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Concept: Competitiveness

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Politicians world-wide frequently promise a better life for their citizens. We find that the probability that a country will increase its per capita GDP (gdp) rank within a decade follows an exponential distribution with decay constant λ = 0.12. We use the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) and find that the distribution of change in CPI (GCI) rank follows exponential functions with approximately the same exponent as λ, suggesting that the dynamics of gdp, CPI, and GCI may share the same origin. Using the GCI, we develop a new measure, which we call relative competitiveness, to evaluate an economy’s competitiveness relative to its gdp. For all European and EU countries during the 2008-2011 economic downturn we find that the drop in gdp in more competitve countries relative to gdp was substantially smaller than in relatively less competitive countries, which is valuable information for policymakers.

Concepts: European Union, Radioactive decay, Probability theory, Derivative, Exponential growth, Exponential function, Competitiveness, Global Competitiveness Report

4

In many species, individuals express phenotypic characteristics that enhance their competitiveness, that is, the ability to acquire resources in competition with others. Moreover, the degree of competitiveness varies considerably across individuals and in time. By means of an evolutionary model, we provide an explanation for this finding. We make the assumption that investment into competitiveness enhances the probability to acquire a high-quality resource, but at the same time reduces the ability of exploiting acquired resources with maximal efficiency. The model reveals that under a broad range of conditions competitiveness either converges to a polymorphic state, where individuals differing in competitive ability stably coexist, or is subject to perpetual transitions between periods of high and low competitiveness. The dynamics becomes even more complex if females can evolve preferences for (or against) competitive males. In extreme cases, such preferences can even drive the population to extinction.

Concepts: Human, Natural selection, Evolution, Biology, Species, Sex, Das Model, Competitiveness

2

Competitive behavior is commonly defined as the decision to maximize one’s payoffs relative to others. We argue instead that competitive drive derives from a desire for social status. We make use of a multi-player auction task in which subjects knowingly incur financial losses for the sake of winning auctions. First, we show that overbidding is increased when the task includes members of a rival out-group, suggesting that social identity is an important mediator of competitiveness. In addition, we show that the extent that individuals are willing to incur losses is related to affective responses to social comparisons but not to monetary outcomes. Second, we show that basal levels of testosterone predict overbidding, and that this effect of testosterone is mediated by affective responses to social comparisons. Based on these findings, we argue that competitive behavior should be conceptualized in terms of social motivations as opposed to just relative monetary payoffs.

Concepts: Game theory, Sociology, Motivation, Identity, Social status, Competitiveness, Status attainment, Auction

1

For allogeneic cell therapies to reach their therapeutic potential, challenges related to achieving scalable and robust manufacturing processes will need to be addressed. A particular challenge is producing lot-sizes capable of meeting commercial demands of up to 10(9) cells per dose for large patient numbers due to the current limitations of expansion technologies. This paper describes the application of a decisional tool to identify the most cost-effective expansion technologies for different scales of production as well as current gaps in the technology capabilities for allogeneic cell therapy manufacture. The tool integrates bioprocess economics with optimisation to assess the economic competitiveness of planar and microcarrier-based cell expansion technologies. Visualisation methods were used to identify the production scales where planar technologies will cease to be cost-effective and where microcarrier-based bioreactors become the only option. The tool outputs also predict that for the industry to be sustainable for high demand scenarios, significant increases will likely be needed in the performance capabilities of microcarrier-based systems. This data is presented using a technology S-curve as well as windows of operation to identify the combination of cell productivities and scale of single-use bioreactors required to meet future lot sizes. The modelling insights can be used to identify where future R&D investment should be focused to improve the performance of the most promising technologies to help ensure that they become a robust and scalable option to enable the cell therapy industry reach commercially relevant lot sizes. The tool outputs can facilitate decision-making very early on in development and be used to predict, and better manage, the risk of process changes needed as products proceed through the development pathway. Biotechnol. Bioeng. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Stem cell, Future, Therapy, Classification of Pharmaco-Therapeutic Referrals, Economics, The Current, Manufacturing, Competitiveness

1

BACKGROUND:: Hospitals facing financial uncertainty have sought to reduce nurse staffing as a way to increase profitability. However, nurse staffing has been found to be important in terms of quality of patient care and nursing-related outcomes. Nurse staffing can provide a competitive advantage to hospitals and as a result of better financial performance, particularly in more competitive markets. PURPOSE:: In this study, we build on the Resource-Based View of the Firm to determine the effect of nurse staffing on total profit margin in more competitive and less competitive hospital markets in Florida. METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:: By combining a Florida statewide nursing survey with the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Area Resource File, three separate multivariate linear regression models were conducted to determine the effect of nurse staffing on financial performance while accounting for market competitiveness. The analysis was limited to acute care hospitals. FINDINGS:: Nurse staffing levels had a positive association with financial performance (β = 3.3, p = .02) in competitive hospital markets, but no significant association was found in less competitive hospital markets. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:: Hospitals in more competitive hospital markets should reconsider reducing nursing staff, as these cost-cutting measures may be inefficient and negatively affect financial performance.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Patient, Hospital, Nursing, Nurse, Competitiveness, Profit

0

There is evidence linking women’s T to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary testosterone (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status.

Concepts: Competitiveness

0

When a sizable number of people evacuate a room, if the door is not large enough, an accumulation of pedestrians in front of the exit may take place. This is the cause of emerging collective phenomena where the density is believed to be the key variable determining the pedestrian dynamics. Here, we show that when sustained contact among the individuals exists, density is not enough to describe the evacuation, and propose that at least another variable -such as the kinetic stress- is required. We recorded evacuation drills with different degrees of competitiveness where the individuals are allowed to moderately push each other in their way out. We obtain the density, velocity and kinetic stress fields over time, showing that competitiveness strongly affects them and evidencing patterns which have been never observed in previous (low pressure) evacuation experiments. For the highest competitiveness scenario, we detect the development of sudden collective motions. These movements are related to a notable increase of the kinetic stress and a reduction of the velocity towards the door, but do not depend on the density.

Concepts: Kinetic energy, Classical mechanics, Velocity, Motion, Pedestrian, The Pedestrian, Competitiveness, American rock music groups

0

Traditional management practices are sometimes considered merely a necessary condition for superior performance. Other resources and competencies with higher barriers to imitation are assumed to be potential sources of competitive advantage. This study describes and analyzes the effect of traditional management practices on the performance of medium-sized hospitals. Medium-sized companies frequently display the greatest differences in management practices, and only recently did the hospital sector seek ways to develop its competitiveness in the administrative arena. The results generally indicate that basic management practices can make differences in performance, offering support for the new practice-based view (PBV). Hospitals with the highest rate of adoption of practices had the highest occupancy rate, hospital-bed admissions, and accreditation. Lack of adoption of management practices by medium-sized hospitals limits their competitive capacity and can be viewed as a component of the so-called Brazil cost, but in this case an internal component.

Concepts: Hospital, São Paulo, Necessary and sufficient condition, Competitiveness, Trent Accreditation Scheme

0

Institutional theory has been widely debated by scholars. A part of literature examines how institutional pressures act on company choices regarding proactive environmental strategies. However, the institutional perspective has still not completely clarified the influence of these pressures on the effectiveness of environmental management systems (EMSs) in achieving goals in terms of eco-innovation, competitiveness and corporate reputation. This paper analyses the role played by coercive, mimetic and normative forces in stimulating innovative and competitive responses by firms with an environmental certification. Using the results of a survey on 242 European EMAS-registered organisations, the paper highlights the more positive influence of mimetic and normative pressures than coercive ones. The paper contributes to the literature debate on EMSs analysed through the lens of institutional theory.

Concepts: Scientific method, Greek loanwords, Debate, Management, Empiricism, Lens, The Link REIT, Competitiveness

0

Algal biofuels are becoming more economically competitive due to technological advances and government subsidies offering tax benefits and lower cost financing. These factors are linked, however, as the value of technical advances is affected by modeling assumptions regarding the growth conditions, process design, and financing of the production facility into which novel techniques are incorporated. Two such techniques, related to algal growth and dewatering, are evaluated in representative operating and financing scenarios using an integrated techno-economic model. Results suggest that these techniques can be valuable under specified conditions, but also that investment subsidies influence cost competitive facility design by incentivizing development of more capital intensive facilities (e.g., favoring hydrothermal liquefaction over transesterification-based facilities). Evaluating novel techniques under a variety of operational and financial scenarios highlights the set of site-specific conditions in which technical advances are most valuable, while also demonstrating the influence of subsidies linked to capital intensity.

Concepts: Economics, Investment, Biofuel, Capital, Finance, Competitiveness, Algae fuel, Austrian School