From the Editors

The nine papers published in this issue of the Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation point to various problems which are important for effective management in a turbulent and dynamically changing contemporary market. The authors of the articles come from universities in the Czech Republic, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan and Ukraine. The scientists present current and original views on issues related to: research & development expenditure and innovation levels in EU countries; the role of innovative entrepreneurship in economic development; the competitiveness of small innovative companies; social networking in family businesses; the connections between socioemotional wealth and competitive advantage of family firms; agrirural entrepreneurial alertness; the assessment of human resources` interactions; the impact of seasonality on employment in tourism; and socio-economic clients’ requirements for food packaging. However, regardless of the subject matter, all the papers indicate an organizational framework and solutions for achieving success in a competitive market.

The first article, by Radka MacGregor Pelikánová, addresses R&D expenditure and innovations in the EU, which are the foundations for competitiveness in contemporary economies. The author focuses on the following three essential questions: How much is spent on R&D? How many patentable inventions are filed and succeed, and how many other ideas lead to innovations? Is it possible to imply a potential relationship and what are the trends? The described study entailed secondary data while exploring hard data sources, such as Eurostat and the European Patent Office databases, official or legislative documents, such as Europe 2020, and the academic literature. Furthermore, the author used direct observations, field search and her own experience, gained over 20 years by participating in many patent applications and other instruments protecting future innovations. Answering the questions, it was found that: the 3% threshold will not be met in the larger part of the EU, the number of patent applications and granted patents keep growing along with digitalization, and the possibility of a relationship between these factors and trends exists but is not conclusive or dramatically strong. The research challenge, taken by Radka MacGregor Pelikánová, requires an appreciation that, as she notes, “one of the limitations of the study was caused by the intangible, ephemeral and hardly predictable nature of innovations, and the impossibility to collect and mathematically process all the involved phenomena.”

The second paper, written by Rodica Crudu, refers to the importance of entrepreneurship in driving innovation, economic growth and welfare, as well as job creation, and draws attention to the fact that innovation is seen as a driving force in the economic development of nations. Since innovative entrepreneurship has begun to be considered a key factor in modern economic development, finding a prominent place at the core of the European Union’s development strategy – Europe 2020, the author aims to analyse the role of innovative entrepreneurship in the economic development of EU member states by testing a model that captures new or young innovative firms as manifestations of innovative entrepreneurship along with determinants of economic growth rates. The key findings of the paper show that innovative entrepreneurs are more often present in countries with higher development levels and higher incomes, being motivated by the improvement opportunity they see in becoming entrepreneurs. However, a higher degree of entrepreneurship, especially in the creation of new firms, does not substantially contribute to accelerated economic development. This is explained by the variation in the motivation (necessity or improvement-oriented) of entrepreneurs across EU countries. In developed countries, entrepreneurs are most likely to be of Schumpeterian type, while in developing countries most of them are shopkeepers. The presented paper has significant practical implications for decision and policy-making authorities in terms of the possible directions of innovative entrepreneurship policy development, including friendlier and more efficient policies aimed at the creation of new firms and the development of SME-supporting tools.

Edward Stawasz, whose paper is based on the results of conducted research, carried out an analysis and evaluation of the importance of selected determinants of competitiveness of small innovative enterprises operating in international markets and using business advice services. The first part of this article is a comprehensive literature review concerning the identification of determinants of competitiveness of small enterprises and the characteristics of motives for using, as well as the areas and effects of using, business advice. The second part of the article presents an analysis of the results of a survey conducted among 67 small, innovative enterprises operating in international markets and at the same time using business advice services, carried out with the use of the CATI method. The conducted analysis has shown that the use of business advice extends the scope of determinants of competitiveness of enterprises operating in international markets. Business advice can be considered an effective factor in improving the competitiveness of enterprises already characterized by high competitiveness, which means that a high level of competitiveness favors the effectiveness of the use of business advice. An important conclusion reached by the author is the existence of a positive relationship between business advice and enterprises’ capacity to absorb business knowledge. Therefore, improving the competitiveness of enterprises requires using business advice and improving the business knowledge absorptive capacity.

The focus of the next article, written by Kenneth Chukwujioke Agbim, is the conceptual considerations regarding social networking and family businesses, presented in a review of the contribution of social networking to the financial and non-financial performance of family businesses. Based on an analysis of 55 peer-reviewed, published journal articles, the author identified the most frequently used social networking platforms, the measures of financial performance, the measures and proxies of non-financial performance, and the differences between the financial and non-financial performance. The study proposes the use of both financial and non-financial measures in assessing the performance of family businesses due to their complementary roles. Therefore, the presented research contributes to the family business literature by highlighting the importance of combining financial and non-financial measures in assessing family business performance, indicating that due to the specificity of a family business, its performance should be assessed in such a joint manner.

The research topic of the fifth article, by Katarzyna Bratnicka-Myśliwiec and Martyna Wronka-Pośpiech, is socioemotional wealth in the context of competitive advantages of family businesses. These authors argue that socioemotional wealth may trigger or limit family firms’ strategic initiatives that ultimately shape their competitive advantage. The basic assumption is that, unlike non-family firms, family businesses have some unique qualities that should be considered. The research was conducted in almost two hundred firms through a telephone survey. The obtained results reveal that, indeed, socioemotional wealth and competitive advantage are partially associated, and socioemotional wealth can be regarded as an important strategic antecedent to firm performance. Therefore, the first main theoretical implication is the emphasis on the importance of socioemotional wealth as a strategic resource. The second main conclusion is the recommendation that socioemotional wealth is a relevant determinant of competitive advantage. Family businesses rely on more complex social dynamics than the dynamics of a pure market, where the informal sphere is critical for current functioning. Moreover, the connections between family business attributes and firm performance are by no means easy to understand. Consequently, this paper makes a significant contribution to the scientific literature.

In the next article Chaoyun Liang presents research on agrirural entrepreneurship and the results of a series of three studies conducted to develop a measure of entrepreneurial alertness in the agrirural environment which is empirically valid, easy to use, and can analyze how the personality traits of agrirural entrepreneurs affect their entrepreneurial alertness. The results indicate that both extraversion and openness affect all of the dimensions of entrepreneurial alertness, whereas conscientiousness only influences scanning and searching, and agreeableness has an impact solely on evaluation and judgment. The presented findings also demonstrate the interactive relationships between extraversion and openness for all of the dimensions of entrepreneurial alertness. The research provides a new understanding of how agrirural entrepreneurial alertness can be assessed more practically and how personality traits can help predict various dimensions of agrirural entrepreneurial alertness. The author states that, due to the fact that agriculture remains the basis of socioeconomic development, governments worldwide are actively formulating relevant policies to aid in the restructuring and upscaling of their agricultural industries. Thus, providing essential guidance in agricultural entrepreneurship for diversifying rural regions should be their central concern. Therefore, recognizing and interpreting opportunities are the most crucial abilities that should be fostered in developing agrirural entrepreneurship.

The seventh paper is devoted to the subject of human resources, in particular interactions. The author of this text is Anna Pereverzieva, who indicates that there is a need to develop a methodological approach to the assessment of united communities` human resources` level of interactions. Hence, in light of the gap in the scientific literature, she tries to determine such an approach. The author’s work is based on the example of a united community and a structural unit and, in addition, considers two determinants of human resources` interactions – the group size and the nature of labor. As a tool of the empirical study, the author used expert assessment and the application of certain mathematical dependencies that allowed the coefficient of interactions to be determined. It transpired that small groups with intellectual labor have higher levels of interactions than large groups with a predominance of manual labor. It is worth noting that the proposition of a methodical approach is universal and might be used by both communities and business entities. Moreover, an additional advantage of the study is the proposal of a 4-stage procedure for assessing the level of human resources` interactions.

The eighth paper, written by Aleksandra Grobelna and Katarzyna Skrzeszewska, connects tourism seasonality with employment in the travel and tourism sector. The issue, raised by these authors, is a current and important topic, since nowadays seasonality plays a decisive role in creating demand in the tourist industry. The problem is investigated from the perspective of tourism and hospitality students of higher educational institutions located in the northern part of Poland (Southern Baltic Sea Region). The main point of the authors’ interest was the students’ attitudes towards seasonality in tourism employment and its impact on students’ tourism employment aspirations. As a research method, a direct questionnaire was used and the obtained data were analyzed statistically. According to one of the conclusions, more students agree that seasonality contributes positively rather than negatively to tourism employment. The authors indicate that the depicted results of the research study can be of substantial importance to managers in the industry, which suffers from low employment status and experiences chronic shortages of skilled and well-qualified employees.

The last article by Agnieszka Cholewa-Wójcik, Agnieszka Kawecka, Carlo Ingrao and Valentina Siracusa presents interesting results of research on the requirements for packaging to answer contemporary consumers’ needs. The study represents a holistic approach to the topic. The authors conducted a survey among clients of shopping malls in the Małopolska region of Poland. Analysis of the obtained data indicated the following order of priority of consumers’ needs: ensuring safety, meeting legal regulations, wants related to lifestyle, improving consumers’ life quality through added value, and protection of the environment. Furthermore, the team of authors proposed the model packaging. According to them, modern food packaging should be characterized by health (safety), simplicity (reduction, convenience), identity (belonging), aesthetics (design), and meaning (sustainability, intelligence). These conclusions have a managerial dimension because they might be valuable premises for developing packaging and introducing innovative solutions in this area. The paper confirms that both the design of food packaging systems and the production of such kinds of packaging should be developed after giving due consideration not only to the technical requirements but also to the socio-economic and the environmental ones.

As the editors of this issue, we would like to thank all the authors for their contribution, and for sharing their own theoretical considerations and the results of empirical research. We are convinced that the presented studies constitute a valuable contribution to management sciences in the area of effective organizational management in a turbulent environment. We would also like to thank the reviewers for their efforts in reviewing the articles for this issue, as well as their valuable comments and suggestions that have influenced its final shape. We hope that the articles presented in this issue will interest readers, scientists and researchers from around the world, in addition to inspiring them to conduct further research on the topics discussed.

Dr. hab. Marcin Gębarowski

Cracow University of Economics, Poland

Dr. hab. Renata Lisowska

Associate Professor, University of Lodz, Poland