In this paper, we describe how we conducted in-depth empirical research about the value-background and coping strategies of ecologically-oriented enterprises in Hungary.
It is a common belief that companies that have an ecological orientation are at a disadvantage on competitive markets because ethical and environmentally-friendly behaviour can generate costs and lessen competitive advantages. Hence, a pro-ecology stance is at odds with competitiveness. The paper presents theoretical arguments and empirical results which suggest that ecologically-oriented enterprises can survive and even prosper in competitive environments. Research findings highlighted two preconditions which make the survival and prosperity of ecologically-oriented businesses possible. The first is that ecologically-oriented businesses are intrinsically motivated to follow their environmental and ethical goals. The second is that these businesses define success multi-dimensionally. Their definition of success includes consideration of whether their stakeholders are flourishing and whether the environment is being conserved and restored.
Keywords: ecologically-oriented enterprises, Hungary, empirical research, ecological orientation, competitiveness, intrinsic motivation, multi-dimensional success definition, entrepreneurship, management, sustainable development