Vol. 3 No. 3-4 (2009)
These numbers of Apstract are the result of the AVA4
International Congress, held in Debrecen March 26-27,
2009. An impressive number of papers of high quality were
presented during the well organized sessions. From each of
the 17 sessions the two best papers were chosen to be
published in numbers 3 and 4 of volume 3.
During the opening session of the congress Professor
Nagy, the president of the Centre for Agricultural Sciences
and Engineering of the University of Debrecen as well as
Professor Molnár, Hungarian Minister of Science, Research
and Innovation emphasized the crucial role of knowledge in
European economic development. The AVA4 Congress
contributes to that and therefore is important.
I alsowould like to take the opportunity to drawyour attention
to the web site “ageconsearch”: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/ of
the University of Minnesota (US) where you can find a wealth of
articles and papers (including the Apstract articles) in our field.
This really is a rich resource for research.
As Professor Nábrádi, the organizer of the conference,
and Deputy Editor of Apstract indicated the bi-annual AVA
congress has become a bi-annual Agrimba activity. The
Agrimba Network, the AVA Congress, and our journal
Apstract together form the three institutional pillars of the
Agrimba activities. I am confident that this triple A is a
success formula for the years to come.
Next time in 2011 the congress will be organized in
Wageningen, the Netherlands. Everybody who is interested in
research in the areas of applied economics, agribusiness,
informatics or tourism is invited to take part in it. I am
looking forward to meet you all in Wageningen.
Performance imbalances in the chain: EU traditional food sector7-11Views:140
Organizations nowadays no longer competeas independent entities, but as chains(Christopher, 1998; Cox, 1999; Lambertand Cooper, 2000). Hence, being part of a well-performing chain is crucial for the future of the individual food firm, especially in the context of the globalizing economy. As a result, the objective of this study is to identify performance imbalances of traditional food chains.Therefore, quantitative data were collected via individual interviews with 271 chain member (91 suppliers, 91 focal companies and 89 customers) of 91 traditional food chains from three European countries(Belgium, Italy and Hungary), representing six different traditional food product categories (cheese, beer, ham, sausage, white pepper and bakery). The results differentiate six different kinds of chain imbalances, namely: dyadic upper and lower, up-and down stream, internal and external indicate both dyadic and chain-wise imbalance. Most chain imbalances are noticed in relation to lowering logistic costs and to reducing lead time. Future research should extend the list of performance indicators with parameters other than economical ones such as ecological and social ones.
The impact of boundary organizations on decision-making under uncertainty: A multi-agent simulation13-16Views:106
Modern environmental issues imply that decision-makers have the capacity to take into account possibly conflicting information from distinct domains, such as science and economics.As the development of technology increases the temporal and spatial scopes of risks, decision-makers can no longer consider economic and scientific information separately but should encourage experts to work together. Boundary organizations, institutions that cross the gap between two different domains, are able to act beyond the boundaries while remaining accountable to each side (Guston, 2001). By encouraging a flow of information across the boundaries, they permit an exchange to take place, while maintaining the authority of each domain (Cash et al., 2003; Clark et al., 2002). The goal is to simulate boundary organizations to assess their impact on the diffusion of experts’ opinions. The hypothesis tested is whether the existence of a boundary organization eases the decision-making process by reducing the number of opinions expressed. The methodology relies on a multi-agent system based on a model of continuous opinion dynamics (Deffuant et al., 2001) extended over two dimensions. The world is defined by two parameters: the uncertainty, that reflects the possible zone of discussion between experts, and the exchange, which represents the openness of discussions. Agents are described by credibility and conviction: the credibility represents how much other agents may be influenced by an agent, and the conviction represents the resistance of an agent to changing its position. Two kinds of agents are left free to interact, modifying their position in their domain (dimension) through one-to-one exchanges. Agents called borgs are introduced: open to trans-disciplinary discussion, they are able to exchange on both dimensions. The results show that the range of expressed opinions is significantly reduced, even at low levels of experts involved in the boundary organization.
Romanian insurance business trends and the International crisis effects on it17-20Views:91
Is it interesting a 2 billion euro insurance market for the “old” Europe? “Not very much” one may say considering this figure represents no more than 16% of the insurance turn-over in the case of the most recent entry in the Romanian market, Groupama.The answer is still not as simple as that because “interesting” in business terms is not only about today, but very much about tomorrow. By the end of 2007 it was obvious that the Romanian insurance market is far from calming down. Not only that for the time being change is still the main real constant in use, but figures show that the market environment becomes more challenging than ever these days. The market situation showed that this allegation it was by that time more likely to be true than ever.
Cultural and social accomplishments of agricultural companies as contributions to the development of rural areas21-23Views:120
Agricultural companies play a key role in enriching the cultural and social life of the rural areas in which they function. Therefore, these companies serve towards preserving a quality of life necessary for rural communities to survive and to develop rural areas. However, the financial, human resource and material expenditures necessary to sustain rural communities are difficult to quantify. These studies, on the basis of internationally focused case studies, attempt to measure, systemize and evaluate the charitable engagement of farmers.
The importance of equestrian tourism enterprises in tourism destination management in Hungary25-27Views:148
Hungary is the pioneer of the European Equestrian Tourism. Several thousands foreign tourists visited specific equestrian programmes already in the 1960’s and 1970’s.At the same times some hundred thousands of holiday tourists visited equestrian shows and programs organised in different areas of our country. From the beginning of the 1990’s equestrian enterprises (pensions, stables, specialized equestrian services) have been established. The equestrian tourism enterprises are well represented all over the country.They are well organised, the Hungarian EquestrianTourism Association integrates 80% of equestrian tourism enterprises. Uniquely in Europe, the voluntary professional qualification, called “the horseshoe qualification system” started in 1998. The most common quality categories are for entrepreneurs are 3 or 2 or 1 horseshoe. The system ofTourism Destination Management organizations could provide the background for the development of equestrian tourism enterprises as well.At local level these needs would be product development, the quality control and quality management, at regional level the most important aims could be the development of regional equestrian image and increasing the attractiveness of this image, finally hardening the positions of equestrian tourism destination.
Regional benchmarking process in cognac project (Coordination of RDI policies and their coherence with other policies in the Newly Acceded Countries)29-32Views:105
In order to achieve the Lisbon objectives and create a knowledge based society, Europe needs to increase and improve investment in R&D. This requires improving the effectiveness and coherence of research policies at European, national and regional levels. The first cycle of application of the open method of co-ordination (OMC) to the 3% objective provided an overview of the Member States policies in a number of areas, facilitated mutual learning and led to a number of policy recommendations adopted by CREST in October 2004. The current regional benchmarking practice is made with in a 6th Framework Programme project called Cognac, which is the acronym for Coordination of R&D&I policies and their coherence with other policies in NewlyAcceded Countries. The project is focusing on two priority subjects: public research spending and policy mixes and SMEs and research. The project was supported within the first cycle of the RTD-OMC NET call. The benchmarking exercise tries to show the differences in the performance of participating regions. It supposed to choose the best regions at NUTS II level by the two priority topic of the project: “Public research spending and policy mixes” and “SMEs and research”. Geographically the analysis covers the area of the eight partnering regions.
Some aspects of accounting and management accounting during economic downturns33-35Views:137
Economic slowdown and downturn creates new situation for every organisation, no one can avoid facing to new situation created by the global financial-, and economic crisis.All of the organisational function should reconsider its own role within the company due to the new circumstances, Accounting and Mangement Accounting can not be exception, but they have more complex and emphasized role in these difficult times. In the following paper I can not avoid to mention some general statement about importance of accounting and accounting principles, while there are a number of criticalaccounting and financial reporting issues that accountants and auditors should consider.In the framework of the paper I can not face with all relevant issues of the topic, but after some general statement I would like to highlight some special area regarding to management accounting, which can be more important during these challenging time for decision makers and accountants.Regarding to balance sheet analysis its important to mention current debate about fair value comparing with historical cost from accounting point of view, on the other hand from the view of management reporting system I would like to highlight the importance of working-capital indicators. More practical topic is the crucial role of budgeting and forecasting during economic downturns, and at the end I would like to show why it is more important monitoring price variance and indirect cost allocation in these uncertain business circumstances.
Work organization and economic examination of breadwinning of rurality37-39Views:99
Agriculture has been and probably will be a significant branch in the south part of the Great Plain in the future as well. Besides the mass products and in many cases instead of them when forming the agricultural structure, this region has to pay more attention to the branches that were important in the past. Hungarian experts who are famous in foreign countries as well deal with these branches and they provide excellent products. The rules referring to these products are more liberal in the market places of the European Union and their development is not controlled by strict quota systems. In the south part of the Great Hungarian Plain a lot of unique products of excellent quality are produced. Here in this essay we would like to find the answer to the question how the two significant products of the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain can provide the families with the income that they can live on.We aim at the economical examination of the cucumber grown in Méhkerék and asparagus of Homok. To do this we will apply the so called Standard Gross Margin. The agriculture of the states of the European Union is measured with the help of this method. It can also help us in the future to decide whether the different farms belonging to families are economically viable in Hungary.
Health factor in soft drink consumption, German example41-44Views:97
Consumer lifestyle and health are relevant factors to understanding consumption preferences.The number of lifestyle diseases has dramatically increased worldwide. The main cause for these diseases is the change in lifestyle; including a lack of attention to physical activity and good nutrition. Health and lifestyle are important factors by purchase decision process. In accordance with these, I examine the consumer behaviour toward soft drinks with special regards to healthy lifestyle and the state of health. My examinations can be considered mainly as a qualitative research among German students, which can serve as a basis for further analyses and research, however, the conclusions and experience gained from it are worthy of consideration. I differentiated five categories: ice tea, carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, mineral waters, sport and energy drinks and studied the consumer behaviour toward them. The study focuses on the consumption of these and the factors influencing their purchase with special regards to lifestyle.
ICT and agritourism in Czech Republic45-48Views:136
Tourism is regarded as the world’s future. Agritourism is a unique symbiosis of agriculture and tourism. Based on extensive analysis of the state agritourism in the Czech Republic, it was found that information on agritourism facilities is very diverse and disorderly, lacking a specializedportalforagro-tourism. Agritourism facilities in th eCzech Republic is several thousand, but most of them have non-quality websites, or none at all. It should been sured that entrepreneurs in the agritourism (farmers) had knowledge easily and with minimum cost to present their own small farm on the web, such as using Web content management system (WCMS). It is proposed the new portal solution, which according to the principles ofWeb 2.0 will provide greater information sharing among the partners in the field of agri-tourism.
Examining some fields within human resources management49-52Views:135
Human resources management is one of the management functions, dealing with people as the essential resource of the organization. This function aims at the most efficient usage of employees in order to realize both organizational and individual goals. Nowadays high significance is attributed to human resources management, since the human factor is the resource that determines the success of an organization. The results of a company are in proportion with the knowledge and talent of the people on its payroll. Human talent and knowledge can be utilized to the greatest extent in case management is able to motivate employees to meet not only the necessary requirements but also to achieve the highest possible results. Human resources management consists of several fields of activities, among which the following are the most important: analysis, planning and assessment of the scope of activities, human resources planning, workforce supply, performance assessment, motivation, developing human resources, labour relations, labour safety, HEM information system. Our studies cover a few fields within human resources management. Our research has been carried out at organizations in Hajdú-Bihar County. The study is based on questionnaires, which have been processed by computers and evaluated using statistical methods.
The institutional determinants of bilateral Agricultural and food trade53-57Views:128
The paper investigates the effects of the institutional determinants on trade in agricultural and food products among the OECD countries using a gravity model approach. We focus on the impact of the quality of governance and the similarity of institutions in explaining variation in bilateral agricultural and food trade patterns. Results confirmed the separate effects for the institutional similarity and the institutional quality on trade patterns. The institutional similarity has positive and significant impact on trade in a similar institutional framework for agricultural, but less for food products. The institutional quality has significant positive impact on trade in both agricultural and food products for importing countries.
Changes in costs of precision nutrition depending on crop rotation59-63Views:116
By applying precision nutrition the yield heterogeneity owing to the different features of soil spots can be taken into consideration. The planned and sprayed fertilizer adjusted to the expected yield rendered to soil spots can reduce the negative effects of artificial chemicals on soil and environment. The aim of this paper is to examine how the quantity and the cost of fertilizer (material and operational) will change on spot level on a certain plot during a five-year period, considering crop rotation, too. The following crops are in the rotation: winter wheat, corn and sunflower. Precision nutrition can be used in all the cultures mentioned above. Our earlier (static) model calculations have revealed that the threshold price of precision production was lower by 31% than in conventional technology. So it is necessary to explore for a longer period how the profitability of precision nutrition reacts to the changes in input and yield prices in different crops. The risk receptivity of precision nutrition can be characterized with the help of price sensitive analyses. Effects on profitability of other technological elements are not analysed in this paper.
The role of emotions and perceived control in the recovery strategy of service companies65-68Views:117
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of service recovery tactics. The reseach included a qualitative study based on 30 interviews with customers and employees of a telecommunication company. This was followed by a quantitative study using between subject experimental designs based on scenarios. Our research results suggest that employees’ positive emotions and perceived control during the recovery process make consumers more satisfied.
Use of coordination spheres in food economics69-71Views:122
The coordination plays central role in the economics. The conventional economic theory looks at the market and enterprise (or hierarchy) as two different, separated manner of coordination of economic goods and services. However the modern organization theory, price theory and institutional economics show that different types (not only market and enterprise, but also several types of hybrid forms) of coordination (or governance structure) necessarily live together in the current economic system. Based on my previous research on the field of regional clusters in the food industry I came to the conclusion that the cluster is one of the spheres where economic coordination can occur.At the same time I pointed out that the ways of coordination can be ordered on an ordinary scale according to its normative or positive nature. I’ve also found that the choice between the coordination spheres (market, enterprise or cluster) is not arbitrary, but instead depends on the interest’s dimension which is represented by the exchange of goods and services in question.
The situation of the Hungarian agricultural higher education73-77Views:96
The knowledge-based, competitive economy places a great emphasis on the education system. The responsibility of higher education is to impart knowledge of high standard which is in harmony with the continuously changing environment. Higher education has a special role in the knowledge-based economy since it does not only have to fulfil educational but also research an innovation tasks. The decrease in the traditional role of agriculture as well as international tendencies facilitate diversification, i.e. the emergence of new roles and the relevant activities. Due to the diversification of agriculture fields like environmental protection, bioenergetics, and rural development have become more emphatic. The growing importance of these new fields is also significant from the point of view of education. Well trained professionals are of vital importance for the agriculture. A significant number of fresh graduates are not employed in their profession; they find a job in other areas or continue their education in a different field of interest. This research is based on a representative survey amongst agricultural graduates. Its objective is finding facts about how the graduates of the past five years assess higher education training and also about the factors employers take into consideration when employing a fresh graduate.
Using DEA to evaluate efficiency of higher education79-82Views:477
The aim of the higher education reform process both in Hungary and in the European countries is establishing a competitive, qualitative higher education with efficiently operating institutions. The question of efficiency needs increased attention not only because of the decline of the state support but also the rapid raise of the student mass. In the educationsystemit’snot easy to measurethe output of the services.The situation is more complicated if an organisation or a sector has multiple inputs and outputs. In this case a possible method of determining efficiency is Data Envelopment Analysis. In my paper I’d like to introduce this method and use it to compare the efficiency of higher education systems. urthermore I am examining whether their efficiency is influenced by the extent of the contribution of the state and the private sector or socio-economic factors like GDP per capita and education level of parents.
Total Quality Management in the food industry – Current situation and potential in Germany83-87Views:423
The requirements in terms of information availability, risk precaution and control in the food industry continue to increase. In this context the interest of companies in the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach is also increasing. This development attracts notice to Business Excellence and connected systems. Similarly, various quality management tools and techniques are available. In this regard a research project analyzed to what extent the companies in the food industry apply different activities of the TQM scheme. The research calculates the importance that the companies attach to different requirements of TQM and how they implement them. Additionally, statistical analysis provides evidence that there is a positive correlation between the implementation of the activities of TQM and the medium- to longterm success of a company. In this article the methodology and major findings of this research project are presented.
Long-term government responses to sustainable tourism development: principles and strategies89-92Views:156
Tourism is one of the leading sectors in the world economy. Enhancing its well-known economic, social and environmental benefits while managing its negative impacts are highly important for the national governments in European Union. Strategic planning is essential to meet the long term requirements of sustainability. National sustainable development strategies and tourism strategies are fundamental means of strategic planning as they provide guidance for the decision-makers of the tourism sector. The member states of the European Union have prepared their national sustainable development strategies, furthermore the Union’s common strategy and the national strategies of some member states have already been revised and renewed by now.The Hungarian strategies – National Sustainable Development Strategy and National Tourism Development Strategy – were completed the World Tourism Organization published its twelve aims for an agenda for sustainable tourism in 2005. Consequently these strategies are expected to contain references to the sustainability requirements and environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. In the present study we analyse the issues of sustainable tourism development in the sustainable development strategies of the EU and Hungary and the National Tourism Development Strategy of Hungary 2005-2013 with special attention to the principles laid down by the WTO in 2005. Our aim is to investigate the cohesion between the principles of sustainable development and sustainable tourism, and their manifestations in some of the strategic documents influencing Hungarian tourism development.
Marketing characteristics of Tokaj wine specialities based on factor and cluster analyses93-101Views:187
The marketing kind of analysis in the domestic and international markets of Tokaj’s wine speciality has not happend yet. The present research scientific method supportedly defines the consumers of Tokaj’s wine speciality and it determinates the overlay receipt. The basis of the questionnaire research at the wine consumers cirlce is a representative sample of 1179 people. It confirms the truthfulness with factos and cluster dissection. On the hungarian market 5 sections can be devided, which has been determined by the earning category, the wine savvy and the referene price interval. Tokaj Wine Specialities named “late vintage” are also available. This name can be confusing for the consumer, some do not understand in what they differ from other Tokaj Wine Specialities, as actually all Tokaj Wine Specialities are late vintage wines; particularly, wine is harvested later than usual, occasionally in October or November. The findings obtained during the research can beutilised in practice, too. In accordance with the results and conclusions, we have several practical suggestions. Our methodological suggestion is that the result of the cluster analysis based upon a large number of representative sample should be cross-checked with focus group tests; what is more, upon justification and verification, a detailed analysis of the given segments can also be performed better with this method. It would be worth studying the exact reasons for the popularity of wines with the name ”late vintage”. Such types of Tokaj Wine Specialities should be given higher priority in marketing terms. My suggestion is that the type of wine accepted and liked by consumers should be kept count of as TokajWine Specialities officially, too. The future marketing strategy has to be developed by knowing the sections and by it’s further research which has to integrate to the strategy of Tokaj’s wine region.
The role of leaders’ emotions103-108Views:261
Western cultures support the notion that the ideal ‘professional’behaviour for a leader is primarily rational and carefully controlled emotionally. The relationship of reason and emotion is often played out as one of mutual exclusion, and moreover as one representing hierarchy of leaders and followers. Power positions in most organizations are ritually emphasized through strict emotional control/suppression. Thus this display of unemotional rationality is held to be synonymous with control, may actually belie emotional and psychical insanities, and indicate organizational incongruities. Since, emotions play crucial role in the regulation of workplace relations. Negative emotions are the basis of awareness and positive ones are that of trust, and hence they both are needed in everyday situations. Leaders’emotions can be used as tools to motivate and to express individualist attention and caring. However, this use of emotions as tools may come at a price for those leaders who are less apt at emotion regulation. In sum, workplace is an emotional place and it is of best interest of the organizational members, – both the leaders and those led, – to understand the leaders’genuine and displayed emotions, their antecedents and their consequences.
Strategic approach to sustainable business of Galenika Fitofarmacija A.D. in a context of accession of Republic of Serbia109-110Views:90
Strategic management is ultimately concerned with the quest for sustainable advantage. To be practical, advantage for commercial firms concerns earnings and sustainable means a concern with earnings into the future. Pearce and Robinson define strategic management as a set of decisions and actions that results in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a company’s objectives. David says that strategic management can be defined as the art and science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organization to achieve its objectives. Strategy is also hierarchical concept – it takes place at three different levels: corporate, business, and functional. These levels correspond with the activities of managers in different parts of the organization.
The elements of strategic and marketing planning applied in the case of Avital company111-112Views:110
Presently, the environment that is characterized by rapid changesinallsocialspheres,thechallengesofrapidadaptation and survival in the market, the ability of thinking and acting in front of ‘’time’’is one of the key factors of success. Every day we have witnessed a large decline of the number of companies, poor implementation of many projects, poor implementation of governmentreforms, and life challenges of people to find work. On the other hand, there are individuals, organizations and companies that face challenges and changes very fast in all world markets and societies. Question that could be asked based on this is ‘’Why and how some companies manage it and the other not?"
The evolution of the Avacongress113Views:101
In the early 1990’s MBA educations started independently in Warsaw, Prague, and Debrecen. In the middle 1990’s a small network was estblished with the mentioned institutions, as well as supporters from different universities like Wageningen, Aberdeen, Cork, later Fayetteville fromArcansas (USA). In the beginning of the 21st century the network became bigger. That time did Kiev join the Network, and started negotiations with Moscow Paralell to extended network leading by Warsaw University we applied for a EU Leonardo grant. The proposal was to develop the teaching and learning materials in the programme to a common approved standard. In order to improve the quality of teaching a set of commonly approved, standardized teaching materials had been eveleoped: Handbooks fo rmodules taught within 7 courses of the MBA programs: Public Policy, Economics, Management, Marketing, Finance, Operational Methods and International Agribusiness. Handbooks and case studies had been put on Warsaw University’s website and are now accessible for teachers and students from all academic institutions participating in the project. Materials had been developed by teams of experts in specific fields from different Universities.The whole set of materials was prepared in English. Another product of the project is the quality assurance standards applied by all MBA programs and an accreditation procedurefor the International Board. That time formulated the name AGRIMBA which is official name of the International Network on Agribusiness and Commerce.
Mitigation activities to reduce emission of agricultural greenhouse gases in Hungary115-119Views:118
Pressure on natural resources and the global environment have been identified as the most important challenges to maintain prosperity and improve environmental care. Agriculture is responsible for only a small proportion of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but the sector is more closely associated with emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The global warming potential of agricultural activities defined as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in CO2 equivalents is relatively low in Hungary, when calculated per land area. However this difference decline, when a GHG emission is calculated per product unit, as yields are lower then in West European countries. Environmental load caused by agriculture is also low in Hungary, where increasing part of EU resources are used for the long-term preservation of natural resources and for the raising of awareness of sustainable farming. The strength of the environmental situation of Hungary, consist of several elements, such as the rich bio-diversity, the significant size of territories falling under natural protection, the extent and importance of forests and the low environmental load from crop production. Among the weaknesses the nitrate load of the animal husbandry farms, the increasing water and wind erosion, the soil compaction and degradation have to be taken into consideration. Climate change has high risk potential and the mitigation activities of the New Hungary Rural Development Programme (HRDP) are investigated in this paper with the aim to increase mitigation activities in rural area and reduce the causes of climate change.