The Development of Business Ethics in Russia

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Russia Pages: 6 (2170 words) Published: April 13, 2009
The Development of Business Ethics in Russia
The word “ethics” (the Greek ethika, from ethos - custom, disposition) is usually used in two senses. On the one hand, the ethics - an area of knowledge, scientific discipline studying morality, morals, their origin, dynamics, factors and developments. On the other hand, ethics is defined by a set of moral rules in any sphere of human behavior or the organization. There are two main viewpoints on the relationship of universal ethical principles and business ethics: 1) the rules of conventional morality to business does not include or refer to a lesser extent. This view is consistent with the concept of so-called ethical relativism, according to which each reference group (ie groups of people to view where their behavior is focused on this subject) is characterized by its own special ethical standards, and 2) business ethics based on universal universal ethics (to be honest, do no harm, to keep the floor, etc.) that are specified in the light of a specific social role of business in society. The system of rules and regulations adopted at the present time in the world's business, not appeared in finished form. It evolved over a long historical period, with the development of civilization, on the basis of the non-people of certain traditions and customs. The development of business ethics in Russia has its own characteristics, due to the specifics of the historical path traversed by the Russian government. Considering the history of European civilization, P. J. Chaadaev, the Russian writer of 19th century, noted that “in addition to all the general shape, each of these nations has its special features, but all this is rooted in history and tradition and inherited status of these people” [1] The peculiarity of Russia was that it was often alone in its general path of development when the other countries intensively exchanged their traditions. Fundamentals of Russian norms of economic behavior arise in the Moscow kingdom in XV - XVI centuries when Russian princes realized the importance of entrepreneurship for the country development. Crafts were the basis for economic strengthening of Moscow kingdom, a prerequisite for the domestic and foreign trade growth. The centralization of power and strengthening of estrangement from the West helped shape the behavior of the Moscow merchants, suspicion of foreigners, the propensity for deception to build trade relations with strangers, poor respect for the “letter of the law”. [2] A rapid expansion of trade relations in Russia began in the middle of XVII century during Peter the Great’s reform time. Russian merchants started learning the Western traditions related to private property, contracts, exchange, trade, competition, profit. There was the first attempt to the legal registration at that time, the attempt to exercise state control over the quality of imported and exported goods, providing benefits and protection for trade people. The increased mutual trust between businesses and the government contributed to the expression and consolidation of the new features of the business relationship. The next step of the business development and changing legal status of merchants was done by Catherine the Great. She revived the business with other countries alone with development of the first lending institutions, merchant shipping, and the establishment of foreign consular and commercial conventions. In early XX century Russia with its own traditions became one of the leading nations of the world. The names of Russian businessmen became world known: Mamontoff, Morozov, Tretyakov, Putilova, Alekseeva, Chizhova, etc. At this time in Russia there was a mechanism to allow the “cut off” from the business of those who did not follow the moral and ethical standards. Every city had the Merchant Committees which had the right to recommend or not recommend an entrepreneur/businessman in the merchants' guild. This right should...

Cited: 1. Chaadaev P. J.. Philosophic Letters. Moscow, 1951.
2. Kleiner, G.. Business Strategy: Analytical Guide. Moscow: CONSECO, 1998.
3. Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow, 1987
4. Information and Instructional Materials. Moscow: MIBA, 2004
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