There have been a lot of changes in the sphere of functioning of the modern companies. Globalization, accompanied by rapid technological changes have created a completely new business environment. If a company wants to be perceived as a reliable partner in business, it should implement the elements of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It relates not only to the global corporations but also to small and medium size companies, operating both in developed as well as developing countries and in a variety of sectors of the economy.
Taking into account the circumstances, the scholars from the four Central European countries belonging to the Visegrad Group have conducted a scientific project aimed at identifying the scale and scope of the use of Business Ethics and CSR in three sectors of the economy: pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol. The research sample included a group of 350 companies operating in the said sectors. Among the respondents there were the companies from alcohol industry (150 companies), tobacco (100 companies) and pharmaceutical (also 100 companies). Beside this strategic goal, the following issues were also analysed:
- the concept of business ethics and CSR in modern economy,
- detailed presentation of the three sectors of economies, i.e. tobacco, pharmaceutical and alcohol.
The objective of this thesis is presented in four chapters. In the first chapter, the theoretical aspects of business ethics and CSR are presented. Chapter II presents the description of the sectors by countries. This is the largest chapter of the monograph which describes the sectors being the subject of the research. In turn, chapter III is a purely methodological one and focuses on the methodology used in the research. The procedure which allowed to conduct the research, research sample, nature of questions as well as a group of respondents were analysed too. Chapter IV analyses the research results, concentrating on the whole research sample, and not on the particular countries. In some, especially interesting cases, there are however, indications to the particular countries. Conclusions as well as the future directions of the research and its limitations have been also presented.
The responses received allowed to evaluate the utilisation of CSR and Business Ethics amongst companies analysed. Despite several limitations of the study (e.g. a relatively small number of responses received which indicates a pilotage nature of the research), our research has confirmed that companies from the sectors use the Business Ethics and CSR concepts in their operations, although their scale is strongly differentiated.