Tjaša Redek, Tomaž Čater, Barbara Čater, Matej Černe, Matjaž Koman
The world had only just bounced back from the 2009 crisis when in 2020 COVID-19 triggered one of the biggest crises in almost a century, according to the OECD (2020b), causing a major disruption to world health, economic activity, well-being, and jobs. Estimated GDP performance in 2020 shows the 27 members of the European Union on average lost 6.1% of GDP compared to 2019 and around 660,000 jobs, despite substantial government support. The greatest decline was seen in Italy, losing almost 11% of GDP over 2019. Spain, Greece, and Croatia lost 8% or more of GDP, being hit largely due to their dependence on tourism. CEE economies lost between 2.7% (Poland) and 5.6% (Slovenia) of GDP (Eurostat, 2021). While aggregate estimates have been available for a few months, very little evidence can be found on the crisis’ impact on the firm level and the contribution made by various factors to differences in firm performance in 2019.
Businesses today are facing fiercely competitive global environments and firms use widespread mass production of goods and services for lower cost and larger market shares to sustain their survival and growth (Shalley & Gilson, 2017). Therefore, a job design and characteristic of standardization has long been adopted to stifle production variation by individual employees and to maintain output consistency, effectiveness and efficiency (Koval et al., 2019; Luoh et al., 2014; Shalley & Gilson, 2017). Job standardization has long been recognized and shown to be essential for production efficiency and best-practice reasons (Shalley & Gilson, 2017). However, Keeley (1988) maintained that organizations have a fundamental tension between the goal of efficiency and the goal of morality and struggle for a delicate balance between these competing objectives.
Anastasiia Mazurchenko, Martin Zelenka, Kateřina Maršíková
The high pace of strategic and organisational changes in the current financial services sector is not only caused by the fundamental transformation in the institutional and competitive environment but also by the rapid expansion of technological innovations (Menshikova et al., 2017). The restructuring of the modern labour market and traditional human resources qualification requirements is to a large extent impacted by Industry 4.0 (Smirnova et al., 2019) that is directly connected with a transformation of knowledge sharing processes, data processing and integration and value orientation, which the companies consider essential for their success (Blštáková et al., 2020). Customer centricity, personalisation, mobility and agile corporate culture are becoming key factors to ensure an innovative pace of development in the digital environment (Ajupov et al., 2019). In this regard, the demand for highly educated specialists directly involved in customer service in banking and insurance institutions has been increasing especially as a lack of a qualified workforce is among the most important drivers for Industry 4.0 (Stentoft & Rajkumar, 2020).
Marcela-Sefora Nemțeanu, Vasile Dinu, Rebeka-Anna Pop, Dan-Cristian Dabija
Since December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread rapidly on a global scale (WHO, 2021), strongly affecting organizations from all sectors of activity. Employees, in particular (ILO, 2020), have been forced to quickly alter their work behaviors and manner of working, being obliged to abandon commuting to the workplace and resort to large-scale remote working (Nemțeanu et al., 2021a). The pandemic has made its strongest imprint on the sector of services (Fernandes, 2020), for whom teleworking has become ‘the new normal’ (Belzunegui-Eraso & Erro-Garcés, 2020; Nemțeanu & Dabija, 2021). This new context has dramatically altered task performance – employee productivity having been strongly affected due to the time needed to adapt to the new reality and working conditions (Belzunegui-Eraso & Erro-Garcés, 2020).
Ivan-Damir Anić, Ivana Rašić, Zoran Aralica
Industrial clusters have been considered a successful form of firms’ organisation, and an instrument for increasing the competitiveness and growth of the region and firms’ performance (Aranguren et al., 2013; Abdesslem & Chiappini, 2016; Stojčić et al., 2019; Pecze, 2019). The idea behind cluster formation and its promotion is that firms benefit from agglomeration effects due to knowledge and technology spillovers, input and output sharing, and location externalities (Maffioli et al., 2016). Cluster organisations should facilitate collaboration among firms, scientific and public actors, networking, inter-firm linkages, sharing of information, resources, and knowledge to build new growth opportunities, and overcome coordination failures (Maffioli et al., 2016). Past research has examined the impact of clusters on firm performance in various industries and the wood industry as well, indicating that cluster membership has a positive impact on firms’ survival, innovation activities and performance – exports, productivity, and sales (e.g., Strøjer et al., 2003; Tödtling & Trippl, 2004; Wennberg & Lindqvist, 2008; Eisingerich et al., 2010; Abdesslem & Chiappini, 2016; Stojčić et al., 2019).