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ETHICS IN BUSINESS AND COMMUNICATION: COMMON GROUND OR INCOMMENSURABLE?

Tomas Kačerauskas

The discourse – conversation – surrounding ethics has its roots in the Socratic and Platonic tradition, which displaced that of the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Thales and Anaximander. Taking a rationalist approach, i.e. the inseparability of ethics from knowledge, Socrates and Plato entirely changed the landscape in terms of the epistemological discourse. Plato (2006) develops the idea of Socratic rationalistic ethics and considers good (alongside beauty) and justice as fundamental to reality. Aristotle (2011) holds that wise decisions are an indication of a virtuous way of life and a social order that is just. Unsurprisingly, in his view ethics is the common, indissoluble link between individual activity and social relations. Similarly, for Thomas Aquinas (1948-1949), ethics encompasses rules that govern our actions and virtues, both of which are milestones for the individual. Immanuel Kant (1997) stresses the rationalistic principle of ethics by appealing to practical reason, i.e. reason as a guide to practical activity.
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THE LEVEL OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AS A CONSTANT CHALLENGE FOR COMPANY MANAGEMENT – AN EMPIRICAL RESEARCH IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND POLAND

Marcela Sokolova, Vaclav Zubr, Anna Cierniak-Emerych, Szymon T. Dziuba

Due to the pressure of global competition, shortened product-life cycles and the increasing opportunity to imitate product designs or their elements, companies continuously focus on innovations as one of their main agenda in order to maintain their global or national competitiveness. Besides, these innovations are considered as an ultimate source of productivity improvement, the growth in sales volume, and the capability of a company in question to stay competitive on the global market (Liao, Hu, Chen, & Lin, 2015). Companies perceive the need to continuously adapt, develop, and innovate as an economic necessity that results from global market pressures. The enhancement of product design and quality, accessorial technological services, their accessibility and reliability are no longer only seen as a benefit but rather an ultimate condition for the sustainability of company competitiveness.
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AN EXPANDED CONCEPTUALIZATION OF “SMART” CITIES: ADDING VALUE WITH FUZZY COGNITIVE MAPS

Bárbara P. Miguel, Fernando A. F. Ferreira, Audrius Banaitis, Nerija Banaitienė, Ieva Meidutė-Kavaliauskienė, Pedro F. Falcão

The world’s population continues to increase rapidly, and, within the next 30 years, more than half of all people will choose to live in large urban centers (Faria et al., 2018). This has led to a number of problems, such as congested people and transportation traffic and increased pollution that produces climate change. The concept of “smart” cities has emerged as a way to deal with these issues, in which these cities are defined as an ecosystem that seeks to improve citizens’ quality of life through a combination of technology, sustainability, and physical infrastructures (Estrada et al., 2018). Smart cities have to use new technologies ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT), which facilitates connections between everything, to home automation (i.e., the ease with which citizens can manage daily routines through their homes).
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ALTERNATIVE MEASURES OF MACROECONOMIC IMBALANCES IN THE EU – DESIGN AND VERIFICATION

Stanislav Kološta, Pavol Kráľ, Filip Flaška

Years 2008 and 2009 were particularly affected by the outbreak of the global economic recession which in addition to economic instability was also affected by political instability. Economies of most countries in the world felt the impact of the financial crisis, not excluding the EU countries. Since the start of the crisis, there has been a substantial reduction in the EU’s growth potential. In the EU, this was reflected at the macro-level by 4.74% GDP reduction in 2009 (Campos-Soria, Inchausti-Sintes & Eugenio-Martin, 2014). The high levels of external liabilities and private and public debt in many countries in the EU still constitute substantial vulnerabilities for growth, jobs and financial stability. The development of various indicators at micro and macro levels in times of last crisis in various countries was investigated by several authors (Campos-Soria, Inchausti-Sintes, & Eugenio-Martin, 2015; Gugler, Weichselbaumer, & Zulehner, 2015; Zhao, Jiang, & Li, 2014; Tatulescu & Patruti, 2014; Mazurek & Mielcová, 2017; Klepáč & Hampel, 2018).
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POLICIES TO PROMOTE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) AND ASSESSMENT OF CSR IMPACTS

Jintao Lu, Licheng Ren, Wenfang Lin, Yifan He, Justas Streimikis

When implementing sustainable development principles, business should play the core role, and the corporate social responsibility is one of the examples of the active role of enterprises in implementing sustainable development goals. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) describes the companies that are aware of their mission and take responsibility for their impact on society in general. The CSR is vital for sustainability, competitiveness, advance of companies and development of the world economy. The CSR provides benefits for risk controlling, allows cost savings and stipulates affordability of the capital, facilitates stakeholders’ relationships and improvement of human resource management. In practice, human rights and corporate social responsibility have become an important aspect of business strategies for many companies.
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THE IMPACT OF TQM PRACTICES ON KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM AUTOMOTIVE DEALERSHIPS

Omar Sabbagh, Mohd Nizam Ab Rahman, Wan Rosmanira Ismail, Wan Mohd Hirwani Wan Hussain

The After-Sales (AS) service is becoming a strategic business driver to maintain longterm customer retention, customer satisfaction and capital revenue in such a manner that it guarantees the continuous improvement of products and services offered to customers; AS market is up to five times larger than the new product market (Bundschuh & Dezvane, 2003), whilst it is widely agreed that the turnover of the original purchase can be tripled during the product lifespan by investing in AS services. Consequently, performance of the after-sales department should be well measured and monitored to achieve a balance between the business and the operational goals on the one hand, and their assessed values on the other (Cavalieri et al., 2007).
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ESTIMATION OF INTERNATIONAL TAX PLANNING IMPACT ON CORPORATE TAX GAP IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Lukáš Moravec, Jan Rohan, Jana Hinke

The issue of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) caused by multinational companies is a potential important impediment to tax collections. Because tax planning schemes utilized gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax jurisdiction where there is insufficient of no economic activity (Hines, 2014; OECD, 2017). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has estimated the general annual revenue loss of USD 100 to 240 billion due to the BEPS OECD (2017). Dharmapala and Riedel (2013) focused on tax motivated income shifting between parent companies and their affiliates. The parent companies have almost 60% affiliates established in low-tax jurisdictions. It resulted in profit shifting from the high-tax parent companies’ jurisdictions to the low-tax affiliates’ jurisdictions where the profit is taxed with the lower tax rate.
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DECISION TREE MODELLING OF E-CONSUMERS’ PREFERENCES FOR INTERNET MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS DURING BROWSING

Jolanta Sabaitytė, Vida Davidavičienė, Jarmila Straková, Jurgita Raudeliūnienė

The rapid development of information communication technologies (ICT) has expanded the possibilities for marketing communication. In order to increase business competitiveness and carry out effective marketing activities, it has therefore become important to acquire knowledge about e-consumers and to identify significant elements that shape their virtual behaviour and influence their decision to buy. An analysis of scientific literature revealed that there is a gap in knowledge with regards to the e-consumer behaviour of different generations, as customer segments, and their preferences in the purchase phase. The purchase phase is characterised by different internet marketing communication elements, which influence the performance of browsing and searching tasks. The goal of the research presented in this article was to determine the most significant internet marketing communication elements during the purchase phase of the e-consumer journey by performing a browsing task and using the mathematical decision tree approach.
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A NONLINEAR DYNAMIC MODEL FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURISM DEMAND ON THE SPANISH MEDITERRANEAN COASTS

Isabel Albaladejo, Maribel González-Martínez

The Mediterranean is one of the main destinations for international tourism in Spain. According to the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE, 2016), more than half of international tourists staying at hotels chose the Mediterranean coastal provinces as a destination in 2015. Spain has about 3,500 km of Mediterranean coastline (INE, 2016). As shown in Fig. 1, these kilometers are distributed between the peninsular coast (2,058 km) and the archipelago of the Balearic Islands (1,428 Km). Tourism is an important economic sector on the Spanish Mediterranean coasts and it has become one of the most important sources of employment. For example, in Balearic Islands the tourism sector contributed 44.8% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and created 150,346 jobs (32.0% of total), in 2014.
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THE ROLE OF COUNTRY GOVERNANCE ON VALUE-ADDED TAX AND INEQUALITY

Sok-Gee Chan, Zulkufl y Ramly

Rising income inequality is a growing concern for governments due to its adverse effect on the poverty level, income distribution, social and institutional stability, which in turn impede the economic growth and may lead to political instability. Taxation has long been regarded as the key instrument in a fiscal policy to reduce income inequality via the redistribution of tax revenues to finance public goods and to correct for market-income inequality (Atkinson, 1991). Although prior studies have extensively investigated the effect of taxation on income inequality (Martinez-Vazquez et al., 2012), the findings are inconclusive especially in developing countries (Bird & Zolt, 2014).
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