Manual for Azerbaijan companies Rena Safaralieva

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requirements created by the demands of a market economy, norms of corporate culture, new customer 

policies, etc.  Business ethics norms can be delivered to employees at special training  programs for 



Development of codes in Azerbaijan does not present much of a problem. There are specialists who can 

provide advice. This book can also be of help. What companies need is the resolute  will of their 

management. Sooner or later, Azerbaijan companies will  come to realize the paramount importance of 

business ethics codes. We firmly believe it is  better not to postpone the introduction of these codes for 

the distant future. Codes serve the interests of all stakeholders:  companies themselves and consumers of 

their goods and services.   


This book is the first  in its kind in the Azerbaijan language. It is gratifying that the book does not 

represent a translation from a foreign language, but  was written in Azerbaijan as the result of the research 

of our specialists. The various authors of this book have been engaged in research of business ethics 

problems for the last several years and are well- known experts in this area. Their own research  into 

problems of business ethics, in addition to  knowledge acquired in the course of trips abroad,  teaching 

experience at universities,  training  programs organized for various public and business structures, helped 

them to form their own visions of the problem and to formulate valuable recommendations in this 

remarkable publication.  This book will no doubt be found useful in business circles, as well as by  

government  agencies and non-governmental organizations, state enterprises, and students of business 



Finally, this book is not only the first of its type published in Azerbaijan language, but is also one of the 

few books published in our country with a considerable amount of  real life cases. These case scenarios 

are  accompanied by notes which will help readers  not only to familiarize themselves with the concepts

but also to self-train.  
















            Transparency Azerbaijan  


President, Entrepreneurship  

and Market Economy 

Development Foundation   


Rena Safaralieva  




The notion of ethics and morale 


The study of  ethics explores questions of morality and constitutes an integral part of applied philosophy. 

Normative ethics is a practical discipline, as it offers recommendations on the application of the 

principles of morality in practical life


. In other words, normative ethics teaches us what should be done, 

while descriptive ethics studies what has been done in real life and is in the focus of attention of historians 

and sociologists. Social ethics regulates human social behavior, while business ethics, naturally, is 

concerned with business conduct. In its turn, professional ethics, which establishes standards of behavior 

for certain professions, constitutes a subset of business ethics. The ethical principles pertaining to the 

legal and medical professions, for instance, are among the most developed and complicated  areas of 

business ethics. 


Morality is an abstract philosophical concept, which represents perceptions of “correct behavior” in a 

human society. To pass judgment in respect to any human behavior, people refer to moral norms, 

including  moral values (a set of abstract moral categories, shared by all members of a certain social 

group) such as  justice, goodness, honesty and honor, and moral principles (certain approaches or 

theories, which people use to solve moral dilemmas). For example, “I can do the same to you as you did 

to me.”  


Moral norms and values can be divided into two main categories: universal and specific. These notions 

can significantly differ in different societies and even change within the same society over time.  


Harsh conditions of life and constant wars resulted in deaths of a considerable portion of the male 

population of ancient Arabia and Arabs solved the problem of redundant females in a very simple way: 

they killed newly born girls, allowing to live only those born immediately after a surviving male child. 

Prophet Mohammed prohibited this practice and legalized polygamy. 


This, however, does not mean that there are no universal moral norms, shared by all mankind. For 

example, no human society can afford to unconditionally justify murder, because such a society will not 

be able to offer guarantees of personal security. No society can justify lying in business, because this will 

make business transactions insecure. Universal moral principles have been formulated by major world 

religions in a more or less similar way with only relatively slight variations. Specific moral norms and 

values are shared by certain groups of people within a definite time frame. In the same way, norms of 

business ethics may significantly vary in different areas of business activities.  


A medical doctor is obliged to help any patient, friend and enemy likewise, while a construction 

company can refuse to build a metal and glass skyscraper among historic monuments. It is regretful that 

the company which built the hotel ISR Plaza in Baku’s Fountain Square did not follow this principle. 


In the West, soliciting of potential customers was considered unethical by many professions in 1980s, but 

tough competition forced many professions (for example, lawyers and doctors) to soften their stance 

towards such solicitations. However, regardless of levels of competition, there are certain situations in 

which solicitation would likely be deemed inappropriate.  It would be difficult to imagine that 

unregulated solicitation of potential customers, for instance, elderly persons,  by funeral homes 

advertising their services would be welcomed.  



 Ethics, A Textbook on Philosophy, Political Science and Religion Studies, ed. by A.A. Gousseinov and E.L.Dubko, Gardariki 

Publishing House, Moscow, 1999, p. 31  

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