SAM 2018 Conference Highlights


The 5th International Conference on Management and Organization “MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION IN THE DIGITAL SOCIETY” was organized by The Slovenian Academy of Management and Faculty of Economics University of Ljubljana, Slovenia on June 14–15, 2018. It took place at the Hotel Brdo, in the beautiful surroundings of Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia. 30 participants from Universities from Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Norway, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands as well as some Slovenian companies attended the conference. At the conference 17 papers were presented in six sections, discussing the topic of the conference.

The conference was opened on the June 14th 2018 by the president of the Slovenian Academy of Management Tomaž Čater, expressing a warm welcome to all participants and the chair of the organizing committee Aleša Saša Sitar with some practical information. Then the chair of the program committee Matej Černe addressed the participants with some introductory words about the theme of the conference »MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION IN THE DIGITAL SOCIETY«, announced an overview of the content of the participating papers within two conference guiding streams (structures and processes in the digital society), and introduced the first keynote speaker professor Christian Fieseler, PhD from Norwegian Business School BI. In his visionary presentation Managing Artificial Intelligence’s Accountability Challenge professor Christian Fieseler discussed the major challenges artificial intelligence is bringing to management and organization, and compared management in the digital era to nurturing a plant.

After the first keynote presentation the first session started with Matej Černe in the role of a moderator. First Petar Vrgović, presented a paper titled Open innovation systems in developing countries: Sustainable digital networks and collaboration in SMEs, prepared in co-authorship with Ivana Jošanov-Vrgović. He presented the results of the research about the current state of open innovation of SMEs, the major challenges and some suggestions for increasing collaboration in conditions of low trust environment, specifically focusing on the fact that implications from studies in the developed countries fail to work in developing countries, and highlighting the fact that more collaboration is needed between the industry and the academia. The presentation by Matija Marić followed presenting the paper Do job demands lead to employee innovativeness? The moderating role of chronological age, prepared together with Tomislav Hernaus and Matej Černe, discussing the role of job design in fostering employees’ innovative work behavior. The authors emphasized the role of job complexity and innovative job requirements, and alluded to the fact that older workers can thrive in terms of their innovativeness when their tasks are not too complex, and when job requirement for innovativeness is embedded in their jobs.

In the second session, moderated by Sut I Wong, three presentations followed. First, Gaetano Bruno Ronsivalle, presented a paper A “Six times Six” model: 36 indexes to evaluate a company’s intelligence in decision-making, prepared together with Arianna Boldi, discussing decision-making model, developed to impede bad decision, illustrating it on a case of an Italian bank. Presentation by Gemma Newlands followed on Between pressure and flexibility: Provider scheduling in the sharing economy, paper prepared in co-authorship with Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler. This paper focused on the sharing economy in the tangible sense, and presented results of the study of perceptions of flexibility and control across twelve European countries. The last presentation of the second session by Melita Balas Rant addressed the paper Bravery of the brave new world: The importance of universal strengths for an organizational success in the digitally transformed business world in which competences for the future were highlighted, and indicated that looking at the organizations from the perspective of individual virtues – strengths and organizational awareness may be a promising line of research into the fields where much is unknown.

After lunch, which took place in the restaurant of Hotel Brdo, participants gathered for two more sessions. Petar Vrgović moderated the first afternoon session and four papers were presented. Marthe Berntzen first presented a paper Leading virtually – When transformation got lost in virtual translation, prepared in co-authorship with Sut I Wong, discussing that the role of leaders in virtual teams might be less important as dyadic relationships form for collaboration. Then Edit Terek presented a paper titled The influence of information technology on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in companies in Serbia, prepared together with co-authors Siniša Mitić, Violeta Cvetkoska, Jelena Vukonjanski and Milan Nikolić. The results of research offered clear evidence that implementing digitalization increases several dimensions of job satisfaction and well as commitment of employees. The presentation of Peter Nientied followed, addressing Motivation of knowledge workers – The case of Albania. The paper was prepared in co-authorship with Merita Toska and explained specific circumstances of low trust in Albania, affecting motivation of knowledge workers. In the last presentation of the session, Danijela Brečko presented the paper The leadership competencies and their development in digital era, prepared in co-authorship with Simona Painkret. Their study examined the understanding and meaning of competencies and explored the lifelong development process of competencies.

The last session of the first day, moderated by Aleša Saša Sitar, started with a presentation of Laura Fink presenting the paper Organizational culture and digital transformation. In her presentation the author addressed the questions how organization culture should support digitalization and how it will also change as a consequence of digitalization. Next, Lea Jenič and Amadeja Lamovšek presented the paper prepared together with Matej Černe about Generational differences in the perception of authority and employer loyalty: Comparison of generation Y and generation Z. Though their research hypotheses were not confirmed, several important differences were recognized between generations. The last presentation of the day opened an important issue of Management of intangibles in EU in the digital society presented by Nevenka Maher. The paper highlighted an important finding, that in order to sustain competitive advantage of EU, management should give more attention to creating, measuring and managing the intangibles.

After the fourth session the social program of the conference started and the participants gathered in the friendly atmosphere of hotel restaurant for gala dinner. During the evening excellent food was accompanied by lively discussions about plans for future research and possible collaboration.

The second day of the conference on June 15th 2018 started with the second keynote presentation by Mateja Lavrič from Kolektor Ventures, presenting a view from practice. In her speach On a Digital Journey she presented how Kolektor has been using digitalization to build competitive advantage for the future by recognizing young talent internally and establishing strategic investments in startups in crucial domains for the future, building and utilizing know-how. This would not be possible without top management support, clear vision, continuous learning and some intuition.

After the keynote presentation, two more sessions followed. In the first session, moderated by Melita Balas Rant, two papers were presented. Anton Manfreda and Andrea Kő first presented a paper titled Case studies of successful digital transformation in Slovenia and Hungary, prepared in co-authorship with Jure Erjavec, Jurij Jaklič, Mojca Indihar Štemberger, Péter Fehér and Zoltán Szabó. In the paper the authors presented two approaches to digitalization of one Slovenian and one Hungarian insurance company, lessons learned. The paper by Amila Pilav-Velić, Anes Hrnjić, Aziz Sunje titled Customer perception of digital marketing usage in the telecommunications sector: The case study of BH Telecom Sarajevo which was next on the program, was not presented as the authors apologized for their absence. Instead, Matej Černe presented the paper Digital and innovative: Understanding the digital know-how – practice – innovative work behavior chain co-authored by Amila Pilav-Velić, Peter Trkman, Sut I Wong and Anela Kadić Abaz. The author shared with the participants the result of the empirical analysis comparing the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants in adoption of innovative work behavior.

The last session of the second day of the conference was moderated by Matej Černe and included final two presentation. Presentation by Laura Fink addressed Drivers of change and changes of job motivators during digital transformation, prepared in co-authorship with Tatjana Fink, discussing the drivers of workplace changes and main competence gaps during the time of transition to digital economy. The last presentation by Bálint Blaskovics explained Virtual project management – utopia or reality, explaining the main differences between classic and virtual project management, focusing specifically on advantages and challenges.

The conference ended on June 15th 2018 in a very nice atmosphere by concluding remarks by Matej Černe and Aleša Saša Sitar thanking all the participants for their papers and presentations, with special thanks to reviewers of the papers and members of the organizing and program committees of the conference and with discussion about the possible topics for SAM 2020 conference. The more informal discussion then continued over lunch, held at the hotel restaurant.

All abstracts of the papers are available in attached file:

SAM18 abstracts

Full papers are published in the conference proceedings:

ČERNE, Matej (editor), ALEKSIĆ, Darija (editor), KOVAČ, Jure (editor), PELJHAN, Darja (editor), ROZMAN, Rudi (editor), SITAR, Aleša Saša (editor), 5th International Conference on Management and Organization, Brdo pri Kranju, 14-15 June 2018. Management and organization in the digital society : conference papers. Ljubljana: The Slovenian Academy of Management, 2018. 310. ISBN 978-961-92878-9-7. [COBISS.SI-ID 295212032]

Some selected papers will also be published in the future issues of the two Slovenian Academy of Management Journals Dynamic Relationship Management Journal and Management Challenges.

Some highlights of the conference can be observed in our Photo gallery.