Managing Global Transitions

Volume 7 · Number 2 · Summer 2009 · ISSN 1581-6311 (printed) 1854-6935 (online)

The Editor's Corner
Boštjan Antončič
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Meeting Radical Change and Regional Transition: Regional Closedowns
and the Role of Entrepreneurship

Yvonne von Friedrichs and Hakan Boter

The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the effects of radical changes within regions by providing an empirical base from 12 Swedish municipalities from different regions. The specific focus of the paper is the role of entrepreneurship, both as an opportunity-seeking activity in order to find and develop new business undertakings, as well as entrepreneurship as a perspective for supporting activities in the public or private spheres. The results are based on interviews and surveys, secondary data, information from regional governments, municipal websites and also from other public information channels. Two questions were raised in analysing the case: (1) What types of contextual factors are of strategic importance when regions are challenged by radical change, and what role do these factors have in a regional restructuring and development process? (2) What types of policy and support measures are productive for entrepreneurial activities in regions when adaptation to radical change is required? The results presented by the study provide insight into how the development of local economies is affected when conditions change in a region due to the closure of a major public workplace. The paper also tries to present opportunities through which municipalities are able to prepare for and take action to help entrepreneurial activity face ongoing structural change and a globalized local economy.

Key Words: radical change, regional transition, entrepreneurship, restructure, strategies, closedowns
JEL Classification: L26, R11
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Duration of Regional Unemployment Spells in Slovenia
Darja Boršič and Alenka Kavkler

The paper begins with an overview of the unemployment rate in Slovenia and focuses on duration of unemployment and regional characteristics of the unemployment rates. It is shown that the dispersion of regional unemployment rate is gradually decreasing and is also slightly below European average on NUTS 3 level. The analysis of the duration of regional unemployment spells is based on the data obtained from the Employment Office of the Republic of Slovenia, which consists of the unemployment spells between January 1st, 2002 and November 18th, 2005 with more than 450,000 entries. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the survival function are presented and the effects of region on the duration of unemployment spells are discussed.

Key Words: unemployment, regions, survival analysis, Kaplan-Meier estimator, Slovenia
JEL Classification: P33, P34
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Public and Financial Institutions in Transition Economies:
An Overview and Recent Evidences from Central and Eastern Europe

Cristian Dragos, Daniela Beju, and Simona Dragos

This article is a survey of economic literature about the public and financial institutions in countries with transition economies. It also presents some particularities within the countries from Central and Eastern Europe. We investigate the factors that influence a certain institutional architecture and the impact of those institutions on several economic aspects such as growth, trade, corruption, stock markets, inflation, unemployment, etc. For the financial sector we investigate some specific problems: stock markets, deposit insurance, central bank and credit market, consolidation, globalization and international investment in financial services.

Key Words: institutions, transition, economic reform, Central and Eastern Europe
JEL Classification: P33, P34
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The Personal Network of the Owner-Manager of a Small Family Firm:
The Crucial Role of the Spouse

Tina Bratkovič, Boštjan Antončič, and Mitja Ruzzier

The paper investigates the personal network of an entrepreneur that owns a small family venture. The aim of the present paper is to examine the role of the spouse in the family firm’s networking. The research results show that the entrepreneur’s wife has a significant influence on the family firm’s network performing. She is present in all cliques that are formed in the entrepreneur’s network, which allows her to obtain information from different sources, and to influence the decision making process in the network. She is also well connected with other network members, and is crucial in the resource-information acquisition process for the entrepreneur’s firm. Furthermore, her central position in the network’s structure gives her the power to reach other network members more quickly. She can reach other persons at shorter path distances than the entrepreneur or other members, and is therefore an important information provider for the entrepreneur’s network. The key contribution of this paper is the finding that the spouse can be as important as or even more important than the entrepreneur in the resource and information provision for the firm.

Key Words:entrepreneur, personal network, family firm, resource acquisition, information acquisition
JEL Classification: L26
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HRM Practices in Insurance Companies: A Study of Indian
and Multinational Companies

Subhash C. Kundu and Divya Malhan

Competitive advantage of a company can be generated from human resources (HR) and company performance is influenced by a set of effective HRM practices. In this study, we intended to assess the HR practices in insurance companies. Primary data based on 218 respondents from four insurance companies (two multinational-7 branches and two Indian-7 branches) were analyzed to assess HR practices being practiced by insurance companies in India. Six factors from factor analysis were further analyzed. ‘Training and benefits’ was found highly in practice in the insurance companies. Further, ‘performance appraisal,’ ‘selection and socialization of employees,’ and ‘HR planning and recruitment’ were moderately practised in insurance companies. ‘Workforce diversity and contemporary HR practices’ and ‘competitive compensation’ were also practised to some extent. ANOVA results showed that Indian companies did not practise workforce diversity. Compensation practices were found more competitive or performance based in Multinational insurance companies than in Indian ones. The gender effect showed that only competitive compensation was perceived significantly differently by male and female employees/executives. Interactive effects were significant on workforce diversity and contemporary issues, training and benefits, and selection and socialization of employees.

Key Words: competitive compensation, multinational companies, performance appraisal, selection and socialization, training and benefits, workforce diversity
JEL Classification: M12, M54, O15
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