This issue of Ekonomika preduzeća opens with a thoughtprovoking paper in the Marketing section written by a trio of authors, Lj. Bojić, L. Tucaković and N. Nikolić. They introduce us to neuromarketing, a relatively new field that bridges neuroscience and marketing, which has often been interpreted as a powerful tool used by corporations to manipulate consumers’ preferences, purchasing behavior, etc. After a comprehensive review of literature as well as the main techniques and applications used in this field, the authors have paid particular attention to ethical issues. Despite many limitations and controversies surrounding it, neuromarketing could have a bright future as a sophisticated approach to understanding and satisfying consumers’ needs provided that ethical concerns are adequately addressed.
In the Management section, B. Mihailović, K. Radosavljević and V. Popović have provided a valuable insight into Serbia’s consulting industry and key drivers of its development. The consulting activities in Serbia as well as in other countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe are mostly triggered by the processes of privatization and reorganization of state-owned enterprises, EU integration, and liberalization. The factor analysis based on the empirical study including a respectable sample of 150 consulting organizations has shown that the three factors had the greatest influence on the development of consulting services in Serbia: managerial capabilities and skills, project activities and transformation of enterprises and markets.
In the first paper in the Tourism section, D. Dimitrovski, M. Leković and M. Đurađević have presented the results of their bibliometric analysis of WoS-indexed scientific papers that dealt with the economic impact of sporting events in the period 2000-2018. They have found that mega-events, such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, attracted a great interest of authors, Tourism Economics achieved the largest production of papers on the researched topic and Tourism Management was the most influential tourism journal. The second paper in this section, written by N. Radović and S. Čerović, has examined the impact of ecologically responsible business management of mountain hotels in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro on their business excellence, evaluated by applying the BEX model. The statistical analysis has demonstrated that the correlation coefficient is very low and that the presumed impact is insignificant. Anyway, the authors have pointed out that these results should not be taken for granted given that as much as 50% of surveyed hotels responded that they did not use renewable energy sources. So, the absence of sustainable practices in the regional hotel industry is certainly a matter of concern. In the last paper dedicated to tourism, I. Trišić, S. Štetić and S. Vujović, have followed the same line of reasoning by outlining the importance of environmental forms of tourism, green procurement, eco-labelling and a responsible economy in general. Their findings indicate that the advantages of green procurement are not sufficiently exploited in Serbia’s hospitalityindustry and that only a small number of facilities possess eco-labels as the warranties of environmentally-friendly and responsible business. Interestingly, they have identified the willingness of hoteliers to change and go green, which could be seen as a ray of light.
In the Economic Growth and Development section, a duo of authors, I. Nikolić and S. Filipović, has compared the effects of the economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic implemented in the EU-27 countries and Serbia in 2020 on economic activity, labor market and public debt. The authors have found that the financial value of the economic aid package largely reflects the economic capacity and relative wealth of a country, rather than the depth of the crisis that countries faced. Also, the research has shown a positive interdependence between the financial amount of the economic measures package and public debt as a percentage of GDP and a negative interdependence between the change in unemployment rate and the volume of economic package aid as a share of GDP. The good news is that Serbia’s economy, unlike the Eurozone, recorded moderate debt growth, and that its adequately capitalized banking sector proved to be resistant to credit risk growth. In the second paper in this section, a team of authors, including M. Bakator, D. Ćoćkalo, D. Đorđević and S. Bogetić, have provided an overview of the strategies implemented in resolving both health and economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis. They have concluded that the cumulative efforts of developed and developing countries turned out to have a positive impact on the mitigation of crisis-induced shocks, at least in the short term. Also, the authors have emphasized the resilience of Serbia’s economy and healthcare system as well as the efficiency of undertaken measures. So, this issue of Ekonomika preduzeća closes with a glimmer of hope that better days are ahead of us.