DOI: 10.7341/20181430

From the Editor

If there are concepts that have huge academic literature and are of outstanding practcal signifcance in corporate practce, then business performance is certainly one of them. However, the authors of this special issue add interestng and excitng elements to our knowledge regarding business success and performance in many ways.

This special issue underlines that business success, which has both fnancial and social components, depends to a great extent on the knowledge, skills, and cooperatve skills of people in the organizaton, and their openness to the world of external and internal stakeholders. The behavior of people, when heavily influenced by the values of the organizaton and its associated business ethics, has a major impact on business success. This is also true for ethically and socially controversial industries, such as pharmaceutcal, alcohol and tobacco.

The research results of the authors in this special issue show that different organizatonal frameworks and solutons can lead to the success of a business. There is, of course, no single, infallible “recipe” leading to success. However, developing project management skills and applying a project management approach within an organizaton can increase the organizaton’s entrepreneurial ability. The key feature of such a soluton is that the organizaton becomes more open to stakeholders and processes in its local environment. This also means that an organizaton’s ability to innovate, and improve the efciency of its innovaton processes, increases.

It is an excitng feature of the special issue that most of the studies deal with a specifc area of the global economy, namely Central and Eastern Europe. Empirical research carried out in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and a comparatve analysis of them, is a valuable contributon to the increasingly rich literature dealing with this region, as well as the academic literature in the more general sense.

The frst paper by Majra Hodžić and Helena Hrůzová, “A study of project management practces in the Czech Republic,” addresses the importance of project management for organizatons’ innovaton and performance. Based on the example of the Czech Republic, Hodžić and Hrůzová study current practces used in the feld of project management and underline the importance of stakeholders’ main demands and requests, and the level of use of project management methods. The results that are presented provide practcal implicatons, especially for new start-ups wantng to boost their compettveness and innovatveness, by displaying success factors for project management and the necessity for innovaton in this area.

The subject of project management is contnued in the second paper by Katarzyna Grzesik and Katarzyna Piwowar-Sulej enttled “Project managers’ competencies and leadership styles from the perspectve of organizatons functoning in Poland.” Grzesik and Piwowar-Sulej discuss the signifcance of project managers’ different competencies and project leadership styles, which are especially important nowadays considering the increasing dynamics of the organizatons’ environment. The needed and adopted competences are compared between the strictly project-oriented organizatons (implementng projects for external clients) and organizatons that manage projects for internal purposes. The authors identfy competencies which are important for organizatons’ success in the area of project management and may, in turn, lead to beter business performance.

The importance of human capital for organizatons’ performance and compettve advantage is addressed in the third paper by Łukasz Bryl called “Human capital orientaton and fnancial performance. A comparatve analysis of US corporatons”. In the paper, Bryl verifes whether human capital orientated organizatons generate a positve or even above-average fnancial performance due to: higher skills of employees, greater motvaton and, thus, higher overall effectveness. The paper has signifcant practcal implicatons for both managers aiming at increased compettve advantage and investors in terms of the possible directons of stock market investments aimed at achieving above-average returns.

Financial success and high performance may also be gained by innovatveness. In the fourth paper, “An innovaton capability development process for frms in developing countries: A theoretcal conceptual model,” Gezahegn Tesfaye and Daniel Kitaw analyze the problem of innovaton capability development. The much-needed complexity of the analysis is reflected by combining both the technical and the fnancial aspects of innovaton capability development. The proposed model identfes three key innovaton capability constructs and is of practcal value, especially to organizatons from developing countries, as it helps to progress the innovaton capabilites more effectvely.

The ffh paper by Włodzimierz Sroka and Richard Szántó, “CSR and business ethics in controversial sectors: analysis of research results,” addresses the issue of organizatons’ performance from a different perspectve, namely the partcular obligatons toward society or the environment consttuted by corporate social responsibility. Based on the example of controversial sectors of the economy (pharmaceutcal, tobacco and alcohol) Sroka and Szántó examine the scale and scope of the use of business ethics principles and practces in Poland and Hungary. The analysis provides not only signifcant fresh insights in this feld but also shows that business ethics have an influence on business success and the corporate image of organizatons.

The sixth paper, “The themes of entrepreneurship discourse: A data analytcs approach” by Philip T. Roundy and Arben Asllani, considers the importance of the language used by entrepreneurs. Roundy and Asllani identfy fve dominant themes in entrepreneurship discourse which address, among other things, technology and professional investments. The analysis of the most recurring themes in entrepreneurship discourse, and their change over tme, sets directons for future research and indicates the importance of entrepreneurship discourse for organizatons’ business success.

We would like to thank all the authors for their contributon to this special issue and for sharing their research. We believe that this new research represents a valuable input to our knowledge regarding business success and organizatons’ performance. We also want to thank the reviewers whose comments contributed to the improvement of the papers and the whole of this special issue.

We hope the artcles presented here will be of interest to readers, scholars and researchers around the world, and that they will inspire them on to further scientfc and practcal research in the feld of business performance.

Dr hab. Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek
Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland

Professor Tibor Mandjak
Ecole de Management de Normandie, France