How do SMEs from different countries perceive export impediments depending on their firm-level characteristics? System approach




SMEs, export barriers, firm size-age-sector, Czech-Slovak-Hungarian SMEs, export risk


Research background: The differences in the legal structures, tax rates, and cultural-linguistic issues of various countries have always been a significant concern for SMEs in their exporting activities and internationalization processes. However, since firm-level characteristics might provide some advantages or disadvantages in their operations, their perceptions of export impediments might vary across size, age, and sector groups.

Purpose of the article: This paper investigates the perceptions of export impediments by 408 larger-smaller, older-younger, and manufacturing-nonmanufacturing Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian SMEs in a country-based perspective.

Methods: The researchers use the random sampling method to create research samples and employ an internet-mediated questionnaire to collect the research data. The researchers use both Independent Sample T-test and ANOVA analyses to find differences between size, age, and sector groups.

Findings & value added: While the differences exist between the perceptions of Slovakian larger-smaller and manufacturing-nonmanufacturing SMEs regarding cultural differences, the perceptions of legal and tax-related export impediments by SMEs do not differ depending on their age, size, and sector. This paper contributes to the literature by confirming various perceptions of SMEs in different countries and different characteristics regarding export obstacles and providing an entity-specific and international scope that policymakers and SMEs can benefit from. Awareness of the policymakers regarding the results of this paper that includes differences and similarities in SMEs? perceptions of export barriers might make them have close interactions with SMEs to reduce SMEs? concerns regarding their export risks. On the other hand, SMEs that are aware of the results of this paper can be more interested in having a broader network that includes close relationships not only with intermediary firms, but also with governments to overcome the export impediments.


Download data is not yet available.


Ajaz Khan, K., Çera, G., & Nétek, V. (2019). Perception of selected business environment aspects by service firms. Journal of Tourism and Services, 10(19), 111?127. doi: 10.29036/jots.v10i19.115.

Arteaga?Ortiz, J., & Fernández?Ortiz, R. (2010). Why don't we use the same export barrier measurement scale? An empirical analysis in small and medium?sized enterprises. Journal of Small Business Management, 48(3), 395?420.

Belas, J., Strnad, Z., Gavurova, B., & Čepel, M. (2019). Business environment quality factors research-SME management's platform. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 20(1), 64?77. doi: 10.17512/pjms.2019.20.1.06.

Belas, J., Amoah, J., Petráková, Z., Kliuchnikava, Y., & Bilan, Y.(2020a). Selected factors of SMEs management in the service sector. Journal of Tourism and Services, 21(11), 129?146. doi: 10.29036/jots.v11i21.215.

Belas, J., Gavurova, B., Cepel, M., & Kubak, M. (2020b). Evaluation of economic potential of business environment development by comparing sector differences. Oeconomia Copernicana, 11(1), 135?159. doi: 10.24136/ oc.2020.006.

Belso-Martínez, J. A. (2006). Why are some Spanish manufacturing firms internationalizing rapidly? The role of business and institutional international networks. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 18(3), 207?226. doi: 10.1 080/08985620600565409.

Berger, A. N., & Udell, G. F. (2006). A more complete conceptual framework for SME finance. Journal of Banking & Finance, 30(11), 2945?2966. doi: 10.1016/j. 6jbankfin.2006.05.008.

Bilan, Y., Gavurova, B., Stanislaw, G., & Tkacova, A. (2017). The composite coincident indicator (CCI) for business cycles. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 14(7), 71?90. doi: 10.12700/aph.14.7.2017.7.5.

Boter, H., & Holmquist, C. (1996). Industry characteristics and internationalization processes in small firms. Journal of Business Venturing, 11, 471?487. doi: 10.1016/S0883-9026(96)89166-X.

Civelek, M., Gajdka, K., Světlík, J., & Vavrečka, V. (2020). Differences in the usage of online marketing and social media tools: evidence from Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian SMEs. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 15(3), 537?563. doi: 10.24136/eq.2020.024.

Civelek, M., Ključnikov, A., Fialova, V., Folvarčná, A., & Stoch, M. (2021). How innovativeness of family-owned SMEs differ depending on their characteristics? Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 16(2), 413?428. doi: 10.24136/eq.2021 .015.

Cruz, M., Baghdadi, L., & Arouri, H. (2021). High growth firms and trade linkages: imports do matter. Small Business Economics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11187-021-00538-w.

Čabinová, V., Gallo, P., Pártlová, P., Dobrovič, J., & Stoch, M. (2021). Evaluating Business Performance and Efficiency in Medical Tourism. Journal of Tourism and Services, 22(12), 198?221. doi: 10.29036/jots.v12i22.247.

Durana, P., Ginevicius, R., Urbanski, M., Podhorska, I., & Tumpach, M. (2021). Parallels and differences in earnings management of Visegrad four and the Baltics. Journal of Competitiveness, 13(3), 39?55. doi: 10.7441/joc.2021.03.03.

Dvorský, J., Petráková, Z., & Polách, J. (2019). Assessing the market, financial, and economic risk sources by Czech and Slovak SMEs. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 7(2), 30?40. doi: 10.12345-0008.

Dvorský, J., Petráková, Z., & Fialová, V. (2020a). Perception of business risks by entrepreneurs according to experience with business failure. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 8(1), 76?88. doi: 10.37335/ijek.v8i1. 104.

Dvorský, J., Petráková, Z., Ajaz Khan, K., Formánek, I., & Mikoláš, Z. (2020). Selected aspects of strategic management in service sector. Journal of Tourism and Services, 20(11), 109?123. doi: 10.29036/jots.v11i20.146.

Dvorsky, J., Belas, J. Jr., Cera, G., & Bilan, S. (2021). Disparities in perception of business risks in connection with the achieved education of the owner/manager and doing business. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 9(1), 25?40. doi: 10.37335/ijek.v9i1.123.

European Commission (2003). Recommendation of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of SMEs. Retrieved from: TXT/?uri=CELEX:32003H0361 (11.09.2021).

Fedorko, I., Bacik, R., & Gavurova, B. (2018). Technology acceptance model in e-commerce segment. Management & Marketing Challenges for the Knowledge Society, 13(4), 1242?1256. doi: 10.2478/mmcks-2018-0034.

Felzensztein, C., Deans, K. R., & Dana, L. P. (2019). Small firms in regional clusters: local networks and internationalization in the Southern Hemisphere. Journal of Small Business Management, 57(2), 496?516. doi: 10.1111/jsbm.12 388.

Forte, R., & Salomé Moreira, A. (2018). Financial constraints and small and medium-sized firms? export propensity. International Journal of the Economics of Business, 25(2), 223?241. doi: 10.1080/13571516.2018.1437011.

Gashi, P., Hashi, I., & Pugh, G. (2014). Export behaviour of SMEs in transition countries. Small Business Economics, 42, 407?435. doi:10.1007/s11187-013-9487-7.

Gavurova, B., Janke, F., Packova, M., & Pridavok, M. (2017). Analysis of impact of using the trend Variables on bankruptcy prediction models performance. Ekonomicky casopis, 65(4), 370?383.

Gavurova, B., Ivankova, V., Rigelsky, M., & Privarova, M. (2020). Relations between tourism spending and global competitiveness. Journal of Tourism and Services, 11(21), 38?54. doi: 10.29036/jots.v11i21.175.

George, D., & Mallery, M. (2010). SPSS for Windows step by step: a simple guide and reference. Boston: Pearson.

Gruenbichler, R., Klucka, J., Haviernikova, K., & Strelcova, S. (2021). Business performance management in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Slovak Republic. Journal of Competitiveness, 13(1), 42?58. doi: 10.7441/joc.2021.01. 03.

Gubik, S. A., & Bartha, Z. (2014). SME internalisation index (SMINI) based on the sample of the Visegrad countries. In A. S. Gubik & K. Wach (Eds.). International entrepreneurship and corporate growth in Visegrad countries. Mickolc: University of Miskolc, 23?40.

Haddoud, M. Y., Onjewu, A.-K., Jones, P., & Newbery, R. (2018). Investigating the moderating role of export promotion programmes. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 14(2/3), 282?308. doi: 10.1108/cpoib-11-2016-0059.

Haddoud, M. Y., Jones, P., & Newbery, R. (2021). Export intention in developing countries: a configuration approach to managerial success factors. Journal of Small Business Management, 59(1), 107?135. doi: 10.1111/jsbm.12470.

Ključnikov, A., Civelek, M., Vozňáková, I., & Krajčík, V. (2020a). Can discounts expand local and digital currency awareness of individuals depending on their characteristics? Oeconomia Copernicana, 11(2), 239?266. doi: 10.24136/oc.20 20.010.

Ključnikov, A., Civelek, M., Polách, J., Mikoláš, Z., & Banot, M. (2020b). How do security and benefits instill trustworthiness of a digital local currency? Oeconomia Copernicana, 11(3), 433?465. doi: 10.24136/oc.2020.018.

Ključnikov, A., Civelek, M., Fialova, V., & Folvarčná, A. (2021). Organizational, local, and global innovativeness of family-owned SMEs depending on firm-individual level characteristics: evidence from the Czech Republic. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 16(1), 169?184. doi: 10.24136/eq.2021.006.

Kocisova, K., Gavurova, B., & Behun, M. (2018). The evaluation of stability of Czech and Slovak banks. Oeconomia Copernicana, 9(2), 205?223. doi: 10.24 136/oc.2018.011.

Leonidou, L. C. (2004). An analysis of the barriers hindering small business export development. Journal of Small Business Management, 42(3), 279?302. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-627X.2004.00112.x.

Lejárraga, I., & Oberhofer, H. (2015). Performance of small-and medium-sized enterprises in services trade: evidence from French firms. Small Business Economics, 45(3), 673?702. doi: 10.1007/s11187-015-9647-z.

Lopez, N. V. (2013). Barriers to export: the power of organisational factors. International. Journal of Commerce and Management, 23(2), 136?147. doi: 10.1108 /10569211311324920.

Love, J. H., Roper, S., & Zhou, Y. (2016). Experience, age and exporting performance in UK SMEs. International Business Review, 25(4), 806?819. doi: 10.10 16/j.ibusrev.2015.10.001.

Lotti, F., Santarelli, E., & Vivarelli, M. (2009). Defending Gibrat?s law as a long?run regularity. Small Business Economics, 32, 31?44. doi: 10.1007/s11187-007-9071-0.

Manova, K. (2013). Credit constraints, heterogeneous firms and international trade. Review of Economic Studies, 80(2), 711?744. doi: 10.1093/restud/rds036.

Mariotti, S., & Piscitello, L. (2001). Localized capabilities and the internationalization of manufacturing activities by SMEs. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 13(1), 65?80. doi: 10.1080/089856201750046810.

Mittelstaedt, J. D., Harben, G. N., & Ward, W. A. (2003). How small is too small? Firm size as a barrier to exporting from the United States. Journal of Small Business Management, 41(1), 68?84.

Narayanan, V. (2015). Export barriers for small and medium-sized enterprises: a literature review based on Leonidou's model. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(2), 105?123. doi:10.15678/EBER.2015.030208.

Nunes, P.M., Gonçalves, M., & Serrasqueiro, Z. (2013). The influence of age on SMEs? growth determinants: empirical evidence. Small Business Economics, 40, 249?272. doi: 10.1007/s11187-011-9363-2.

Peng, M. (2009). Global business. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Pietrovito, F., & Pozzolo, A. F (2021). Credit constraints and exports of SMEs in emerging and developing countries. Small Business Economics, 56, 311?332. doi: 10.1007/s11187-019-00225-x.

Radojević, P. D., Marjanović, D., & Radovanov, T. (2014). The impact of firms' characteristics on export barriers' perception. Prague Economic Papers, 23(4), 426?445.

Raymond, L., St-Pierre, J., Uwizeyemungu, S., & Le Dinh, T. (2014). Internationalization capabilities of SMEs. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 12(3), 230?253. doi: 10.1007/s10843-014-0123-7.

Reková, E. (2016). The born globals phenomenon in Czech Republic. In 9th international scientific conference ?Business and Management (12-13). Vilnius: Vilnius Tech, 1?8. doi: 10.3846/bm.2016.43.

Revindo, M. D., Gan, C., & Massie, N. W. G. (2019). Factors affecting propensity to export. Gadjah Mada International Journal of Business, 21(3), 263?288.

Ruzekova, V., Kittova, Z., & Steinhauser, D. (2020). Export performance as a measurement of competitiveness. Journal of Competitiveness, 12(1), 145?160. doi: 10.7441/joc.2020.01.09.

Santhosh, C. (2020). What affects the export entrepreneurship of SMEs? Review of International Business and Strategy, 30(2), 265?278. doi: 10.1108/RIBS-06-2019-0086.

Silva, J. R., Franco, M., & Magrinho, A. (2016). Empirical investigation of the effects of industry type and firm size on export barriers. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 17(6), 1052?1065. doi: 10.3846/16111699.2016. 1143874.

Sinicakova, M., & Gavurova, B. (2017). Single monetary policy versus macroeconomic fundamentals in Slovakia. Ekonomicky casopis, 65(2), 158?172.

Srinivasan, T. N., & V. Archana (2011). Determinants of export decision of firms. Economic and Political Weekly, 46(7), 49?58.

Sudarevic, T., Radojevic, P., Marjanovic, D., & Dragas, R. (2017). Marketing and financial barriers in agri-food exporting. British Food Journal, 119(3), 613?624. doi: 10.1108/BFJ-05-2016-0183.

Virglerova, Z., Kliestik, T., Rowland, Z., & Rozsa, Z. (2020a). Barriers to internationalization of SMEs in visegrad countries. Transformations in Business & Economics, 19(3), 58?73.

Virglerova, Z., Conte, F., Amoah, J., & Massaro, M. R. (2020b). The perception of legal risk and its impact on business of SMEs. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 8(2), 1?13. doi: 10.37335/ijek.v8i2.115.

Wagner, J. (1995). Exports, firm size, and firm dynamics. Small Business Economics, 7(1), 29?39.

Westhead, P., Wright, M., & Ucbasaran, D. (2001). The internationalization of new and small firms: a resource-based view. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(4), 333?358. doi: 10.1016/S0883-9026(99)00063-4.




How to Cite

Civelek, M. ., & Krajčík, V. . (2022). How do SMEs from different countries perceive export impediments depending on their firm-level characteristics? System approach. Oeconomia Copernicana, 13(1), 55–78.