Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to better understand why some SMEs who pursue a niche strategy on the international scale are more effective with a differentiation via innovation while others with marketing differentiation.
Methodology: Therefore, the paper studies the effectiveness of different points of differentiation (innovation, marketing) of hidden champion type of companies: (1) from the perspective of the unknowns of the key success factors in the specifc market segment, and (2) from the perspective of the professional mindset/education of the strategist.
Findings: The results show that differentiation via innovation positively impacts frm performance when there are many market unknowns over key success factors, whereas marketing differentiation positively impacts frm performance when there are few market unknowns over key success factors. On the other hand, when top management earns a business education, the impact of marketing differentiation on frm performance is signifcant, positive, and strong. The effectiveness of differentiation via innovation does not depend on education.
Research limitations/implications: These results mostly consider the hidden champion type of companies, which prefer not to reveal themselves or their data to the public. The transferability of this research is thus limited.
Originality/value: This paper studies the hidden champion type of companies, which usually receive little attention from researchers, through the lens of differentiation via innovation and marketing differentiation as two distinct ways of competing as their effectiveness is contingent on the market unknowns.
Purpose: The study introduces a research stream of impressions of competency (IC) within the impression management feld. The need for more understanding and research on IC within the feld stems from the rising levels of information processing and competency expectations at work. This shift towards knowledge-intensive processes within organizations creates an environment in which the need to be perceived as competent has become even more relevant. As a result, employees may rely on IC tactics, if the expectation is that they appear as knowledgeable, skilled, and intelligent (i.e., competent).
Methodology: The paper frst includes a new typology of IC tactics that comprises impression management strategies used by individuals specifcally to attain an enhanced image of competence in the workplace. Second, it provides a conceptual model and offers propositions with regards to the antecedents, effectiveness, and outcomes of IC tactics for consideration in future research. Conclusions: The research suggests that higher social norms of displaying competency in the workplace will contribute to higher IC tactic use especially by individuals keen on self-monitoring. Furthermore, politically skilled individuals are more effective with IC tactics, which results in more desirable evaluations of performance.
Research limitations: This is a theoretical and conceptual study. It formulates propositions for further empirical research studies.
Originality: This paper introduces IC within the impression management feld by identifying IC tactics and developing a conceptual model for the examination of their effectiveness in the workplace.
Purpose: This paper aims to analyse selected aspects of the marketing strategy of the frst and biggest network of self-service shops with organic products in Poland – Organic Farma Zdrowia.
Methodology: The adopted methodology involves a qualitative approach. The case study is based on an analysis of company documents and marketing communication, especially that offered on its website and in its social media channels.
Findings: The company specializes in distribution of organic products in Poland. It has gone through organic growth, acquisitions, attracting a Dutch investment fund, and entering the NewConnect stock exchange. It operates based on the model of multichannel distribution, combining physical and online retailing. The assortment consists of 4,000 products, including organic food, cosmetics, and cleaning aids. The company has managed to create 3 own label product lines. The online retailer belonging to the company (organic24.pl) is organized in a professional way, although some improvements are possible. In 2015, the company engaged in ambitious marketing projects.
Practical implications: The fndings may be useful for the Organic Farma Zdrowia company as certain modifcations in its marketing communication are recommended. Other companies operating in the sector may also beneft from the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the business in question. Furthermore, our case study may offer a framework of reference for researchers interested in this area.
Originality: This is the frst study to examine the strategy and marketing activities of Organic Farma Zdrowia, a major player in the sector of organic food distribution in Poland.
Purpose: This paper investigates the relationship between the internal governance structure and fnancial performance of Polish companies. Ensuring diversity of corporate boards has been on the agenda of various regulators on a national and international level as it is generally expected corporate boards that are more diverse will be more competent and more effective monitoring managerial actions, and therefore positively impact company performance.
Methodology: This paper uses a sample of companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and examines the two main compositional features of company supervisory boards (independence and experience) and their practices by companies. We also investigate the effect of diversity on company performance. As our empirical methodology, we use linear regression analysis.
Findings: Our fndings support the proposal that diversity matters, especially in terms of the presence of experienced members on supervisory boards, and that such diversity positively affects fnancial results. In addition to the main fnding, the results of the study indicate also the importance of the ownership structure. Family frms and companies with a higher level of gearing are more likely to perform less effectively.
Originality: To date, research on the association between supervisory board diversity and fnancial performance in either the Polish or Central and Eastern European capital markets has been limited. The paper also points to the importance of having experienced members on a company’s supervisory board. Independent members on supervisory boards do not seem to have a similar association.
Purpose: The primary purpose of the article is to present the specifcity of Russian boards of directors, critically analyze their main characteristics, and consider their relations to selected corporate governance mechanisms in Russia.
Methodology: The article was prepared based on specialist literature, which pertains to the theoretical aspects of the boards of directors’ activity and the changes in the corporate governance system in Russia. The qualitative research on the boards of directors’ key characteristics in the Russian public companies was based on SPARK data.
Findings: The central features of the boards of directors in the Russian companies depend on the key events in the Russian economy – such as fnancial and economic crises – changes in the companies’ ownership structure, including the participation of the state in ownership, as well as on their activity on the Russian and international fnancial market.
Research limitations: Research limitations resulted mainly from the lack of access to all the data about the directors of the companies under examination, including their independence from or obligation to the state institutions.
Originality: The research on the Russian joint-stock companies – that is, corporate governance in Russia with its mechanisms – is a relatively new issue in the Polish specialist literature. They may be an important trigger for comparative studies in the feld of corporate governance in Central and Eastern European economies.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the motivational factors of propensity to be a mentor by managers in a formal mentoring in organisations. The author addresses the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and examines their relation to the propensity to mentor. The second objective was to critically analyse whether managers deciding to mentor do so for egoistic or altruistic reasons – for self-benefts or others’ benefts. The third task concentrates on the role of extrinsic motivational factors, especially additional remuneration on the propensity to mentor.
Methodology: For this study, the author applied quantitative research among Polish managers working in medium and large size organisations. The author examines the correlation between dependent and independent variables and addresses the impact of control variables as moderators.
Findings: First, the results support managers’ high propensity to mentor in a formal mentoring programme. Second, the study fnds that intrinsic motivation was the salient factor taken into consideration in the propensity to mentor, whereas extrinsic motivation exerted very little inﬂuence. Third, the study confrms a pattern of motivational pluralism based on the fact that both kinds of intrinsic motivators in the propensity to mentor – for the beneft of oneself or others – appear equally signifcant. Fourth, the research fnds that additional remuneration does not motivate managers to mentor. No moderation effects of age, gender, kind of organisation and carrier level on the propensity to mentor were observed.
Research implications: The confrmation of Polish managers’ high propensity to mentor contradicts conventional wisdom in some organisations that managers overloaded with work are unwilling to mentor. The fnding that managers want to be mentors may encourage organisations to implement mentoring programmes without fear of a shortage of prospective mentors. Based on observed behaviour and the importance of motivational factors, this study delivers valuable guidelines on the recruitment and selection of mentors for HR departments. The results that managers exclusively follow intrinsic motivation in the propensity to mentor should be considered in designing the methodology of mentors’ selection.
Purpose: Despite the importance of innovation, the full innovation potential of companies operating in the industrial sector of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) seems not to have been unlocked yet. Thus, the primary purpose of the study was to explore the key elements of company innovation policies applied on the way to successful innovation.
Methodology: The article presents results of an empirical quantitative analysis. The data has been collected through an anonymous online and postal survey. The analysis focuses on 345 companies active on foreign markets and involves a Mann-Whitney U test and a regression analysis.
Findings: The conducted analysis points to the importance of the degree of interorganizational network embeddedness for the performance of companies active on foreign markets. It shows that the higher the degree of the overall network embeddedness (measured with adaptations, trust and mutuality), the higher the company’s perceived performance relative to its competitors.
Research limitations: The research was burdened with such limitations as respondents experiencing time pressure and the use of only one source of information (the interviewees).
Originality: Despite much general evidence, the study attempts to complement the rare qualitative studies on innovation in CEE. It was carried out as a response to the lack of an in-depth study covering such recurrent challenges in the feld of company innovation policies as disruption, portfolio balancing, integration, intangibilities’ management, and play.
Methodology: The study is based on qualitative methods. The aim of the study has been achieved through 24 semi-structured interviews conducted with senior management, project leaders, and R&D specialists employed at companies operating in the industrial sector in CEE. The time frame covers the period of the fourth quarter of 2016 and the frst quarter of 2017.
Findings: Managing disruption consists of focusing on innovation development stage and following market imperatives by making the innovation try to address the market needs. Balancing portfolio requires considering product and process innovation jointly. Furthermore, 62% of the interviewees say that breakthrough innovation results ultimately from numerous incremental advancements. As far as policy integration is concerned, achieving competitive advantage through internal research is common amongst technological leaders, while market contenders turn to external cooperation. Moreover, incorporating CSV principles into the concept of innovation policy appears to be a necessity. Managing intangibilities comes down to patents.
Purpose: The article discusses selected methodological issues of natural and social sciences with particular consideration of behavioural economics to highlight the signifcance of experimental research.
Design approach: The order of the issues covered is as follows: (a) science as a product of a research community, (b) basic cognitive activities in science, (c) a short description of social sciences, (d) a discussion on the methods applied in behavioural economics.
Findings: The article offers a description of research procedure, its objectives and the methods applied therein; it has been stressed that testing theories and hypotheses involves exposing them to falsifcation; it has been emphasised that research conducted within the framework of social sciences is more diffcult than in the case of natural sciences because of the large number of independent variables and the possible interaction between the researcher and research participants.
Practical implications: The content presented in the article highlights the value of scientifc fndings as opposed to common-sense knowledge adopted with the disregard of the principles of proper methodology.
Value: The authors believe that the emergence of behavioural economics was an attempt to overcome certain defciencies in the methodology of classical economics by means of experimental research.
Purpose: The increasing pace of technological progress, hyper-competitiveness, volatility of markets, dominant in the contemporary society all cause signifcant changes in the approach to innovation and lead to the emergence of a new generation of models of innovation processes. An open innovation model is based on a systematic search for as well as research and use of various sources of opportunities for innovations that offer commercial potential. The main objective of this article is to analyse the possibilities of application of models of open innovation in management of micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Poland. This article intends to explore the essence of open innovation by values, its inception, and conditions for its implementation in the management process specifc to the SME sector.
Methodology: The study has been based on in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted among business managers/owners responsible for innovation development of SMEs in Poland (16 interviews in total).
Findings: SMEs usually do not have their own research and development (R&D) departments, but need external support and R&D solutions tailored to their needs. SMEs need innovations and skills, which requires close cooperation with different partners. In order for SMEs to beneft from innovation processes, a structured cooperation not only with scientists and researchers, but also with other market partners needs to be established and intensifed. It changes both the creation of intellectual capital and the ways to manage it.
Originality: The new approach in the context of management of innovation is now one of the key challenges faced by smaller businesses. It is necessary to make changes in the approach to integration of external sources of innovation with the potential and resources at the disposal of a given company.
I shall refer to concepts of identity and difference on the border between culture and society not only to better understand and explain waves of social anger experienced by individuals or communities but also to reﬂect on ways in which to address the challenges that emerge within the social environment. One is angry when struggling with fnancial insecurity due to unemployment or low income; economists analyse this phenomenon. Another one is angry because of the mediocrity of those in power; political scientists explore this matter. The media, whose task is to bring the above to public attention, also become instruments that shape events and they aspire or even engage in exercising power. Thus, I shift the focus to society and its culture as sources of anger and, at the same time, areas where we may appease anger (Mishra, 2017; Sloterdijk, 2011). People often tap into the power of identity and difference as a resource. I do not assume that culture prevails, but society needs to take it into account if it is to understand itself and change any distressing aspects of reality.