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Presence of alien Prunus serotina and Impatiens parviflora in lowland forest fragments in NE Slovenia
Mirjana Šipek, Eva Horvat, Ivana Vitasović Kosić, Nina Šajna, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Temperate alluvial, riparian and lowland forests are the European forests with the greatest presence of invasive alien plants. Consequently, identifying the environmental conditions for and other drivers behind the establishment of invasive species in natural forest communities is crucial for understanding the invasibility of these habitats. We focused on fragments (patches) of Illyrian oak-hornbeam forest in NE Slovenia, which are the least studied in this regard. Because alien phanerophytes and therophytes are significantly over-represented compared to native plantsin lowland forests, we selected two representative invasives: the phanerophyte Prunus serotina and the therophyte Impatiens parviflora. By using logistic regression models on vegetation surveys, environmental data based on Ellenberg´s indicator values, and patch metrics, we identified patch characteristics explaining the presence of each species. Moreover, we included human impact in the models. We reveal significant characteristics differentiating P. serotina from I. parviflora. We also show that the perimeterarea ratio and soil nutrients of the forest patches correlate significantly with the presence of P. serotina, while human disturbance correlates significantly with the presence of I. parviflora. Our results and a similar approach for other invasive plant species can be applied to assess habitat invasibility on potential and species’ current geographic distribution, as well as to develop management plans.
Keywords: biological invasions, forest fragmentation, landscape metrics, habitat characteristics, human presence, anthropogenic factors, neophytes, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 12.07.2024; Views: 25; Downloads: 3
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Microplastic pollution in vulnerable karst environments : case study from the Slovenian classical karst region
Lara Valentić, Peter Kozel, Tanja Pipan, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Since the start of mass production of plastic materials more than a century ago, the problem of accumulating plastic waste in the environment has reached epic proportions. Recently, the problem of smaller plastic particles (microplastic, MP) in the environment has become a widely studied topic, but the amount and types of MP in karst environments are still poorly known. Thus, the objective of this study was to collect and analyse samples from various karst habitats and to try and determine the scope of pollution in karst springs that are in part used as sources for drinking water. Of the potential pollution sources, we sampled rainwater, two discharges from wastewater treatment plants, and a leachate from a landfill. We conducted polymer analyses of potential MP particles using FTIR-ATR. The results showed that eight samples from the Postojna region (Postojna–Planina Cave System, rainfall sample and surface streams) contain up to 444 MP particles per m3. However, 32 samples taken from the Škocjan–Kačna–Jama 1 v Kanjaducah Cave System contain up to 60,000 MP particles per m3, with the bulk of particles found in the sediment samples from Škocjan Caves – Kačna Cave System. Samples from Postojna region contained mostly PET, PU and PA polymers, with a minor inclusion of polymers of plastic sponge used for cleaning. Samples from Škocjan region contained mostly PP, PET and PE polymers, with some of PA and PU polymers. Sediment samples contained much less MP particles compared to water samples, which indicates fast transport through karst aquifer.
Keywords: caves, fibres, microplastic contamination, karst (geology), groundwater, pollution, plastics, aquifers, Postojna (Slovenia), Škocjan (Slovenia)
Published in DKUM: 12.07.2024; Views: 13; Downloads: 0
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Generation Z and ethicality of advancement in the workplace : a study of Slovenia and Lithuania
Zlatko Nedelko, Valentina Peleckiene, Kęstutis Peleckis, Kestutis K. Peleckis, Giedre Lapinskiene, Vojko Potočan, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The main purpose of this study was to examine the ethicality of future employees’ attitudes toward advancement in the workplace in Slovenia and Lithuania. This study focuses on students representing young adults from Generation Z as future employees in organizations. Using a survey of work-related issues, we collected 212 answers from Slovenian and 159 from Lithuanian' students from business faculties. We used t-tests and regression analyses to obtain results. We found that the future employees in Slovenia see organizationally beneficial behavior and self-indulgent behavior significantly more acceptable for their advancement, than their Lithuanian peers. No differences exist in the perception of destructive behavior among participants from both countries. Substantial differences in the importance of personal values ​​among Generation Z members in both societies, provide a strong support for the divergence nature of Generation Z across cultures. The impact of personal values on the ethicality of different behavior for advancement in the workplace among future employees in both societies is substantial, but biased and follows different patterns. In Slovenia, the dominant role has power, followed by hedonism, benevolence, security, conformity, tradition, and universalism, while in Lithuania, the dominant role belongs to self-direction, followed by tradition, universalism, security, achievement, and power. This study will help us to understand Generation Z values and their perceptions regarding ethicality of advancement in the workplace and enable organizations to manage the behavior of future employees.
Keywords: Generation Z, personal values, Slovenia, Lithuania, unethical practices, ethicality, behavior, advancement in the workplace
Published in DKUM: 11.07.2024; Views: 6; Downloads: 0
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SME top management perception of environmental uncertainty and gender differences during COVID-19
Sabina Veršič, Polona Tominc, Tjaša Štrukelj, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Environmental scanning has become increasingly crucial for an organisation’s existence and a matter of interest for scholars and professionals. This research presents an outline of the situation in the field of multidimensional environmental scanning, focusing on Slovenian micro, small and medium sized organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the paper aims to examine if top managers perceive the multidimensional (external) environment as uncertain and if there have been gender differences in multidimensional (external) environmental uncertainty perception during the COVID-19 pandemic. We researched the field of ecological, social, technological, economic, and political–legal environments. The nonparametric Mann–Whitney U test and descriptive statistics were used to test the research hypotheses. The results show that top managers are not aware enough of multidimensional environmental uncertainty. They do not perceive the ecological and social environment as unpredictable at all. Among the studied environments, they perceive the political–legal environment as most unpredictable. There are no statistically significant gender differences in perceptions of ecological, social, technological, economic, and political–legal environmental uncertainty. We suggest SME top managers pay more attention to environmental uncertainty and use environmental scanning methods to achieve more sustainable development.
Keywords: strategic management, environmental uncertainty, ecological environment, social environment, technological environment, economic environment, political–legal environment, SME top managers, COVID-19 pandemic, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 05.07.2024; Views: 75; Downloads: 15
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Crisis management and CSR in Slovenian companies : the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Duško Uršič, Andrej Smogavc Cestar, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The main aim of this article was to outline how the appearance of COVID-19 changed the global competitiveness of Slovenian companies through the lenses of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and crisis management. Based on concepts of CSR and crisis management, we analyzed the responses of companies to ensure their competitiveness in a crisis situation. Two surveys among managers in Slovenian companies were carried out, one in March 2020 (N = 618) and the other in May 2020 (N = 486). Our results showed that internationally oriented companies responded more comprehensively and proactively to the challenges of doing business in the COVID-19 crisis compared to the companies that had operated mainly in the domestic market during this period. The analysis also showed that internationally oriented companies responded to the COVID-19 crisis with more comprehensive measures also using the concept of CSR and crisis management in comparison with companies that, in the time of the pandemic, operated mainly in the domestic market and used fewer principles of CSR and crisis management. The main theoretical implications of this survey are related to CSR development. They emphasize the interdependent importance of experience and impact in international business in connection with the concept of CSR and crisis management in times of COVID-19. Practical implications include proposals to streamline operations to maintain competitiveness and to take advantage of new business opportunities and effects, which are also encouraged through the use of the CSR concept and crisis management.
Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, companies, competitiveness, CSR, crisis management, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 05.07.2024; Views: 71; Downloads: 15
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Electric vehicle charging stations coverage : a study of Slovenia
Klemen Prah, Mark Kmetec, Matjaž Knez, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: To promote the penetration of electric vehicles (EVs), it is of great importance to plan and construct charging stations rationally. In this sense, the state of Slovenia's charging station coverage was analysed. Using discrete and network geographic information system (GIS) models, with ArcGIS software, the density of electric vehicle charging stations (EVCSs), geographic distribution, nearness along a street network, and clustering analyses were performed. A survey conducted among Slovenian users of EVs supported the GIS analysis. It was found out that the distribution of EVCSs has an east-northeast to west-southwest directional trend. Only 13% of EVCSs are accessible from the nearest motorway at a distance of 500 meters or less. An insight into intrinsic clustering structure revealed 11 clusters of EVCSs from which the most distinct is the cluster on the area of Ljubljana. The scientific contribution of the research is in the integration of GIS, spatial analysis and the results of a survey to study the coverage of EVCSs in a certain region. Spatial analyses are carefully selected, and, in complementarity, give a comprehensive picture of EVCSs coverage. The research is important for further spatial planning of EVCSs.
Keywords: electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, spatial analysis, geographic information systems, GIS, logistics, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 02.07.2024; Views: 58; Downloads: 3
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The interplay of restaurant SMEs' entrepreneurial and environmental characteristics, management of the requisite assets, and operational efficiency
Tanja Planinc, Marko Kukanja, Anja Žnidaršič, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background/Purpose: SMEs are subject to different factors in the business environments that influence their business performance. Considering the importance of restaurants’ environmental characteristics, entrepreneurs can also, through their entrepreneurial characteristics, influence SMEsʼ management of the requisite assets (MRA). Accordingly, this study examines the influence of restaurant SMEs’ entrepreneurial (self-efficacy, orientation, and demographics) and environmental (location, size, and competition) characteristics on MRA and, consequently, on SMEs’ operational efficiency. Methods: Primary data relating to the environmental (location, size, and competition) and entrepreneurial (self-efficacy, orientation, and demographic) characteristics were obtained using a survey questionnaire, while the secondary data were obtained from SMEs’ official financial reports. The sample consists of 266 restaurant SMEs in the Republic of Slovenia. Efficiency was analysed using data envelopment analysis (DEA), and structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the research model. Results: The results indicate that environmental characteristics have a much more significant impact on MRA than entrepreneurial characteristics. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy and most demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, and experience) proved not to influence significantly MRA and, consequently, SMEs’ operational efficiency. Conclusion: SMEs’ external environment is generally not directly influenced by managerial decisions. Therefore, it is critical to strengthen the influence of the internal environment through an active development of entrepreneurial characteristics, which could result in a more effective MRA and higher efficiency. The conclusion provides suggestions for future research and valuable information for entrepreneurs, academia, and policymakers.
Keywords: SMEs, restaurant industry, Slovenia, efficiency, environmental and entrepreneurial characteristics, requisite assets
Published in DKUM: 28.06.2024; Views: 350; Downloads: 2
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Process evaluation of the scale-up of integrated diabetes and hypertension care in Belgium, Cambodia and Slovenia (the SCUBY Project) : a study protocol
Monika Martens, Edwin Wouters, Josefien Van Olmen, Zalika Klemenc-Ketiš, Srean Chhim, Savina Chham, Verle Buffel, Katrien Danhieux, Nataša Stojnić, Črt Zavrnik, Tonka Poplas-Susič, Win Van Damme, Por Ir, Roy Remmen, Grace Marie V Ku, Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch, Daniel Boateng, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction Integrated care interventions for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension (HT) are effective, yet challenges exist with regard to their implementation and scale-up. The ‘SCale-Up diaBetes and hYpertension care’ (SCUBY) Project aims to facilitate the scale-up of integrated care for T2D and HT through the co-creation and implementation of contextualised scale-up roadmaps in Belgium, Cambodia and Slovenia. We hereby describe the plan for the process and scale-up evaluation of the SCUBY Project. The specific goals of the process and scale-up evaluation are to (1) analyse how, and to what extent, the roadmap has been implemented, (2) assess how the differing contexts can influence the implementation process of the scale-up strategies and (3) assess the progress of the scale-up. Methods and analysis A comprehensive framework was developed to include process and scale-up evaluation embedded in implementation science theory. Key implementation outcomes include acceptability, feasibility, relevance, adaptation, adoption and cost of roadmap activities. A diverse range of predominantly qualitative tools—including a policy dialogue reporting form, a stakeholder follow-up interview and survey, project diaries and policy mapping—were developed to assess how stakeholders perceive the scale-up implementation process and adaptations to the roadmap. The role of context is considered relevant, and barriers and facilitators to scale-up will be continuously assessed. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been obtained from the Institutional Review Board (ref. 1323/19) at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp, Belgium). The SCUBY Project presents a comprehensive framework to guide the process and scale-up evaluation of complex interventions in different health systems. We describe how implementation outcomes, mechanisms of impact and scale-up outcomes can be a basis to monitor adaptations through a co-creation process and to guide other scale-up interventions making use of knowledge translation and co-creation activities.
Keywords: diabetes and hypertension care, Belgium, Cambodia, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 27.06.2024; Views: 71; Downloads: 2
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Self-legitimacy of police officers in Slovenia
Rok Hacin, Gorazd Meško, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Purpose – In recent years, several studies on self-legitimacy of police officers were conducted; however, few have tested the unstable nature of legitimacy in different time periods. This paper aims to focus on the self-legitimacy of police officers and its impact on pro-organizational behavior in 2013 and 2016. Design/methodology/approach – The study took place in eight regional police directorates in Slovenia. The number of participants amounted to 529 police officers in 2013 and 478 police officers in 2016 that have completed a paper and pencil survey that was pretested using a convenience sample of police officers studying as part-time undergraduate students. Findings – Overall findings revealed organizational commitment as the strongest predictor of self-legitimacy of police officers in Slovenia. The invariance of the “core variables” and their influence on the self-legitimacy of police officers in different time periods was confirmed. Their perception of individual legitimacy, organizational commitment, education and years of service influenced pro-organizational behaviors of police officers. Research limitations/implications – Limitations of the study can be seen in the sincerity of participating police officers and the nature of self-legitimacy, which operates differently in different societies. Practical implications – The results could be used for the improvement of policing in a young democratic country. Social implications – Legitimacy, procedural justice and other components of policing in a democratic society need to be tested globally, especially in young democracies. This study is an example of an ongoing, follow-up endeavor of researchers and the national police to reflect upon the development of policing. Originality/value – The paper has confirmed the invariance of relations with colleagues, supervisors’ procedural justice and audience legitimacy on the self-legitimacy in different time periods and societies.
Keywords: police, policing, self-legitimacy, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 17.06.2024; Views: 63; Downloads: 2
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Understorey species distinguish late successional and ancient forests after decades of minimum human intervention : a case study from Slovenia
Mirjana Šipek, Tim Ravnjak, Nina Šajna, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The main species composition drivers in temperate deciduous forests are environmental conditions, a stand's age and the site history, e.g., the succession stage and past land use, as well as disturbance regime and current management. We compared plant species diversity and composition in late successional and ancient forests, co-occurring on the same small river island applying species accumulation curves and nonmetric multidimensional scaling, respectively. Given the island's geomorphological characteristics, we expected these to be very similar before human intervention in the past. The forests experienced differing disturbance regimes in the past, while over the last 30 years, human intervention has been the same and reduced to a minimum. The ancient forest in this study had two major characteristics defining it as old, mature forest: continuity of presence for more than 200 years and specific composition. The late successional forest experienced major disturbance in the 20th century and was allowed natural regeneration by bordering on the ancient forest, representing a potential species pool, and by decades of minimum human intervention. Our results showed that, even though there was no difference in species richness, we could still detect differences between the forests, particularly in the abundance and species composition of the understorey, among which geophytes had the most indicative importance. To make our results useful on a broader scale, we composed from the literature a species list of plants indicative for ancient forest and tested its application. These results are important for distinguishing between old and mature secondary stands and particularly for identifying old forest stands, which should be conserved and, in the case of fragmented landscapes, included in a network connecting forest fragments.
Keywords: forest community, successional forest, indicator plants, plant diversity, understorey, geophyte, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 03.06.2024; Views: 113; Downloads: 0
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