU waste policy. One of the options is waste‐to‐energy. The energy amount potentially produced by incinerating RDF made of MSW in Latvia could account for approximately 2 per cent of the total energy amount produced in 2010, if the RDF conversion rate is assumed to be 30per cent, and up to 3.5 per cent – if the RDF conversion rate is 50 per cent.

Originality/value

There are just a few studies analysing RDF potential for a certain region (in this case – country). There is a lack of data and official projections of generated waste amounts which are typical for Latvia, therefore no detailed assessments are available on how much energy it would be possible to produce from the waste generated in Latvia. In this paper, the RDF production potential itself, as well as the energy potential produced via RDF in Latvia, is assessed. In order to estimate future availability of resources for RDF production, future MSW generation and landfilling amounts in Latvia until 2020 are projected.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Kristīne Ābolin¸a, Kristīne Kazerovska, Andis Zīlāns and Māris Kl¸avin¸š

The aim of this paper is to assess how the indicator sets presently used to monitor sustainable development in the European Union (EU) and Latvia reflect resource…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to assess how the indicator sets presently used to monitor sustainable development in the European Union (EU) and Latvia reflect resource consumption and the production and use of anthropogenic substances.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted by analyzing different sources as well as statistical information on development character in Latvia and human impact at first in respect to use of chemicals.

Findings

Many of the analyzed sustainable development indicators related to resource consumption interpret a reduction in consumption as a negative phenomena and thus contradictory to sustainability. The only relevant EU and Latvian indicator related to the use of anthropogenic substances is production of toxic chemicals. The EC Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation is being implemented in the EU in an attempt to ensure the safety of chemicals through the whole chemical supply chain.

Practical implications

A sustainable development indicator should consider the decrease in resource consumption as a positive trend. As an important aspect at the assessment of sustainability is monitoring of use of chemical substances. In Latvia, the information on production, import, distribution and use of chemical substances is dispersed between several institutions and thus an overall picture is lacking. As the REACH regulation requires registration of chemical substances exceeding certain quantities, there is a necessity to elaborate an approach to identify such substances. Enterprises that already provide data on chemicals to responsible authorities are important for a targeted enforcement of REACH requirements in Latvia. The existing approach of chemical substance management represents an attempt to manage point sources of anthropogenic substances with little attention being devoted to the more numerous small diffuse sources, which could be the hidden part of the iceberg. The limited access to compiled data on chemical substances within REACH makes it difficult to use it as a warning sign in political or public discussions regarding one of the central aspects of sustainability.

Originality/value

One of the main risks to global sustainability is the exceedance of the Earth's carrying and assimilative capacity through excessive resource consumption and anthropogenic loading. In the analyzed EU and Latvia, sustainable development indicator sets the reduction in consumption is frequently interpreted as a negative trend thus making the overall assessment regarding resource consumption inconclusive. As long as gross domestic product as a major indicator for macro‐economic activity does not reflect environmental sustainability and well‐being and society does not adequately value natural and human resources and until more comprehensive indicators are developed which better take into account social and environmental aspects, striving for economic growth will be the main cause of resource overconsumption.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Veronika Bikse, Inese Lusena – Ezera and Baiba Rivza

The purpose of this study is to identify the problems and possibilities for development of innovative start-ups in Latvia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the problems and possibilities for development of innovative start-ups in Latvia.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the aim of this study, a survey of Latvia’s high school students in 2015 (n = 5,910) was undertaken by an online questionnaire within a financial skill built-up contest “New Financial Expert 2016” held by the Financial Institute of Swedbank (Swedbank survey, 2016). Further, Latvia University of Agriculture master students (n = 97) were interviewed in the year 2016 to identify master students opinion about necessary support for entrepreneurship, future services or goods with potentially high added value and find out their readiness for innovative action.

Findings

A comparative analysis of data of the master student interviews and the survey of Latvia’s high school students showed that most of the youth associated their entrepreneurship prospects with innovative ideas, new technologies and new skills. The results of the research indicated that the foundation of start-up enterprises in Latvia led to positive results and gave an impulse to increasing economic activities as there were the necessary preconditions for their development.

Originality/value

The studies are mostly dedicated to start-ups that are less likely to innovate and have linked the concept of the start-up with business incubation. Unlike other studies, this is a specific research that provides insights into the situation in Latvia and is directed toward building innovative start-up enterprises that should be linked with the growth-oriented new technology, globalization and global market with a focus on innovation. Thus, research findings contribute to extant research on the possibilities of development of innovative start-up enterprises in Latvia and advance the present understanding of the main problems in the creation of new innovative start-ups.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

Jelena Pubule, Dagnija Blumberga, Francesco Romagnoli and Marika Rochas

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the environmental impact assessment of power energy projects in Latvia. Every industrial activity and procedure influences the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the environmental impact assessment of power energy projects in Latvia. Every industrial activity and procedure influences the environment and climate change: each to a lesser or greater extent. In Latvia, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure has been carried out for more than ten years, and during these years numerous impact assessments have been conducted. The main purpose of the EIA is to assess the possible impacts of the implementation of an intended activity, or planning document, on the environment and to consequently develop proposals for the prevention or minimization of negative effects. In turn, the project shall avert violation of the requirements specified in the regulatory enactments. Currently, particular global attention, including in Latvia, is being paid to two aspects of the energy crisis – energy dependency and climate change. The global experience has proven that with an increase in the consumption of energy, a deficiency of energy resources occurs. In this situation, public officials have increased the import of energy resources, rather than encourage a reduction of consumption. Consequently, the state becomes more dependent on imported energy resources. At the same time, scientists are researching alternative energy resources, and the development of new technology. Latvia is a country with limited resources. The development of the national economy is unthinkable without an increase in the production sector. In turn, the development of the production sector is connected with the intensification of production capacity and the resulting consequences to the environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature review and a case study.

Findings

The power industry in Latvia has acquired a stable position in the national economy. It is necessary to elaborate the common approach of EIA power projects. During the process of impact assessment, principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) should be implemented, which enhance the quality and efficiency of the EIA. The use of LCA principles in the process of the EIA will allow the assessment of the designed activities and environmental impact of proposed alternatives to have greater objectivity.

Originality/value

The work concludes with suggestions on how to include the principles of LCA in the EIA procedure. This is to improve the impact assessment of energy projects.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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