One of the goals of the first edition of this book back in 2005 was to present a coherent theory for K-Means partitioning and Ward hierarchical clustering. This theory leads to effective data pre-processing options, clustering algorithms and interpretation aids, as well as to firm relations to other areas of data analysis. The goal of this second edition is to consolidate, strengthen and extend this island of understanding in the light of recent developments. Moreover, the material on validation and interpretation of clusters is updated with a system better reflecting the current state of the art and with our recent ``lifting in taxonomies'' approach. The structure of the book has been streamlined by adding two Chapters: ``Similarity Clustering'' and ``Validation and Interpretation'', while removing two chapters: ``Different Clustering Approaches'' and ``General Issues.'' The Chapter on Mathematics of the data recovery approach, in a much extended version, almost doubled in size, now concludes the book. Parts of the removed chapters are integrated within the new structure. The change has added a hundred pages and a couple of dozen examples to the text and, in fact, transformed it into a different species of a book. In the first edition, the book had a Russian doll structure, with a core and a couple of nested shells around. Now it is a linear structure presentation of the data recovery clustering.
The environment of entrepreneurial activity is numerous and heterogeneous. It includes a large number of components, which have a different extent, nature and frequency of impact on the organization. The question of assessment methodology of the entrepreneurial activity strategic risk factors is sufficiently important. The aim of this study is to develop an assessment methodology model of the strategic risk factors of entrepreneurial activity with the application of a scenario-based approach to identify dependencies of the risk factors using statistical data for 10 years. By strategic risk factors are understood changes in the external common business environment. The following methods were used in this study: a) questionnaire of entrepreneurs and managers of small and medium enterprises, the Central Bank staff and scientists on the subject of selection of indicators characterizing the external business environment; b) correlation analysis; c) regression analysis; d) Delphi approach; e) scenario analysis methods. As a result of the conducted study the main factors influencing the entrepreneurial activity to the fullest degree were identified. Furthermore, a working hypothesis concerning the fact, that increase of standalone strategic risk factors not always exerts negative influence on the entrepreneurial activity was confirmed. The proposed tools of risk factors assessment and their influence on the entrepreneurial activity may be used both for assessment of the organization environment and for assessment of various risk situations aimed at further use of the obtained information when making decisions.
Although it has been more than 20 years since Communism crumbled in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, many scholars and politicians still wonder what the lifting of the Iron Curtain has really meant for these former Communist countries. And, because these countries were largely closed off to the world for so long, there has yet to be an all-inclusive study on their administrative systems—until now. In Public Administration in Post-Communist Countries: Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and Mongolia, expert contributors supply a comprehensive overview and analysis of public administration in their respective post-Communist countries. They illustrate each country's transformation from an authoritarian system of governance into a modern, market-based, and in some cases, democratic government. The book covers the countries that were officially part of the Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan); those that were theoretically independent but were subject to Soviet-dominated Communist rule (Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Poland); as well as a satellite republic that was under significant Soviet influence (Mongolia). Each chapter includes a brief introduction to the specific country, an overview of politics and administration, and discussions on key aspects of public management and administration—including human resource management, public budgeting, financial management, corruption, accountability, political and economic reform, civil society, and prospects for future development in the region. The book concludes by identifying common themes and trends and pinpointing similarities and differences to supply you with a broad comparative perspective.