A Comprehensive Model for SMEs: Measuring the Dynamic Interplay of Morality, Environment and Management Systems – Towards Continuous Improvement

  • Jörg BürgiEmail author
Part of the The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics Book Series book series (ISBEE, volume 2)


The author designs a comprehensive model to characterise and optimise small and medium sized companies SMEs – in the overall context of physical environment, society, economy and business. This model embraces issues of morality, management system and environment and a corresponding measurement tool and discusses the interplay of these issues with the intention of leading to continuous improvement. The model and the measurement tool are tested by a longitudinal survey of 27 SMEs in Switzerland and Germany (total: 214 people of all hierarchical levels). The survey illustrates that a standardised management system is not decisive for the implementation of an increasingly dynamic and circular system with intensive integration of people. The implementation merely depends on the (moral) attitudes and behaviours of owners or top managers and employees. But SMEs with standardised (especially environmental) management systems demonstrate generally more outcomes towards effectiveness as well as embedded morality, circularity and integration. By the design of a comprehensive SME model and measuring tool, the author broadens the gap of narrowing SME research on individual issues and positions of individual companies to an overall context of physical environment, society, economy and business.


Small and medium sized companies SMEs Morality Management systems Environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computing & Technology Department of Environmental and Mechanical EngineeringThe Open UniversityVordemwaldSwitzerland

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