Managing Global Transitions

Volume 4 · Number 4 · Winter 2006 · ISSN 1581-6311 (printed) 1854-6935 (online)

The Editor's Corner
Boštjan Antončič
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Enhancing the Transformative Potential of Business Internships
David Starr-Glass

Business internships involve students, sponsoring firms, and institutions of higher learning. As part of a program to enhance internships, we reviewed the experience of a small number of business interns working in Central Europe. Their experiences were characterized as essentially situation-specific learning, competence training, and affirmation of coursework. Student perceptions suggest prematurely defined boundaries that limit the theoretical advantages of internships. In order to enhance the internship experience, we suggest redesigning, sustaining, and evaluating internships emphasizing transferable learning, discovery of self in work, reflection and process, liminal experiences, and challenging espoused theory. We suggest that such redefined internships may optimize learning opportunities and the growth of human and social capital for all stakeholders, which are of particular benefit in the transforming business contexts of central and southern Europe.

Key Words: business internships, experiential learning, career, transitional economies, transforming education
JEL Classification: I21, I23, J24
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Impact of Strategic Initiatives in Management Accounting on Corporate Financial Performance: Evidence from Amman Stock Exchange
Husam Aldeen Al-Khadash and Mete Feridun

This article aims at investigating the link between the practice of Activity Based Costing (ABC), Just-in-Time (JIT), and Total Quality Management (TQM) as strategic initiatives and the improvement in corporate financial performance of 56 industrial shareholding companies in Jordan. Ordinary Least Squares Regression analysis is used to test the association between the awareness level of the importance of using the initiatives and the level of adopting these initiatives. It is also used to identify the improvement in ROA as a mean of financial performance which is associated with the initiatives. Analysis shows that 26.8% of the companies under consideration use at least one of the strategic initiatives. In addition, the awareness level of the importance of using the strategic initiatives is found to be significantly high among the financial managers, but such awareness is not reflected in the implementation of these initiatives. Furthermore, strong evidence emerges that the use of strategic initiatives leads to improvement in financial performance of the companies under consideration.

Key Words: ABC, JIT, TQM, strategic initiatives, improvement in financial performance
JEL Classification: E32, E50
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Risk Taking Propensity and Export Performance of Croatian Exporters
Mirna Leko-Šimić and Jasna Horvat

Export performance is today one of the most widely used measures of a company’s success, due to the globalization and market liberalization processes. The rather bad export performance of Croatian exporters can be explained by a number of factors, one of which is assumed to be the low level of risk taking propensity, which is one of the three major dimensions of entrepreneurial behavior. The aim of this paper is to analyze company age, size and type of business as determinants of risk taking propensity in Croatian exporting companies. Cluster analysis based on four variable criteria was used in order to determine risk and non-risk takers’ clusters and analyze the significant differences between them in relation to their export performance. The paper is based on research of 88 Croatian exporters.

Key Words: export performance, risk taking propensity, statistical analysis, international business, entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: D21, M13
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A Comparison Between Recent and Prospective Critical Success Factors in Lithuanian Printing Industry
Vilte Auruskeviciene, Laura Salciuviene, Ruuta Kazlauskaite, and Andrius Trifanovas

The paper looks into the problem of identifying critical success factors in an industry. Though by definition all business organisations aim to be successful, companies within an industry differ a lot as regards their level of success. What makes some firms highly successful, when others have rather moderate success within the same industry? Can the above problems be explained by the wrong choice of strategic alternatives or inadequate strategy implementation? An empirical research of the Lithuanian printing industry was carried out with the purpose of identifying and differentiating the dominant success factors that are critical for the creation of competitive advantages.

Key Words: critical success factors, sustainable competitive advantage, printing industry
JEL Classification: L10, M30
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Globalization of Slovenian Agricultural and Food Trade
Štefan Bojnec and Darja Majkovič

This paper analyses globalization patterns in the Slovenian agricultural and food trade. It examines prevailing trade structures and trade types to study differences and similarities in trade specialization patterns between primary and processed agricultural and food products across product groups, over time and in comparison with some other European Union countries.We distinguish agricultural and food trade flows by the degree of processing on primary, processed and other agricultural and food products separately for direct household consumption and for industry. With this, we add to the existent literature for Slovenia and for other new European Union members this product classification. Most of Slovenian agricultural and food trade is in the processed products. One-way or inter-industry trade dominates Slovenian agricultural and food trade structures.Within the matched two-way or intra-industry trade the significance in specialization is on low-quality vertical intra-industry trade. This kind of trade types in agricultural and food trade structures is not consistent with the findings for countries with developed food processing, suggesting that restructuring of the Slovenian food-processing sector has not yet been completed.

Key Words: agri-food, trade-structures, trade-types, intra-industry trade
JEL Classification: F020, F140, Q170
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Impact of Personality and Emotional Intelligence on Successful Training in Competences
Aleksander Zadel

Many modern management theories and researches deriving therefrom seek those personality features and traits that ought to ensure the efficient development of an individual’s competences. In my research we found out that managers are able to develop top quality management and top quality competences irrespective of their personality traits. Since there is no uniform method that would offer an explanation as to how individuals should develop their competences, we presented how an individual training programme and the development of competences should proceed.However,we can only attain optimum success in training needed competences if we take into consideration individual features of a person, his/her emotional intelligence and the requirements of his/her working environment.What the dynamic and variable working environment expects from a modern leader is a wide range of good or even perfect competences. The article at hand presents the importance of a long-term basis training that has a systematic influence on the improvement of management techniques.

Key Words: competences, training, personality traits, management, behaviour
JEL Classification: J24, M53, M54
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