Research article
Issue: № 1 (55), 2017

Бобкова Е.М.

Кандидат социологических наук, Приднестровский Государственный Университет им. Т.Г. Шевченко (г. Тирасполь)



В статье рассматриваются основные теоретические и практические принципы создания системы сбора, анализа и обработки данных для определения уровня доверия в торговле между сторонами конфликта. Описывается и даются характеристики разработанной методики расчета индекса доверия в торговле между сторонами конфликта контексте эффективного и устойчивого развития региона. Приводится авторский вариант шкалы желательности ориентированной на установление соответствия между потенциальными откликами на функционирование объекта и субъективными оценками желательности определенного значения отклика.

Ключевые слова: доверие, торговля, конфликт, устойчивое развитие, методология.

Bobkova E.M.

PhD in Sociology, Pridnestrovian State University. TG Shevchenko



In article the basic theoretical and practical principles of creation of system of collecting, the analysis and data processing for determination of level of credibility in trade between parties of the conflict are considered. It is described and are given characteristics of the developed method of calculation of an index of trust in trade between parties of the conflict a context of effective and sustainable development of the region. The author's option of a scale of the desirability focused on establishment of compliance between potential responses to functioning of an object and value judgment of desirability of a certain value of a response is given.

Keywords: trust, trade, conflict, sustainable development, methodology.

Events that accompany the modern relations between Moldova and Transnistria demonstrate that in their actions the parties in the Transdniestrian settlement process do not always consider the peculiarities of collective consciousness shared by the residents of both banks of the Dniester river. As a rule, decisions are made without taking into consideration scientific rationale behind their compliance with the existing norms and with practices in collective consciousness of the people on both banks of the Dniester river, as well as without forecasting social implications of economic and political transformations.

In conditions in which political interaction in the established negotiation format on the Transnistrian settlement is hindered, public discussions are a priority for the expert community (Think Tank) and for the civil society in general. Overcoming the crisis is impossible without restoring confidence on both banks of the Dniester river. At the same time it is important to understand the role of confidence in the context of effective and sustainable development of the region in a post-conflict phase.

The method of measuring confidence has a significant potential as it allows to strengthen and to fill with analysis the work of decision-makers (Stakeholders), and of the working groups established under the negotiation format, as well as the work of civil society, mass media and other public institutions. The given research offers a methodologically tested approach for the identification and subsequent solution of key issues that divide the society and complicate trade relations between the parties.

The objective of this research carried out with the financial support of the British Embassy Chisinau is to create a system of collecting, analysing and processing data in order to determine what is the general and sectorial degree of confidence in trade. The project's team focused its efforts on designing a method providing a high-quality and quantitative evaluation aiming to ensure the identification and implementation of the most effective measures of overcoming barriers in developing mutual trade, adapting economy to new trade regimes and securing growing confidence between Moldova and Transnistria in a wider context of a comprehensive settlement.

The designed method of calculating the index of confidence in mutual trade is focused on determining the level of institutional and interpersonal confidence, evaluating the impact of tariff and non-tariff barriers, analysing the impact of integration systems. The method is grounded on the analyses made by project’s experts, as well as on personal experiences shared by businessmen involved in mutual trade between the two banks of the Dniester river.

This research is a result of joint efforts took to collect and analyse data, as well as to design a methodology and calculations of the Index of confidence in trade (Dictbetween Moldova and Transnistria. The findings resulting from this research are published as an output of a programme on «The development of trans-Dniester trade relations as an important factor of conflict reduction between Chisinau and Tiraspol» funded by the British Embassy Chisinau through the Conflict Security and Stability Fund.

Detailed review of the object’s structure was a very important step at the first stage. In other words, it was necessary to highlight factors influencing building of a confidence in post-conflict trade relations. It became a reason for defining analytically the most problematic and sensitive fields of mutual trade between Moldova and Transnistria. Specialists from Sigma Expert and IDIS-Viitorul identified eight fields (Table 1).

Proposed methods are based on a wide use of expert reviews. Line experts from Moldova and Transnistria were selected. Their comments and proposals let to make some correction into the list of impact factors and to define indicators which let to changing confidence temperature in each separate factor.

Table 1 - Factors of influence on mutual trade

Nr. The most sensitive fields Factors of influence (pre-test) Factors of influence (accepted by experts)
1. Absence of formalised rules of domestic and external trade Institutionalisation of trade relations: mutual and external trade regime Institutional and legal bases of trade relations functioning
2. Double taxation of goods on VAT Tariff and tax barriers Tariffs and taxes
3. Absence of mutual recognition of certificates Technical barriers: measures of technical regulation, veterinary and phytosanitary control Technical barriers: measures of technical regulation, veterinary and phytosanitary control
4. Double customs clearance Customs protection of goods traffic Customs protection of goods traffic
5. Prohibition of international cargo transportation by Transnistrian transport Transport problems, migration, citizenship Communication between parties
6. Restrictions on mutual settlements with foreign banks Bank and financial spheres Financial flows
7. Different oriented integrations Integration factors Integration factors
8. Misbalance between interpersonal and institutional confidence Interpersonal and institutional confidence Interpersonal and institutional confidence

Factors’ indicators are an integrated part of a process, the state of which could be defined at the moment. Next step was developing indicators for factors’ state definition. Developed questionnaires are based on defined indicators.

Received results became basis for creating tools of research: questionnaire for expert assessment (defining factors’ significance ) which could be associated with the expert questionnaire for involved in the process entrepreneurs for defining real current state of trade relations between Moldova and Transnistria.

During session Nr.1 of the working group of the Project line experts completed ranking of supposed factors’ significance and their indicators. Any social research presupposes comparison and arrangement of objects and their characteristics. Arrangement is a measurement method which allows defining order level. This research includes arrangement of factor’s significance in confidence development in mutual trade. Applied method can define direct, simple arrangement according to 1 to 10 scale (where 10 – the highest meaning, 1 – the lowest meaning).

A poll among entrepreneurs was carried out simultaneously. 30 Moldovan and 30 Transnistrian business representatives involved in trade relations between banks of the Dniester river participated in the poll. The Likert scale was applied for indicators evaluation basis of which are questions and arguments which should be evaluated using five- seven- or nine- grade system. Note that middle of the scale is neutral answer. Grade scale is adaptable for every single case. In this case it is seven grade scale and it has the following features: from +3 max. positive, 0 – neutral, to -3 max. negative.

Among various methods of creation of the generalised indicator Harrington’s function of desirability, being characterised by continuity, monotony and smoothness, is the most adequate, possessing possibility of a versatility of approach to assessment and measurement problem.

The considered mathematical apparatus on the basis of Harrington's function for receiving exact assessment assumes transformation of natural meanings of private responses (answers given by experts) to a non-dimensional scale of desirability. The generalised Harrington’s [1], function of desirability was widely applied in the psychological and ecological researches [2, P. 115–118] of efficiency in the form of particular number which can be used in the further analysis of technical means.

This scale is oriented on compliance establishment between potential answers concerning functioning of the object and subjective estimation of desirability of a certain answer.

During development of author’s scales of compliance between relations of preferences in empirical and numerical systems for the current case – confidence changes, we used existing experience of earlier developed scales of desirability. Due to specific use of the desirability scale standard grades range (‘good’, ‘satisfactory’, ‘bad’ etc.) needs additional interpretations. For more usability we united them in the following table (Table 2).

Table 2 - Unified table of desirability scales

Standard grade of desirability Mark on a Harrington’s desirability scale UNESCO mark on a scale Author’s interpretation
Very good 1,00 – 0,80 100-88 The parties trust each other; economic interests of the parties coincide; relations are constructed on mutually profitable arrangements; creation of integration and development programs for economic relations; there are no barriers for people, finance, goods and services flows.
Good 0,79 – 0,63 87-71 The parties form their relations on a contractual basis; trade relations are conducted in accordance with approved rules and norms; mechanisms of conflicts resolution and compromises search work at a system basis; development of positive dynamics in various spheres of relationship
Satisfactory 0,62 – 0,37 70-51 Satisfactory level of confidence; there are agreements on the basis of compromises, but they have irregular character; low level of agreements documenting, there is a potential for relationship development
Bad 0,36 – 0,20 50-37 Minimum level of confidence (limit) close to mistrust, insignificant field for possible compromises; process of finding solutions has non-systematic character; insignificant prospects for relationship development
Very bad 0,19 – 0,00 36-0 Mistrust, high level of hostility; uncompromising attitudes of the parties; there are no agreements; absence of conditions necessary for development of positive relationships

It is supposed to calculate index at the level of each indicator to receive generalised confidence index in trade, and then on their basis - weighted index of factor's confidence, and, at last, the generalised confidence index in trade. At the same time, for development of adequate presentation of confidence level condition in mutual trade these calculations should to be made using replies from Moldova and Transnistria.

The methodology and obtained results in this research demonstrate that the goal of this project was achieved. The obtained data give a possibility to formulate priority actions that would allow to normalise trade between Moldova and Transnistria.

The designed methodology of quantitative evaluation of confidence in trade between the two banks of Dniester may become a method to evaluate the efficiency of confidence-building programmes, should similar researches be conducted on a regular basis or at least every six months, or in an event of a situation(s) caused by significant external and internal impact on this process.

It is expedient to use the conclusions of this research in order to develop a step-by-step roadmap. At the same time, the preparation of a list of directions under a “Roadmap for mutual trade development” indicates that in the follow-up it would be necessary to determine significant statistics-based indicators, which would be calculated after a repeated collection of data and analysis of the dynamics in the mutual trade process.

This task can become the subject of a subsequent research on the given matter.

Additionally, the most sensitive factors and indicators identified in mutual trade relations can become a basis of a documented fixing of norms in trade activity (Agreement on mutual trade).

The developed technique and found results in this research are meant not only to stimulate the development of confidence between Transnistria and Moldova, but they can also be used in a wider regional context.

Список литературы / References

  1. Кузьмичев В.Е. Исследование способов изменения показателей свойств деталей при изготовлении одежды: метод. указания / В.Е. Кузьмичев, Г.К. Попова. – Иваново, 1992. – 27 с.
  2. Зазнобина Н.И. Оценка экологической обстановки в крупном промышленном центре с помощью обобщенной функции желательности (на примере города Нижнего Новогорода) //Вестник Нижегород. ун-та им. Н.И. Лобачевского. – 2007. – № 2. – С. 115–118.

Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

  1. Kuz'michev V.E. Issledovanie sposobov izmenenija pokazatelej svojstv detalej pri izgotovlenii odezhdy: metod. ukazanija [Research of ways of change of indicators of properties of details at production of clothes: method. instructions] / V.E. Kuz'michev, G.K. Popova. – Ivanovo, 1992. – 27 p. [in Russian]
  2. Zaznobina N.I. Ocenka jekologicheskoj obstanovki v krupnom promyshlennom centre s pomoshh'ju obobshhennoj funkcii zhelatel'nosti (na primere goroda Nizhnego Novogoroda) [Assessment of an ecological situation in the large industrial center by means of the generalized function of desirability (on the example of the city of Nizhny Novgorod)] //Vestnik Nizhegorod. un-ta im. N.I. Lobachevskogo. – 2007. – № 2. – P. 115–118. [in Russian]