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Evaluating the impact of environmental factors on the international competitiveness of Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the Western Balkans
Goran Andzelic, Vladimir Dzakovic, Bojan Lalić, Danica Zrnic, Iztok Palčič, 2011, original scientific article

Abstract: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with an export potential face significant obstacles in gaining international competitiveness, due to the highly dynamic environment in which they operate. This study evaluates the impact of environmental factors on international competitiveness of the Western Balkans SMEs by identifying the key pairs of environmental factors and factors of international competitiveness, which facilitate an increase in international competitiveness of these firms. The paper also studies the importance of strategic planning and decision making process in the Western Balkans SMEs. Research is based on a questionnaire conducted on the representative sample of SMEs in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period September 2008 to March 2009. The findings of the research indicate which significant environmental factors have an impact on gaining the international competitiveness of the Western Balkans SMEs, therefore offering sound basis for strategic positioning and further gaining of competitive advantage.
Keywords: international competitiveness, small and medium enterprises, strategic positioning, environmental factors, Western Balkans
Published: 01.06.2012; Views: 1576; Downloads: 19
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Phase equilibria in systems containing [alpha]-tocopherol and dense gas
Mojca Škerget, Petra Kotnik, Željko Knez, 2003, original scientific article

Abstract: Solubility of ▫$alpha$▫-tocopherol in CO2 and propane was determined at temperatures 303, 313, 333 and 353 K and over a pressure range from 79 to 286 bar for CO2 and 16 to 112 bar for propane. A static-analytic method was applied. The solubility of ▫$alpha$▫-tocopherol in dense CO2 under the conditions investigated was in the range of 0.2-17.0 mg/g CO2. The maximal solubilities of ▫$alpha$▫-tocopherol in propane were approximately up to ten times higher than in CO2 and were in the range from 38.9 to 171.9 mg/g propane. Phase equilibrium data for Milk Thistle seed oil in supercritical CO2 were determined at temperatures 313, 333 and 353 K and pressures ranging from 100 to 300 bar. The oil was previously additionally vitaminized and contained 1.9 wt.% of ▫$alpha$▫-tocopherol and 1.7 wt.% of free fatty acids (FFA). The solubility of oil in CO2 was in the range from 1.3 to 17.9 mg/g CO2. The distribution coefficients of ▫$alpha$▫-tocopherol and FFA between light and heavy phase were determined on a solvent free basis. The obtained separation factors increased with temperature and pressure to approximately 160-200 bar and decreased with a further increase of pressure.
Keywords: chemical processing, supercritical fluids, phase equilibria, separation factors, vitamin E, CO2, dense gases
Published: 01.06.2012; Views: 1034; Downloads: 18
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Evaluation of stress intensity factors using finite elements
Boštjan Zafošnik, Zoran Ren, Miran Ulbin, Jože Flašker, 2002, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The paper describes a suitability of Virtual Crack Extension (VCE) method for numerical simulation of crack propagation under mixed mode loading. The suitability of VCE method was determined using The Compact-Tension-Shear (CTS), which is subjected to fracture Mode I, Mode II or mixed mode (Mode I + Mode II) loading. In mixed mode the crack kinks when fracture crack growth occurs. Kink angle is determined with VCE method, which is an energy method, maximum tangential stress (MTS) criterion, strain energy density (SED) criterion and experimental results. Determination of crack propagation angle using MTS and SED criterion is based in regard to the stress intensity factors KI and KII. Stress intensity factors are determined using the maximum energy release rate theory using complex J integral, crack opening displacement method and method of stresses extrapolation. Bigger is the rate between KII and KI, crack path, determined with VCE method, propagates more slowly to the kink angle, determined with experiment. The computational results show that the VCE method is suitable for crack propagation, when KI around the crack tip is dominant. In case where KII is dominant, crack does not kink immediately as in other two criteria. When KII dominates around a crack tip, MTS criterion is the most appropriate for determination of kink angle.
Keywords: fracture mechanics, stress intensity factors, CTS specimen, crack propagation, virtual crack extension method, strain energy density criterion, maximum tangential stress criterion
Published: 01.06.2012; Views: 1536; Downloads: 17
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The quest for genetic risk factors for Crohn's disease in the post-GWAS era
Karin Fransen, Mitja Mitrovič, Cleo C van Diemen, Rinse K. Weersma, 2011, review article

Abstract: Multiple genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and two large scale meta-analyses have been performed for Crohn's disease and have identified 71 susceptibility loci. These findings have contributed greatly to our current understanding of the disease pathogenesis. Yet, these loci only explain approximately 23% of the disease heritability. One of the future challenges inthis post-GWAS era is to identify potential sources of the remaining heritability. Such sources may include common variants with limited effect size, rare variants with higher effect sizes, structural variations, or even more complicated mechanisms such as epistatic, gene-environment and epigeneticinteractions. Here, we outline potential sources of this hidden heritability, focusing on Crohn's disease and the currently available data. Wealso discuss future strategies to determine more about the heritability; these strategies include expanding current GWAS, fine-mapping, whole genome sequencing or exome sequencing, and using family-based approaches. Despite thecurrent limitations, such strategies may help to transfer research achievements into clinical practice and guide the improvement of preventive and therapeutic measures.
Keywords: genetic risk factors, Crohn’s disease
Published: 05.06.2012; Views: 1116; Downloads: 83
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The impact of economic growth on the market and communication value of real estate
Igor Pšunder, Mirko Pšunder, Ksenija Golob, 2013, short scientific article

Abstract: In the last five years is on the Slovenian real estate market observed highly trend in market volatility in property prices. Developments in the housing market have drastically changed and also represent an important indicator of overall economic trends. There is a lot of factors that affect the market price of real estate. With research we were focus on the problem of the impactof economic growth in the market value of real estate in Slovenia. We were present trend of economic growth in the last decade and its impact on growth or decline in real estate transactions. We were also established if declining real estate transactions affect the provision of more and bigger discounts on the sale of real estate. Among the research parameters, we were presented as well as their interdependence. With constant monitoring of parameters and statistical methods, we were collect data on the impact of economic growth and offered discounts on the real estate market prices, for future periods. The aim of the research is to define those factors that need to be considered for the analytical prediction of the trend of market prices and selling real estate in the future.The results obtained will help real estate valuers in the drawing up of reports assessing the value of real estate.
Keywords: nepremičninski trg, ekonomska rast, cena nepremičnin, statistične metode, real estate market, economic growth, market factors, statistical method
Published: 10.07.2015; Views: 933; Downloads: 15
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Why European subordinates trust their managers
Jon Aarum Andersen, Jure Kovač, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: This article addresses the problem of why subordinates trust their managers based on the responses from 108 subordinates of seven Slovenian managers and from 138 subordinates of eight Swedish managers. The subordinates of these managers responded to a 20-item instrument tested for reliability and validity. In both samples the managers enjoyed different degrees of trust. The level of trust vested in Slovenian managers was higher than in Swedish ones. The kinds of managers’ actions that enhanced trust were similar amongst Swedish and Slovenian subordinates. Different socio-cultural contexts may theoretically explain why some other kinds of actions had contrasting effects between the samples. On the whole, the actions of managers explain trust in both countries. Subordinates’ trust in managers declines with the increasing hierarchical distance in both national samples. Managers need to show in action that they trust their subordinates, promote their interests, demonstrate appreciation of their subordinates, and solve problems.
Keywords: trust, managers, subordinates, societal factors, hierarchy
Published: 10.07.2015; Views: 383; Downloads: 156
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Importance of motivating factors for international mobility of students
Riko Novak, Anja Slatinšek, Gabrijel Devetak, 2013, original scientific article

Abstract: This article explores the importance of motivating factors for the international mobility of undergraduate students who participated in a mobility programme and completed part of their studies at selected higher education institutions. The empirical research was conducted on a population of 3,539 mobile undergraduate students, who took part in mobility programmes between 2006 and 2011 at three selected higher education institutions in three different European countries (1 - Germany: Duale Hochschule Baden‑Württemberg Karlsruhe, 2 - Norway: University of Tromsø, 3 - Slovenia: University of Primorska, Faculty of Management). The purpose of this article is to present the underlying motivating factors in relation to the selected institution on a sample of 288 undergraduate students during the period studied. On the basis of these findings, we came to the conclusion that most of the students participated in students’ mobility programmes especially to gain international study and life experiences. Furthermore, we established a statistically significant difference in the duration of a mobility period in connection with gender and the satisfaction with the mobility programme.
Keywords: international mobility, mobility motivating factors, higher education institution
Published: 30.12.2015; Views: 604; Downloads: 47
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Release of growth factors after mechanical and chemical pleurodesis for treatment of malignant pleural effusion
Aljaž Hojski, Maja Leitgeb, Anton Crnjac, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Growth factors are key inducers of fibrosis but can also mediate inflammatory responses resulting in increasing pleural effusion and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The primary aim of the study was to analyse growth factors release after performing chemical and mechanical pleurodesis in the first 48 hours at the patients with malignant pleural effusion. The secondary endpoints were to evaluate the effectiveness of the both pleurodeses, symptoms release and the quality of life of patients after the treatment. Patients and methods: A prospective randomized study included 36 consecutive female patients with breast carcinoma and malignant pleural effusion in an intention-to-treat analysis. We treated 18 patients by means of thoracoscopic mechanical pleurodesis and 18 patients by chemical pleurodesis with talcum applied over a chest tube. We gathered the pleural fluid and serum samples in the following 48 hours under a dedicated protocol and tested them for growth factors levels. A quality of life and visual analogue pain score surveys were also performed. Results: Median measured serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) level after chemical pleurodesis was 930.68 pg/ml (95% CI: 388.22-4656.65) and after mechanical pleurodesis 808.54 pg/ml. (95% CI: 463.20-1235.13) (p = 0.103). Median pleural levels of transforming growth factor (TGF) ß1 were higher after performing mechanical pleurodesis (4814.00 pg/ml [95% CI: 2726.51-7292.94]) when compared to those after performing chemical pleurodesis (1976.50 pg/ml [95% CI: 1659.82-5136.26]) (p = 0.078). We observed similar results for fibroblast growth factor (FGF) ß; the serum level was higher after mechanical pleurodesis (30.45 pg/ml [95% CI: 20.40-59.42]), compared to those after chemical pleurodesis (13.39 pg/ml [95% CI: 5.04-74.60]) (p = 0.076). Mechanical pleurodesis was equally effective as chemical pleurodesis in terms of hospital stay, pleural effusion re-accumulation, requiring of additional thoracentesis, median overall survival, but, it shortened the mean thoracic drainage duration (p = 0.030) and resulted in a higher symptoms release and in a better quality of life (p = 0.047). Conclusions: We recorded an increase in serum VEGF levels after chemical pleurodesis, however on the contrary, an increase in the pleural fluid level of TGF%1 and FGF%] after mechanical pleurodesis with respect to compared group. Although the differences did not reach statistical significance, VEGF, TGFß1 and FGFß remain the most interesting parameters for future research. Considering the mechanisms of growth factors action, we conclude that in our study group mechanical pleurodesis might be more efficient in terms of growth factors release, thoracic drainage duration and resulted in a higher symptoms release and in a better quality of life than chemical pleurodesis.
Keywords: malignant pleural effusion, pleurodesis, growth factors, quality of life
Published: 05.04.2017; Views: 552; Downloads: 45
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