Perception of Location Factors by Entrepreneurs and Representatives of Business Environment Institutions
Purpose: The principal objective of this study is to determine the hierarchy of importance of the location factors as seen by entrepreneurs and representatives of different institutions in the business environment. Design/Methodology/Approach: Primary data collected through questionnaires designed specifically for this study served as the basis for analyses. The questionnaires were addressed to representatives of various business environment institutions (BEI) and entrepreneurs. For each of the location factors, an analysis was made whether its perception by entrepreneurs was statistically different from the one provided by the BEI representatives. The significance of a difference was tested with the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. Findings: The research results indicated that the most important location factor according to entrepreneurs was the total costs of conducting business activities, whereas the BEI representatives pointed to the information and telecommunications infrastructure as the most important factor. All the location factors were evaluated differently by the two categories of respondents, and nearly all (except four) occupied different positions in the hierarchies developed by both groups. The results also suggested that the difference in the perception of location factors between the two groups of respondents was in most cases statistically significant. Practical Implications: The research results can be helpful to government and non-government institutions that create the institutional environment for business. Having the knowledge of what entrepreneurs expect with regard to location factors, BEI managers can introduce new or improve existing measures implemented to facilitate business. Originality/Value: The institutional environment as well as the theory and factors of location have been the subject of many empirical studies. However, a comparative analysis of the assessment of location factors provided by BEI representatives and by entrepreneurs is a new direction in research.