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Abstract

One of the key factors of a competitive economy is creating a strong, internationally competitive SME sector. This essay is based on the fact that management tools used in the SME sector are insufficient. With the development of these tools, the competitiveness of companies could improve. According to the literature, using lean thinking has a positive influence on the company’s effectiveness, and also proved that lean approach can be successfully extended out of the car industry, into the limitedly resourced SME sector, too. Even though the topic of lean manufacturing is analysed by many studies, there is a lack of papers dealing with its usage in the SME sector. The originality of this paper lies in analysing the current status of using lean manufacturing practices among the Hungarian SMEs operating in the manufacturing industry. The paper includes an examination about how deeply the elements of lean thinking are present in the Hungarian SME sector, how large the development reserves are, and whether there is a difference between the usage of lean practices. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. SMEs’ representatives, mostly CEOs and managers from the Hungarian manufacturing industry participated in the survey. The sample contained 128 observations. The study has two control variables, which are the size of the company and the relation to the lean management. The survey brought the following results. First of all, it shows that the level of using lean is low among the Hungarian SMEs. Furthermore, customer orientation is a key factor in the sector, however, there are considerable possibilities for progress by the inner processes and the handling and involvement of the suppliers. Firstly, a good basis to increase the effectiveness could be the creation of thinking in processes influencing the supply chain. Secondly, the development of the leadership and the involvement of the employees at some level are also significant. Key findings is that without state incitement and the involvement of outside experts, progress cannot be expected to spread on a broad scope. The background of the research method was created to fit the available literature and to capable to be used in other countries, too. Moreover, this way the available information can be expanded with a regional dimension, in case further studies are going to be made.
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Abstract

The objective of this research is to investigate the perception of owner – managers and their employees regarding entrepreneurial leadership. To develop the research, two questions are raised related to the similarities or differences of the perceptions of both groups with what is established in the literature and between the self – evaluation of the owner – managers and their employees on whether the former perform as an entrepreneurial leader. As a research method, both groups are asked to perform, first individual evaluations and then to match certain behaviours and the levels at which they should appear at certain levels of entrepreneurial leadership capacity. The data gathered during the investigation were processed using the Categorical Principal Components Analysis and revealed the similarities and differences between the perceptions of the owner-managers and their employees on entrepreneurial leadership. In spite of not finding significant differences between what is established in the literature and among the perceptions of the groups under study, interesting nuances stand out that, if not identified and understood, could have a negative effect on the performance of SMEs. The results of the research demonstrated the importance of the approach of behaviour and perception in the study of entrepreneurial leadership.
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Abstract

The article presents the analysis of the simulation test results for three variants of the power electronics used as interface between the power network and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) with the following parameters: power of 250 kW, current of 500 A DC and voltage of 500 V DC. Three interface topologies were analyzed: two-level AC-DC and DC-DC converters; three-level systems and mixed systems combining a three-level active rectifier and a two-level DC-DC converter. The following criteria were considered: input and output current and voltage distortions, determined as THDi and THDu, power losses in power electronics components; cost of the semiconductor components for each topology and total cost of the interface. Results of the analysis showed that for high-power low-voltage and high-current power electronics systems, the most advantageous solution from a technical and economical perspective is a two-level interface configuration in relation to both AC-DC and DC-DC converters.
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Abstract

Lean manufacturing has been the most deliberated concept ever since its introduction. Many organization across the world implemented lean concept and witnessed dramatic improvements in all contemporary performance parameters. Lean manufacturing has been a sort of mirage for the Indian automotive industry. The present research investigated the key lean barriers to lean implementation through literature survey, confirmatory factor analysis, multiple regression, and analytic network process. The general factors to lean implementation were inadequate lean planning, resource constraints, half-hearted commitment from management, and behavioral issues. The most important factor in the context of lean implementation in Indian automotive industry was inadequate lean planning found with the help of confirmatory factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. Further analysis of these extracted factors through analytic network process suggested the key lean barriers in Indian automotive industry, starting from the most important were absence of proper lean implementation methodology, lack of customer focus, absence of proper lean measurement system, inadequate capital, improper selection of lean tools & practices, leadership issues, resistance to change, and poorly defined roles & responsibilities. Though literature identifying various lean barriers are available. The novelty of current research emerges from the identification and subsequent prioritization of key lean barriers within Indian automotive SMEs environment. The research assists in smooth transition from traditional to lean system by identifying key barriers and developing customized framework of lean implementation for Indian automotive SMEs.
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