Client satisfaction is a critical element that equally affects firms’ competitiveness in manufacturing and service industries. The competitiveness is highly dependent on the mediating role that client satisfaction plays on consumers’ loyalty, and this is especially relevant in the turbulent periods lived after the financial crisis of 2008. A simple glimpse at the growing number of publications on client satisfaction shows the relevance of the topic. The aim of this paper is to analyze the evolution of articles published by Russian and non-Russian authors to see whether the experience of the former Soviet Union autocracy and the transition from this regime to market economy has played a significant role explaining the differences in approaches and topics under analysis as well as the rate of convergence between these two once separating worlds. The analysis is based on a systematic literature review of a first set of 1685 articles on client satisfaction in the Scopus and eLIBRARY databases. A further step based on only 200 relevant articles is made to find that the breach between these two worlds has been reduced, but there are still some differences regarding the social and economic components of the relevant literature. Some avenues for the future research that can advance a better understanding on the client satisfaction and the effects on the firms’ competitiveness after the existing new political agenda are briefly introduced.
In the past decade, several studies have examined the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on long-term episodic memory formation and retrieval. These studies yielded conflicting results, likely due to differences in stimulation parameters, experimental design and outcome measures.
In this work we aimed to assess the robustness of tDCS effects on long-term episodic memory using a meta-analytical approach.
We conducted four meta-analyses to analyse the effects of anodal and cathodal tDCS on memory accuracy and response times. We also used a moderator analysis to examine whether the size of tDCS effects varied as a function of specific stimulation parameters and experimental conditions.
Although all selected studies reported a significant effect of tDCS in at least one condition in the published paper, the results of the four meta-analyses showed only statistically non-significant close-to-zero effects. A moderator analysis suggested that for anodal tDCS, the duration of the stimulation and the task used to probe memory moderated the effectiveness of tDCS. For cathodal tDCS, site of stimulation was a significant moderator, although this result was based on only a few observations.
To warrant theoretical advancement and practical implications, more rigorous research is needed to fully understand whether tDCS reliably modulates episodic memory, and the specific circumstances under which this modulation does, and does not, occur.
The Uzbek Cotton Affair has been in the post-Stalin USSR. Preoccupied by the dying Soviet Union and presaged its end.
Current predictive models of collective action have devoted little attention to personal values, such as morals or ideology. The present research addresses this issue by incorporating a new axiological path in a novel predictive model of collective action, named AICAM. The axiological path is formed by two constructs: ideology and moral obligation. The model has been tested for real normative participation (Study 1) and intentional non-normative participation (Study 2). The sample for Study 1 included 531 randomly selected demonstrators and non-demonstrators at the time of a protest that took place in Madrid, May 2017. Study 2 comprised 607 randomly selected participants who filled out an online questionnaire. Structural equation modelling analysis was performed in order to examine the fit and predictive power of the model. Results show that the model is a good fit in both studies. It has also been observed that the new model entails a significant addition of overall effect size when compared with alternative models, including SIMCA. The present research contributes to the literature of collective action by unearthing a new, independent path towards collective action that is nonetheless compatible with previous motives. Implications for future research are discussed, mainly stressing the need to include moral and ideological motives in the study of collective action engagement.
Chayanov A.V. On the Agrarian Question. Translated from: Chayanov A.V. What is the Agrarian Question? Moscow: Joint-stock company “Universal Library”, 1917. 63 p. (League for Agrarian Reforms)
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in new data emerged due to the rapid development of the information technologies in scholarly communication. Since the 2010s, altmetrics has become a common trend in scientometric research. However, researchers have not treated in much detail the question of the probability distributions underlying these new data. The principal objective of this study was to investigate one of the classic problems of scientometrics—the problem of citation and readership distributions. The study is based on the data obtained from two information systems: Web of Science and Mendeley. Here we based on the concept of the cumulative empirical distribution function to explore the differences and similarities between citations and readership counts of biological journals indexed in Web of Science and Mendeley. The basic idea was to determine, for any journal, a “size” (it is said to be the topological rank) of citation and readership empirical cumulative distributions, and then to compare distributions of the topological ranks of Web of Science and Mendeley. In order to verify our model, we employ it to the bibliometric and altmetric research of 305biological journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports 2015. The findings show that both distributions of the topological rank of biological journals are statistically close to the Wakeby distribution. The findings presented in this study add to our understanding of information processes of the scholarly communication in the new digital environment.
Russia’s fertility rate jumped after 2007, when new state measures were introduced to support families with children. This article analyzes the structure of this increase and factors that have contributed to a growth in the fertility rate. In 2007, the greatest gains were made in terms of second and subsequent births, while the fertility rate for first births has remained virtually unchanged. The effectiveness of demographic policy measures taken since early 2007 in regard to the fertility rate can be evaluated on the basis of statistical calculations as an additional amount of 0.259 of the total fertility rate, which amounts to 35.4 percent for second and subsequent births and 17.1 percent for all births. Thus, there are grounds to speak about positive shifts in fertility rate indicators not just for hypothetical generations, but also for real generations.
We investigate the consequences of excessive international debt overhang as they relate to both debtor and creditor countries. In particular, we assess the impact of monetary policy on financial stability and how it can be used to smooth borrowers, as well as creditors, consumption over the business cycle. Based on [Goodhart, Peiris, Tsomocos, 2018], we establish that an independent countercyclical monetary policy, that contracts liquidity whenever debt grows whereas it expands it when default rises, reduces volatility of consumption. In effect, monetary policy provides an extra degree of freedom to the policymaker. We implement our approach to the Czech and Eurozone area economies during the 1990s. In our model, we introduce endogenous default ά la [Shubik, Wilson, 1977], whereby debtors incur a welfare cost in renegotiating their contractual debt obligations that is commensurate to the level of default. However, this cost depends explicitly on the business cycle and it should be countercyclical. Hence, contractionary monetary policy reduces the volume of trade and efficiency, thus increasing default. This occurs as the default cost increases the associated default accelerator channel engenders higher default rates. On the other hand, lower interest rates increase trade efficiency and, consequently, reduce the amplitude of the business cycle and benefit financial stability. In sum, the appropriate design of monetary policy complements financial stability policy. The modeling of endogenous default allows us to study the interaction of monetary and macroprudential policy.
Very few studies currently exist on poverty adaptation to subjective well-being. We offer analysis on povertyadaptation for Russia, a middle-income country in transition, using panel data for 2001-2017. We found no povertyadaption for life satisfaction and subjective wealth, with longer poverty spells being associated with moredissatisfaction. Similar results hold for other outcomes including satisfaction with own economic conditions, workcontract, job, pay, and career, and for poverty defined using either absolute or relative thresholds. Some evidenceindicates that while those living in rural areas or born outside of Russia have similar levels of poverty adaptation forlife satisfaction, they may adapt less regarding subjective wealth. There is also some evidence that women may be lessadaptive than men, particularly for longer poverty duration
Do voters punish governments more severely during international economic crises or do they discount exogenous shocks as they recognize the government’s limited “room of manoeuvre”? The current literature provides conflicting answers to this question. This study argues that in such contexts citizens’ economic perceptions are less likely to predict their sanctioning behavior but that, nonetheless, governments experience a higher cost of ruling. We show that in the paradigmatic case of Italy, government popularity during the Great Recession, while being hardly explained by economic evaluations, suffers a stronger decline as a function of time in office. We account for this increased cost of ruling by economic policy debates and other political events, such as cabinet crises and large-scale scandals.
Given the growing dissatisfaction of international academic communities within the social and humanistic sciences, with their rigid and counter-productive self-referential practices of intra-disciplinary communication, the integrative and cross-disciplinary attempt by Mangone is eminently relevant. For sociologists elaborating on Pitirim Sorokin’s ideas, it may seem questionable that his vast intellectual heritage can serve as a proper foundation for promoting the arguably “new science” of Cultural Psychology. However, instead of using a single disciplinary perspective (sociology or cultural psychology), Mangone succeeds in persuading the reader to look at Sorokin from different angles—that of the dialogue between different disciplines as sociology and cultural psychology.
The newsbreak for writing this article was a kind of jubilee: 25 years ago, in 1992, a conference in Rio de Janeiro adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This event became the first in a series of follow-up conferences and documents aimed primarily at limiting carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere to counter global warming. The author is an active advocate of the concept of the anthropogenic impact on climate as a leading factor in climate change. He stresses the positive potential of international agreements in this field and a new energy-environmental paradigm, which implies the development of low-carbon industry and transition to renewable energy sources and the “green” economy.
Guest’s satisfaction in the hotel industry cannot be easily measured because these constructs depend on multiple intangible attributes that can be evaluated very differently by distinct market segments. In this paper, the satisfaction experienced by different market segments based on age and gender is evaluated by the use of a hybrid method built from the fuzzy logic and optimal solutions. Fuzzy set theory has become a standard technique to resolve in part the uncertain information provided by guests. The results show that age and gender affect the satisfaction experienced by the hotel guests, and that not all the attributes are equally important when satisfaction is studied. The analysis of the elasticities show that the guest satisfaction is quite inelastic with respect to the 32 attributes included in the study, but the elasticity is higher for these four attributes: (1) welcome gifts in the room; (2) furniture/decoration in restaurants and bars; (3) furniture/decoration in public areas; and (4) welcome gifts in the bathroom.
This article contributes to denationalizing Bourdieu’s field theory by analysing the relationship between a regional news media field, the state and transnational influences. The article seeks to answer the question of how a state can impose limits on the autonomy of the news media field during political transition. Field theory is applied to changes that have taken place in Crimean news media since Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014. Drawing on narrative interviews with journalists who worked in Crimea in 2012–17, expert interviews, and secondary sources, I demonstrate how Crimea’s news media field went from being dominated by varied Ukrainian private news media owners to becoming dominated by the Russian state. I show that states can employ direct measures such as anti‐press violence and ownership appropriation of news media outlets in order to increase concentration of state media ownership. In addition, states can reallocate capital in the news media field, disenfranchising some journalists and outlets while favouring others. The adaptive strategies of individual journalists, who, upon losing capital, can sometimes relocate or leave their jobs, also changes the composition of news media fields. Departing from a common view of social spaces as bounded within nation‐states, I examine how the news media field of Crimea has been shaped by both transnational influences, and by the direct imposition of Russian state power through a reconstitution of national borders.
This article (one of a series of two articles) analyzes specific features of income stratification in Russia in comparison with other countries (Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Mexico, China) based on data from several nationwide surveys. It demonstrates that the income stratification model, which refers average per capita incomes at a specific household to the median income in a country, captures well the peculiarities involved in different models of society. It uses the data of an international comparative study, International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), to show that the Russian income stratification model is typical of Europe. At the same time, Russia is in-between Europe and the former Third World in terms of the extent of income inequalities.
This paper provides empirical analysis of income stratification in contemporary Russian society and its dynamics in recent decades. The paper analyses in detail different approaches (absolute and relative) to defining income groups. It is shown that the most widely used thresholds of the absolute approach cannot be efficiently applied to contemporary Russian society, as they fail to define the subgroups within the population, while relative approach, based on the median income as the social standard of living, appears more effective for income stratification in Russia. A specific income stratification scale is suggested. Its application shows that middle-income groups currently dominate in income structure, however, the incomes of their representatives are not high in absolute terms and their living standards are quite modest. Income stratification in Russia has been noticeably transformed over the last 20 years – the middle-income group has been growing while the low income and high-income groups’ shares have been declining. The proposed scale implies possibilities for structural adjustments such as regional- and settlement-specific disparities in income distribution; it can be easily replicated and allows broad potential for future research, including international comparisons of income stratification in societies undergoing transitional processes.
To illustrate the role of organizations of lawyers in social changes we analyze the process of transforming legal and socio-political institutions in Russia over the past 30 years.We combine the theory of legal mobilization with the concept of violence and social orders proposed by North, Wallis and Weingast to describe the general logic of this process. Russian case shows that exogenous shocks stimulate collective action of criminal defence lawyers which, in turn, compel the government to respond. The state can promote the passivity of the legal community and stop legal mobilization by providing certain preferences for the profession. Even though in the 2000s, Russia took the path of destroying legal institutions, legal profession in certain circumstances could again act as an agent of social change. We conclude that the efficiency of collective action depends on the institutional capacity of legal association and on the position of the professional elite standing at its head.
The stereotype content model (SCM), originating in the United States and generalized across nearly 50 countries, has yet to address ethnic relations in one of the world’s most influential nations. Russia and the United States are somewhat alike (large, powerful, immigrant-receiving), but differ in other ways relevant to intergroup images (culture, religions, ideology, and history). Russian ethnic stereotypes are understudied, but significant for theoretical breadth and practical politics. This research tested the SCM on ethnic stereotypes in a Russian sample (N = 1115). Study 1 (N = 438) produced an SCM map of the sixty most numerous domestic ethnic groups (both ethnic minorities and immigrants). Four clusters occupied the SCM warmth-by-competence space. Study 2 (N = 677) compared approaches to ethnic stereotypes in terms of status and competition, cultural distance, perceived region, and four intergroup threats. Using the same Study 1 groups, the Russian SCM map showed correlated warmth and competence, with few ambivalent stereotypes. As the SCM predicts, status predicted competence, and competition negatively predicted warmth. Beyond the SCM, status and property threat both were robust antecedents for both competence and warmth for all groups. Besides competition, cultural distance also negatively predicted warmth for all groups. The role of the other antecedents, as expected, varied from group to group. To examine relative impact, a network analysis demonstrated that status, competition, and property threat centrally influence many other variables in the networks. The SCM, along with antecedents from other models, describes Russian ethnic-group images. This research contributes: (1) a comparison of established approaches to ethnic stereotypes (from acculturation and intergroup relations) showing the stability of the main SCM predictions; (2) network structures of the multivariate dependencies of the considered variables; (3) systematically cataloged images of ethnic groups in Russia for further comparisons, illuminating the Russian historical, societal, and interethnic context.
In 1976 Richard Dawkins coined the term meme as a way to metaphorically project bio-evolutionary principles upon the processes of cultural and social development. The works of Dawkins and of some other enthusiasts had contributed to a rise in popularity of the concept of memetics ("study of memes"), but the interest to this new field started to decline quite soon. The conceptual apparatus of memetics was based on a number of quasi-biological terms, but the emerging discipline failed to go beyond those initial metaphors. This article is an attempt to rebuild the toolkit of memetics with the help of the more fundamental concepts taken from semiotics and to propose a synthetic conceptual framework connecting genetics and memetics, in which semiotics is used as the transdisciplinary methodology for both disciplines. The concept of sign is used as the meta-lingual equivalent for both the concepts of gene and meme. In the most general understanding, sign is a thing which stands for another thing. In genetics this translates into gene that is a section of DNA that stands for the algorithm of how a particular biomolecule is built. In memetics, the similar principle works in meme that is a thing that stands for the rules of how a particular cultural practice is performed.