MEST Journal
Editor
Zoran Čekerevac











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In the next issues of the MEST Journal, among others, we will publish:
(To see the abstract of an item click the title of the item)

  1. Dubravka Skunca, Milanka Bogavac, and Danilo Rudic
    COMPETITIVENESS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN THE BRICS COUNTRIES AND SERBIA

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  2. Maxim Aleksandrovich Ivanov
    PROJECT FINANCE AS A FORM OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE

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  3. Christian Torsell and Walter E. Block
    MISESIAN EPISTEMOLOGY

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  4. Emil Jelezov and Gergana Kirilova
    ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE MODELS ON THE TRAFFIC FLOWS IN BULGARIAN SEAPORTS

    To read the article before publishing click here

  5. Magdalena Petrova-Kirova
    INTEGRATED REPORTING – THE NEW DIRECTION IN THE CORPORATE REPORTING

    To read the article before publishing click here

  6. Aleksandra Janeska Iliev, Kiril Postolov, and Marija Magdinceva Sopova
    GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN ACHIEVING WORK-LIFE BALANCE

    To read the article before publishing click here

  7. Aleksandar Pesic, Duska Pesic, and Slavko Ivkovic
    ADJUSTING GENERAL ELECTRIC MULTIFACTOR PORTFOLIO MODEL FOR FUZZY ANALYSIS OF SBUS PERFORMANCES

    To read the article before publishing click here

  8. Rafael Sharafutdinov and Dinara Peskova
    THE INFLUENCE OF ECONOMY DIGITALIZATION ON THE ACTIVITY OF OIL COMPANIES

    To read the article before publishing click here

  9. Snezana R. Stojanovic and Marjan Nikolov
    CORPORATE TAX INCENTIVES IN TRANSITORY ECONOMIES: CASE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AND REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

    To read the article before publishing click here

  10. Oksana Koshulko
    FIELD STUDIES ON FEMALE IMMIGRANTS IN THEIR HOST COUNTRIES: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

    To read the article before publishing click here

  11. Eliska Zupova
    CONFLICT HANDLING STYLES WITHIN LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT MANAGERS IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

    To read the article before publishing click here

  12. Nina Gergova
    THE MECHANISMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION PUBLIC REGULATION IN BULGARIA

    To read the article before publishing click here

  13. Natalija Petrova, Nevenka Kiteva Rogleva, and Vangel Fustik
    MANAGING RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS INCLUDING RISK ANALYSIS

    To read the article before publishing click here

  14. Daniela Todorova, Nina Gergova, Maria Christova, and Petar Kolev
    THEORETICAL ANALYSIS AND POSITIONING BENCHMARKING AS A PRODUCT QUALITY MEASURING INSTRUMENTS

    To read the article before publishing click here

  15. Saida Kuizheva and Lyudmila Prigoda
    MODERN TRENDS IN THE DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY: FINANCIAL ASPECT

    To read the article before publishing click here




COMPETITIVENESS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN THE BRICS COUNTRIES AND SERBIA

Dubravka Skunca
Milanka Bogavac
Danilo Rudic

Abstract
The focus of this study is on the position of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and Serbia in The Global Competitiveness Report for 2017. Constraints related to the public trust in politicians, the burden of government regulation and hiring and firing practices have caused Brazil to have the lowest rank in the examined group of countries. The highest rank has China (27th place), followed by Russia (38th place), India (40th place), South Africa (61st place), Serbia (78th place) and Brazil (80th place). Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) indicators related to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can be found in 6th pillar of competitiveness Goods market efficiency (effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy, no. procedures to start a business and no. days to start a business), in 7th pillar of competitiveness Labor market efficiency (cooperation in labor-employer relations, flexibility of wage determination, hiring and firing practices, pay and productivity and reliance on professional management), in 9th pillar of competitiveness Technological readiness (firm-level technology absorption) and in 11th pillar of competitiveness Business sophistication (local supplier quantity, local supplier quality, state of cluster development, production process sophistication, extent of marketing and willingness to delegate authority). China has the highest position among examined countries in terms of indicators related to the small and medium enterprises.

Keywords: China, Russia, competitiveness, small and medium-sized enterprises

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PROJECT FINANCE AS A FORM OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE

Maxim Aleksandrovich Ivanov

Abstract
Now there is a need of use of new instruments of financing of agro-industrial production as the existing mechanisms of crediting and subsidizing of interest rates are represented insufficiently effective. The agriculture is characterized by the low profitability which isn't allowing producers to use effectively borrowed funds as their cost during the last time grows the advancing rates. As a result of the use of the bank credits the financial condition of the agricultural enterprises worsens, the need of development of new financial instruments for simplification of access for producers of agricultural production to financing is a consequence of that. In this regard, we offer use of mechanisms of a project financing. Also, we recommend improving a technique of an assessment of projects with the purpose of implementation of the most effective financial support of agro-industrial production. Implementation of the specified offers will allow improving mechanisms of support of producers of agrarian production.

Keywords: import substitution, state support, credits, agro-industrial production.

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MISESIAN EPISTEMOLOGY

Christian Torsell
Walter E. Block

Abstract
Like all science, economics is essentially a truth-seeking enterprise. As such, it necessarily runs up against certain epistemological questions. What kinds of facts or expressions may count as economic truths? What method or methods might enable us to ascertain those facts? Is there any such approach that is both appropriate to the nature of the facts of economics and capable of generating substantial, interesting, or useful knowledge? Ludwig von Mises recognized the central importance of such questions. Much of his work is devoted to spelling out and refining his distinctive "Austrian" position on epistemology and economic method. We offer a summary and analysis of Mises’s bi-modal thesis concerning scientific methodology: that the approach in the physical and social sciences diverges, the former being an empirical enterprise, the latter (including economics), a logical-deductive one. This is because the object of the social sciences is man, a creature who acts freely and purposively. The empirical method of the physical sciences, adequate for the study of objects and systems that are not purposive in this way, is inappropriate in this domain. Therefore, methodological dualism is justified. Mises’s alternative aprioristic approach takes into account the uniquely human features of consciousness and freedom as well as the complexity and unquantifiability of social phenomena; these he saw as the main barriers to empiricism’s usefulness in social science. This paper focuses in particular on the intellectual context in which Mises articulated this theory, emphasizing the divergence between his contribution and the dominant methodological views among practitioners of the social sciences in his time.

Keywords: Mises; methodology; praxeology; epistemology; dualism.

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ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE MODELS ON THE TRAFFIC FLOWS IN BULGARIAN SEAPORTS

Emil Jelezov
Gergana Kirilova

Abstract:
The article presents analysis, assessment, and simple linear regression models of the basic economic activities impact on the volume of the cargo traffic processed in maritime ports of national importance in the Republic of Bulgaria. Dependencies between the industrial development trends and the turnover of the ports Varna and Burgas per main freight groups and directions (import, export and transit) are considered based on correlation and regression analysis. The trends of industry development are represented by industrial production indices by economic activities, classified according to the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE). Trends in cargo turnover changes in ports are represented by indices of the physical volume of processed goods in the ports of Varna and Burgas.An assessment of the strength and directions influence of industry on the maritime cargo turnover of the seaports is made by defining the coefficients of a simple (one-factor) linear correlation between the industrial output indices by economic activity and port turnover load indexes. Verification of the statistical significance of the results and the determination of the linear models applicable for the predicted purposes was made by the F-test.

Keywords: national maritime ports, freight transport, basic economic activities, correlations between the industrial development trends and the turnover of the ports.

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INTEGRATED REPORTING – THE NEW DIRECTION IN THE CORPORATE REPORTING

Magdalena Petrova-Kirova

Abstract
According to the World Commission on Environment and Development as a result of the enormous scales of poverty, the emerging ecological crisis and the alteration in the balances of the environment and the climate, humanity has entered an era of global uncertainty. The world is facing the elaborate task to encounter a manner to solve these social, environmental, economic and other problems. The alterations in a perspective impose changes in the range and the content of accountability. Each acting enterprise represents an inseparable part of the society. By accomplishing its activity it affects different stakeholders: investors, creditors, employees, customers, suppliers, regulators and the community in general. The enterprises’ corporate reporting was primarily connected with the disclosure of the annual financial statements reflecting their financial status. The concern over the impact of the enterprises on the environment and the people, as well as the growing information necessity of the stakeholders, require an alteration in the conventional reporting. The enlarged volume and content of the contemporary corporate reports and the absence of a relation between the incorporated financial and non-financial information presented in separate reports determine the necessity of preparing one single integrated report.

Keywords: Corporate reporting, non-financial information, integrated reporting, capital.

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GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN ACHIEVING WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Aleksandra Janeska Iliev
Kiril Postolov
Marija Magdinceva Sopova

Abstract
Each generation is influenced by broad forces that create common value systems distinguishing them from people who grew up at different times. Reaching a balance between life and work is an intangible ideal considered to be a complete fairytale. But by making deliberate choices about which opportunities they’ll pursue and which they’ll decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community. The concept of work-life balance, as implied, consists of the management and balance of work responsibilities and non-work responsibilities. Professionals discover through hard experience that prospering is a matter of carefully combining work and home so as not to lose themselves, their loved ones, or their foothold on success. In that light the main goal of this paper is to find understanding for the main aspects of work-life balance and stressing the practical aspects of professionals in the struggle to face a satisfied professional and personal life, considering the attainment to a different generation. It has been widely discussed that individuals from different generations have been related to a different set of values which influences their image of what work-life balances mean. This paper aims at finding some ground bases for the analysis of, these different approaches, which could enable better organizational understanding of the needs of employees.

Keywords: Work Life, Professional life, Generation, Human Resource.

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ADJUSTING GENERAL ELECTRIC MULTIFACTOR PORTFOLIO MODEL FOR FUZZY ANALYSIS OF SBUS PERFORMANCES

Aleksandar Pesic
Duska Pesic
Slavko Ivkovic

Abstract
Traditional General Electric Multifactor portfolio model is designed to serve as a strategic tool for analyzing strategic business units (SBUs) in diversified organizations and it can be used for optimally allocating resources among those various SBUs. Some of the limitations related to the implementation of this model refer to the difficulties in identifying and assessing critical internal and external criteria required for the matrix construction and in its inability to precisely determine the numerical value for the certain criteria. Since Fuzzy sets theory represents a strict mathematical framework for dealing with the problems of imprecision and making decisions under ambiguous conditions, the aim of this paper is to introduce an alternative approach to the quantification of the General Electric Multifactor portfolio model which includes the utilization of fuzzy logic. In that sense, specific characteristics of fuzzy triangular numbers are applied to the standardized GE/McKinsey matrix in order to extract the optimal strategy solutions and adequately handle the uncertainty and imprecision associated with the subjective assessment of Strategic Business Unit (SBU) performances based on two dimensions: industry attractiveness and internal business strength.

Keywords: Portfolio analysis, GE/McKinsey matrix, Strategic Business Unit (SBU), Fuzzy triangular numbers, Fuzzy logic.

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THE INFLUENCE OF ECONOMY DIGITALIZATION ON THE ACTIVITY OF OIL COMPANIES

Rafael Sharafutdinov
Dinara Peskova

Abstract
The oil industry in Russia and in the world is the basis of the economy, and modernizing it is of great importance in the conditions of financial resources shortage. One of the means is to increase the economic efficiency of oil enterprises performance in the digital economy environment. The process of digitalization has changed the process of doing business. The ability to handle the large bulk of information within the shortest period of time has become one of the crucial qualities that allow oil companies to be successful. The oil executives introduce digital technologies into the daily activities of the company in spite of the “special staff shortages” in this sphere. Practically at all large enterprises digitalization of the economical processes starts with analysis and reducing the office labor efforts: handling standard documents, including notices, requests, statements, reports, payments documents, declarations, contracts, i.e. the major part of the document flow and practically any work concerning the processing of information is automated. Economy digitalization complies with the program “Industry 4.0” being realized now. Its conceptual issues involve such conceptions as “cloud computing”, “Internet of things”, “big data”. A particular advantage of digitalization is an opportunity for geographically remote management teams to share their operating experience simultaneously supporting the functional competences of the teammates. The implementation of the economy digitalization requires intensive efforts and adequate management, but the value of such work will allow the oil company to foresee different scenarios of development, to put realistic goals and make appropriate plans for technological development and own scientific and technical potential to secure sustainable long-term progress.

Keywords: digitalization, digital economy, economic activity, oil companies.

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CORPORATE TAX INCENTIVES IN TRANSITORY ECONOMIES: CASE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA AND REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Snezana R. Stojanovic
Marjan Nikolov

Abstract
Tax incentives are one often used tool by low-income countries for attracting capital and money into their economies. Usually, formerly closed economies during their transition to open-market economies use different forms of tax and other types of incentives to attract foreign companies and their capital to be placed into these economies. The case of the former Yugoslav republics, Serbia and Macedonia, is an interesting example of incentives established with the aim to reconstruct and rebuild industry and infrastructure, to get better welfare, etc. Of the various incentives in the pool, tax incentives are used the most. The authors of the article analyze the policy of corporate tax incentives in the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Macedonia since 2000, which have been changing in forms and scope as a consequence of the Serbian/Macedonian tax system’s reform. The authors stressed differences between the two countries, which are mostly influenced by the negotiation process with European Union and the need to harmonize national legislation with European Union rules: in Serbia tax incentives in the sphere of corporate taxation were very generous at the beginning of the period; the similar situation was in Macedonia. However, after the negotiation process between the European Union and Macedonia was “frozen” in 2005 and the negotiation and accession process with Serbia has been opened, the situations in these countries have become different: the tax incentives’ policy in Macedonia stayed generous comparing with Serbia which had to be narrowed because of the European Union pressure (to avoid being accused of harmful tax competition).

Keywords: transition; Serbia; Macedonia; tax reform; tax incentives; corporate income tax.

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FIELD STUDIES ON FEMALE IMMIGRANTS IN THEIR HOST COUNTRIES: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

Oksana Koshulko

Abstract
This paper presents the results of field studies concerning female immigration in Turkey, mainly Istanbul, conducted in Turkey in the 2014-2015 academic year. Objectives of field studies were: identification of female immigrants' reasons for coming to Turkey in recent years; determination of the differences and similarities for their migration, estimation of their issues, prospects, and challenges in Turkey and the consequences of their migration. The results of these field studies showed similarities in their reasons for migration to Turkey. The main reason was their desire to start a new life in that country. The immigrants came to Turkey for various reasons - to marry, to study, to find a business and for other reasons. In these cases, their former life has finished, and they start a new page in their life in the new country. Differences in the migration to Turkey were their characters, the manner of their migration and their level of culture and education. The results of the field studies show the main prospects for them may be marriage using this as a “social elevator”, which “refers to moving from the very bottom of a society to its top”. The biggest challenges for female migrants in Turkey may be unemployment; access to quality health services and retirement pension provision; language barrier; violence and abuse in families and in the society; and gender inequality in the country.

Keywords: field studies, female immigration, host country, direct observation, face-to-face interviews, surveys, issues, prospects, challenges, and consequences.

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CONFLICT HANDLING STYLES WITHIN LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT MANAGERS IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

Eliska Zupova

Abstract
The aim of the contribution is to present the partial nationwide research results aimed to find out the conflict handling style most used by mayors to resolve conflicts. A synthesis of the basic ideas of the theories of the mentioned authors is about the typology of five conflicting handling styles, namely avoiding, competition, adjustment, cooperation, and compromise. There are many conflicts handling styles used by individuals. It depends on the specificity of the situation, the structure and dynamics of the relationship, and, finally, the disposition characteristics of the actors involved in the conflict. The research results were processed using the primary data analysis and by using descriptive statistical methods. The research sample consisted of a core set of objects. There had been addressed all mayors of 2,753 municipalities in the Slovak Republic. Research sample were mayors of the Slovak Republic. The distribution of the sample by gender is in favor of men (67.6%), the highest number of respondents has a university education (51.5%). Based on the results, it was found out, that cooperation is the preferred conflict handling style by older women mayors, university graduates, in the second term of office, and in municipalities with over 1001 inhabitants.

Keywords: conflict, conflict situations, conflict handling style, mayor

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THE MECHANISMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION PUBLIC REGULATION IN BULGARIA

Nina Gergova

Abstract:
Today, the challenges Bulgarian higher schools face, are related to the Strategy for development of the higher education of Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2014-2020. The state policy in the field of higher education fully responds to the requirements of the European policy. This means equivalence and harmonization of main objectives of the education policy at the national and European level, as well as unity and colinearity of the systems for education quality management. The relationship between higher schools and the labor market, related to the supply and demand of experts in the field of higher education, the encouragement of research activities, modernization of management systems of higher education and better financial control systems are some of the main goals of the Strategy for development of higher education of Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2014-2020. In the present publication, the mechanisms of public regulation of higher education in the last years are studied. The accent is put on the financial mechanisms of the state through which the policy for the fulfillment of the main goals of the Strategy for development of the higher education in the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2014-2020 is done. Through the amendments of the legislation and the financial mechanisms of the state, the main objective of the government is to be achieved a high quality of the services provided, the high public rate of return, higher competitiveness and higher implementation of the theory in the practice.

Keywords: higher education, high schools, quality, rating

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MANAGING RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS INCLUDING RISK ANALYSIS

Natalija Petrova
Nevenka Kiteva Rogleva
Vangel Fustik

Abstract
The paper makes deep insight into project management and risk analysis of renewable energy sources (RES). This approach could be very helpful in the organizational and managerial approach for project success and investments in RES projects. The intent of the paper is to focus primarily on project management techniques for the purpose of achieving project’s objectives and second on tools for risk assessment of renewable energy projects in order to define and evaluate risks so that they can be adequately mitigated to attract future investment. Particular energy sources – elevated hydropower used in small hydropower plants, and photovoltaic plants are considered in Section 3, as case studies, to identify and explore risk management approach for planning risk response during project implementation. Section 3.1 provides an overview of the major identified risks which include financial, political and operational risks, risks related to human resources and risks associated with renewable energy developments and markets. Discussion and conclusion are presented at the end of the article.

Keywords: Risk management, Renewable energy, Project implementation

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THEORETICAL ANALYSIS AND POSITIONING BENCHMARKING AS A PRODUCT QUALITY MEASURING INSTRUMENTS

Daniela Todorova
Nina Gergova
Maria Christova
Petar Kolev

Abstract
The European Higher Education Area - EHEA is established on the principles and values, indicated in the Bologna declaration from 1999. During the annual conferences of ministers of higher education at countries from EHEA in the next years (Prague, Bergen, London, Leuven, Budapest, and Bucharest) these principles and values are developed and approved. One of these values is the quality of education. The highly compatible educational environment could provide such quality of education through which students acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies, necessary for the labor market. The aforementioned defines the relevance of the scientific problems addressed to the quality of higher education. The problem for quality has many aspects. One of them is at most significant: the quality of education science. It has to solve many tasks, addressed to the quality concept, quality measurement; choice of quality criteria and indicators (according to methods of mathematical taxonomy, multi-factor and cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling), quality verification and etc. Today, the dynamic development of the IT sector and the social trend raise new problems for the higher education. Higher schools are related to both the market where quality educational services are provided and the labor market. The students are the consumers of educational services, while employers are the main consumers in the labor market. With the benchmarking approach, higher schools can define clear objectives for their development, based on the information about the advantages and disadvantages of education. The main objective of the present report is to be defined and evaluated the key indicators for quality measurement and management of education at higher schools by means of benchmarking model and to be defined the competitiveness of the European educational market.

Keywords: benchmarking, higher education, higher schools, quality, competitiveness.

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MODERN TRENDS IN THE DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY: FINANCIAL ASPECT

Saida Kuizheva
Lyudmila Prigoda

Abstract
The article considers modern demographic trends, analyzes the forecast scenarios of the development of the world community, taking into account the aging of the population, and justifies the need to search for new tools and sources of pension provision for citizens. A developed pension system is an evidence of a high level of development of society. The maximum coverage and a decent replacement rate are evidence of the socialization of social institutions, the enhancement of the value of a citizen's life, carry humanistic ideas of ensuring a decent standard of living for the least protected social strata. However, from the economic point of view, the ideas of humanism and universal prosperity have a high price. The effectiveness of pension savings depends on many factors and the dynamics of the development of pension systems are not always unambiguous. Modern pension systems are in a disequilibrium state: most developed and developing countries are already experiencing problems with balancing the pension system or will experience pension budget deficit in the mid-term. The problems of forming pension savings are objective. The world passes through the stage of population transition, which is expressed in the reduction of population growth with the simultaneous lengthening of life expectancy. This increases the burden on pension funds, increases the age-dependent ratio of financial systems. The research hypothesis is that it is impossible to achieve a balance of the pension system while maintaining a sufficient level of pension provision through parametric reform – a paradigmatic restructuring of the pension accumulation architecture with the use of advanced financial tools is necessary. The tool-methodical apparatus, which allows achieving the reliability of conclusions and recommendations, is provided by wide application of general scientific theoretical (comparative analysis, induction, deduction, generalization, synthesis) and practical (graphical and tabular interpretation) methods of cognition. Elements of econometrics and socioeconomic modeling were used to determine demographic trends. The institutional analysis was used in the study of parametric characteristics of pension systems. To study the investment paradigm the approaches of neoclassical and modern portfolio theories and long-range forecasting were used.

Keywords: society aging, budget expenditures, pension payments, demographic situation, the age structure of society.

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MESTE NGO and MEST Journal strongly support teamwork and encourage international scientific cooperation.

That is why we are especially willing to publish works of groups of authors from two or more different countries.












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