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Paper info: The Czech micro and small enterprises and relations with stakeholders


The Czech micro and small enterprises and relations with stakeholders


Alena Klapalová
Masaryk university
Czech Republic
Alena Klapalová

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.



The existence and business processes of micro and small companies are the subjects of interests of theorists and practitioners (mostly from the governmental or supragovernmental institutions) stressing mostly specificities and weaknesses (except some advantages, e.g. flexibility and innovativeness) of these types of enterprises. Marketing management falls into one area where several missing points are attributed to this type of companies. Manoeuvrability as well as marketing resources or competencies are limited compared to bigger-sized companies. This is one reason why relationships are considered of vital importance for micro and small enterprises. Among all for instance Gilmore et al and Brodie et al argue that small (and middle) companies marketing is "largely done through networking, or a combination of transaction, relationship, interaction and networking" (cited in Simpson, M., Padmore, J, 2005).Some results from the exploratory survey are presented in this paper. The survey is a part of the joined research project "Relationship Marketing" of academicians from Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic which has started in the year 2006. Empirical exploratory survey was realized during last summer using in-depth interviews to get the answers to the following basic research question: "How far" are micro and small companies from these three countries with the concept of relationship marketing in managing their long-lasting relationships? Related survey objectives were formulated as follows: a)to identify existing portfolio of long-lasting relationships of surveyed companies, and subsequently for every mentioned subject to: b) find out motivation - reasons or potential benefits for or from maintaining the relationships, c) to let the respondents to evaluate the importance  of each relationships for companies market success as well as the quality of each relationships, d) to identify methods/instruments/tools or activities used for maintaining the long-lasting relationships, e) discover the  barriers of the relationships and finally to get probably real emotional attitude of the respondents to their partners.Results of the survey introduced in this paper are only from the Czech Republic (because of some contractual terms among the parties). Except above given topics, the author tries to pause on other conclusions resulted from the interviews. For instance:  Do micro and small companies think and behave more in relationships and interaction terms or fundamental values as for instance Gumesson stated in his phenomenal work Total Relationship Marketing?  In other words do they manage their long-lasting relationships according the IMP interaction principles? Or do they follow more own interests, own goals with the missing element of mutuality? Since stakeholder theory was proposed to use for the survey, some other areas of interest are discussed, e.g.: Why stakeholder theory is somehow "absent" in the IMP school of thoughts, what are common and what different points of knowledge of both approaches?