Category Archives: Applications

Computational Thinking and Creativity in K-6 Education

ABSTRACT. Nowadays, computational thinking (CT) and creativity are concerned as core competences in the 21st century for everyone who wants to take a career and work in the ever-evolving digital society. This study presents a systematic literature review (2006-2018) aiming to highlight teaching practices and learning frameworks used to support the development of both computational and creative thinking skills of primary level education students. Over the last years, there is a trend for these competences to be conceived as complementary and synergetic abilities and approaches which should be delivered and promoted together in order to train students to be problem solvers and critical thinkers, by understanding and using the digital technology provided creatively. Since only four solid empirical studies have been found relevant to K‐6 education, the efforts made to combine these two thinking skills into teaching practice are still in infancy. The learning frameworks involved students mainly in game programming activities, as well as in programming activities related to art education where students should make use of technological resources, sensor cards and minicomputers. Limitations and recommendations for future research are also provided.

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Contemporary National-Populism in Scandinavia – Identifying types and determining factors

ABSTRACT. This is a short, comparative paper about the contemporary National-Populist parties in the three largest Scandinavian countries. In it, the author argues that the label ‘National-Populist’ best describes the parties in Scandinavia. Furthermore, an identification is made of two main types of populist movements in the region and the general ideological developments are traced in order to identify which are shared, and which differ, among the parties in question. It also treats some of the factors that are likely to have caused the shared history and features of parties across the region, such as linguistic similarity, the states’ creation of an additional, regionalist level of nationalist feeling, and other socio-economic developments.

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Inter-generational Exchanges – The meaning of an integrated sustainable process for inland areas’ development based on vernacular knowledge

ABSTRACT. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Mediterranean Countries have had to face the “global-grow phenomenon”, driven by financial and technological sectors. Such phenomenon triggered progress in productive, economic and technological fields, especially in the majority of the internal geographical areas. However, this improvement was not followed by a cultural and social growth in favour of people. Moreover, the high speed of changes did not allow the environmental adaptation required in many small communities. To switch from the theoretical framework to a concrete action, the MOTRIS development Program for the Mediterranean Regions has been drafted in 1999, funded by the Presidency of Sicily Government and held by the Italian-Egyptian Research Centre CRUEC together with several Euro-Mediterranean Partners.

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Authoritarianism and totalitarianism – A case study of multimedia and interdisciplinary teaching

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this contribution is to present a highly significant case study where the operating methods and the finalities of a multimedia and interdisciplinary education path have been shown. It was necessary that the teaching staff and technicians at the Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi work in synergy to rise up to the challenge of the modern techno-didactics, in particular with the selection and application of digital and visual technologies that are especially effective for teaching in the humanistic and history of art field.

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The world-systemic dynamics of knowledge production

ABSTRACT. This paper expands the framework of the Bourdieusian field theory using a world-system theoretical perspective to analyze the global system of social sciences, or what might be called the world-system of knowledge production. The analysis deals with the main agents of the world-system of social sciences, and it also investigates the core-like and periphery-like processes of the system. Our findings affirm that a very characteristic center-periphery structure exists in global social sciences, with a few hegemonic countries and distinctly peripheral world regions. Our analysis not just presents empirical data on power structures in global social sciences but it also offers meaningful typologies for analysis of the roles different world regions play in maintaining the world-system of global knowledge production. The paper also proposes a three-dimensional model by which both geographical and social/institutional center-periphery relations may be analyzed.

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The cybersecurity impacts on geopolitics

ABSTRACT. Cyber is the battlefield that nations, enterprises and citizens need to face in the next years. New paradigms and new threats are growing daily. During the cold war only a limited number of countries had the economic and technology capacity to build “weapons” to impose their role.The United States invented the internet, but the future of cyberspace and its leader is not yet defined. Now 29 countries have units able to provide offensive operations through cyber techniques and 49 have purchased malwares. The global connection and nature of internet, that provide itself instrument to hide who is behind an attack and determine whom to punish, will leave several questions open. This paper tries to provide an overview of these issues leaving some questions open to government and institutions.

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Curriculum evaluation in online education: the case of teacher candidates preparing online for public personnel selection examination

ABSTRACT. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficiency of an online curriculum based on the views of lecturers and students enrolled in the program. The study is mainly based on survey method. In order to collect qualitative data, interviews forms developed by the researcher were used.

The reliability and validity of the interview forms were checked by experts of the field. The qualitative data was analysed through content analysis. In the first place, data was coded, the themes emerged, the codes and themes were arranged by the researcher. As a final step, the findings were coded and interpreted. Based on the findings of the study, the strengths and weaknesses of the online curriculum were identified and a number of suggestions were offered based on the findings.

The results of the study indicate that both learners and lecturers believe that online education is beneficial as well as productive and they are satisfied with the process. Online education was found to be preferable because it is time-saving, more economical, and flexible. On the other hand, limited interaction, unsustainable motivation, and problems caused by insufficient infrastructure were found to be negative aspects of online curriculum.

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Dialogue, thinking together and digital technology in the classroom: some educational implications of a continuing line of inquiry

ABSTRACT. This article describes a continuing programme of school-based applied research. The basis of this research, which originated in a project called ‘Thinking Together’, lies in the relationship between language and cognitive development postulated by sociocultural theory. The research has developed and tested methods for improving the quality of classroom interaction amongst teachers and students, looking for improved levels of collaboration, reasoning, and academic attainment as the desirable outcomes. A key strand of this research concerns the use of digital technology for supporting classroom dialogue and students’ emerging thinking over time. As we will explain, the outcomes of several research projects pursuing this line of enquiry have yielded positive results, which have direct implications for classroom pedagogy and practice.

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A possible tool for the territory regeneration – Organization and digitalization of the building process through BIM

ABSTRACT. The digitalization of processes in the rather backward construction sector is a fundamental and strategic step forwards that can no longer be postponed. Inasmuch, there is no doubt that it will bring about a full-scale revolution affecting every player in the building process: clients, builders, professionals, property managers and users, the credit system, the insurance system, etc. However, the broadness and impact of this cultural leap, this change of paradigm, cannot spread among building process stakeholders in a rapid, complete and uniform way. This difficulty seems already to emerge from the initial complicated attempts in the public works sphere where the process of change, which ought to be generated starting from full awareness by Contracting Stations, is only now taking its first steps. The recent ratification of the so-called “BIM Decree” (as envisaged in Article 23 paragraph 13 of the Tender Procurement Code/Legislative Decree No. 50/2016) however, at least confirms the mandatory launch of this approach in coming years for Public Works. The BIM may come forward as an “influential epi-phenomenon of digitization” (A. Ciribini). The way forward towards digitization should therefore embrace organization as an essential element for effective application in processes involving the construction sector, where digitization really should play an increasingly decisive role. Such awareness would also allow designers or small design organizations to approach specific individual aspects, that could be tackled by applying innovative logics, thereby helping to promote necessary widespread distribution of experiences dealt with in a more modern manner. In conclusion, the Italian route towards to digitalization may well start from the organized juxtaposition of individual experiences, thereby stimulating the transition into the future from the particular to the general. The task, therefore, is to identify feasible operational practices rather than improbable and abstract complex theoretical models (as already mentioned, not readily applicable in the Italian context) that are probably premature at the present time. Such operational practices will naturally have to be clearly defined and refer to a broad scenario where university research and the world of standardization are reliable landmarks. This research describes and analyzes some of these practices, which seem to confirm the practicability of this pragmatic approach that, as already mentioned, is perhaps unique in the particular Italian scenario and based on incremental organization and digitalisation of the process or, as suggested, specific parts of it.

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Google’s GSuite applications in Open University system’s perspective

ABSTRACT. Online Learning is one of the needed requirement for distance education. Electronic learning plays a vital role in education nowadays. Electronic learning with the use of computers plays an important role in modern education. Its contribution lies in the fact that content is available at any place and device from a fixed device to mobile device. The requirement of the PSU Open University Systems to conduct blended learning is a learning management systems or another platform that is available online. Google released tools available under GSuite for Education. Since 2012, Pangasinan State University is subscribed to GSuite for Education, and recently Google introduces several applications for an educational institution such as the Classroom. The main objective of this research is to identify the usability and evaluation based on the teacher’s perspective on the use of GSuite applications such as Google Classroom, Hangouts, and other application.

This study also measures the problems encountered and the satisfaction level in the use of applications based on the result of the study, the respondents agreed that GSuite application such as Classroom and Hangouts is recommended to use as a tool in blended learning education, but it was found out that the applications are all suitable to the needs of the Open University Systems. The result of this study is significant in order to adopt the GSuite application only in the blended learning approach for Open University Systems.

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A post-seism rebuilding proposal for civil masonry buildings – A case study

ABSTRACT. The seismic events which affected Central Italy in the last ten years, in the city of L’Aquila 2009 and Amatrice in 2016, had catastrophic consequences, in particular concerning the loss of human lives and buildings in old towns. The use of good masonry was not sufficient and the building materials, in many cases of low quality, did not resist strong shakings, crumbling and causing the sudden collapse of the buildings. The real problem for small villages having an historic importance, like in Abruzzo municipalities, was rebuilding, in particular civil houses with one or two overground floors. The case study treated in my master thesis consisted in designing a low-cost wood house, energetically self-consistent, simple and easily assemblable, for the post-seismic phase. This should be exploitable not only in the emergency phase, i.e. as a temporary solution, but also as definitive solutions, which on one side does not deface the architecture of affected old towns, and on the other side does not bring to the birth of a “new town”.

This could be accomplished by preserving the external walls of a partially collapsed civil house, tying them with a new internal wood structure.

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Sustainable development and territorial regeneration in archaeological areas – The case of Apollonia in Albania

ABSTRACT. This paper examines how the revitalization of archaeological areas, might be a pivotal element to sustainable development. Following this objective, the paper explores the procedure of inserting a new function in the case of the archaeological park of Apollonia, in Albania and consists of a detailed analysis of the transformative changes brought by its spatial integration.

For this reason, the paper presents the issues and challenges of the archaeological site and explores the implications of the transformation of this area towards a ‘learning environment’. The analysis shows that public participatory activities, because of the establishment of a Creativity Center, may lead to a transformative planning process and generate, therefore, the context for the ‘territorial management planning strategies’ index. Through this instance, the meaning and value of the area becomes apparent and offers valuable insights for its future redevelopment process.

This article is the result of a research developed at the University of Guglielmo Marconi. The project involved researchers from different departments also with the involvement of postgraduate students from the International Masters in Interior Design of the same university. As such, it presents the elaboration of different themes: urban planning, territorial sustainability and socio-cultural development of the archaeological areas.

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Wearable technology and schools: where are we and where do we go from here?

ABSTRACT. The area of wearable technology is having a rapidly growing impact on society with more consumers purchasing wearable tech. At the same time, wearable technology seems to be poised to have an impact on educational settings. This paper explores the area of wearable technology related to schools. It considers how wearable technology can be used by teachers to improve instruction and by students to change how they interact with the school environment. Wearable technology applications are currently being implemented as part of the curriculum in schools were they are identified and discussed. To conclude, traits and skills that school leaders need to exhibit for a wearable technology initiative to be successfully implemented are proposed. Wearable technology has the potential to impact schools in the same way computers and mobile devices do today. This paper does not set out to provide answers but it is designed to create discussions about wearable technology and schools.

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Remote Technical Assistance to strengthen professional and economic resilience of people in war crisis A success case study by CIHEAM Bari

ABSTRACT. As part of a project to support farmers and livestock farmers living in extremely vulnerable areas in Syria, professional online technical assistance was undertaken despite considerable limitations caused by serious emergency situations. A careful analysis of exogenous (e. g. social, economic and technological context) and endogenous factors (virtual communities, cognitive needs, motivation, expectations, etc.) has been the basis (diagnostics) for the appropriate methodological and technological choices. Given the context, this paper highlights the importance of solutions related to the major aspects of inclusive teaching, methodologies and technologies suitable for adult training courses.

In conclusion, the analysis of the final evaluation data of one of the courses provided substantiates the effectiveness of this activity.

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Smartphone based laboratories: a case study to measure friction coefficients

The use of didactical laboratories is a common necessity both for distance and traditional universities. If in the first case institutions have to invest money not only in the creation but also in the maintenance of the structures, for distance learning there is an always under discussion problem related to how laboratory activities can be offered to students. In this context, smartphone applications can help both cases offering simple, low cost and didactical effective laboratories. In this paper, a review of the state of art is presented together with a case study realized during the annual internships organized by INFN-Frascati for secondary school students.

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The ACADEMICA e-course: an example of good practice to train e-learning new users

ACADEMICA – Accessibility and Harmonization of Higher Education in Central Asia through Curriculum Modernization and Development – is a three-year project co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of ERASMUS Plus Program involving 15 partners coming from Europe (Bulgaria, Italy, Austria and Spain) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan).
The project’s main objective is to support Higher Education lecturers in Central Asia in the improvement and modernization of scientific curricula through the introduction of new methodologies based on the use of technology, media supports and distance learning tools.
This paper describes the rationale underlying the project and provides an outline of the implementation of the planned activities. Particular attention is given to the design of the ACADEMICA e-course that represents the core element of the initiative and that, once completed, is expected to become a good practice to be transferred even to other institutions that are not partners of the project’s consortium.

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Use of localization technologies and traffic prediction for the transportation assignment problem

ABSTRACT. This study develops an optimization model for bus transit network based on road network and zonal ODM (Origin Destination Matrix). The source information has been obtained via recorded phone data of transit users collected by an Italian telecommunication operator.The model aims at achieving minimum bus transfers and maximum passenger flow per unit length with line length and non-linear rate as constraints. An operations research algorithm is used to solve the problem (ACS). To further optimize results, the model uses Google APIs for traffic optimization. The model is tested with survey data of Rome city. The results show that an optimized bus network with less transfers and travel time can be obtained, and the application of operations research algorithm effectively increases the calculation speed and quality.

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E-Learning & Digital Design in Architectural Pedagogy Observations and Questions based on the On-line Msc of Interior Design

ABSTRACT. In the field of design education there is a growing consensus among institutions and instructors about the pivotal role of e-learning and digital design in the future of architectural pedagogy. Departing from this observation, this study focuses on the potentialities that exist in joining multimedia, digital tools and the web together, to propose alternative educational models for design related disciplines. In order to explore and highlight relevant issues, the creation of a new Master’s Degree for Designers is utilized as a case study. The description of this program, fully delivered online and created in a virtual environment will serve as the basis for further experimentation and reflection regarding the topic of design pedagogy in the Information Age. Furthermore, it is attempted to outline the challenges faced and lessons drawn from teaching design in a format that departs completely from the traditional – physical – relation and collaboration between tutor and student.

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The spectrum of learning analytics

ABSTRACT. “Learning Analytics” became a buzzword during the hype surrounding the advent of “big data” MOOCs, however, the concept has been around for over two decades. When the first online courses became available it was used as a tool to increase student success in particular courses, frequently combined with the hope of conducting educational research. In recent years, the same term started to be used on the institutional level to increase retention and decrease time-to-degree. These two applications, within particular courses on the one hand and at the institutional level on the other, are at the two extremes of the spectrum of Learning Analytics – and they frequently appear to be worlds apart. The survey describes affordances, theories and approaches in these two categories.

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Life cycle assessment of a virtual reality device

ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the strongest trends for future communication systems. Considering the amounts of VR devices expected to be produced in the coming years, it is relevant to estimate their potential environmental impacts under certain conditions. For the first time, screening life cycle assessment (LCA) single score results are presented for a contemporary VR headset. The weighted results are dependent much on the source of the gold and the electric power used in production. Theoretically, using recycled gold for the VR subparts would be very beneficial seen from an environmental damage cost standpoint. Using low environmental impact electric power in the final assembly of the VR headset, in the final assembly of integrated circuits, and in the preceding wafer processing would also be worthwhile. Distribution of the final product is more pronounced than for other consumer electronics.

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Beehive challenges to reinforce Asian University entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT. Two significant National Reports (Indonesia and Philippines) came out from the documentary and field work researches that had actively involved Asian academic clusters within the international venture Beehive. Feedback received witnesses that University entrepreneurship is certainly considered important in both clusters even if it is evident that there is no a unique model or strategy for the University to embed entrepreneurial approach into the academic management and learning offer. The initiative, guided by the University of Varna, has been funded by the European programme Erasmus + KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Capacity Building in Higher Education). The project aims at building sustainable university-based entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asian Higher Education Institutions to enhance students’ and graduates’ entrepreneurial and innovation skills and then ability to create jobs. Partners during the project life will build up sustainable entrepreneurial university ecosystems by establishing and embedding start-up accelerators with a business start-up support services for students. Finally, the involved universities will be committed to achieve a specific quality label certifying the excellence and efficiency of their entrepreneurial ecosystems. Beehive core mission is then coherent with the last trends of the European Commission Industry Strategy since the presence of entrepreneurial education offer and services in academia environments will contribute to reinforce the linkages between information technology last innovations, business actors and academic research representatives.

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Personal branding and job hunting 4.0: Epbe project

ABSTRACT. The term Industry 4.0, initially referred only to the manufacturing sector, has been progressively extended to the digital revolution which is involving all domains and that is entailing a rapid change of business models, production and work organization, and impact on value creation, job requirements and skills. This Forth Revolution has also transformed the job search process which is for the most part supported by Social Networks. The creation and maintenance of an on line brand and reputation is becoming central for young people who are looking for a job. Thus, building a brand and an online presence allows for individuals to network with others, not only socially but professionally as well. Following these considerations, the EPBE project was conceived to provide a contribution to foster Industry 4.0 main challenges by equipping students and young people to build up an on-line personal brand and to apply job hunting 4.0 techniques for reinforcing their job search opportunities, and their access to the labor market. To achieve these goals the EPBE project outputs are targeted to both students and young people (two MOOC courses on “Personal Branding” and “Job Hunting 4.0”), as well as teachers and trainers (EPBE Toolkit and train for trainers course on “MOOCS: Methodologies in distance and Blended Learning”).

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Toward Cyber ports: a geopolitical and global challenge

ABSTRACT. The next future will be played on a cyber level, that imposes the need to merge “physical” with “digital in all fields”: phygital will be the future of current world, in many sectors, primarily in the transportation fields. Mobility and transportation have always been playing a crucial role as way to provide economic and social development. The maritime transports, as main player in freight movements, nowadays cover more than 70% of the markets: most of goods are shipped through the sea. Ports are considered, due to their strategical relevance as a Critical Infrastructure, to be protected and the main issues is to guarantee the resilience of transportation infrastructures. The Cyber Security in the sector has become a corner stone that needs to be looked after and raised on a daily basis with continuous improvement. The cyber attacks are becoming a daily problem showing how the public sector and private sector have to create synergies to provide a more safe and secure conditions: in transportation, this is more true than in any other sector. This article will present a short overview of the main vulnerabilities related to the maritime transport and the impact of a connected community where almost 3 billion of people are online and with a forecast of more than 40 billion devices connected by 2020 (IoT). Beyond the creation of the Hybrid port, that will be a consequence of the Digital Transformation and technology innovation is necessary to enable new services. Ports have to be re-thinked and re-designed in: immaterial and material infrastructure, processes, organization and information exchanged between actors. A safe and secure port is one of the current geopolitical challenge to be considered a competitive country.

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New instruments for advanced Distance Learning Universities – the virtual lab on Lighting technique

The use of innovative high technology-based instruments to deliver higher education in e-learning Universities is a challenge that must be addressed to satisfy the growing request for distance education in high technologies. (…)This paper intends to prove the valuable contribution that advanced distance learning Universities may give to their students, by illustrating an instance of a dynamic virtual laboratory developed for a specific course at the Guglielmo Marconi University.

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The didactics of foreign languages and multimedia technology: teaching to translate

This article aims to provide an example of the application of multimedia technologies to the learning of foreign languages. We will present the case of a French Language and Translation course for intermediate learners implemented at Guglielmo Marconi University. The course is divided into two parts: the first part is composed of a multimedia course created by other teachers of the university, while the second consists of ten video lessons recorded by me and devoted to the theory and practice of translation, referring specifically to Italian and French.

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Online discussion forums: a tool for stimulating language teachers’ interaction and reflection

Teachers’ approaches and decisions in the classroom are guided by their beliefs on what it means to teach and to learn, which are formed along their lives both as students and as teachers. (…) Considering the importance of reflection in teacher education, in this paper, we discuss the interactive potential of online discussion forums in a graduate course to foster language teachers’ reflection of their beliefs and classroom practices. (…)The findings point out that understanding, interpreting and confronting beliefs can be a path to the transformation of teachers’ reflective and teaching practices. When contrasting their beliefs with other people’s beliefs, teachers can trigger a process of self-analysis of their roles as language teachers. They also emphasize that the use of online discussion forums as a pedagogical tool can contribute in this direction.

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Using the virtual classroom system to teach a traditional girls’ classroom: benefits & challenges

This paper focuses on fulltime girls students’ perspectives of using the virtual classroom (via the Blackboard system) as a main teaching tool to deliver and teach learning materials. It also presents teachers’ views on using this system in comparison with the videoconference system used by male faculty staff members to teach female students at their campuses. (…)

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Development of authoring tools for online-courses with assignments

Today’s workforce faces a dynamic world with changing occupations, tasks, and demanding technologies – forcing people to adapt their skills and competences permanently to new requirements. Many achieve further qualifications in parallel to their working careers, often without adequate support or suitable educational institutions. Competence-based learning (CBL) aims for including formal and informal learning into everyday life: at the workplace or during leisure activities.

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Instructional delivery utilizing a blended format

Current trends in technology and new strategies in curriculum design have yielded a new methodology for content area course delivery. Blended learning is now being utilized in many colleges and universities to deliver instruction with a balanced approach in mind. This format provides new avenues in curriculum design and instructional delivery. Blended learning unites the best of both worlds in a post-secondary instructional model.

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Competitive strategies as an effective instrument of enterprise development

Nowadays the business environment is very unstable, so the companies should adapt quickly to the changes in the market to maintain their positions. That’s why the effective instruments of management will provide their success. The most successful companies are those that focus their efforts strategically. A successful strategy adds value for the targeted customers over the long run by consistently meeting their needs better than the competition does.

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