Sauka Arnis

Sauka Arnis

Professor. Head of the Centre for Sustainable Business Department of Business and Management
+371 26043567

Arnis Sauka is Professor and the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Business at SSE Riga. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Siegen (Germany) and has been a Visiting Scholar at Jönköping International Business School (Sweden) and University College London (U.K.).

Arnis main research interests include the shadow economy, productive and unproductive entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship policy making and competitiveness, and entrepreneurship development in a transition context. Drawing on his academic work that have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and books and presented at numerous European and North American conferences, he has also been extensively involved in applied research. This has included contracted reports for the OECD and Eurofound as well as for various industry associations and NGOs in Latvia and other countries. Arnis Sauka is co- author of the annual Shadow Economy Index for the Baltic Countries (with Prof. Tālis J. Putniņš, since 2009) and he has participated in and managed various EU-funded international projects.

Arnis has also been involved in management and consultancy activities, including working as Vice Rector for Studies and Research at Ventspils University College (2011-2013), a board member of the NGO BASE (Business Against the Shadow Economy) (since 2015), and a senior consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (2008). From 2011-2014 he was Advisor to the Minister of Health on Financial and Economic Issues. Arnis is also an Expert in Management Science and an Expert in Economics at the Latvian Council for Science (2011-2014; 2014-2017) as well as a member of the promotion committee of the doctoral programme implemented by the BA School of Business and Finance and RISEBA University.



Dr. rer. pol. (business administration, magna cum laude)

University of Siegen, Germany


Research interests

Shadow Economy, Tax morale, Productive and unproductive entrepreneurship; Social Contribution and Competitiveness of SMEs; Small and medium size enterprise (SME) performance, growth and strategies; SMEs development in transition countries; Entrepreneurship policy making.


Selected publications


Mickiewicz, T., A. Rebmann and A. Sauka (2017), To Pay or not to Pay? Business Owners’ Tax Morale: Testing a Neo- Institutional Framework in a Transition Environment. Journal of Business Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-017-3623-2

Mickiewicz, T., A. Sauka and U. Stephan (2016), On the Compatibility of Benevolence and Self-Interest:  Philanthropy and Entrepreneurial Orientation. International Small Business Journal, 34(3), 303-328.

Putnins, T. and A. Sauka (2015), Measuring the Shadow Economy Using Company Managers. Journal of Comparative Economics, 43 (2015), 471-490.

Sauka, A. (2015), Measuring the Competitiveness of Latvian Companies. Baltic Journal of Economics, 14:1-2, 140-158.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2014), Determinants of Business Insolvencies During Economic Growth and Recession in Latvia. Journal of Baltic Studies, 45:3.

Sauka, A. (2012) Petter Gottschalk, Entrepreneurship and Organised Crime. Entrepreneurs in Illegal Business. International Small Business Journal, 30:99.

Putnins, T. and A. Sauka (2011) Size and Determinants of Shadow Economies in the Baltic States. Baltic Journal of Economics, 11(2), 5-25.

Aidis, R. T. Mickiewicz and A. Sauka (2011) Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses’ Growth Expectations and Financial Performance in Latvia: Does Ethnicity Matter? Journal of Baltic Studies, 42:3.



Sauka, A. and A. Chepurenko (2017) (Eds.), Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies. Diversity, Trends, and Perspectives. Springer. 

Sauka, A., F. Schneider and C. Williams (2016) (Eds.), Entrepreneurship and the Shadow Economy. Edward Elgar.

Smallbone, D., M. Virtanen and A. Sauka (2016) (Eds.), Entrepreneurship: Innovation and Regional Development. Edward Elgar.

Sauka, A. and B. Rivža (Eds.) (2014) Challenges of Economy and Entrepreneurship in Latvia. Ventspils, Ventspils Augstskola. (in Latvian)

Sauka, A. (2013) Case Studies of Latvian Entrepreneurs: for Lecturers, Scientists and Practitioners. Latvia: SSE Riga. (in Latvian)

Sauka, A., et. al. (2011) Guide for New Entrepreneurs. Riga, Latvia: SSE Riga.(in Latvian)

Sauka, A. (2008), Productive, Unproductive and Destructive Entrepreneurship: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang GmbH.

Baltrušaitytė-Axelson, J., A. Sauka, and F. Welter (2008), Nascent Entrepreneurship in Latvia. Riga, Latvia: SSE Riga.


Chapters in books

Putnins, T. and A. Sauka (2016) The components and determinants of the shadow economy: Evidence from the Baltic countries. In Sauka, A. F. Schneider and C. Williams (Eds) Entrepreneurship and the Shadow Economy. Edward Elgar.

Sauka, A. and L. Auza (2015) Internationalisation Strategies of Latvia Entrepreneurs: Cases of Stenders, Munio Candela, Trousers London and Primekss. In Farihna, L., J. Fereirra, H. Birkbeck and S. Bagchi- Sen (Eds) Handbook of Research on Global Competitive Advantage through Innovation and Entrepreneurship. IGI Global.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2014) Furnitura Ltd. In J. Hayton, C. Salvato and M. Manimala (Eds.) Global Entrepreneurship. Case Studies of Entrepreneurial Firms Operation Around the World. Routledge.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2014) From the advanced transition environment to the international markets: key opportunities and challenges for Madara Cosmetics. In Thai, M. and E. Turkina (Eds) Internationalization of Firms from Economies of Transition: The Effects of Politico-economic Swift. Edward Elgar.

Sauka, A. (2013) Hidden Champions from Latvia, in McKiernan, P. and D. Purg (Eds.) ‘Hidden Champions in CEE and Turkey- Carving out global niche’. Springer.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2012) Born Green and Global: the Case of MADARA Cosmetics, in D. Kariv, Female Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation. An International Overview. New York/ London: Routledge.

Sauka, A., A. Timofejevs and R. Moore (2011) EWaiter, In S. Kraus (Ed.) Entrepreneurship Fallstudien. Unternehmensgrundung, Intrapreneurship und Innovationsmanagement. Verlag/Wien: Springer.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2011) Mentalities and Mindsets - The Difficulties of Entrepreneurship Policies in the Latvian Context. In F. Welter and D. Smallbone (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policies in Central and Eastern Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Dainov, E. and A. Sauka (2010) Managers and Entrepreneurs in Creative and Knowledge- Intensive Industries: What Determines Their Location? Toulouse, Helsinki, Budapest, Riga and Sofia. In S. Musterd and A. Murie (Eds.) Making Competitive Cities. Wiley: Blackwell.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2008) Taking advantage of transition: the case of Safety Ltd. in Latvia, in Aidis, R.; Welter, F. (Eds.), The cutting edge: innovation and entrepreneurship in new Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Sauka, A. and F. Welter (2007) Productive, Unproductive and Destructive Entrepreneurship in an Advanced Transition Setting: The Example of Latvian Small Enterprises, in Michael Dowling and Jurgen Schmude (Eds.), Empirical Entrepreneurship in Europe’, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.


Membership in professional organizations

European Association for Comparative Economic Studies, Member

European Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Member of the Board of Directors (2010-2013), Vice president for Latvia (2007-2010, since 2014)

International Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Member

Academy of Management, Member. Ambassador of ENT division in Latvia (2010-2015)


Collaboration with international organizations and industries

Sauka, A. (2017) Shadow Economy in the Construction Sector in Latvia, 2015-2016. BASE: Riga, Latvia. (In Latvian)

Putnins, T. and A. Sauka (2016) Shadow Economy Determinants and Impact Assessment in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. OECD: Paris.

Sauka, A. (2016) Factors Influencing Shadow Economy in Construction Industry in Latvia. Viewpoints of Entrepreneurs and Experts. SSE Riga and BASE: Riga, Latvia. (in Latvian)

Masane- Ose, J. and A Sauka (2016) Foreign Investors’ Viewpoints on the Shadow Economy in Latvia. KPMG, SSE Riga and FICIL: Riga, Latvia.

Sauka, A. (2016) IIlegal TV market Share in Latvia. SSE Riga, BASE. (in Latvian)

Sauka, A. (2016) Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Latvia. OECD Policy Assessment Note, OECD: Paris.

Sauka, A. (2016) Latvian Entrepreneurs About the Quality of Juridical System in Latvia. SSE Riga. (in Latvian)

Sauka, A. (2015) Investment Climate in Latvia: the Viewpoints of the Foreign Investors. FICIL Sentiment Index 2015. FICIL and SSE Riga.

Rudzitis, E., S. Porina- Palsane and A. Sauka (2015) Pensometer (How Envelope Wages Impact Pensions of Inhabitants of the Baltic countries). CSB and SEB.

Sauka, A. (2015) Supporting the Unemployed in Entrepreneurship in Latvia. OECD Report: Paris.

Sauka, A. (2013) Restructuring in SMEs: Latvia. European Foundation for improvement of working an living conditions, Eurofound: Dublin.

Kozlinska, I. et al. (2013). Analysis of Entrepreneurship Educator’s Training Needs and Practices. AALTO University publication series BUSINESS + ECONOMY 4/2013.

Sauka, A. (2012) Corporate Social Responsibility of Latvian Companies. Riga: Nordea banka and SSE Riga. (in Latvian)

Karhunen, P. et al. (2011b) Creative Entrepreneurs’ Perceptions About Entrepreneurial Education. AALTO University publication series BUSINESS + ECONOMY 10/2011.

Karhunen, P. et al. (2011a) Perceptions of Entrepreneurship Among Future Creative Professionals. AALTO University publication series BUSINESS + ECONOMY 9/2011.

SSE Riga Shadow Economy Index for the Baltic countries (with Talis Putnins), 7 reports since 2011, most recent: Putnins, T. and A. Sauka (2017) Shadow Economy Index of Baltic Countries 2009-2016. SSE Riga.

Since 2014. WEF Global Competitiveness Index project manager from Latvia

2013-2014. Team member in the project “Best Agers Lighouses”. Baltic Sea Region programme 2007-2013.

2010-2012. Project manager in the project “Best Agers”. Baltic Sea Region programme 2007-2013.

2011-2013. Team member in the project Central Balticum Entrepreneurship Interaction (CB ENTREINT). Central Baltic Interreg IVA Programme 2007-2013, financed by the European Regional Development Fund,/research/projects/cb-entreint/

2009-2012. Local project coordinator/ team member in the project “CREANET: Creative Entrepreneurship Training Network”. Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007-2013.

Grants and Awards

The TeliaSonera Institute at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga/ BICEPS ( Scholarship for research in Entrepreneurship (2005-2007). Riga, Latvia.

Scandinavian Institute for Administrative Research. Travelling scholarship, research visit to Jonkoping International Business School. (03.-05.2006). Jonkoping, Sweden.

The Swedish Institute. Scholarship for research work at Jonkoping International Business School (2004.- 2005). Jonkoping, Sweden.

School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia. Scholarship for research work at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies/ University College London. (2003-2004). London, U.K.