Katarina Zvarikova Agata Jurkowska – Gomułka Jan Dvorsky Jaroslav Belas


Purpose. The aim of this study is to define and compare important attributes in business ethics according to company size and the gender and education of entrepreneurs in the SME sector in the four Visegrad countries (hereinafter V4). Design/methodology/approach. Empirical research, which was aimed at uncovering the attitudes of small and medium-sized companies was carried out in June 2022 in the V4countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary) through the renowned external company MNFORCE. In the Czech Republic, the total number of respondents was 347. In the Slovak Republic, the total number of respondents was 322. In Poland, the total number of respondents was 381. In Hungary, the total number of respondents was 348. Statistical hypotheses were verified through descriptive statistics, the chi-squared test and Z-score atthe α = 5% level of significance.

Findings. The level of business ethics in the V4 countries is high. According to our findings,SMEs consider business ethics important; they consider the ethical consequences of their decisions when managing the company and enforce the rules of business ethics. We found partial differences in the overall structure of the responses of SMEs in terms of company size, the gender of the respondents and their education. The research showed statistically significant differences in SMEs’ positive attitudes toward business ethics in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. No differences in the positive attitudes of SMEs were found in Slovakia. The Czech Republic most often showed differences in the overall structure of answers and the structure of positive answers.

Originality. The originality and strength of this research lie in the fact that we rely on the results of our own empirical study and do not use secondary data or opinions in a mediated form. In this study, we examine the selected attitudes of owners/managers of SME s towards business ethics. This approach allows us to gain appropriate insights directly from the responsible people who carry out their business activities in the day-to-day business environment. The results of this research can be used by policymakers for the improvement of the business environment in the SME segment.