The impact of corporate reputation and social media engagement on the sustainability of SMEs: Perceptions of top managers and the owners

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24136/eq.2023.025

Keywords:

small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporate reputation, social media, enterprise sustainability, V4 countries

Abstract

Research background: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a fundamental role in countries’ economies. Currently, entrepreneurs are struggling not only with the uncertainty of the business environment, but also with high expectations for businesses to be run in a sustainable way. Therefore, the impact of corporate reputation and social media on sustainability is an area of interest for entrepreneurs. In this context, little research has been conducted on their perception of the linkage between these issues. Furthermore, there has been no direct explanation of the effects of SMEs’ reputation and social media usage on their sustainable development, especially in the V4 countries.

Purpose of the article: This article defines, quantifies, and verifies the effects of corporate reputation and social media on sustainable development as perceived by SMEs’ owners and top managers in the V4 countries.

Methods: Data were gathered in December 2022 and January 2023 using the computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI) method. The survey was designed based on a literature review and experts’ opinions. Respondents (top managers of SMEs, n = 1090) were asked questions on their firms’ characteristics, reputation, social media usage and sustainable development. The linear regression modelling (LRM) was utilised to evaluate the hypothesis.

Findings & value added: The study revealed a strong relationship between owners’ and top managers’ perceptions of the importance of both corporate reputation and sustainable development in SMEs. The belief that social media supports the growth of companies’ performance is related to the understanding of the concept of sustainable business development. Surprisingly, for the owners and top managers of SMEs in V4 countries, there was no relationship between the awareness of social media usage to share information with customers and partners and the understanding of sustainable business growth.

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Published

2023-09-30

How to Cite

Dvorský, J., Bednarz, J., & Blajer-Gołębiewska, A. (2023). The impact of corporate reputation and social media engagement on the sustainability of SMEs: Perceptions of top managers and the owners. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 18(3), 779–811. https://doi.org/10.24136/eq.2023.025

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