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1.
Providing the success of Six Sigma by proper project identification and selection
Dušan Gošnik, Andrej Bertoncelj, 2010, original scientific article

Abstract: Results of Six Sigma projects are related to company performance. Successful Six Sigma projects increase customer satisfaction and have many other positive effects on organisations. Success of Six Sigma projects is related to key management decision about how to identify potential projects and which projects to select for final implementation. This research is oriented toward the study of tools used in the phase of Six Sigma project identification and criteria used in the phase of Six Sigma project selection. The purpose of this research is to compare results from manufacturing sector in Slovenia and the UK. Results of this study indicate that management within the organisations tend to identify potential Six Sigma projects with the use of different tools, such as: brainstorming (Slovenia and UK.), followed by Critical To Quality tree (UK.), and interviews and customer visits (Slovenia). Further, the results show that the final decision about Six Sigma projects selection in the UK and Slovenia include different criteria, such as: customer benefit (Slovenia and UK), finance impact (UK) and connection to business strategy (Slovenia). Many companies in the UK as well in Slovenia combine the use of tools and balanced selection criteria at the same time.
Keywords: Six Sigma, tools, criteria, identification, selection, project, management, Slovenia, United Kingdom
Published: 18.01.2018; Views: 24; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (364,20 KB)

2.
Psychosocial factors in the development of low back pain among professional drivers
Friderika Kresal, Tine Bertoncel, Maja Meško, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and purpose: Professional drivers as a group are exposed to high risk of developing low back pain due to ergonomic factors and work conditions. The purpose of the study was to examine to what extent the low back pain occurs among Slovene professional drivers as a result of the development of various psychosocial factors. Methodology: The study involved 275 respondents (professional bus drivers, car/van drivers, international truck/ lorry drivers, and ambulance car drivers). Hypotheses were tested using multivariate statistical method (regression analysis) and analysis of variance. Data were collected by structured questionnaire comprised of three parts: socio-demographic data, basic psychosocial factors causing low back pain, and incidence, duration and severity of low back pain as a result of psychosocial risk factors, was implemented. Results: The results of quantitative survey suggest that low back pain is mostly caused by lifting and carrying heavy loads, inadequate working conditions, poor physical fitness, regular nights out, shift work, and stress. Only the impact of gender on low back pain distress among professional drivers was confirmed, predominantly among bus drivers and lorry drivers on international routes. Low back pain occurrence was less common, albeit not statistically significant, among professional drivers of vans and passenger cars. Conclusion: Our study suggests that psychosocial factors are also important cause for the development of low back pain among professional drivers and can limit the quality of their social and professional lives.
Keywords: low back pain, psychosocial factors, professional drivers, prevention, Slovenia
Published: 18.01.2018; Views: 21; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (629,96 KB)

3.
Production control of a polymerization plant based on production performance indicators
Dejan Gradišar, Sebastjan Zorzut, Vladimir Jovan, 2008, original scientific article

Abstract: The specifics of process manufacturing have a great influence on production management. The focus of process-production control is to maintain stable and cost-effective production within given constraints. The synthesis of production-control structures is thus recognized as one of the most important design problems in process-production management. This article proposes a closed-loop control structure with the utilization of production-performance indicators (pPIs) as a possible solution to this problem. Suggested concept takes into account also economic issues of production. pPIs represent the translation of operating objectives, such as the minimization of production costs, to a reduced set of control variables that can then be used in a feedback control. The idea of production-feedback control using production pPIs as controlled variables was implemented on a procedural model of a production process for a polymerization plant. Preliminary results demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed methodology. At the implementation stage we must be aware that appropriate IT system has to be available which ensures needed online production data.
Keywords: production management, production control, production performance indicators, model-based control
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 24; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (963,78 KB)

4.
Predictors of users' satisfaction with E-payment system
Adeyinka Tella, Abdulmumin Isah, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and Purpose: Many organisations are using the e-payment system; however, its effectiveness has not been determined particularly in the Nigeria context. The University of Ilorin as educational organisation started using e-payment system in 2010 and up till now there has been limited or no study conducted to examine whether or not workers are satisfied with the new payment system together with other related ones they are familiar with. It is in the light of this that this study examined users’ satisfaction with the e-payment system at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Design/Methodology/Approach: A sample of 260 academic and non-academic staff was taken from six out 12 faculties that made up the university. Using a survey research approach data was collected with a modified questionnaire. Five research questions were developed to guide the study. Results: The results revealed that, respondents (93.5%) were adequately satisfied, satisfied and moderately satisfied, while, only (6.5%) of the respondents were less satisfied and dissatisfied. Perceived speed was identified as the characteristics users mostly satisfied with, followed by system security, traceability, and convenience. Moreover, there is significant correlation among the entire e-payment characteristics/factors (perceived speed, security, anonymity, traceability, perceived ease of payment, and convenience); and that all the six factors jointly predict users’ satisfaction with the e-payment system. In order of magnitude of the prediction/contribution to e-payment, users’ satisfaction, perceived speed made the most significant prediction/contribution. Conclusion: Based on the findings, the study concluded a considerable percentage of the respondents (93.5%) are satisfied with the e-payment system at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. In lieu of this therefore, there is need to improve the e-payment system so that all and sundry could be satisfied.
Keywords: users' satisfaction, e-commerce, electronic payment system (EPS), salary, University of Ilorin
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 22; Downloads: 1
.pdf Full text (548,21 KB)

5.
Practical applications of quality tools in Polish manufacturing companies
Beata Starzyńska, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and Purpose: Modern companies have found themselves in a situation where the ability for the dynamic adaptation to the changing market conditions is a key competitive advantage. Therefore they are continually searching for intensive ways of improvement of their processes and products. The basis for the implementation of such strategy is the efficient use of information resources. In quality management, appropriate tools and techniques equip decision-makers with information, necessary to take: correction, corrective, preventive, and finally – improvement actions. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper presents the results of the survey, conducted on a representative sample of manufacturing companies in Great Poland (region of Poland). The main goal of the survey was to ascertain, from the quality assurance perspective, what kind of problems, at which stage of production process are the most frequent and what kind of quality tools and techniques are used by practitioners for their solutions. Furthermore, the respondents evaluated the importance of appearing problems as well as the effectiveness of used tools. Results: The results of the survey show that quality tools are most frequently implemented at the manufacturing phase of the production process, then at the production set-up stage and measurement phase. On the manufacturing phase example it was shown, which of the tools included in the survey, are effectively used for problem solutions, concerning the process inputs, process performance and management of the processes. Conclusion: The obtained results allow contradicting the thesis spreading quality tools universality. In the context of production process stages, some of them are oriented towards selected phases and, such as, may be effectively used by practitioners.
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 19; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (700,50 KB)

6.
Perceived factors and obstacles to cognitive schema change during economic crisis
Ana Arzenšek, 2011, original scientific article

Abstract: The main objective is to present the perceived factors in cognitive schema change as experienced by participants from two Slovenian sectors and to compare them with factors from schema change theory in order to evaluate specific circumstances and obstacles to effective cognitive schema change. 31 interviews with participants from six companies were conducted twice during the 2008 economic crisis. The prevalent perceived antecedents of schema change lie within an organisation and in the business environment. Stimulating factors are also economic and financial crises and personal characteristics. The prevalent obstacles to schema change, as perceived by participants, are stability of current cognitive schemas, personal characteristics of management, and rigidity.
Keywords: cognitive schema, change, factors, obstacles, economic crisis
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 20; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (544,86 KB)

7.
Outline of implemented eco-innovation activities
Jana Hojnik, Mitja Ruzzier, Aleš Lipnik, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and Purpose: Providing a win-win situation for enterprises and the environment is raising the importance of eco-innovation. This article sheds light on the eco-innovation activities implemented within the clusters of the South Eastern European region (hereafter the SEE region). The main objective of this paper is to provide an outline of the situation pertaining to the implementation of eco-innovation activities in analyzed clusters. Methodology: Empirical evidence is provided through the performance of survey research with a sample of 52 clusters, encompassing 11 countries of the SEE region. The basic research method used in this research was a questionnaire developed for cluster organizations, with which we gathered the data and afterwards conducted descriptive statistics. Results: The findings demonstrate that the majority of analyzed clusters implement eco-innovation activities. The results indicate that 40 clusters out of 52 in all have set objectives with regard to eco-innovation support in their national or regional programs, followed by 35 clusters, which include objectives related to eco-innovation in their cluster strategies, and lastly, only 15 clusters are primarily focused on eco-innovation. Hence, our study depicting the current situation regarding the implementation of eco-innovation activities in analyzed clusters and clusters' orientation towards eco-innovation leads to us the discussion of why such differences in clusters occur. Conclusion: The huge differences related to the implementation of eco-innovation activities in clusters of the SEE region, can also reflect the level of the national/regional development in terms of economic indicators such as GDP and, at the same time, offer room for a lot of improvement, and an exchange of best practice.
Keywords: eco-innovation, clusters, SEE region
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 19; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (413,80 KB)

8.
Organizational mental map and conative competences
Darko Kovač, Andrej Bertoncelj, 2008, original scientific article

Abstract: Employees with their knowledge, skills, behavior and personal traits impact the organizational learning. The concept of organizational mental map and conative competences, as inborn underlying characteristic that is influenced by employees being involved as well as endogenous and exogenous factors, is presented. Three Slovene small to mid-sized companies were studied in respect to the individual factors, especially conative competences, of their employees. The study suggests that conative side of mind and thus conative competences can actually influence the organizational learning. What matters in contemporary management practice is how hidden potentials are set free and how they intrinsically motivate employees according to their personal differences in capabilities. As conative competences are inborn and can not be learned but only encouraged, contrary to cognitive competences, it is important to better understand employees' personal traits.
Keywords: organizational learning, SME, conation, conatice competences, organizational mental map
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 21; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (2,00 MB)

9.
Organizational and managerial challenges of reforming Slovenian public agencies
Polonca Kovač, 2014, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: Agencies are among the key contemporary public organizations, prospering within reforms carried out worldwide to increase professionalism and rationalism in public administration (PA). Hence, countries have been establishing agencies and delegating them public tasks in order to achieve expertise-based instead of politically-driven and thus more efficient public policies. In such context, the present article addresses the most important strategic documents related to public administration reform (PAR) in Slovenia, analyzing their goals in terms of agencification and the main implementation results and gaps. Research Design: The research is dedicated to exploring the governmental approach to agencification as a key aspect of PAR. It analyzes (1) the main PAR strategic documents on public agencies in Slovenia since the mid-90s, and (2) the perceived implementation of structural and managerial autonomy as the declared goal of agencification. Combined research methods are applied, including descriptive analysis, regional comparisons, structural interviews among representatives of public agencies and their parent ministries, and selected statistical data analysis. Results: As proven by different research methods, the hypothesis whereby agencification goals in Slovenia are largely achieved as part of PAR documents in terms of autonomous organizational structure was confirmed. A more elaborated agencification in PAR documents relates to higher implementation of autonomy. Conclusion: Nevertheless, the professionalism of Slovenian agencies is still an on-going process, particularly as regards the efficiency implementation gap. As for the future, a more consistent PAR incorporating cross-sectoral policy on agencies is required to pursue the development of a democratic and efficient PA.
Keywords: public administration reform, agencies, autonomy, organization, management, Slovenia
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 9; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (459,56 KB)

10.
Organizational ambidexterity, exploration, exploitation and firms innovation performance
Mladenka Popadić, Matej Černe, Ines Milohnić, 2015, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and Purpose: The construct of organizational ambidexterity (OA) has attracted the growing attention in management research. Previous empirical research has investigated the effect of organisational ambidexterity on performance from various perspectives. This study aims to resolve the contradictory previous research findings on the relationship between organisational ambidexterity and innovation performance. We unpack this construct with combined dimension of ambidexterity, which relates to a combination of high levels of both exploration and exploitation (introduction of products or services that were new to the market and new to the firm). Methodology: We frame our ambidexterity hypothesis in terms of firm’s innovation orientation. The hypothesis is tested by using Community Innovation Survey (CIS) 2006 micro data at the organizational level in twelve countries. To operationalize an ambidexterity and firms innovation outcome, we used self-reported measures of innovativeness. Results: To test our hypothesis, we developed a set of models and tested them with multiple hierarchical linear regression analyses. The results indicate that exploration and exploitation are positively related to firm’s innovation performances which supports our assumption that both are complementary. Furthermore, we find that above and over their independent effects, through combining them into a single construct of organizational ambidexterity, this variable remains negatively and significantly related to innovation performance. Conclusion: These results provides the managers with an idea of when managing trade-offs between exploration and exploitation would be more favorable versus detrimental. For firms with lower organizational ambidexterity, the relationship between exploration-exploitation and the firm’s innovation performance is a more positive one.
Keywords: enterprises, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, organizational ambidexterity, exploration, exploitation, innovation performance
Published: 10.01.2018; Views: 8; Downloads: 0
.pdf Full text (413,65 KB)

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