Academic journal article SAM Advanced Management Journal

Do Training, Area of Expertise, and Longevity with Current Employer Affect Ethics in Russia

Academic journal article SAM Advanced Management Journal

Do Training, Area of Expertise, and Longevity with Current Employer Affect Ethics in Russia

Article excerpt

The topic of business ethics and ethical behavior has received a great deal of attention from academic researchers, business leaders, communities, and society (Burns, 2012; Carlson & Burke, 1998; Cannon, 2001; Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2015; Jazani & Ayoobzadeh, 2012; Nguyen et al, 2014, 2016; Wang & Caivano, 2015). Many studies have supported the notion that national culture influences an individual's ethical perception and ethical decisionmaking (Bageac, Furrer, & Reynaud, 2011; Ermasova, Wagner, & Nguyen, 2017; Ermasova, Clark, Nguyen, & Ermasov, 2018; Kusznir, 2016; Kuzmichev, 2001; Ledeneva, 2006; Nguyen, Tran, & Pham, 2016; Nguyen, Ermasova, & Ermasov, 2016; Orttung, 2006, 2014; Svensson, 2005; van Zon, 2008). There is a need for additional rigorous empirical studies of ethical perceptions as influenced by national context. The study of ethical issues in a Russian context is important for several reasons. First, global leaders must understand the cultural differences in business ethics perceptions and possess adequate skills to manage a global workforce. Ardichvili et al. (2012) suggested "the need to evaluate new hires for alignment of corporate and personal values and desired behaviors becomes more critical particularly in light of the impact of financial decisions, associated with hiring, training, and firing employees". Second, ethical issues affect the results of business, particularly international business. Cordeiro (2003) wrote that "being unethical in any arena, but especially in the international arena, is both bad-for-business and bad business". A low level of business ethics maturity affects national economic variables. Obolonskiy (2008) wrote about the importance of "the moral revival of Russian society after the most serious long-term moral deformations". He suggested that it is not only a necessity, but also a key factor for the future of Russia. The 2015 Corruption Perception Index, published by Transparency International (2016a), ranked Russia 119 out of 177 countries and territories in the world based on the perception of how corrupt the Russian public sector is, with a score of 29 out of 100 (Table 1). The 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranked Russia 135 out of 180 countries (Transparency International, 2018). Table 1 provides economic indicators of business climate in Russia in 2014-2015.

This low score indicates a high level of perceived corruption (Transparency International, 2016b). As the Russian ruble depreciates, the Russian Ministry of the Interior reports that the average bribe, when paid in ruble, has doubled from 2014 (109,000) to 2015 (208,000), but it has stayed the same in dollars ($3,485) (State Department's Office, 2016). The corruption affects direct investment flow. According to the State Department s Office of Investment Affairs' 2015 Investment Climate Statement Foreign, direct investment flows in Russia during 2015 were USD 6.7 billion, a decline of 92% from 2013. Capital outflows in 2015 decreased to USD 57 billion, after a peak of USD 151.5 billion in 2014.

Third, there is a difference in ethical standards for Russians and Americans. The business behavior of Russian working adults is based on considerations of personal loyalty and in-group allegiances, not on universal considerations of right and wrong or potential impact on community and society (Avtonomov. 2006). Ermasova, Wagner, and Nguyen (2017) suggested that the question of what is considered "wrong-right" and/or "good-bad" in business ethics practices in Russia remains relatively unexplored in academic literature.

This research on ethical perception of Russian working adults endeavored to extend the empirical literature in this area. More specifically, this article seeks to shed light on the ethical reasoning by examining Russian working adults to determine how training, area of expertise, and tenure with current employer make a difference in these working adults' ethical reasoning. …

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