Accounting & Finance

Author/s: Indrė Knyvienė, Lina Paliulienė

Institution: Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania

Abstract: The article analyses evaluation of financial statements’ elements at fair value, an impact of the fair value on qualitative characteristics of accounting information: understandability, relevance, reliability and comparability. The fair value provides more understandable, relevant, reliable and comparable accounting information than a historical cost. However, this method of evaluation receives a lot of criticism. When there is no active market, accounting information’s understandability, relevance, reliability and comparability, evaluating according to the fair value, is disputed. In particular, the reliability of accounting information is questioned.

Author/s: Domagoja Buljan Barbača, Branko Sorić, Ante Ćelić

Institution:University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Croatian citizens are faced with certainty of low retirement income to which they exercise the right on the basis of saving in the first and second pillar. This is the result of extremely unfavourable demographic trends and prolongation of the life expectancy age. In these circumstances, awareness has developed of the need to raise funds to ensure financial security, protect living standards in retirement age and bridge the income gap that arises after retirement. Opportunities for the citizens of the Republic of Croatia exist, and one of the modalities is allocation of the saving in investment funds. The focus of this paper will be precisely this type of financial activity. Investing in mutual funds requires a certain level of financial literacy, but also the ability to cope with the risk that this type of financial activity inevitably carries. Investing in funds represents a challenge for the citizens because Croatia is traditionally bank orientated country. Trust in banking institutions is almost unlimited. The extent to which differences in return ratio affect the choice of investment type will be investigated. All aspects of this type of investment with all the advantages and disadvantages will be analyzed, and based on the obtained results, adequate recommendations will be made.

Author/s: Luka Mladineo, Monika Jukić-Bračulj

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: In today’s globalized world, where the consumer mentality leads to economic growth worldwide, transport services are the ones that represent significant opportunities or obstacles for further development. This was best seen when the disruption in transport services in these times of crisis led to further delays in the production of certain products and even shortages of certain products. From all the above, it is clear how important transport services are, so their treatment within the tax system is a very interesting topic, especially within the value added tax system. In the first part of this paper transport services will be defined. Once different types of transport services have been defined, they will be treated within the value added tax system as a general sales tax. In this paper, special attention will be paid to the treatment of freight transport and passenger transport. The primary goal of this paper is to show the differences in value added taxation of transport of goods and passengers in both the Republic of Croatia and EU member states, as well as third countries that are not members of the European Union. The paper will also present the differences in value added taxation when services are provided between two taxpayers, but also in the case when they take place between a taxpayer and the final consumer

Author/s: Tomislava Pavić Kramarić, Toni Šušak, Nikolina Ančić, Paulina Bešker, Ella Vrvilo

Institution: University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The most important commonality of audit markets worldwide is the supremacy of the four global market leaders known as the Big Four – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The situation regarding the audit services market in the Republic of Croatia does not deviate from the global trends and the aforementioned companies have founded domestic limited liability companies that form a part of their enormous international audit networks and, thus, have a considerable competitive advantage due to a resource disparity in comparison with other companies operating in this market. As in most other activities, increased competition should be desirable from the aspect of maintaining and enhancing auditor’s independence and avoidance of potential conflicts of interests. Therefore, the aim of this paper implied providing an overview of different market concentration measures and variables used for their calculation, as well as analysing the values of various measures indicating the level of market concentration to determine how competitive the Croatian audit market in the period from 2016 to 2020 was. Besides analysing the dynamics of concentration in the audit market in Croatia, the authors will determine whether there is a leader in the market and its potential impact on market structure. The data required for the calculation of market concentration ratios were gathered from financial statements of all audit companies in the Republic of Croatia which have been submitted in an observed business year.

Author/s: Ivica Filipović, Toni Šušak, Viktoria Marković Rosan, Ivana Stapić, Vedrana Veić

Institution: University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The stability of the corporate sector substantially depends on the quality of assurance provided by independent auditors that annual financial statements of a company had been prepared in accordance with prescribed criteria, such as the International Accounting Standards and the International Financial Reporting Standards. One of the main specificities of external auditing is its mandatory nature – certain groups of companies, regarding their size and importance for the national economy, are required by accounting legislation to subject their annual financial statements to external control carried out by independent privately owned audit companies. Because demand for these services is largely predefined, the performance of audit companies is determined by their skills in fulfilling the needs of audit clients in comparison to other companies in the same activity. The purpose of this paper was to elaborate on the essential categories of indicators utilised for analysing financial performance and to conduct a financial analysis of audit companies using mentioned indicators over the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. The complete population of companies entrusted with performing external financial statement audits in the Republic of Croatia, which submitted their annual financial statements, was taken into consideration. Financial data was obtained from balance sheets and income statements available at the Register of Annual Financial Statements maintained by the Croatian Financial Agency.

Author/s: Ivica Filipović, Marijana Bartulović, Tomislava Pavić Kramarić, Toni Šušak

Institution: University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The accounting scandals that had occurred at the beginning of the 21st century have emphasized the importance of access to unbiased financial information. Those initial occurrences were only a prelude to the global wave of creative accounting cases involving large multinational companies which had not passed the Republic of Croatia either. There is a wide variety of motivational factors which provide companies with an impetus to manage earnings, as well as different types of earnings management measures, whose main features are presented in the theoretical part of this paper. The earnings management construct was measured using aggregate discretionary accrual measures and specific discretionary accrual measures. The main objective of the paper was to give an insight into the level of manipulation in accounting records of corporations listed at the capital market in the Republic of Croatia and to compare values of different accrual measures estimated for the period from 2017 to 2019. Also, the signs of discretionary accrual values were examined to determine if companies have the tendency of overestimating or underestimating their financial performance. The sample of companies was collected from publicly available financial information on the financial position, financial performance and cash flows disclosed by companies listed on the official website of the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

Author/s: Radu Nafornita, Nelu Nita, Florentina Neamtu, Mariana Balan

Institution: George Bacovia University of Bacau, Romania

Abstract: In 2020 an article of Forbes says the” Cannabis Legalization Is Key to Economic Recovery” (Krane, 2020). But a year before in another article from California Agriculture, the research journal of University of California, authors mentioned that” Cannabis legalization excludes small growers, supports illicit markets, undermines local economies” (Bodwitch et al., 2019). In the early of 2022, European Commission publish his last survey” Drugs – Impacts on community” where a quarter of respondents says that using or dealing with drugs is a very serious problem and half of respondents think that cannabis causes negative and serious negative health effects. More than a third of respondents from all European Union (27 states) think problems caused by drugs have increased in their local area and this means among others that drugs help to growth the conflicts and violence in the community and is the most important cause of the youth crime. In this mixture of global data and opinions it is very difficult to underline the right way and on what path should states take for a fair and balanced approach. Is the legalization of cannabis the pathway to drug abuse and social and economics costly consequences or is just help out states recovery in the economy? In this paper authors investigate and try to explain both sides of the legalization of cannabis: economic growth and money amount versus social consequences.

Author/s: Ante Mrčela, Damir Piplica, Silvana Zovko Marić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Tax costs make a significant part of total costs in a company, which are directly connected to the competitiveness of the company on the market. Apart from direct cost, tax loads also make indirect costs because increasingly complex tax regulations demand specific and specialized knowledges, whilst understanding of the same. Tax planning and optimization are significantly highlighted because they represent finding the means to reduce the tax payment, and at the same time they have a role in achieving tax savings through various options of tax relief and other savings. However, ignorance and incorrect implementation of legal regulations may lead to significant costs in the form of fines because of making a tax offence or even a potential criminal activity. Hence, entrepreneurs are able to accomplish savings in paying taxes only if they correctly apply tax regulations through tax optimization and planning and at the same time, they can reduce the risk of unconscionably being put in a position of avoiding taxes. Therefore, it is important to know the tax system, tax regulations, but also procedures and legal options in case of a tax supervision, with which the control of proper tax planning is made. VAT optimization is a complex process which implies using different methods, approach and strategies to accomplish beneficial result, so in the end it does not look like tax avoidance. Knowledge of tax relief, exemptions, ensures tax planning and makes it easier for the company management to reach to optimal business decisions. Tax incomes make a significant part the national budget income, therefore are the controls in the field of tax planning and optimization frequent, thorough and comprehensive.

Author/s: Domagoja Buljan Barbača, Jelena Laća Mrdeža, Zeljka Ruščić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Insurance market products help individuals and companies to face everyday risks without worries regarding financial compensation in case that damage occurs. Insurance products are usually divided by criteria of the nature of the object/subject of insurance and the voluntary nature of consumption: 1. life and non-life insurance and 2. mandatory and voluntary insurance. The subject of insurance trade, simplified, is the sense of security that a person who buys an insurance policy acquires by handing over risk to the insurance company. Development of insurance in terms of diversity of offer and performances of products was always following real needs of persons exposed to risks. True time risks are changing and also the perception and the value of insurance coverage. If we were to analyse this changes true 17th century until today, we would find out that each time people have been faced with new challenges like natural disasters or other threats to life and property, the insurance market in terms of offer would evolve. Since 2020 humanity is faced with one of the biggest challenges- corona virus pandemic. This circumstances have changed intensity and occurrence of many risks and created some new ones that are affecting not only health and life of people, but indirectly are affecting all aspects of human beans lives. In the focus of this paper is Croatian insurance market. Changes on the market will be analysed and presented within conclusion.

Author/s: Petra Jakasa

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of liquidity on financial leverage. Liquidity is the ability to cover short term debt with current assets, or specific parts of current assets. In this paper liquidity is measured with ratios generally used as a tool of financial analysis to determine companies’ state of liquidity (current ratio, cash ratio, quick ratio, receivables turnover, financial stability ratio, cash to short term assets ratio). In the scope of this research those ratios are used as independent variables and the author analyzed their influence on financial leverage. Financing sources include own capital and total debt. The use of debt as a financing source presents financial leverage. In this paper it is measured with leverage ratios generally used as a financial analysis tool (total debt ratio, long term debt ratio, short term debt ratio). In the scope of this research those ratios are dependent variables. Survey included sample of 72 mid-size companies in Croatia which have assets between 30 mil HRK and 60 mil HRK and total revenues between 60 mil HRK and 300 mil HRK. Trough analysis of existing researches and author’s own practical experience it is expected that companies with higher liquidity will have lower financial leverage. This thesis was tested with statistical methods using multiple regression. The statistical model proved to be statistically significant and negative correlation between liquidity and financial leverage was established, thus confirming stated hypothesis.

Author/s: Nelu Nita, Marius-Ciprian Bogea, Radu Nafornita, Adrian Lupascu

Institution: George Bacovia University of Bacau, Romania

Abstract: In the current conditions of the globalization process, all countries in the European Union have need of changes the paradigms of support performances imposed by for sustainable development in order to meet the new challenges of the 21st century. One of the most important challenges is representated by financial frauds and the corruption associated with them, which is a serious obstacle to any economic growth and, implicitly, to sustainable development. This is because, between the level and manner of manifestation of frauds and corruption in any country and the need and manner of achieving the sustainable development of that country, there is a strong causal link, corresponding to the cause-effect links. In this regard, financial frauds and corruption related to transnational organized crime have the effect of seriously affecting the levels of economic and social development, and the latter, the lower they are, the more they support organized crime groups through corruption and frauds, all these having the main effect of inhibiting any kind performance and the sustainable economic development. In this professional study we set out to identify, in relation to the current challenges, the main mechanisms that can underlie the prevention and fight against frauds and corruption in Romania, for the continuous consolidation of performance in all areas of economic and social life and multiplying the guarantees of fulfillment of the objectives for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Author/s: Ljube Jolevski, Snezhana Dichevska

Institution: “St. Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje, Faculty of Economics – Skopje, North Macedonia

Abstract: The business models of banks differ according to the key banking activities, financing strategies and risks they take. Successful harmonization of available opportunities and the business model of the bank is the basis for healthy and sustainable profitability. The characteristics of the business model are correlated with the risks to which banks are exposed. Many factors related to the structure of the business model can affect the overall risk profile of banks and their survival. The analysis of the business model should also serve to identify the key weaknesses in the bank’s operations, which could have a material impact on its sustainability or could lead to non-fulfillment of the bank’s business goals in the future. Macedonian banks apply traditional banking with a dominant activity of lending to households and the corporate sector. In fact, the analysis shows that by applying certain criteriathe two types of business models can be identified, ie banks that are more oriented towards lending to households and banks that are more oriented towards lending to the corporate sector. The aim of this paper is to determine whether the choice of business model impact on the stability of banks measured by the Z-score. The Z-score is an indicator based on data from the balance sheet that provides an estimate of the bank’s distance to default. Therefore, the Z-score is used as an indicator of insolvency risk. It will be calculated for each business model of banks and then with the comparison method will determine which business model is more stable and resistant to default. The results of the research will indicate to the creators of the business policies of the banks in defining the choice of business activities, ie the business model of dealing.

Author/s: Petar Pepur, Filip Klarić Kukukz, Jelena Hrga

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Accounting and business communication are crucial factors for the successful business of all business entities. Accounting justifies its role with accounting information which are significant in business managing. Business managing requires an excellent business communication to ensure information flows which are crucial in the business decisions process. The business success and company existence are conditioned by the business communication system with which company manages by the internal business processes and develops relationships with the external environment. With internal business communication the companies seek to motivate employees to achieve the set business goals, until with external business communication the companies seek to set future business goals. In recent times accountants are often active members of the company management and as such they have to constantly interact and communicate with internal and external stakeholders, what imply that accountant should have effective communication skills. The role of accounting information in business management and also the role of business communications in business management are indisputable and significant, but the question arises if the accounting information have a significant role in business communication process, i.e. whether companies use accounting information in business communication. Therefore, this paper analyzes and present the role of accounting information in business communication process.

Author/s: Stjepan Laća, Marko Miletić, Anđela Andrijašević

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Stock market and understanding of variables that impact its performance is one of the most researched topics in finance. Historical data of stock performance can serve as a guide for stock investments and potential returns that can be achieved in the future. Besides potential return other important measure is risk of investment. Risk of investment is usually measured by security`s price volatility which can be defined as the price of security increase or decrease for a given set of returns. The most used measure of volatility of a security is standard deviation which is defined as a measure of dispersion of the probability of an event around its mean.
Previous papers on stock volatility on Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) explored volatility of Crobex index and the way it gets influenced by the movement of the international financial markets and volume of traded stocks.
The aim of this paper is to research variables that have impact on volatility of an individual stock. Variables included in research are: market movement (Crobex index), presence of company market maker, presence of payout dividend, volume of individual stock, Net Financial Debt (NFD)/ EBITDA, Price to Earnings (P/E), Enterprise Value.

Author/s: Jelena Vidović

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: Stock price movement is in the focus of numerous scientific papers. Most of these researches were performed for Asia and US stock markets while very few researches deal with European emerging markets. In this paper we perform fundamental analysis in order to access connection of financial ratios with stock price and stock returns on Croatian Stock Market. We observe ten stocks from CROBEX 10 index from Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) in four-year period (2014 – 2017). CROBEX10 is index of ZSE composed from top 10 CROBEX index constituents by Free Float Market Capitalization and Turnover. In selected period we observe five financial ratios: Debt to Equity Ratio (DER), Return on Assets (ROA), Current Ratio (CR), Price Earnings Ratio (PER), and Total Assets Turnover (TATO). We apply panel data regression analysis in order to investigate connection between selected financial ratios and stock prices and stock returns. Main characteristics of Croatian stock market are small number of quality stocks to be traded with and infrequent trading. According to these market characteristics two dependent variables were observed, stock price and stock return. Due to lack of substantial literature for observed market proposed research design is based on the most frequently used financial ratios.

Author/s: Dijana, Perkušić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: This paper analyses different methods for measuring the comparability of financial reporting of listed firms. In the past, scientists used different methods depending on the sample, namely time and number of countries or the number of firms. In the 1980s and 1990s, firms used national accounting standards or older versions of IASs issued before 2001, which allowed many alternative accounting methods to recognize and measure items in the financial statements. These studies used various indices, and according to them, the comparability of accounting practices increases when firms apply the same accounting methods to recognize and measure items in the financial statements. Since 2005, the financial reporting framework of the EU Member States has been harmonized by introducing the mandatory application of IFRS for listed firms. Today, 132 countries permit or require IFRSs for domestic listed firms, so scientists are focused on measuring the compliance levels of listed firms with IFRS mandatory disclosure requirements. This paper highlights the importance of the method used to measure compliance with IFRS mandatory disclosure requirements, due to the significant differences that may arise from the use of the different methods. The number of disclosure items required by different standards varies considerably, some standards require a large number of items to be disclosed (e.g. IAS 1 «Presentation of financial statements») whilst some others require only a few (e.g. IAS 2 «Inventories»). This may become a significant problem when studies examine compliance with IFRS mandatory disclosures because standards that require more items to be disclosed are unintentionally not treated equally with those that require fewer items to be disclosed. The main purpose of this paper is to identify used methods in the literature on compliance with IFRS mandatory disclosure requirements for the post-2005 period. The paper highlights the fact that scientists and all interested parties in financial reporting, must be cautious when interpreting the research results of prior studies on compliance with IFRS mandatory disclosure requirements due to the implications of the used method. Based on the given review, the paper suggests and highlights the importance of measuring compliance with IFRS mandatory disclosure requirements in future studies using simultaneously different methods.

Author/s: Tino Kusanovic

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into recent trends in the relationship between domestic savings and investment (F-H puzzle) on the example of Central and Eastern European countries, and in the context of crises and levels of development, i.e. GDP per capita. In relation to the available research, this paper classifies and presents recent literature with regard to the methods of analysis used and the theoretical approach. Furthermore, the role of foreign savings as a possible complement to domestic savings to finance domestic investments will be considered, as well as risks to the macroeconomic stability of a particular country. Namely, although foreign capital (primarily foreign direct investment) is developmentally welcome, the dominant financing of domestic investments with foreign capital can lead to the emergence of crowding out domestic savings. Consequently, there is an increase in the dependence of the domestic economy on foreign savings, the creation of macroeconomic imbalances and the deepening of current account deficit. Finally, the paper makes recommendations for achieving positive and stable GDP growth rates based on domestic savings. only growth based on domestic savings protects the country from external risks and emerging disturbances in financial markets due to the onset of the financial crisis.

Author/s: Michal Buszko

Institution: Nikolas Copernikus University, Torun, Poland

Abstract: The paper refers to the influence of administrative, legal, tax and monetary policy stress factors on banking sector development in Poland in period 2015-2021. One can consider such factors as vitally deteriorating the performance of banks, lowering their investment attractiveness as well as limiting sustainable development. Moreover, they may be evaluated as the most significant challenge and pressure on bank financial results since the transition of the Polish banking sector in the 1990s. The paper aims to present substantial developments of the banking sector in Poland, to characterize main stress factors (shocks) affecting banks since 2015 and evaluate factors’ influence on the proximity of financial performance of banks.  The paper was prepared based on the literature and multidimensional scaling performed on the group of commercial banks listed at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The research indicates that the financial performance of the banks in Poland under the influence of stress factors becomes more homogenous and the distance between them measured by multiple financial characteristics decreases. The falling distance  is not reflected in aggregations of banks in sub-groups what confirms  the systemic affection of the stress factors.

Tourism, Trade & Entrepreneurship

Author/s: Timo Becker, Sebastian Kaiser-Jovy

Institution:University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Germany

Abstract: In this contribution we introduce a strategic framework (model) for destination development. The framework aims to support sustainable socio-cultural and socio-economic development of a region by integrating local stakeholders to strengthen social cohesion and economic resilience.
Destination development is a comprehensive enterprise. It can be complicated and confusing to address each stakeholder individually, such as investors, municipalities, regional governments, corporations, or other interest groups in order to find out what interests and objectives exist and whether goals have been achieved after some time. Due to the multitude of demands on different levels a strategic framework requires a holistic approach on one hand, and a reliable structure to categorize and measure objectives on the other hand.
To promote any kind of development one must distinguish between areas of interest that are supposed to be developed on one hand and instruments which are being used to initiate and instigates such a development on the other hand. The areas of interest in the case of regional development are: sustainability, socio-culture and socio-economy, stakeholder involvement and objectives.
The sustainable development of regions depends on numerous factors. In addition to political-economic decisions, such as the designation of industrial areas, socio-economic and socio-cultural measures play an important role. These include artistic creation of all kinds, entertainment and sporting events, education, congresses and meetings, community and cross-border cooperation.
The strategic framework therefor aims to integrate the objectives of stakeholders embedded in the same socio-cultural and socio-economical context for a sustainable development of a region to achieve preservation, growth, and resilience.
The following strategic models are integrated into a framework and connected by a triple loop learning cycle.
Logic Model
Network Analysis
Cluster Analysis (Porter)
Stakeholder Approach
Business Model Canvas
The framework has already been tested in projects for regional development which provides a case study for the article

Author/s: Senka Borovac Zekan, Mario Dadić

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: A crisis is a period of business in which a problematic turning point is marked and is most related to the need for crucial decisions and changes. Crisis management is emerging as a critical factor in the crisis management process. A crisis occurs quickly: in some cases, it can be predicted and in most of them, however, it cannot. The critical task of crisis management is to devise a plan as soon as possible and start acting through the stages of recovery from the crisis. Today, in the contemporary society, crises take on a whole new form. These are no longer typical local ones, but they seem to turn into global crises. Crisis management must adapt to emerging situations in its response to issues that transcend regional boundaries. Therefore, an essential step in this process is establishing a correlation between the firm external and internal crisis factors. The paper uses the case study method to analyse the success of certain companies in times of crisis. Fast and successful adaptation to the new situation seemed to be crucial. During the crisis the emphasis is placed on internal and external communication. Many crisis managers have succeeded in overcoming the crisis since they have perceived it as a business opportunity. They have grown by raising business to a more efficient and practical level and by making critical changes at the right time. Most importantly, they have gained important information that will serve them in future crises.

Author/s:  Ivana Plazibat, Nenad Grgurica

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unexpected impact on economic and trade trends. Trade directions have been stopped in the national, European and world markets which has prevented further positive economy strengthening based on fiscal policies.
The global threat required a global response, the World Customs Organization took measures in its field of work. The customs administrations urgent response, as one of the international trade and global logistics fundamental factor, to this challenge was necessary. A series of measures aimed at fighting the coronavirus and to limit the consequences of the pandemic were taken. Needed requirements to address this issue were different organizational changes, import customs exemptions, export restrictions and a number of other recommendations were initiated.
The purpose of this paper is to identify if customs administration succeeds to provide effective solutions for ensuring import of medical equipment, flexibility in the import, export and transit of goods, also simplification of the customs service requirements to the economic sector as the crucial element for flow of goods and the efficiency of the supply chain. The paper will present the work of the customs service aimed at minimizing the consequences of limited movement, quarantine and social distancing in international trade.

Author/s:  Sandra Mrvica Mađarac, Slađana Brajević, Zvonimir Filipović

Institution:  College of Applied Sciences «Lavoslav Ružička» in Vukovar, Croatia

Abstract:  The modern sales market is flooded with products, therefore trading companies use different sales strategies and techniques to increase their sales and to attract customers. When scheming a sales strategy, various factors are taken into account, such as: controlled variables (product offer, company location, relationships with the suppliers) and uncontrolled variables (consumers, technology, seasonal impact, legal regulations). When working with the customers, sales team are facing obstacles on a daily basis. So, in order to smoothly communicate with the customers, proactive sales techniques are being used.
With the use of proactive sales techniques, the customer is approached on an affirmative way, because the trade companies want to educate their customers where on this way are obtained the benefits of this sales method. Within the proactive trading companies, they are performing product presentations, self-analysis of their approach to the customer, the analysis of the market demand segments is performed, and also analysis of the sales market, and on that basis, sales preparation and proactive approach have been counted in. Proactivity in sales represents a combination of different elements: those of self-initiative, determination, competitiveness, inventiveness, persistence, adaptability, focus on success and loyalty to the customer. One of the proactive techniques is to improve sales by means of using different tools. In sales situations when customers are dissatisfied or demanding, techniques for assertive communication in sales are implemented. Effective sales process management can be a turning point in a company’s sales business.
In this paper are analysed sales strategies and tactics, types of proactivity, sales improvement, proactivity cycle and application of proactive sales methods on the example on one trading company. The results of this work indicate the benefit of applying proactivity in sales on the example of the observed company.

Author/s:  Katja Rakušić Cvrtak, Danijela Perkušić Malkoč, Ivana Plazibat

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Generation Z introduces new behaviour patterns that bring new challenges for retailers. It is the youngest group of consumers, whose attitudes and behaviour have a great influence on the retail strategy formation across all distribution channels. Information on the target group characteristics, as well as their attitudes and habits in online shopping for fashion products, is crucial for every retailer involved in fashion goods. The aim of this paper is to explore the attitudes and habits of Z generation customers in online shopping for fashion products across Croatian young customers. Fashion products include clothing, footwear, and fashion accessories for all occasions. Fashion products have always been the most attractive products to purchase and for that reason their presence is strong online as well. The qualitative research was conducted through group interviews. Three focus groups included respondents born in 1994 and later. Most of the respondents of the Z generation were students of professional studies programme. Results indicated the existence of polarity of opinions and attitudes among respondents towards the online fashion products purchase. Particularly interesting is the attitude of some respondents towards payment methods in online shopping that indicates further distrust in online payment. Since the purchasing power of gene Z is expected to increase over time, marketers need to understand their behaviour and adjust company marketing activities according to specific requirements of this generation.

Author/s:  Ivana Plazibat, Sanda Soucie

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Globally recognized brands present a ever-increasing opportunity for counterfeiting, especially with the increasing use of digital platforms. Counterfeiting involves goods of inferior quality that are illegal copies of well-known company’s brand names. Nowadays, counterfeiting is a multi-billion-dollar industry that includes pharmaceuticals, foods, fashion, electronics and other types of products. The literature mostly agrees about the motives and reasons why consumers buy counterfeit items, even knowingly buying fake products, and why some groups of consumers are categorically opposed to counterfeits. The literature also points out the existence of two general categories: deceptive and non-deceptive counterfeits, which are very important in explaining the attitudes of consumers towards such products. The primary purpose of this paper is to explain the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing counterfeit fashion products from the point of view of young consumers whose buying preferences and behaviour rely on mobile devices, the Internet, and social media. The literature mostly considers them as members of Generation Y and Z, but due to their considerable purchasing power, this paper will solely focus on the members of Generation Y. This generation, so-called Millennials` buying behaviour can be described as quick spending as soon as they acquire money and less loyal to brands than previous generations. Millennials use brands to create their images and to be accepted by society. Therefore, for those who can’t afford the well-known originals, or who have a negative attitude towards large brand owner companies profiting excessively from high prices, buying counterfeits is an acceptable option. The study conducted on a sample of young Croatian consumers shows that they consider the functional benefits of price and accessibility of counterfeits as their advantages compared to originals, while the illegal character and poor quality of counterfeits relative to the authentic ones are their most important disadvantages. The study also points out the increasing popularity of online mediums as a channel for selling counterfeits.

Author/s:  Violeta Urban, Gabriela Daniela Bordeianu, Andrei Octavian Paraschivescu

Institution:  George Bacovia University of Bacau, Romania

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major shock to the global economy as economic activity has been reduced as a result of direct action by state governments and their decisions to suspend, temporarily close or reduce the work schedule of economic operators, limiting the spread of SARS-VOC-2 virus. One of the areas most affected, since the spring of 2020, has been tourism, public catering and the organization of events, not only because of restrictions imposed by various states, but also because of the fear that has set in among the population (fear of contact the disease, the information about the virus was uncertain, no one knew what was coming and panic had set in). Thus, the destinations of the world were closed one after the other, the airlines were forced by circumstances to cancel the flights, people no longer wanted to go on scheduled trips or could not because of restrictions, no more events were organized and many accommodation units and restaurants they closed. All these problems in the HoReCa sector have forced world governments to adopt certain measures of financial support from national and / or external public funds, such as: measures to support economic operators and to protect jobs, measures to support the economy, measures for the recovery of tourism, etc

Author/s: Suncica Oberman Peterka, Katica Krizanovic

Institution: Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia

Abstract:  COVID -19 crisis is a current and existing phenomenon that affects all activities in society, changes the way things are done and changes the way of living (even a new word has emerged as a result – «new normal»).
Entrepreneurial activity in SMEs in general is under great influence of the pandemic, due to general vulnerability of small businesses, but women entrepreneurs are even more affected because of strong impact of pandemic on industries/sectors where women are in the majority, and as it places an additional burden on family care in addition to job requirements.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the pandemic has had a more negative impact on female entrepreneurs than on their male counterparts. The study found that women were 20% more likely to close jobs due to a pandemic (41.9% of women versus 35.5% of men). This has raised fears that the COVID -19 crisis could wipe out years of prosperity for women entrepreneurs. Women represent 51% of the total population in Europe and 51.7% in the Republic of Croatia. Although the percentage of employed women in Europe has increased to 67.3%, in Croatia it is only 60%; only 34.4% of all self-employed in Europe are women. In Europe, women are considered to be most untapped entrepreneurial and leadership potential.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of COVID -19 on business performance of women-owned businesses in Croatia. We used a qualitative research design to examine the impact of the COVID -19 crisis on women-owned businesses, specifically, we conducted semi-structured interviews under case study research design.
The results of this study suggest that the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs intensified during the COVID -19 pandemic. Moreover, the results have shown and confirmed that the COVID -19 crisis has a strong impact on women-led businesses and also affects the potential of work-life balance of women entrepreneurs

Author/s:  Larisa Savga, Tatiana Baran

Institution:  Trade Co-operative University of Moldova, Republic of Moldova

Abstract:  Innovation has become an extremely important policy imperative for all countries involved in building a knowledge-based society. As a catalyst for economic growth, research and innovation, it is identified as a generator of solutions to overcome any challenge. Increasing the role of innovation in enhancing economic competitiveness, as well as the need to strengthen cooperation between academia and business environment are desiderata contained in a number of policy documents.
Analysis of the legislative and policy framework, situation in the field of research- innovation and economic development in the Republic of Moldova reveals certain deficiencies, including the fragmentation of the national policy for research and innovation to the detriment of a systemic and integrated approach; tangential interaction of innovation policy with other national, regional, local and sectoral policies; priorities and goals of different strategies are not convergent; development policy is insufficiently focused on capitalizing on the competitive potential based on innovation, on the synergy of resources; regional development focuses mainly on infrastructure development; the allocation of resources for research and innovation is fragmented and based more on institutional research capacity than on the needs of the real sector of economy, which generates gaps in cost and benefits, etc.
In such a context, there is an urgent need to change the paradigm of economic development, rethink the system of research, development and innovation and identify opportunities for economic transformation based on innovation. An effective solution in this regard is economic growth and competitiveness through smart specialization, which is considered an innovative strategy for economic transformation at local/regional/national levels.
While in the EU countries the development and implementation of smart specialization strategies (S3) has become an ex-ante condition, in the Republic of Moldova this process is in its infancy and requires enhanced efforts from all stakeholders in accomplishing this approach.
The paper analyses trends in research, development and innovation in the Republic of Moldova, the challenges it faces, the actions taken in the context of developing the smart specialization strategy and identifies future goals for innovation-driven economic transformation.
The development and implementation of S3 in our country will play an essential role in regional development, increasing competitive economic advantages, by identifying new niches of innovative specialization or by integrating new technologies into traditional industries and exploiting their „smart” potential. This will facilitate the transformation of the republic’s economy into a knowledge-based economy, competitive, sustainable and integrated into international value chains.

Author/s:  Stipo Margić, Mijo Matijević, Laura Lara Gizdić, Ana Bilić, Ivona Jukić

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  The goal of modern entrepreneurship is to develop an entrepreneurial climate, which is primarily characterized by an orientation to individual initiative, creativity and innovation, as well as a creative atmosphere aimed at overcoming the existing and creating a new, different and more humane society. In such an environment, social entrepreneurship as a concept, which integrates the creation of economic and social value, has been present in theory and practice for a century. The aim of this paper is to show how social entrepreneurship is developing rapidly and is attracting more and more attention in various sectors. Moreover, it is a specific form of entrepreneurship based on the principles of social, environmental and economic sustainability, which allocates part or all of the generated profit for the benefit of the community. In other words, social entrepreneurship points to the importance of fostering social change. Social entrepreneurs can be defined as people who confront the imbalance that causes neglect and suffering of a part of humanity. With their work, readiness and creativity, they contribute to the betterment of a certain group, and for society as a whole. This attitude guarantees, without a doubt, the further development of social entrepreneurship. An additional motivation for starting a social enterprise can be recognizing the solution to a social problem. In order for a social entrepreneur to achieve his goal, to devise ways to use resources, to structure relationships with stakeholders and to create sustainable values, he must create a business model. So, the purpose of the business model in social entrepreneurship is to discover how the company will generate both financial and social value, and what is the relationship between them. Therefore, socially oriented business model canvas, as an encrypted language for entrepreneurs and business people when sharing, discussing, reviewing and comparing business ideas, is discussed in this paper. Business model canvas is a practical, fast and customizable tool that helps social entrepreneur to understand the complexity of the business from different points of view. This paper also introduces the social enterprise model canvas, on the example of the Liberato association, which creates technical solutions to help people with disabilities throughout Croatia.

Author/s: Katerina Angelevska-Najdeska

Institution: University St. Kliment Ohridski-Bitola, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality-Ohrid, Macedonia

Abstract:  The tourism market is unique in its specificity and differs significantly from any other type of market of goods or services. However, it is still based on a combination of supply and demand as integral parts of that market, with the subject of demand corresponding to the subject of supply.
When researching and analyzing the tourist supply and demand as integral components of the market, special emphasis is placed on the attractive elements – resources, services, and prices.
The attractive elements of the market or the tourist resources are objects or phenomena of natural and anthropogenic origin that attract tourists, enabling them to meet the basic tourist needs, ie. their cultural and recreational needs.
The attractiveness of resources is a very variable category under the influence of various factors, but the specificity of the objects of supply and demand in the tourism market should be especially emphasized.
In the effort to achieve successful development of tourism, the movement of tourism demand is really of great importance, ie the factors that influence the demand and cause changes in the wishes and needs of potential tourists and their expectations for resolving those demands.
The complexity of the tourist needs, which is manifested in each individual as a need for a certain combination of basic and additional services, must be satisfied with a complex tourist product, ie an offer that implies temporal and spatial synchronization of attractive, communicative and receptive factors.
Valorization is an integral part of market research, it can not be done independently of the research of the relationship between supply and demand, unlike some other markets of goods and services, between which an optimal degree of correspondence should be established.
Since the tourist supply and demand are at a certain spatial distance, this should be taken into account in the tourist valorization of resources and in market research. The seasonal character of the tourist trade should also be taken into account.
Given the specificity, complexity and heterogeneity of the tourism market and especially its spatial and temporal variability, then it is clear that it is impossible to apply a single method in researching the tourism market. Therefore, it is best to combine different methods in order to arrive at an accurate result and a valid assessment of the dimension of the tourism demand perspective.

Author/s:  Ivica Kusić, Željko Požega

Institution:  Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration, Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Dividend policy is one of the basic corporate policies in which management makes a decision on dividend payment and payment pattern (dividend behaviour) over time. It is one of the most significant financial and economic policy for managers and investors. Theoretical literature based on corporate governance shows that gender diversity on corporate boards may influence not only the regulation and control of the board’s activities, firm performance, financial reporting quality but also dividend policy. The aim of this research is to analyze whether the board gender diversity impacts the determination of dividend policy. The research is performed using static panel analysis using the sample of Croatian manufacturers companies listed on Zagreb stock exchange (ZSE) that operated in the 2015 – 2019 period. In order to conduct such analysis several variables relating to board characteristics are employed in the research including proportion of women in the boardroom, dummy variable whether a female is present on the board, Blau index and size of the board. Also, net profit margin and natural logarithm of sale as firm profitability specific variables were also included in research. The results reveal that company sale has positive impact on amount of dividend. When it is about gender diversity, result reveal that Blau index as index that measures heterogeneity of board has statistically significant negative influence on amount of dividend. This confirmed one of the main hypotheses that greater gender diversity of the board will have a negative impact on the amount of dividends.

Author/s: Mercedes Varona Alabern

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: Businesses are entities where individuals work side by side and in coordination, to produce, distribute and sell products or services. There are different stakeholders that make this process possible: a) the entrepreneurs, that without their vision, creativity, passion, endurance and initiative, the businesses would not exist; b) the investors and creditors, who turn said projects into an operating reality; c) the employees, who get the businesses up and running; d) the suppliers, who provide the required materials to produce the products or services; e) the customers, who enable the businesses to become successful; f) a healthy economy, which in turn depends on political and social stability; g) the environment, as a resource provider; h) the community, where the companies operate, and i) the overall society, where the business is immersed. As there are so many stakeholders involved in the success of a business, companies should take all of them into consideration in their daily operations, because their decisions have reciprocating consequences.
On the contrary, when businesses merely seek immediate profits, not only do the rest of the stakeholders endure the aftermath of such decisions, but the company will also experience a long-term negative outcome. The consequences of not supporting all the stakeholders could be classified into the following 3 scenarios: 1- When the company is only seeking its own interests via maximizing profits at any cost, its employees also follow suit, especially the CEOs. They look after their own well-being, thus jeopardizing their company’s sustainability; 2- Toxic business environments are created when employees are treated as mere production resources; 3- Companies may produce harmful or useless products, or they may use detrimental manufacturing processes. Different examples of each of the subgroups will be presented in this paper. Finally, the closing remarks shall propose a more socially responsible way of doing business

Author/s:  Dumitru Bontas, Ovidiu Bontas

Institution:  George Bacovia University, Bacau, Romania

Abstract:  The juridical person is a subject of civil law, a freestanding party in juridical relations, formed by natural person, or through the associations of other juridical person as subject of law, has a patrimony assigned destined to accomplish a mission determined in accordance with the public interest from the environment in which it functions, acquires rights and assumes obligations, different from it’s members, through management.
In order to make a subject of law, other than man, the case law used a fiction of the law, inventing and implementing a useful legal mechanism, first called a moral person and then a legal person. Legal entities are a product of existing relationships between people or, in other words, a legal instrument for achieving the goals of human society.
Viewed from the inside, this entity has an independent content, consisting of three elements – Heritage, Organization and Management, representing three groups of professional interests recorded in two civil agreements, with contractual valences, initiated and negotiated by the persons with the highest competence, authority and managerial responsibility in the system. The first agreement occurs between the legal representatives of the owners of the Patrimony and the representatives of the Management, is recorded in the Law on the organization and functioning of the legal entity and has a multi-year validity; the second agreement has a contractual character – the Collective Labor Agreement, between the employees’ representatives – the members of the Organization and the representatives of the Management, has an annual validity, according to the legislation in the field of labor law

Author/s:  Ovidiu Bontas, Dumitru Bontas

Institution:  George Bacovia University, Bacau, Romania

Abstract:  The study of the environment is a necessity justified by at least four arguments directly connected to institutions and companies: fulfilling the economical and social functions; providing a realistic character to the strategies; guaranteeing the quantity and the quality of the resources, adapting the organizational and informational structure, but also the decision making capability, according to the present and future opportunities of the environment.
Regarding the definition and configuration of the environment, there are different opinions in the field of scientific literature. Thus, the environment is defined as the set of economic units, financial-banking, legal, administrative institutions, political organizations, health care, education, all exogenous elements that influence and are influenced by the activity of the organization. The environment thus defined acts through national and international economic, socio-cultural, ecological, political, technical-technological and management factors. Another definition shows that the environment includes all the elements exogenous to the company, economic, technical, political, demographic, cultural, scientific, organizational, legal, psychsociological, educational and ecological that marks the establishment of its objectives, achieving the necessary results, adopting and implementing decisions. their realization under the conditions of the action of the same factors.
In the same context, another opinion highlights the fact that the environment is structured so that some of its components have direct effects on the company, while others act indirectly, manifesting its influence through premiums. The elements with direct action form the direct environment or the working environment, and those with indirect action, the general environment of the company. Specifically, the direct environment encompasses all customers, suppliers, competitors, government institutions, professional and trade union organizations. The main components of the general environment are the macroeconomic environment, the technological environment, the social environment, the political environment and the international environment.

Author/s: Mercedes Aznar

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: The Secretary of Tourism for the autonomous region of Valencia recently declared that the time has come to plan the end of the great dependencies, i.e. mass tourism from the traditional source markets that has been the historical trend in the Spanish tourism market for half a century. Certainly, the pandemic has been a serious shock for the tourism sector and therefore, the design and implementation of a paradigm shift is needed where the focus should be placed on people and on social responsibility and sustainability. This is the great challenge we face at the moment if we do not want to return to the episodes of tourism-phobia prior to the pandemic, or to the lack of workers due to the precariousness and low quality of employment. In December 2021, the European Commission presented the European Social Economy Action Plan stating that it contributes to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. It emphasises its relevance in terms of its contribution to the GDP of the countries where this type of economy is most developed. This article aims to verify that the social economy has a huge potential to empower young people and women; and in the tourism sector, it can foster the development of new enterprises which, in many cases, can in turn contribute to the local development of depopulated rural areas. In this way, the social economy plays an important role in the creation of quality jobs and also, social and labour inclusion. On the other hand, by enhancing the human factor, the tourist experience becomes emotional and therefore unforgettable, and consequently will be recommended later on in the country of origin. In focusing on local culture, quality and unique initiatives may be developed which, when implemented by the members of the community themselves, may thus become a model that clearly differentiates from impersonal mass tourism. As a result, the sustainable development goals and the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda are attached the importance they deserve

Author/s: Johana Ciro, Mercedes Aznar

Institution:  Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: Inclusive enterprises enable companies to address social challenges and meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They represent both a challenge and an opportunity because they foster a more inclusive economy, implement formulas that break with tradition and give way to more creative business models with greater social impact. In terms of meeting the SDGs, they not only contribute to the most obvious ones, such as decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), but also to eradicating poverty (SDG 1), promoting gender equality (SDG 5) and reducing inequalities (SDG 10).
The aim of this paper is to identify the keys and real tools that provide an effective response to the complex challenges that society is currently facing and that affect the common good in our time; mainly in the municipalities of the Valencian Community at risk of depopulation and from a gender perspective. In fact, the report The opportunity cost of the gender gap in the rural world by the ClosinGap cluster and Caixabank (a Spanish saving bank), frames the collateral damage of depopulation in Spain in the masculinisation of the territory; this is a symptom of the lack of equal opportunities for women in rural areas, so that the female population is increasingly concentrated in a very small number of areas. Likewise, the abandonment of villages by women has to do with the lack of employment and opportunities. This is the reason why it is crucial to ensure employment is attractive and accessible so that their inhabitants, especially women, want to – and can – stay, generating sustainable and inclusive businesses. This article finally shows how the implementation of tools such as inclusive business can provide a solution to these problems and generate alternatives for women living in rural areas with few opportunities. Inclusive businesses seek to generate sustainable economic and business models that multiply the social and environmental benefits in the areas where they operate. Therefore, they are undoubtedly a great economic opportunity for rural territories as they can contribute to wealth and the development of opportunities in depopulated areas.

Author/s:  Martina Tomasović, Antonija Roje, Slađana Brajević

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Crafts are one of the most common forms of entrepreneurial activity in Croatia. According to the official statistics of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, in June 2021, there were 94,317 active crafts in Croatia, or 40.6%, while the share of active trade association companies (including joint stock companies, limited liability companies, simple limited liability trade association companies, public trade association companies, subsidiaries of foreign trade companies, other legal forms) amounted to 59.4%. In recent years, regardless of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of open trades in Croatia has increased the most in small and medium-sized towns. The reason for this are certain advantages of opening crafts businesses such as: ease of business opening, simple bookkeeping, business control, more favorable tax model, etc. However, the most pronounced disadvantages are limited sources of funding, and general perception of business instability. The role of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and the Croatian Chamber of Trade and Crafts, as members of the institutional infrastructure whose duty is to support craftsmanship in Croatia, will be initially defined in this paper. Possible sources of funding will be theoretically elaborated. Furthermore, the aim of this paper is to summarize the available financing sources and incentives of crafts in Croatia, both by institutions and organizations within the country, as well as by available European Union funds. Therefore, the main tasks are defining specific areas within the crafts sector that need to be improved, and to conclude whether the available financial and professional support is sufficient for sustainable craftsmanship business development in Croatia.

Author/s:  Damir Piplica, Tihomir Luković, Vjeko Luetić

Institution:  University Department of Forensic Sciences, Split, Croatia

Abstract:  The functioning of a state is a complex process that primarily depends on the macroeconomic national system. During the functioning of the state, obstacles such as corruption arise in the system, reducing the effectiveness of the state. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyse the effects of corruption on the effectiveness of a state, observed through the results of measurable state activity. The aim of this research is to assess the direction, form and intensity of corruption effects on indicators of state activity. In order to assess the direction, intensity and form of the impact of corruption on indicators, correlation will be used for each of the segments/indicators of state activity. Furthermore, in order to get the final result and explanations of the relationship between corruption and state activity indicators, a comparison of one developed EU country – Germany – with a country in transition – Croatia – will be made. Given the research methodology, in addition to the classical methods of analysis and synthesis, the desk research method will be used, along with correlation coefficients. In order to get the final result and explain the connection between corruption and indicators of state activity, the method of comparison will be used to reach a final conclusion. Using this methodology, the conclusion will demonstrate the role of corruption in the state activity system. Also, the research is expected to show which segments of state activity are affected more by corruption and which are affected less or unaffected, and what is the effect of the impact of corruption on the success of state activity. In particular, it is expected that this research will identify the impact of corruption on the indicators of state activity in the field of entrepreneurship, which is the backbone of a national economy. It is difficult to predict the results before calculating the correlation, but the research hypothesis can be related, with great certainty, to the more visible impact of corruption on those segments of the state activity in which a part of the state budget is located

Author/s:  Daniel Gherasim, Adrian Gherasim

Institution:  George Bacovia University, Bacau, Romania

Abstract:  Attracting customers is a topic that moves all hotel staff, this being the first step towards satisfied and satisfied customers. Both the EMD Tennis Academy Bacau hotel complex and the Couryard by Marriott Hyannis hotel place a lot of emphasis on the official website, which is the image with which they represent themselves in front of customers. The sites are attractive, with a nice design, easy to navigate, with clear and concrete information about each type of service offered by the hotel, their description, contact details, accessibility and ways to get to the hotel.
Another method of attracting customers used by both hotels is the signing of collaboration contracts with various travel sites, offering customers the opportunity to find them more easily on booking sites. The most requested and most profitable ways to promote and attract customers nowadays are on social networks, especially Facebook, which allows hotels to create an official page where all kinds of attractive offers for customers can be posted, being a means. faster to interact with them than in agencies or on booking pages.
The objectives of the EMD Tennis Academy Bacău hotel complex and of the Courtyard by Marriot Hyannis hotel focus on the same customer segment and aim to satisfy their needs and desires.
Excellent services are one of the main goals of the hospitality industry. Hotel guests are based on the hospitality of the staff in relation to their travel needs. When a customer is in trouble, the kindness of the staff is what is emphasized in providing the necessary information and solutions to unforeseen situations that arise during the trip.
The most attractive way to attract customers to Courtyard by Marriott Hyannis is the Marriott Rewards Program, a program that gives customers brand confidence and the ability to earn bonus points when purchasing any service in the Marriott chain. then used in the form of vouchers or discount coupons.
In most cases, customer satisfaction is measured by hoteliers through questionnaires made available to guests in hotel rooms. Their role is to find out if the guests were satisfied with the services they chose and what they liked, otherwise hoteliers ask for suggestions on what they should change to please their current customers and how they could improve the service. potential customers. This method is the basis of the main objective of hoteliers, being encouraged more and more often lately.

Author/s:  Edita Jurkonyte, Rob de With

Institution:  Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania

Abstract:  As the United Nations (U.N.) are speeding up the process of implementing the Global Goals to reach these goals by 2030, a new stressor for entrepreneurs appears. New regulations, investments and even new value propositions for all businesses have to be developed in order to follow regulations or even survive. Entrepreneurs have to turnaround their businesses from money driven towards impact driven. A business shall be requested to prove the right balance between economic and social value.
The U.N. body for assessing the science related to climate change urged in their latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report for a dramatic general change. This change will have a huge impact on Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s), the entrepreneurs and their mental wellbeing.
Previous research from Hutelmaier et al. showed entrepreneurs are willing to work harder and longer as employees. Moreover, De With et al. already showed that the risk of mental diseases is higher under entrepreneurs than under employed persons. Due to COVID-19, this risk became even higher in the last two years.
Based on a survey on entrepreneurship wellbeing (October 2021), we aimed to present how the risk of metal disease could be reduced for entrepreneurs. The survey under 283 participants confirmed entrepreneurs are at risk for mental disease. We observed that by introducing some online tools the entrepreneurs are at less risk and can avoid metal disease. After introducing a talent scan, the ME-scan including an outcome of the most suitable Global Goals, the entrepreneurs became aware of, and better used, their own talents. A team effort can be increased, a sustainable strategy can be developed for the enterprise owned by the entrepreneur.
In conclusion, we see a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to increase well being. For their businesses, based on personal talents and by implementing the U.N. Global Goals in their strategy, a huge impact can be created

Author/s:  Ramona Florea, Radu Florea

Institution:  George Bacovia University, Bacau, Romania

Abstract:  Increasing regional competitiveness became during the last decades one of the major concerns of regions all around the world.
In fact, external environment, characterized by the acute energy crisis, lack of resources, Covid-19 pandemic and its economic, social effects and limited access to financial and qualified human resources led to an increased competition between regions in order to attract investment and human resources. Local communities and regions all around the world are permanently struggling for increasing their attractiveness and competitiveness in order to attract foreign investments, different sources of financing, companies and high-skilled people.
Regional competitiveness is the ability of a region to provide an attractive and sustainable environment for businesses and residents to live and work there.
European Commission identified the main characteristics of competitive regions: significantly developed infrastructure (for industry, services, transport, IT and connectivity, research – development, culture, education health, social activities), high skilled human resources and an inclusive climate and an efficient and responsible governance and a good reputation.
Regional competitiveness can be analyzed from three different perspectives: the one of the companies and investors, the one of the inhabitants, and the one of different stakeholders (NGOs, local communities) interested in community development and prosperity.
This paper aims to present different approaches of the concept of regional competitiveness and the main factors which influence the regional competitiveness, also called the “sources of competitiveness”, focusing mainly on business infrastructure and investments.
The experience of the past decades shows us that, most of the times, business infrastructure represents a major factor of the economic, cultural and social development of the region. Business infrastructure allows attracting investors, developing businesses in the area, creating new jobs and, as a consequence, increasing the demand for products and services in all activity sectors (including culture, education, health). There are other situations when the lack of adaptation of the business infrastructure to the particularities of the region (related to the economic potential, insufficient qualified human resources) will not produce the expected economic and social effects.
The paper analyzes the impact of business infrastructure (including industrial, technological parks, production units, business incubators, business centers, economic centers, offices, exhibition areas) on economic development, environment, resource saving and sustainable development of the region

Author/s:  Rafaela Pizarro-Barceló, Mercedes Aznar-Jiménez, Mercedes, Herrero-Montagud

Institution:  Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The Industry 4.0 phenomenon accompanied by the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted the rapid adoption of measures by the global community, including the world of vocational training and higher education. The challenge facing educational institutions globally is to align learning programmes with the high demand for skills in industry, whilst narrowing the gap to industrial needs. Since 2020, the logistics industry has increased not only its income compared to other industries, but also its labour demand. This is a great opportunity for educational institutions to prepare students with the requisite skills that the logistics industry is looking for. Due to the lack of professional training and higher education in the area of logistics in the Valencian Community, Florida Universitària, educational institution that aims to prepare graduates to enter and compete in the industrial market, has designed a complete specialization programme in logistics that integrates professional training, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
This study describes this process which cannot be implemented in a short space of time, particularly as changes in the logistics industry occur rapidly and massively. The study programme presented, broken down into the three levels of education mentioned above, is to prepare graduates who are ready to work and have skills according to the needs and demands of the industry. The method used in this study is a quantitative and qualitative research; in the first, a survey was carried out on companies in the logistics sector of the Valencian community and, in the second, a focus group discussion approach in which the educational institution, the logistics industry and curriculum experts participated

Author/s:  Danijela Perkušić Malkoč, Sanja Bašić Roguljić, Karmen Glavinić

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Development of Internet technology and social media networks have moved consumers in the center of the communication process. Therefore, offering a new way of analyzing their satisfaction by giving direct feedback to marketing management team. By analyzing consumer opinions through reviews, companies can get an insight from consumer perspective and improve their business. This paper evaluates the literature around methods for analyzing online user reviews in hospitality and tourism industry. It covers 33 articles from peer-review journals and international conferences dating from 2014-2022. The main contribution of this meta-analysis is to collect the current research of methods and techniques for analyzing user reviews on the Internet in the hospitality and tourism industry. In the introduction part of the article basic methods and techniques, mostly used for analyzing consumer reviews, were presented. After that detailed analysis of the existing literature was performed according to criteria of metric, methodology/research design, sample and data source. This paper contributes to the existing body of literature by summarizing mostly used techniques for online consumer reviews in hospitality and tourism industry. Practical contribution of this overview is reflected in usability of proposed methods by practitioners in order to better understand consumer preferences and to improve their service performance

Author/s: Goran Corluka, Vanja Vitezić, Matea Visković

Institution:  University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Tourism is experiencing a rapid grow over the last decade. Tourism was growing but not developing, therefor many destinations worldwide found themselves grappling with the problem of overtourism. Tourism activities began to take on a negative character. Negative tourism implications are outweighing positive tourism implications. Due to the issue of overtourism tourism destination ecological and socio-cultural carrying capacity is exceeded. Tourism destinations became effective but inefficient. Tourism destinations have to become more efficient, targeting the strategy less is more opposite to the most common applied strategy more is more. The aim of this paper is to analyze the efficiency of Croatian tourism destinations. Performance of Croatian tourism destinations is assessed and compared by using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and calculating efficiency scores. Secondary data provides by the Ministry of tourism is used. In the context of Croatia such analysis takes additional importance due to the extreme spatial and temporal concentration of tourism activates in the country. Research results indicate higher efficiency in less advanced tourism destinations. Higher destination inputs tend to lower destination outputs due to inefficient utilization of resources as a consequence of inadequate destination management. Additionally, based on research findings proposals for destination management to improve performance practices are provided

Author/s:  María José Navarro, Adrián Broz

Institution:  Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved in 2015 and reflected in the 2030 Agenda, have meant a turning point in the nature of existing public initiatives of a social and environmental nature. Whether at the level of the European Union, the Spanish State, its Autonomous Communities or even in the case of numerous city councils, it is common to explicitly link the relationship between different initiatives and their potential contribution to achieving the SDGs. Companies have turned out to be a key factor in promoting more sustainable development and in managing social and environmental impacts. Business concern about the SDGs stems from the demand of an increasingly aware society, as well as from the search for new opportunities in order to develop the competitive advantage.
The world of cooperative organisations has not been exempted from the opportunities and obligations that meeting the SDGs brings. In fact, many social economy enterprises claim that the SDGs are part of the DNA of their organisations, although cooperatives often do not communicate well what they are doing and how in many respects they are pioneers in this type of initiatives. For this reason, investigating the commitment of Valencian social economy organisations to sustainability has become a very interesting research topic in the business and cooperative sphere.
The aim of this paper is to present the results of an exploratory study related to Valencian social economy enterprises in which we have sought to determine: (i) the degree of knowledge of the SDGs and the level of depth about what they are and what they mean, (ii) which SDGs are most aligned with productive activity and how enterprises can contribute to their fulfilment, (iii) what are the main obstacles encountered by Valencian social economy enterprises in the implementation of the SDGs and (iv) which SDGs most enterprises comply with and which ones they do not.
Based on the research and its results, the hypothesis that Valencian social economy enterprises verify a high level of compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals will be tested, as it is in their raison d’être and that it is often more a problem of lack of communication of what has been done than a lack of compliance

Electrical Engineering, Information Technology & Mechanical Engineering

Author/s: Siniša Zorica, Sandra Antunović Terzić, Joško Smolčić, Marinko Lipovac, Ivan Kuić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  The paper presents the application of RFID technology for opening an electronic lock. An electronic lock can be installed anywhere, and a small wooden box has been made for this purpose. The box simulate the safe for valuables and documents. The system is based on the Arduino platform. Arduino is an open source electronic prototype platform designed to create a variety of electronic projects.
In addition to RFID technology, the use of GSM technology can expand the possibilities of the system. It allows opening electronic lock via GSM communication. The possibility of application is, for example, in the field of tourism where it is possible to open the door to guests from a remote location, or allow them to open the door without a key. It can be used for control of air conditioning system etc.
GSM communication can be used to send various information, since it provides two-way communication. This paper gives an example of use GSM communication to send alarm in case of forced opening of the box, and to send temperature and humidity data from inside the box to the user. There are a number of sensors that can be used with the Arduino platform, so there are unlimited application possibilities

Author/s: Sandra Antunović Terzić, Siniša Zorica, Joško Smolčić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  The Arduino board is the popular open-source hardware that can be integrated into a variety of electronic projects. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects—»things”— equipped with sensors which collect data, for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices over the internet. Arduino can be connected with various Internet of Things (IoT) platforms that can be used for the storage of real-time streaming sensor data. Augmented Reality is a technology that combines virtual reality with our physical world. Viewing the real world through the screen of a device, usually a mobile phone, the computer-generated digital content is layered over the physical world in a way that makes it appear to be part of the real environment. The aim was to represent collected data into the physical world using augmented reality. In this project, Augmented Reality is used to monitor the data captured by sensors connected to IoT board. In our case, the environmental data: indoor air temperature, humidity and light intensity are captured by sensors connected to Arduino microcontrollers. The board is connected to the cloud server and sends sensor data to an Augmented Reality App. The app projects the sensor data as the camera of the mobile phone focus on a target image. The project shows that data can be visualized using Augmented Reality.

Author/s: Igor Šuljić, Vladimir Vetma, Ivan Vrljičak

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Demands and wishes placed on designers of metal structures by investors or clients are more and more of an aesthetic nature. For this reason, design, as a technical criteria for (selection of a technical solution of the product, especially when the product is a glass facade structure of a tourist facility, takes a larger share in technical evaluation of products. Answer to solving this problem lies in the abstraction and finding solution between requirements and wishes with all the other technical criteria for selecting a technical solution of the product. This includes the necessary functionality, exploitability, technology and simultaneously contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment. It is a priority to achieve a functional product design that, along with economic validation, represents the optimal variant of the product. In this paper, process of selecting the load-bearing metal structure,primarily main vertical support of the glazed facade structure, with respect to the above selection criteria,is presented. Also, for determined loads, a static calculation of the metal structure for selected materials is presented, respecting the valid Eurocodes (in accordance with valid Eurocodes). The load-bearing profiles are dimensioned and the stable design of the selected system solution of the glass facade structure is presented. Results are presented for this system solution, in particular, the impact of different types of profiles on metal structure and it’s thermal features. Accordingly, the appropriate energy efficiency class is related to metal structure. Specialized programs, Schuco Statik and SchuCal +, and results of authorized institutions laboratory tests are used in this paper

Author/s: Ivan Vrljičak, Igor Šuljić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  In this paper, the development of an algorithm that controls the operation of a screw compressor will be presented.
Screw compressors (helical lobe compressors) is the type of gas compressors that fall into the category of rotary positive displacement compressors. Screw compressors are increasingly used in industries due to their high efficiency, reliability, small dimensions, high capacity and quietness compared to the other types of compressors.
Work of screw compressor is controlled by algorithm that is executed on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). PLC is an industrial digital computer that controls machines and industrial process. Information’s (pressure, temperature, flow, liquid level…) are taken from the environment by sensors. Sensor data are processed by PLC computer based on algorithm. Output information from PLC is signal that controls actuators. An actuator is a device that produces a motion by converting energy. Actuators in screw compressor are electro motor, electromagnetic valves, pumps, switches…
The first step in the automation process is to set a list of requirements that the system must meet. The PLC to be used to automate the operation of the compressor is Siemens Logo 6. The PLC program (algorithm) of the compressor is made with the Logo Soft Comfort software. For programming the algorithm function block diagram (FBD) method was used. FBD is a graphical language for PLC

Author/s: Frane Vlak, Ado Matoković, Boris Mikulic, Stipe Latinac

Institution: University of Split, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Croatia

Abstract:  Despite the rapid progress of the computing equipment and numerical analysis software, the analytical methods are still valuable tool for analysis of the beam structures appearing in many engineering fields: mechanical engineering, civil engineering, naval architecture, etc.. The displacement and the force methods are probably the most frequently used methods for that purpose, particularly in the situations where degree of the statical or kinematical indeterminacy is higher than two. The numerical implementation of these methods using MATLAB or OCTAVE computing platform is presented in this paper. Since the force and the displacement methods are basically represented in the matrix form, the use of MATLAB and its freeware alternatives arises naturally because these platforms are primarily oriented to deal with matrices and different forms of the matrix manipulations. Additionally, the ease of data visualisation makes these platforms suitable for the graphical representation of the solutions obtained by the force and displacement method. The developed in-house code can be used as an auxiliary tool for the check of the analytical procedures and, in extension, in many other aspects of structural analysis such as structural optimization. The short theoretical explanation of the matrix formulation for both methods is followed by few examples of the different types of the beam structures using full benefits of the MATLAB visualisation capabilities.

Author/s: Marko Vukasović, Radoslav Pavazza, Miljenko Vuko

Institution: University of Split, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Croatia

Abstract:  Analytic approach to bending with shear influence of thin-walled laminated composite I-beams with mono-symmetric cross-section is presented. Beams composed of balanced laminates with symmetric lay-up and with variable elastic properties over the cross-section area are considered. Closed-form analytic solutions for the stresses and displacements are provided according to general analytic model developed for the thin-walled laminated composite beams with arbitrary open cross-sections and constant elastic properties. For the analyzed types of beams it is shown that in order to obtain uncoupled differential expressions the new center of gravity needs to be found, i.e. the new principal axes and coordinates. It is also proved that the position of the new center of gravity depends on elastic properties of laminates in beam cross-section, as well as on geometric characteristics. New shear factors are defined with respect to geometry of the cross-section and also with respect to variable elastic properties of laminates. Several examples of the simply supported I-beams subjected to bending with uniformly distributed load acting in the plane of symmetry have been analyzed. Beams with low length-to-height aspect ratios are taken into analysis. The influence of fiber orientation on the displacements of the center of gravity and on distribution of the displacements and stresses has been examined. The results obtained by presented analytic approach are compared with the finite element solutions. Excellent agreement of the results is obtained.

Author/s: Petar Zovko, Luka Tomasović, Tonko Kovačević

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Solving real-world problems is a very important form of teaching applied at the University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split. The aim of this paper is to present this approach to teaching through the example of a student project implementation at the Department of Electrical Engineering. The student’s task is to design and implement a system for measuring liquid in the process of filling cans with drinks using problem analysis and the knowledge acquired during the study. This paper presents the project realised in four phases. The first phase includes the design and production of the printed circuit board and the realization of the electronic circuit. The Autodesk EAGLE CAD application for education is used to design the printed circuit board. During the educational process in the electronics laboratory at the Department of Electrical Engineering the LPKF ProtoMat E44 device is used for production of printed circuit boards. The realization of the electronic circuit is followed by the development of a software solution in the second phase of the project based on the open source research platform ESP. The development of a digital filter to eliminate interference from the system takes place through the third phase. The fourth phase of the project includes the integration of the entire system, functionality testing and the results analysis and presentation.

Author/s: Nestor X. Arreaga Alvarado, Carlo Cevallos, Isaís Ponce, Sara Blanc

Institution: Universitat Politècnica de València and Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Abstract:  The agricultural sector worldwide is one of the most important economic sectors that allows generating many sources of employment. With technological resources, great benefits can be achieved for agriculture. The traceability of agricultural products can be incorporated, which constitutes a risk management tool since it facilitates the identification of problems in food management and provides specific information on their conditions. Therefore, the information that is handled is of utmost importance for the conservation of the quality of the products. This article analyzes the performance of a platform and the IoT devices used in a system for the traceability of agricultural products that uses Blockchain as a security mechanism to mitigate cyber-attacks. This structure works through the Internet of Things paradigm. The system analyzed in the prototype consisted of a set of sensors whose data was collected by peer-to-peer nodes that functioned as web servers, these reported the information to hypermarket owners and final consumers through a web application. The latency and CPU load of cloud platforms that use blockchain, such as Ethereum, were measured against the low-cost prototype designed, obtaining that the proposed system is 3 seconds faster and consumes five times fewer resources than the platform arranged in the cloud. The CPU load on the Raspberry Pi used as a node was shown to not exceed 10%, showing that it can be eligible as a block within the blockchain. The IoT devices used in this prototype enabled remote monitoring at a low cost, with optimal performance for large amounts of data

Author/s: Lada Sartori, Nikola Grgić, Branimir Džaja

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  The exponentially growing needs for IT services in everyday teaching and researching processes at universities in the last few decades have put a high workload on IT engineers in this sector. The large number of devices and servers in a network can’t be easily supervised by one person if the representation of their states and resources is not gathered in one place, e. g. on a single web site. In this paper a large computer network at one of the faculties of the University of Split will be described and the need for having an adequate tool for monitoring and supervision of network devices and servers, as well as active services on these servers will be elaborated. There are a lot of available applications that can be used and configured, but one of the main requirements was that the chosen software is free for use in academic and education environments and, preferably, that is an opensource software. The paper will describe the installation and configuration processes for all kinds of different network devices and servers with various operating systems, as well as settings used to secure the equipment from potential attacks from the Internet. The final appearance of the application dashboard and the advantages obtained will be presented and discussed

Author/s: Siniša Zorica, Sandra Antunović Terzić, Marinko Lipovac, Joško Smolčić, Dario Batinić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  One example of the technological advancement is the unmanned aerial vehicle, or as we call it most commonly, the drone. A human, not from the inside, but by radio signals, controls it. Their application is relatively new and they are still in development. They have a wide application, not only for military and civilian, but also mostly for recreational purposes. For decades, they have been used for scientific research, commercial purposes and for various public safety tasks to capture endangered areas, for mapping, better communication, rescue, and research as well as traffic inspections. To build such a dynamic unmanned aerial vehicle it is necessary to attach many complex electronic devices like brushless DC motor, control board, electronic speed controller, digital servomotor, battery etc. In order to make a high quality drone, it is necessary to know its basic parts and how they work. In this paper, the design process of quadcopter unmanned aerial vehicle is presented. HGLRC F4 V6 PRO flight controller is used to control motors. Its purpose is to stabilize the drone during flight and to do this, it takes signals from on-board gyroscopes (roll, pitch and yaw) and passes these signals to the processor. The processor processes signals according the users designated firmware and passes the control signals to the mounted electronic speed controllers and the mixture of these signals commands the electronic speed controllers to make fine adjustments to the motors rotational speeds, which stabilizes the craft. Betaflight software is used for programing flight controller. Roll, pitch, and yaw parameters are calculated using Matlab

Author/s: Adrián Broz Lofiego, Enrique Bigné Alcañiz, Inés Küster Boluda

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Mobile phones, equipped with great functionalities, have become appropriate instruments of technological convergence, inspiring the development of high added value services (Chandra, Srivastava, and Theng, 2010, Bamasak, 2011). One of these services, the mobile payment (MP), has grown significantly in recent years, contributing to the success of online and mobile commerce (Chen, 2008, Pham & Ho, 2015, Oliveira, Thomas, Baptista, and Campos, 2016).
In a context where mobile payment has begun to take off around the world, specially propelled by the COVID19 pandemic, understanding the factors that explain its adoption has become an imperative. However, advances in research have sometimes used models that are quite simple and deterministic and in some cases lack of cohesion, while some authors have forgotten the holistic nature of the technological adoption phenomenon (Bagozzi, 2007).
Therefore, the objective of this paper is twofold: (i) to evaluate drivers and inhibitors of the adoption of mobile payment using a model adapted to the context of individual consumers, the UTAUT2 (Venkatesh, Thong, and Xu, 2012), which has unusually been used in the literature related to this service (Dalberg, Guo and, Ondrus, 2015, Oliveira et al., 2016); (ii) evaluate if the addition of some variables that take into account the differential profile of the technology (convenience, speed, quality and added value) improves the explanatory capacity and allows understanding the adoption process from a global perspective.
This work contributes to the existing literature in several ways: (i) it presents a simple holistic model that takes into account the individual nature of the decision to adopt MP; (ii) it incorporates into the analysis the perceptions of the differential value of the service that contributes to understanding the adoption process; (iii) sheds light on the process of MP adoption in Spain, a country where the service has evolved below expectations, but has been improving

Author/s: Boris Mikulić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  This paper aims to provide an efficient algorithm for solving plain stress problems with 2D isoparametric quadrilateral linear finite element using MATLAB. Even there are a lot of commercial and open-source software packages for finite element analysis on the market, the use of programs like MATLAB is indispensable in educational and research work. However, in cases when a large number of elements or nodes are required for the analysis, the application of an inadequate algorithm very quickly leads to extremely slow, and in some cases completely unusable code. The reason for this problem is implementing code with large for loops which executes very slow in MATLAB. To avoid this kind of problem the use of vectorized implementation which avoids loops over the elements is necessary. The method discussed in this paper is based on assembling three-dimensional strain displacement and Jacobian matrix in the form of MATLAB cell-array data type for all elements as a function of vectorized node elements coordinates and gauss integration points. Isoparametric quadrilateral linear element makes numeric Gauss integration over element volumes very easy which makes this type of element very suitable for this algorithm. In this way, the stiffness matrix can be evaluated for every integration point with matrix and vector products using small for loops and add them together to get the overall stiffness matrix. For a large number of elements, there are a lot of zero entries in the global stiffness matrix, so the sparse matrix algorithm which requires less computational time and less computer memory is applied. Implementation of boundary conditions and assembling of the global force vector is also discussed.

Author/s: Alvaro Mesa Pardo

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: In recent decades, composite materials have been used in numerous applications due to their high performance and design mechanical properties, without taking into account the environmental impact of their use. For this reason, the article that is presented aims to present a possibility of using biodegradable, eco-friendly composite materials using high-performance natural fibers such as hemp fiber. The design of the process and the machinery for obtaining hemp fiber from the natural hemp plant, without chemical treatments that contaminate the plantation soil as well as the industrial process itself, is proposed. It starts with planting the plant, treatment and processing, performing an energy analysis at all stages so that the process is efficient and ecological. Hemp fiber can be used in the automotive, textile, construction industries and as a substitute for plastic in items such as bags, packaging, etc. It replaces fibers commonly used in these industries such as fiberglass and Kevlar, both more polluting compared to hemp fiber. Given that by-products are obtained in the process of obtaining fibers (hemp trunk, leaves and branches), application solutions are provided for them in the construction and energy industries, among others.

Innovative Teaching & Learning Methodologies

Author/s: Kyria Finardi

Institution: Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil

Abstract: This study reflects on the interface between innovation, internationalization of higher education and global citizenship education focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – Quality Education – which aims to guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education for all. Global citizenship education (GCE) is related to SDG4 as it acknowledges interrelationships of the global, national and local aspects in higher education. So as to reflect about these interrelations, the present study utilizes a meta-analysis of a corpus of 20 studies produced at a federal university in the Southeast of Brazil to illustrate the interconnections between innovation, internationalization and GCE in relation to SDGs 4. The internationalization of the investigated university was analyzed in relation to the university’s triple mission/offer of research, outreach and teaching activities/opportunities. The results suggest that the internationalization of higher education is related to the university’s triple mission of offering teaching actions (analyzed in the Business Administration course), research (analyzed in the publications of this institution) and extension (analyzed in relation to an extension-outreach/internationalization project). The meta-analysis of the corpus and the analysis of the projects of the university in Brazil suggests that the process of internationalization of the university is related to the SDG4 which in turn is related to the promotion of innovation of the curriculum fostering GCE

Author/s: Elena Ciortescu

Institution: Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi, Romania

Abstract: Successful business communication implies a wide array of skills, most of which require not only professional training but also hands-on experience. While, in terms of business communication, students can benefit from professional training due to the LSP curricula (which is primarily aimed to meet their needs), hands-on experience is an acquisition which depends on many factors independent from universities’ curricula. However, nowadays, with so much emphasis on students’ need to acquire skills meant to help them cope with increasingly challenging realities, trainers seek to identify new methods to familiarize them with close-to-life situations. Consequently, the focus is on identifying the means by which business students can be brought closer to professional contexts by helping them acquire some particular skills essential in real-life situations: emotional intelligence and cultural awareness. Underlying a wide range of situations (presentations, meetings, negotiations, small talk, e-mails, reports, job applications, etc.), either oral or written, successful business communication is an extremely complex phenomenon which, in order to be achieved, requires the acquisition of skills which go well beyond language accuracy. The aim of this paper is to discuss the importance of cultural awareness and emotional intelligence in the context of business presentations. The first part of the paper will provide an insight into our particular context: our faculty, students, the status of ESP within our institution, COVID-19 crisis management. The second part of the paper is focused on the increasing relevance that cultural awareness and emotional intelligence have for LSP, in general, and for BE, in particular. Finally, the third part of the paper deals with the practical means by which cultural awareness and emotional intelligence can become inherent to the process of teaching BE oral communication skills, i.e. presentations

Author/s: Pilar Alberola Colomar, Raquel Iranzo Fons

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Teaching and testing are so closely interrelated that it is almost impossible to work in one of these areas without being constantly concerned with the other. There are many alternatives to testing in order to assess students’ performance, but in actual fact, students still have to take a wide amount of tests throughout their language training.
Years of teaching experience in further education at Florida Universitaria (affiliated to the University of Valencia, Spain) have proved the important gap existing between what teachers want to test and what students perceive, frequently ending in frustration on both sides. After analysing the possible causes for the lack of understanding between both parties, we decided to carry out an experience based on peer testing across two educational levels.
The aim of this paper is twofold, presenting the peer testing experience, and explaining what us, as teachers and testers, have learnt from our students about their perceptions. The three main stakeholders of the experience are: a group of 3rd-year students in the Degree in Primary Education (major in English) who designed a language test for a group of Vocational Training learners (in the finance field), and the English teachers of both groups who coordinated the whole process.
First, the Education students (testers) were trained in basic concepts about exam design techniques. Afterwards, they met the Vocational Training students (testees) to find out about their skills, English level and have a first personal contact. Then, testers designed an exam based on the communicative learning approach, including the contents studied by testees in their A2-B1 English course. Finally, testers administered and marked the exercises. Results obtained accounted for a percentage of the Finance students´ English assessment. As regards the Finance participants, they actively played a part providing feedback related to their perceptions of the test and the procedure.
The experience was highly satisfactory for all the parties. On the one hand, testers and testees were able to engage in the testing system as active actors and understand its objectives and difficulties from within the process. Students’ ratings in the satisfaction questionnaire confirmed that this activity was remarkably motivating for them. On the other hand, the English lecturers became aware of their students’ testing perspective, and the need to create real settings where learners could apply their theoretical knowledge. All in all, the experience has had a positive washback effect on the English subject and subsequent tests

Author/s: Cristina Baenas Roig, Carla Gómez-Lobo Mª del Rosario, Andrea Bru Belda, Marina Guillot Tolosa

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Bilingual or multilingual learners improve their acquisition and learning of other languages when they are given the opportunity to access the full range of language repertoires rather than being limited to the practice of the
language they are learning. This requires specific and systematised didactics and practice to facilitate foreign language development. Language teaching has traditionally been based on the monolingual use of the foreign language and the strict bifurcation of the foreign language with the target language as a prerequisite for acquiring and ensuring successful foreign language learning. In contrast, alternative use of the language repertoire, known as Translanguaging, has been shown to be advantageous in settings where English is the foreign language (Jones & Lewis, 2014).
The present paper examines teaching action during English lessons by analysing the practices of Translanguaging in English language learning, as well as the moments in which it is switched from one language to another. To achieve this, qualitative data were collected from 12 in-service teachers who teach English in primary schools in Valencia. The participants have between 5 and 25 years of teaching experience in this field. The results show how the practice of this methodology is positive in generating an atmosphere of confidence and better understanding in the students, and therefore, a greater ambition to continue studying the foreign language. In conclusion, it is argued that the use of Translanguaging has a positive impact on foreign language acquisition and comprehension in multilingual classrooms.

Author/s: Guillem Escorihuela, Lourdes Chuliá-Peris

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The impact of Covid-19 on society has affected all public and private levels. Also to the education sector, and in Higher Education. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the teaching activities were moved to the virtual format in order to comply with the health measures restricting the movement of people. The different modalities of attending the non-face-to-face student were different depending on the subject, specialty, type of teaching, faculties or departments, but generally they consisted of live classes through streaming, recorded classes, autonomous work through digital resources and online feedback with teachers, autonomous work through readings…
The student satisfaction questionnaire is the tool most used by universities to find out the opinion of students about the teaching received and to evaluate teaching quality. The survey instrument is implemented in most universities in developed countries and, in the Spanish environment, it has been approached from different fields with a diverse treatment.
Transferring the teaching quality construct and the qualities that the teacher must develop to achieve educational excellence to a satisfaction questionnaire implies adapting all the elements to certain dimensions that certainly collect the opinion of the students and measure exactly the variable that they intend to evaluate.
The objective of this research is to validate a virtual teaching quality construct for traditional universities subject to blended learning. In this sense, the study population is the Valencian universities that, following the Recommendations of the Spanish Ministry of Universities of June 10, 2020, for a presence adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. The resulting sample consisted of 10 universities and affiliated centers.
Through a review of the teacher satisfaction surveys of Valencian universities, the questions are categorized based on the highest frequencies in different items. The results aim to generate a survey model that could produce valid results to evaluate blended teaching

Author/s: Ivana Vodogaz, Marijana Jurisic

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  This paper investigated our students’ thoughts and suggestions on the appropriate learning activities that are most in alignment with CLT and which usually take place in our classrooms. We came to conclusion that the vast majority of students find communication skills to be the most important ones and that this segment of learning outcomes will be the one from which they will benefit the most. Accordingly, we opted for two short questionnaires completed by 120 students of our Department. In the first one, they decided on their favorite and most effective communication skills activities used in classes with the idea that successful mastering of a foreign language will result from real effective communication. It revealed that their preferred activities are group work and pair work. The second questionnaire investigated our students’ attitudes towards these two types of learning procedures. Which one helps them more? Would they like to choose their own partners? Do they approve the current assessment methods? These were some of the questions which helped us to find out more about their preferences, suggestions and ideas. Communication skills and approaches we use to improve those skills are extremely important in our daily work. Not all methods are equally successful, nor do all students have the same preferences at the same time. This paper wants to reveal our students’ choices, analyze the comments they made in the questionnaire and present these methods as a suitable choice for achieving the competencies they strive for

Author/s: Marink Lipovac, Siniša Zorica, Sandra Antunović Terzić, Joško Smolčić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge and experience. In recent years (at the time of the coronavirus pandemic), classical teaching has resulted in the transition to an online learning system. E-learning can be boring and tedious for both students and teachers. Digitization offers the possibility of introducing new techniques into the teaching process, which can stimulate students and their activity. Gamification is one such technique.
Gamification is the application of elements of gaming in non-gaming environments. The main purpose of gamification is to combine learning with fun. This ensures a longer commitment of students to a particular learning material and facilitates its mastery. Gamification is primarily associated with the notion of rewards. In most cases, gamification include scoring, levels, virtual rewards, ranking scales, tasks, developing players through a virtual avatar, time limits, etc. The principle of games is to define certain levels, and by overcoming certain obstacles, it moves to a new, more demanding, level.
The paper presents the elements of gamification in Moodle learning systems, their implementation in the teaching process, as well as some applications for creating interactive lessons, quizzes, crossword puzzles, mind maps, etc. The principles of operation of individual applications, their comparison, advantages and disadvantages, as well as used elements of gamification will be described

Author/s: Jose Manuel Pastor Benlloch, Antonio Ruiz Muñoz

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The speed at which technological changes occur requires continuous adaptation of training content in those areas of knowledge where these changes have the greatest impact. These changes reach the company before they reach the training centres, resulting in a time lag between the needs of the companies and the contents taught in the educational centres. This time lag generates frustration in companies as they do not see their demands fully met in terms of the skills they value in recent graduates and also in the latter as they see that despite having been trained in certain skills and competences, they find that they do not satisfy some of those most valued by companies. In order to reduce this time lag, it is necessary to involve companies in the updating of training content with regard to those skills and competences whose learning requires rapid updating due to technological changes.
The participation of companies should be limited to those qualifications that are closest to their sector of activity. In this paper we present a model of how, based on the collaboration of companies in a sector, the competences and skills that should be included in a training module have been determined. The aim is to respond to the training deficiencies detected by companies in the recent graduates they hire.
We have carried out a survey among companies in a specific sector to find out which skills and competences, in their opinion, should be included in the teaching-learning processes in those higher level training cycles related to the sector. On this basis, we have designed a model of what this collaboration between companies, training centres and public administrations should be like

Author/s: Jorge Villagrasa, Carlo Salvador, Colin Donaldson, José Manuel Pastor

Institution: EDEM Centro Universitario, Valencia (Spain)

Abstract:  Consistent with previous literature, there is a clear positive link between student motivation and its academic performance. Increasing student motivation is not an easy task, however, it has drawn the attention of several scholars with the aim of identifying the different factors that influence it. Among them, it will be of vital importance to boost the activities that generate intrinsic motivation, as they provoke enthusiasm and interest for the learning process in the pupils, without the need of providing rewards or punishments. Consequently, and as research shows, academic performance will be positively influenced by this type of motivation, whereas negatively affected by the extrinsic one.
Thus, our goal in this document is to propose the extension of the basic ideas of the non-traditional schooling approach of the Montessori method to the university classes, in order to move from the traditional or classical methodology usually applied (e.g., using master-lectures, repetition of concepts and memorization), and consequently stimulate the students’ intrinsic motivation. The results obtained are quite inspiring, showing that the most motivated students obtain around +20% average mark in their final exam (performance), and maintain this high-motivation in subsequent courses in around 50% of the cases. However, after analyzing the students’ results of the 39 subjects of the degree in Business-Administration-and-Management of EDEM-Business School, we may state that the application of this methodology should not be unique and therefore can be discussed, as with different educational techniques other subjects also achieve similar output.
Therefore, with the aim of taking this research to a higher sphere, we provide an automatic monitoring tool or dashboard where regardless the methodology applied by a subject/professor, he/she and the educational institution itself could know its level of results, especially when professors have junior profiles or are new in the educational institution. To do so, we compare the students’ academic results (reflecting its level of motivation) –which varies from 5 to 7,7 along the degree– with its level of dispersion –which varies from 23% to 56%–, due to as research shows, dispersion is negatively related to performance (i.e., less disperse classes would generate a general improvement in learning, therefore provoking better output) and could also work as a check lever. Our results show the great applicability of this tool but also encourages caution in its interpretation when comparing each subject/professor with its ‘own group’, differentiating among ‘soft skills’ (‘law’, ‘economics’) and ‘hard skills’ subjects (‘business’ and ‘technical’).

Author/s: Rubens Camaratta, María Dolores Reyes Tolosa

Institution: Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

Abstract:  In technical university degrees such as engineering courses, it is increasingly necessary to carry out practical methodologies that bring the student closer to the real cases that they will later face in their professional career.
The study, analysis, and optimization of different technical and/or everyday products are proposed in the subjects of Materials Science and Materials Selection, taught in the graduation courses of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering of Florida University and Federal University of Pelotas respectively.
In this study, the student chooses one product and analyses the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of its materials so that it meets the specifications required in its application and then selects an alternative for these materials so that it is more ecological and eco-friendlier, improving eco-properties (e.g., recyclability, energy consumed, CO2 footprint, etc).
Finally, the students do a benchmark comparing different product designs, analysing and selecting the best of them from the eco point of view.
In this way, competencies inherent to the subject are evaluated as transversal competencies, such as inquiry, investigation, and problem solving, also increasing motivation and self-assessment of the students. In addition, this type of evaluation can be used in online methodologies, guaranteeing the authorship of the work carried out

Author/s: Begoña Clavel-Arroitia, Barry Pennock-Speck

Institution: Universitat de València, Spain

Abstract:  Telecollaboration (TC), i.e., asynchronous or synchronous computer-mediated communication (Belz 2003), provides the perfect context for students to practice their oral production in a foreign language because it involves face-to-face communication with peers from different cultures. TC provides students with a much more realistic scenario than that provided in traditional classrooms. TC can also be used for a variety of fields of study where students can acquire civic and entrepreneurship competences (Pomposo, et al., 2021). TC is normally carried out through Task-Based Learning as this allows students more autonomy and gets them ready for communication in the real world. Through TC, students acquire Intercultural Communicative Competences (Byram, 2021) and they have to negotiate within the interpersonal arena, where they have to apply interpersonal skills (Pennock-Speck & Clavel-Arroitia, 2019). Such skills are of great use in many professional activities. A great advantage of TC is that it favours less affluent sectors of society as they can meet with their peers from foreign countries without accruing travelling expenses.
Here we will look at several examples of TC in different learning contexts during several European and national research projects and will provide evidence of its affordances regarding improvements in negotiation of meaning (Varonis & Gass, 1985; Smith, 2005; Clavel-Arroitia, 2019), communicative competence, Intercultural Communicative Competences, and interpersonal skills. TC has proven to be successful with various age groups and competences levels (Clavel-Arroitia & Pennock-Speck, 2021) as we will see in the results presented in our talk

Author/s: Abraham, Cerveró-Carrascosa, Raül, Serrador

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The present paper reviews the roles and challenges that English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers have to face in the Valencian educational system. Territorial regulations in València promote English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in non-linguistic subjects in different educational stages, the law also advocates for CLIL as the teaching approach to be promoted in EMI classes.
EFL practitioners find themselves in a crossroad period in which their classes are not the only input in EFL for students and, at the same time, they often are the best suited teaching staff to carry out the demands set by local authorities.
On the one hand, different methodological implications in the EFL teachers practice are explored: the roles of literature and grammar in EFL classes and the development of the intercultural communicative competence (ICC). On the other hand, some other frequently neglected aspects of their duties are also tackled, for instance, their involvement and commitment to international activities, their support to CLIL teachers…
Several suggestions on the design and the content of EFL classes are outlined: the role of the metalinguistic awareness in the quality of language output, the need for a multidisciplinary and active methods approach and the actions to be taken to promote an authentic development of plurilingualism and interculturality

Author/s: Katarina, Blažević Miše

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract: The corona virus pandemic rapidly changed the world with our everyday life gaining new rules to follow. The world needed to adapt to working from home as well the concept of homeschooling by means of social networks and technology. The state should have sent clear guidelines regarding the manner of teaching and at the same time ensure the smooth running of classes. The acquisition of knowledge was not allowed to stop for students at any moment with them maintaining most of their student rights but in new and changed circumstances. Although online learning has always been present in higher education with the aim of improving the present higher education with the aim of improving the quality of the teaching process, it was never used to this extend. A strong challenge was placed on employees of the education system in order to successfully carry out the transition of teaching into the virtual world. It was necessary to bring awareness to students about the importance of computer applications and social networks in learning in this “new normal”, a phrase we now use to describe life after the discovery of COVID-19 pandemic in the world. It is well known that online learning increases inequality among its participants with main consequences being reduced efficiency in education, quality of transferred knowledge and validation of the knowledge gained through online classes. The primary goal of this paper is the research of the quality of online learning during the pandemic of corona virus and on the observation of its positive and negative aspects. Also, one of the questions in the research was whether we managed to maintain at least a part of the social contact which is important for the mental wellbeing of young people.

Author/s: Adrián Broz Lofiego

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: Understanding the acceptance and use of a technology is one of the most mature and fruitful streams of research in information and communication systems. When faced with the question of why people adopt or reject an innovation, there are a number of models aimed at providing a comprehensive explanation. Research has been primarily motivated by the belief that the use of new technologies improves performance, increases well-being and happiness, enhances self-efficacy, decreases anxiety and increases productivity.
In a context of accelerated change, where new technologies have become an essential ally, university education with an international profile is a critical factor in the learning process. Aware of the changes experienced within the educational paradigm and the interrelation between new technologies and transversal competences, Florida Universitaria, together with three other European universities, have joined forces over a three-year period to participate in the MUPIC project, using the MOODLE platform as a learning tool.
Understanding the factors that have led to the widespread adoption of the MOODLE platform and the feelings derived from its use by teaching staff and students has become a priority in order to explain the success of MUPIC and the applicability of this tool to other current and future projects.
Based on the preceding paragraphs, the aim of this paper is to analyse the overall impact that this technological tool has had within the project and that has allowed MUPIC to become an innovative, motivating, meaningful and happiness-generating learning experience. Likewise, research based on the UTAUT2 model will be proposed to understand the main inhibitors and drivers of the intention to use and effective use of this technology

Author/s: Katarina Krnić, Petra Grgičević Bakarić

Institution: University Department of Professional Studies, University of Split, Croatia

Abstract:  This paper underlines the importance of a frequent introduction and consideration of both linguistic and culturally defined elements in the everyday Italian and English language classroom. The culturally determined component is often inadequately represented and insufficiently highlighted in language course books due to lack of their culture-related contents. Its ignorance, however, may frequently result in misinterpretations of culturally specific contexts or even unsuccessful communication with native speakers. The authors advocate for a more regular use of carefully selected authentic materials, such as audio, visual, and audio-visual materials within modern language instruction, placing special emphasis on a photograph as a valuable visual aid and a television show as a distinctive audio-visual aid. A more frequent exposure of students to these should subsequently enhance students’ cultural awareness and, thus, pave the way for tolerance and effective communication. This is discussed in the introductory part of the paper.
The main part of the paper revolves around the didactic role of a photograph in the Italian language classroom and a television show in the English language classroom aimed at boosting students’ linguistic and cultural competence. These could serve as an example of how other materials belonging to the groups introduced could also be aptly employed in an identical or a similar way in foreign language teaching.
After a brief insight into the notion of a photograph, the criteria for its selection are analysed. Then, the variety of related activities that may be used to foster the grammar and vocabulary acquisition are presented. Cultural elements are also discussed and delineated.
An introduction into the notion of a television show, particularly the American television show Orange is The New Black, is followed by the coverage of the objectives set and the criteria used for its selection. The subsequent didactic analysis of its representative parts targets some of its major educational, linguistic, and cultural aspects. The discourse encountered displays both linguistic and cultural abundance. Its underpinning sociocultural context presumes usage of a variety of idiomatic expressions, phrases and underlying behavioral patterns.
In conclusion, a detailed list of reasons underscoring the validity, usefulness and importance of the discussed authentic materials in foreign language teaching is provided

Author/s: Vitor Roque, Joaquim Mateus, Joaquim Brigas

Institution: Polytechnic of Guarda, Portugal

Abstract:  According to UNESCO, it is estimated the education of more than 220 million higher education students was suddenly disrupted in 2020 by university closures due to COVID-19. The pandemic forced the transition to emergency online learning formats that have amplified the use of digital platforms in the support of learning and have given rise to various strategies of digital learning that were previously little known, little used, or even non-existent. With this study, we sought to evaluate the perceptions of Polytechnic of Guarda students driven by the changes in the teaching-learning process due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding distance learning.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Polytechnic of Guarda about online learning during the first COVID-19 lockdown. An online questionnaire was sent by email to all students.
The questionnaire was completed by 293 students from different areas of knowledge and different degrees. From the results, before the pandemic most of the respondents (N=246; 84,0%) indicated they didn´t use online platforms or applications for distance learning. During the lockdown this situation changed and 97,3% (N=285) used online platforms or applications for distance learning.The most used online application during the lockdown was Zoom.
The three main advantage of online learning pointed out by students were: (i) There is no need for displacements/travelling (N=196; 66,9%); (ii) Flexibility of the workplace (N=169; 57,7%); and (iii) Recording of the classes and the possibility to rewatch them at another schedule (N=97; 33,1%). Concerning the disadvantages, the three most relevant were: (i) Absence of face-to-face interaction among students and between students and professors (N=182; 62,1%); (ii) Increases difficulty in focusing (N=182; 62,1%); and (iii) Totally relies on technology (N=117; 39,9%).
Although 40,6% of the respondents evaluated positively the online distance learning experience but only 18,4% stated to prefer online classes.
The use of online education was considered, by the Polytechnic of Guarda students, a good option during the pandemic period.
This study shown that it is possible to switch from face-to-face to online education. The pandemic was an opportunity to Polytechnic of Guarda and, in general, for all higher education institutions to adapt their teaching and learning methodologies to the online reality brought by digital technologies.
In short, it is important to start thinking about an overall strategy and accompanying policies capable of dealing with a possible shift in the current paradigm of what is understood as higher education and its inherent activities

Author/s: Oana Ursu

Institution: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi, Romania

Abstract: In our fast-paced information-driven world, teeming with data and facts, persuasive skills may be more necessary than ever. Drawing on relevant literature on the topic (Tuhovsky, 2015; Cialdini, 2009), we argue that persuasion lies at the core of both our personal life and our professional activity. Persuasive skills are of outmost importance in our daily interactions and in business encounters alike, as we rely on this skill in all aspects of our life in order to reach consensus, close deals, or win concessions, etc. In fact, we could even go as far as to state that persuasive skills may exert much more influence on people’s behaviour that any other form of power or authority. Moreover, as far as business activity is concerned, very often, people get tangled in company speak (e.g. the overuse of PowerPoint presentations) and, ignoring the critical importance of persuasion, they barely manage to communicate, let alone to inspire their peers. In addition, things complicate even further when communication occurs in a foreign language. Thus, given the fact that persuasion is grounded in basic principles that can be taught, learned and applied, this paper aims to investigate how the principles of persuasion can be turned into rhetorical devices and used in effective (business) communication

Author/s: Ivana Krsmanović, Lena Tica, Biljana Đorić, Nataša Gojgić

Institution: University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Technical Sciences Čačak, Serbia

Abstract:  As recent research has shown that there is a correlation between social presence and student satisfaction, understanding social context in online instruction is of vital importance. Assessing social presence emerges as even more important in the COVID-19 conditions when teaching (has) shifted fully online and computer-mediated communication became a sole means of communication and instruction. The objective of the research was to examine students’ perceptions of the social context during Emergency Remote English Language Teaching. The sample consisted of N=91 engineering students who attended a course in Business English through the Microsoft Teams application. The study adopted a qualitative research design under the social presence theoretical framework, and the data were collected through an online questionnaire. The instrument was adapted from the Collaborative Learning, Social Presence and Satisfaction questionnaire developed by So and Brush (2008) and further adapted by Pritchett et al (2014). The findings of the research indicated that students expressed overall satisfaction with the teacher’s communication conducted through MS Teams and expressed their satisfaction with what they learned in the ESP course. However, students also felt that they could not build relationships of trust through the CMC, and although they were comfortable communicating with familiar people, CMS messages failed to convey their feelings and emotions.

Author/s: Vicente Monfort Salvador, Yolanda E-Martín

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The educative experience aims to join and find common ideas between project-based learning and service-learning. Project-based learning aims to achieve knowledges and skills by working focused in an authentic and complex challenge, while service-learning is an educational approach, which combines process of formal education and service to the community in one project. In this work, we try to join the best practice of each learning methodology and apply it with students in the second year of a vocational training, working with low-income non-profit organizations. To do that, students are organized in groups and apply the SCRUM methodology to manage the project and the team, where the role of product owner is run by a non-profit organization member integrated into the student’s team. From the beginning of the second year, students work on the management and preparation of the project, but it is during the last two weeks on the course when they develop the product in an integral and intensive way through a project-based learning methodology. Evaluation will show that both parts gain benefits: students get to work on a real project and non-profits organizations get an initial prototype, which might help them

Author/s: María Pilar Ortega Leal, Isabel Fernández-Gómez, Marisa Martínez-Romero

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Methodologies used for teaching mathematics in Early Childhood Education are increasingly varied and put students at the center of learning. Montessori methodology, the Tekman education EMAT program and game-based learning consider the need of playing during childhood as a basic necessity. Teachers must be prepared to use these and others new methodologies and in their initial training this is a task that revert to universities.
The present work shows an interdisciplinary experience developed in the third year of the Degree in Early Childhood Education carried out at Florida Universitària. The practice started in the academic year 2016-2017 and remained active until 2021-22. The initiative emerged from Didactics of Mathematics and Play Workshop in Early Childhood Education subjects with the collaboration of Master of Video Games’s teachers. It is, therefore, an experience developed in a real learning context, because it involved implementation in schools.
The initial activity consisted of developing board games related to mathematics’ curricular contents for the second stage of Early Childhood Education. These games are tested by children in schools. Teachers from schools and university participated in the evaluation of the activity, providing richer feedback. On the other hand, this experience has been affected by the pandemic. The board game’s testing that was carried out in schools was affected by limited access to their spaces. This was a challenge for the university professors who had to rethink the activity, which led them to opt for the Print&Play format. This new variation of the activity consists of developing games in a printable format. This version makes possible to upload the games to internet, providing greater possibilities of dissemination. This paper analyses the complete evolution of the experience, students’ contributions on the new version of the activity, difficulties perceived by the teachers and new projects that could arise from this experience

Author/s: Sara Blanc, Senén Palanca

Institution: Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain

Abstract:  Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) include paradigms and advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Cloud Computing. Currently, these technologies are transversal to every economical sector. For example, Internet of Things (IoT) is a novel solution in development in Smart Agriculture.
Precision agriculture is an agricultural-management approach to ensure that crops and soil receive exactly what they need for optimal health and productivity. The main goal is to guarantee profitability, sustainability, and environmental protection.
Agriculture jumped to the cities in the last decade been referred as Urban Agriculture or Urban Gardens. Experts and stakeholder view is reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, is specifically dedicated to urban systems.
Urban gardens have been established in many cities and communities over the last decade. They take a relevant insight of different nature, such as an alternative for fresh production, environmental protection, or a social and inclusive function.
As well as farming, the use of technology seems a real necessity in urban gardens. For example, to detect contaminants in the soil as effect of urban contamination or to control water consumption.
Urban gardens can connect edge-cutting technologies with sustainability practices. IoT is currently present in most of the smart deployments both in agricultural extensions and multi-sensors integration on small plantations. Different works demonstrate the possibility of implementing high-cost professional development, but also low-cost educational examples.
In education, urban gardens mean a practical learning to connect the world reality and its problems with education. Schools are every day increasingly aware of integrating real problems as learning case studies. Some studies describe the effects on participants of experiences based on school gardens or introduces students in school gardening through digital media. Although there is not a significant conclusion about the effects on participants, the number of practices around the world reveals as a challenge the connection between digital medias and outdoor gardening.
This paper presents a low-cost solution to connect environmental protection learning and IoT technology applicable to urban gardens. The proposal promotes an open architecture which allows a progressive extension according to garden needs and learning goals. Moreover, the work presents an educational app. Thus, the learning scope ranges from the use of the app for any student at the school, to the development of real monitoring systems combining coding and electronics with others such as 3D printing or web solutions

Author/s: Luis Sánchez, Antonio Ortega, Juan José Cabezas, Eduardo José Roses

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  For some time now, competency-based training has meant a change in teaching methodology and assessment models of universities.
In this context, students have been developing a large number of projects using the project-based learning methodology (PBL) or challenge-based learning (CBL). This paper aims to highlight some of the most relevant projects or works related to the degree in Industrial Electronic and Automatic Engineering. Specifically, we will detail four experiences, two individual projects and two team projects carried out in recent years by students of that degree at Florida University (Valencia, Spain).
First work is the development of a calculation and design program to implement Direct Current (DC) Boost converters. Entering certain parameters to set up design specifications, this program allows to dimension the necessary elements and obtain final converter performance simulations.
The second project presented in the article was also developed individually and consisted of the design and assembly of a camera with integrated image processing for artificial vision applications in the industrial robotics field, allowing both the identification of part patterns and basic shapes and orientation of the same, including colour detection and measurement estimation of the processed pieces.
The following challenge presented is a teamwork related to the Development and Sustainability Objectives (ODS), specifically consists of reducing water consumption, workers displacement and associated energy costs by the monitoring and automation of public green areas in small city.
Last experience to highlight is the development of a solar tracker working prototype capable of producing and delivering energy in the most efficient way possible. Collaterally to the design and implementation of the different electronic systems, the development of this project meant that the teams carried out a series of additional works, among which the following stand out: design and implementation of a bearing in a 3D printer and manufacture of a support structural wood.
In addition to presenting the technical results of the four experiences, this article will assess the associated academic results. That is, the impact of this type of work on interest groups such as: students, teachers and graduates

Author/s: Héctor Tronchoni, Conrad, Izquierdo, M Teresa Anguera

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The purpose of this presentation is to share the possibilities of a conceptual and methodological approach based on a systematic observation design that incorporates the advantages of mixed-methods. The subject studied is the analysis of participatory instructional interaction in the university classroom. Method Systematic observation is applied to a case study (ID:C3_S2_MEX) of expository class posed as an idiographic, intrasessional follow-up and multidimensional design (I/F/M) in the natural context of a class about education at the master level and taught by a teacher to a group of students. The observation instrument built combines the field format with category systems, and includes the two core processes: interaction and participation. Record is carried out using the free LINCE program, and the intraobserver agreement is passed using Cohen’s kappa coefficient (1960). Results The lag sequential analysis and polar coordinates analysis are conducted after the data have been collected, and the interpretive and formative value of the methodological procedure applied is assessed. Discussion and conclusions The value of the systematic observation methodological procedure is evidenced when interpreting the results obtained to answer the research questions and propose training criteria that guide the improvement of participatory interaction with a strategic function for meaningful learning

Author/s: Adrián Broz Lofiego, Héctor Pastrana Esteban

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The old model of knowledge transmission is no longer adequate in the 21st century; within the framework of a knowledge-based society, there has been an increase in cognitive requirements aimed at satisfying labor and professional demands. The application of strategies that integrate conceptual elements of videogame design (“gamification”) into education aims to motivate and involve students in the acquisition of skills that complement their curriculum. While it is true that gamification has been gaining ground in the area of business administration, marketing and corporate strategies, its application to education still constitutes an emerging strategy.
Aware of these reality, Florida Universitària introduced the Brokermanía contest, a game that adequately mixes fiction and reality. Brokermanía is a simulation game where higher education students transform themselves into brokers for a period of eight weeks. The main goal of Brokermanía contest is to motivate students, in a playful way, to expand their basic knowledge of economics and finance.
The objective of this paper is to share an innovative learning experience and to assess the effectiveness of gamification as an alternative motivating strategy in the process of acquisition of competences in economics and finance. After the introduction, we analyze the most important educational gamification strategies and their impact on the acquisition of competences. Subsequently, we show the design elements of the Brokermanía contest and the results of applying this methodology. Finally, we include main conclusions, the strategic implications, the limitations and the proposed lines of future research

Author/s: Salvador Matoses Chulvi, Manel Viel Córdoba, José García Mena, Julio Vicente Valle García, Carles Pons Muñoz, Daniel Valero García

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The idea of the Tulipa Áurea Project was born from the teachers of the higher-level training cycle in Industrial Mechatronics in January 2021. The purpose of this project was both to increase and improve the assimilation of competences that are highly valued by companies.
The subject Configuration of Mechatronic Systems proposes that students acquire all the specific competences and skills in order to achieve this objective. In addition to all of them, students must develop collaborative work skills in transdisciplinary environments, as is the case of companies. For this reason, it has been proposed an ambitious project that, in a synchronous and asynchronous way, involves the participation of other higher level training cycles such as Industrial Automation and Robotics, Multi-platform Applications Development and Computer Network Systems Management.
This experience will provide our students with an opportunity of working with other students who have a different training and vision of the same project. The groups of students from other higher level training cycles will participate in a collaborative way with the specific competences during the weeks dedicated to work our integrated project.
The proposed mission will be the design and construction of a manufacturing line that produces an award based on the Florida Universitària logo. This design is the first creation of the Florida Universitària Tulipa logo with a design that contains the golden ratios, and its curves are made with the Fibonacci Sequence.
The project consists of an installation that generates the production process of this award; the production data is uploaded to a cybersecure space in the cloud via industrial communications and the data can also be viewed in real time from a mobile application.
Will 33 students, from different training cycles, learn to coordinate with each other in their pursuit of a common goal?

Author/s: Sandra Didović Baranac, Daniela Falkoni-Mjehović, Anja Vlahov

Institution: University of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Abstract:  Research in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) has indicated that foreign language motivation and foreign language anxiety (FLA) are important affective learner factors in foreign language learning. According to Gardner (1985) motivation in SLA is the extent to which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity. Recent research into motivation has been done by Dörnyei (2005; 2019) who emphasizes the individualistic aspect of motivation which involves ideal L2 self, ought-to self, and learning experiences. Foreign language anxiety is defined as a distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviours related to classroom language learning arising from the uniqueness of the language learning process (Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope, 1986). The findings in SLA have shown that motivation correlates negatively with anxiety (Gardner, 1985; Csizér and Dörnei, 2005; Papi, 2010; Liu and Huang, 2012; Liu and Zhang, 2013) and that motivation and FLA can affect language learning outcomes. The paper aims to provide an insight into motivation and FLA of Croatian high school learners who learn English, German, and Spanish as foreign languages in a formal Croatian educational context. Two research instruments were applied in the study. The first instrument was a questionnaire used to collect data on participants’ attitudes and motivation for foreign language learning. The instrument was developed in Hungary and validated in Croatia in the study conducted by Mihaljević Djigunović and Bagarić (2007). The questionnaire was adapted for this study in order to investigate the motivation for learning English/German/Spanish. The second instrument was CROEFLA (Croatian English as a Foreign Language Anxiety Scale, Mihaljević Djigunović, et al., 2004). The questionnaire was adapted to collect data on learners’ English/German/Spanish anxiety. The findings of the research will enable foreign language teachers to gain an insight into the importance of motivation and FLA as important individual factors in foreign language learning and foreign language teaching and may have important practical implications for English, German and Spanish teachers in the Croatian socio-educational context

Author/s: Rosario, López Contreras

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract: The present study investigates the use of ICT technologies in the field of collaborative learning through multicultural exchanges, more concretely inside Erasmus+ projects, where the use of digital technologies has become an essential task when designing, developing, and implementing work routines. The investigation also tries to establish the training necessities of both teachers and students involved in the projects, since the concept of digital gap has become a major issue concerning the participation in these activities. Digital tools can democratise the participation in multicultural activities regardless of the socioeconomic environment of the participants and they can be helpful when adapting the learning process to each individual, therefore knowing the strengths and weaknesses detected becomes an important item to take into account.
To measure the impact of ICT tools in Erasmus+ projects and the needs detected on teachers and students, a questionnaire was filled by 38 participants from 21 schools around the territory of the Comunitat Valenciana which participated in Erasmus+ actions in the last years. The questionnaire was composed by 3 blocks of questions: the first one aimed at teachers, the second one focused on the necessities perceived by teachers on the students participating in multicultural actions, and the last one aimed at knowing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the implementation of the projects. The main findings reveal that training in the use of ICT tools constitute a weakness and a principal necessity; as a consequence they need to be taken into account when trying to implement this kind of activities. In relation to teachers, the digital gap is actually perceived, so choosing the appropriate tool in the different phases of the project becomes crucial. Regarding students the investigation shows that the concept of digital native doesn’t imply that they have complex technological abilities; they also need training. Finally, it is concluded that the use of ICT tools does help to personalise and democratise learning

Author/s: Abraham Cerveró, Edna González, Emma Vidal, Anna Chover

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  This paper describes an experience of coordination and mutual support of higher education lecturers on the design and completion of a challenge-based multidisciplinary learning project in pre-service training named as Project TILC. Future teachers teamed up with up to five classmates and carried out two assignments. On the one hand, they produced a lesson plan for primary education students that should put together contents from Maths or Social Sciences and one of the languages in the Valencian educational system: English, Spanish and Valencian/Catalan. In order to do so, pre-service primary school teachers got familiar with the local curriculum for primary education and developed their planning skills by designing a task in which they followed a pluriliteracies approach. On the other hand, the second assignment consisted of presenting their lesson plan in front of a panel of experts and their peers. The higher education practitioners’ perceptions report on different aspects of the experience such as the actions taken to organise the challenge, the impact on the development of competences and the completion and assessment of lesson plans and pre-service teachers’ performances in the oral presentation. The results highlight higher education lecturers’ needs for regular meeting, their efforts to find common grounds for the design of lesson plans and the consensus reached to adapt the criteria for the assessment of both assignments. Moreover, the project improved their knowledge of the teaching principles and contents to cover in the linguistic and non-linguistic areas. Pre-service teachers suggested that the project required even more coordination from their lecturers and stated that more time was needed for lesson planning

Author/s: Laura Maria Briggs Fonseca, Rosario Albert Martin-Gil, Sonia Comendador Martínez, Lucía García Seguí

Institution: Florida Universitaria, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The Covid -19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on education systems around the world. The closure of schools and other educational institutions has led to a restructuring of the way teachers develop their professional practice. In this context, this paper examines how the pandemic has affected English primary school teachers and provides a chronological overview of the hardships the education system faced.
A mixed-methods approach was followed. Several primary school English teachers were interviewed, and other practitioners completed a survey on methodological changes, as well as pupil assessment, families’ engagement with the school and the candidates’ ICT notions the teaching strategies they had used before and after they the Covid-19 lockdown. were collected.
Results seem to suggest that in the pre-COVID situation the most used teaching methods were CLIL, Project Based Learning and cooperative work. Finally, the assessment of students has varied in the different periods analyzed, where the use of rubrics, observation and assessment of assignments carried out in virtual learning environments have been predominant

Author/s: Patricia Guill-Garcia

Institution: Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  The affordances of Telecollaboration, or Virtual Exchange, have been attested in the literature, particularly in the last two decades (Hewitt & Brett, 2007; Su, Bonk, Magjuka, Liu & Lee, 2005). It has proven effective for the acquisition of communicative and intercultural competences (Belz, 2003: 68).

The aim of this study is to present an analysis of the Negotiation of Meaning (NoM) episodes found in three audiovisual telecollaborative interactions. The study was conducted within the context of the VELCOME project, where a telecollaborative videoconference partnership between Japanese and Spanish university students was carried out. The aim was to identify the types of NoM employed and determine their relevance from a communicative point of view within these telecollaborative exchanges.

To do this, the corpus was analysed using a mixed-methods methodology, in which the quantitative results provide the basis for the subsequent qualitative analysis of the data. The NoM episodes were analysed based on Smith’s (2003, 2005) expansion of the NoM model formulated by Varonis and Gass (1985) to accommodate online settings. In addition, the triggers were classified into attended and unattended, and, subsequently, into resolved and unresolved. More detailed insights into the nature of these interactions are provided through the observation of the strategies employed by students in the resolution stage of the NoM model, based on Clavel Arroitia’s (2019) categorization of resolution strategies.

The results show that NoM episodes represent a relevant portion of the interactions (50,46% of the whole corpus), emphasizing the significance of these breakdowns in communication. Furthermore, it was found that a high percentage of the triggers were attended (64,53%) and resolved (93,24%), although a substantial number of triggers of a purely linguistic nature were unattended, which implies that students perceive language as a functional tool in these interactions. Finally, the salient presence of strategies such as confirmations, clarification requests, comprehension checks, gestures, and changes of mode leads to fluid interactions and efficient task completion. These findings provide further information about the nature of interactions in telecollaboration through videoconferencing, which seem to show that they resemble real life interaction to a certain extent.


Author/s: Stefano Corradi, Vida Drąsutė

Institution:  VsI eMundus, Kaunas, Lithuania

Abstract:  Widespread diffusion of digital technologies has brought considerable attention to the adoption of video games in education. Many experts and scholars researching this topic advocate for their use, while more and more tech-companies are turning their interest towards the development of educational video games. Although research on educational video games has become quite common, some strands appear under researched. It is the case of “Visual Novels” or VN, which are narratively driven games with an emphasis on player choices. Differently from other game genres, VN are characterized by their minimal gameplay, mainly constituted by text and static or sprite-based visual. Despite its educational value, this particular genre has been somewhat overlooked. The present paper will aim to partially fill the gap by illustrating VN’s educational potential. It is contended that their features make VN an ideal mean for the delivery of teaching practices based on Experiential Learning. Taking this into account, it will be illustrated a framework for the design of an educational VN aiming to teach Financial Literacy (FinLit). The proposed framework will be adopted within the Erasmus+ project Promotion of FINancial literacy in primary and secondary EDUcation through gamification and DIGItal storytelling (DigiFinEdu), which, among its results, will develop a VN for teaching FinLit to 3rd – 6th grade pupils

Author/s:  Carlos González Ballester, José Manuel Guevara Sánchez, José Luis Soler Domínguez

Institution:  Florida Universitària, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Procedural content generation has been used for years in video games and interactive experiences in order to generate open worlds and reduce production costs. In this paper we introduce a new procedural 3D content generation technique. It is based on the real-time analysis of any captured audio. This proposal allows creating both terrains or any game object through this audio analysis. This makes it possible to dynamically adapt the user experience or the difficulty of a game depending on the music or audio playing at any moment. We also make use of Perlin Noise in order to generate the content maintaining spatial and temporal coherence in this creation.

The combination of the audio information and the Perlin Noise used as a map of probabilities provides a customization of the user experience making a game completely different depending on each music or audio. Moreover, the audio input can be captured real-time, for example by playing an instrument or recording speech. This way the user can have different experiences of the same game or interactive application. We present results for both procedural terrain generation and the creation of different game elements, such as hazards or bonus. All this work has been integrated in Unity and has been tested with several audios and content

Author/s:  Felipe Sánchez, Jorge Villagrasa, Colin Donaldson

Institution:  EDEM Centro Universitario, Valencia (Spain)

Abstract:  Codigames is a young Spanish smartphone game company with an unusual ability to create successful free-to-play videogames, in a short period of time and easily scalable.
The firm is already considered as one of Europe’s start-ups with more potential to become a unicorn in the next years, and despite being only 9 years old, it has put up some impressive numbers: recording multi-million quarter revenues; with less than 60 workers; and reaching the number one spot in the US videogames market.
The secret of this accomplishment is based on, firstly, a radical strategic shift from the classic vision of ‘author games’ (hardcore style) where the company started to compete in the first moment, towards a more general and democratized vision of gaming (casual style), therefore reaching the great mass of players who usually look for more collaborative and social games. Normally, these types of games are quite easy to handle and understand, presenting a similar gameplay which, not only extends the life cycle of the games, but also improves the bond and money expended by the user.
Secondly, on the work methodology applied, where several games (that apparently seem individual pieces) are developed at the same time, reusing the technological development and players’ know-how gained in previous projects in order to, therefore, generate quick and quality launches.
And thirdly, on their ability to carefully and in detail monitor, through statistics and data analytics, the success or failure of the different games, selecting and replicating its projects accordingly and improving the parts that do not achieve the desired performance.
So far, Codigames is the most successful company of ‘Marina de Empresas’, a unique consolidated business ecosystem placed in Valencia (Spain) and formed by a business school, a start-up accelerator, and an investment vehicle gathered in what has become as one of the most important and vibrant entrepreneurial hubs of the Mediterranean area.
The case allows the discussion of important concepts such as how an entrepreneurial company can scale in size while retaining the ‘power of being small’, how the environment (understood as entrepreneurial ecosystem and financial circumstances) can support and act as a lever for change, the importance and types of strategic change within a firm, the relevance of implementing ambidextrous management styles to apply them, and the understanding of the current videogame market deeply affected by the new paradigm driven by the increase of data-user privacy protection.

Author/s:  Francisco Carrasco Girbés, Carlos González Ballester, José Luis Soler Domínguez

Institution:  Florida Universitària, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Virtual reality allows users to experience aspects of real life in a controlled environment, giving them the feeling of being protected as their body is not “in danger”. It is therefore a great technology to expose people that suffer from any phobia. According to some studies, even a real exposure shows high effectiveness, people usually prefer VR treatment for being exposed to their fears, rather than therapy.
The main objective of this project is to study the evolution and hypothetical progress of people suffering from a phobia. To do this, we make use of a backend that stores important information, such as age, genre, level of phobia or heart rate variability (HRV). This project consists of a VR serious game, in which users have the possibility to choose between some phobias, such as agoraphobia and arachnophobia, and a level of exposure to them being able to change it during the session. All the information gathered will provide us with relevant information to determine the users’ anxiety level when facing their fears, making case studies for improving this type of experience. This project has been developed to be used with Oculus, but with the possibility of being integrated with other devices

Author/s:  Andrea Schöniger Tiburcio, Carlos González Ballester, José Luis Soler Domínguez, Vicent Ramírez Luzón

Institution:  Florida Universitària, Valencia, Spain

Abstract:  Humanity has always been driven by creativity, an aptitude unique to our species that allows us to seek new ways to solve problems. Boredom is no exception, as our mind have always sought an activity to entertain itself, thus the need to play was born. This innate need has been reflected throughout history from the first board games to the latest technological advances, such as Virtual Reality. The study of games inevitably arises to make playing attractive, entertaining and even educational and immersive. This study is known as game design, which despite still being unexplored, more and more researchers are joining the research of the complexity of the human mind and its deep relationship with games.
Unfortunately, as it happened in other sectors originally considered «for men», there have been countless cases of women who have remained in the shadows after having make great advances in the videogame industry. The fact that videogames have always been considered masculine products has acted as a blindfold on women who do not even consider studying or dedicating themselves to them. We must not forget that the ability to make a good video game, beyond the tireless study of a constantly growing industry, consists of effort, affection, and dedication, which have no relation to gender.
This article covers the history of the art of game design, which is intended to give visibility to women who make up the industry and thus encourage other women to be part of the growing community of game development

Author/s:  M. Ciechan Kujawa, K. Goldmann

Institution:  Nikolas Copernikus University, Torun, Poland

Abstract:  The article concerns the financial sector analysis of enterprises in the electronic games industry in Poland. The COVID-19 pandemic is perceived to have had a significant impact on improving the performance and attractiveness of the entire sector. Additionally, it constituted an important impulse for the long-term development of the gaming market. The article aims to diagnose the significance of the impact of the pandemic as a contextual factor on the development of the sector based on the assessment of changes in key financial parameters of companies in the electronic games industry listed on the Stock Exchange and New Connect. The comparative analysis covered the financial data of 71 companies from the two years before the 2018-2019 pandemic and the two years before the 2020-2021 pandemic. The conducted literature research, analysis of financial statements and methods of descriptive statistics showed that although most of the financial indicators of the sector improved significantly, it was a short-term effect, noticeable especially during the lockdown period. Since the third quarter of 2020, lifting the government’s social distancing restrictions has weakened the positive tendency. Such a situation would indicate that the pandemic may be seen as a supporting factor but not a key factor for the attractiveness and development of the electronic games industry. A wide product offer and effective product promotion remain the critical factors for dominance and financial success in the electronic games sector