Manual for Azerbaijan companies Rena Safaralieva



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Should professionals be allowed to reject clients on ethical grounds? There is no one answer for 

representatives of varying professions. A construction company can certainly reject an offer to build a 

plant that would serve as an environmental hazard, but can a doctor refuse to prescribe a medication that 

will alleviate pain in the short-term, and kill the patient in the long-term?  

 

Notion of corporate culture 

 

Ethical norms and principles, common standards of business practice, and professional norms constitute 



an integral part of the broader notion of “corporate culture”. Other components include a clear vision of 

the company’s niche in the market, and a well-designed marketing strategy, including a clearly 

formulated slogan of its goods and services, a logo, the company’s name, office design, dress code, 

organizational structure, system of interrelations between employees, relations with partners and 

management style. A company’s ability to create a corporate culture is very important for its success in 

the market. Unfortunately, very few businesses in Azerbaijan realize the importance of a corporate-

culture strategy in terms of economic success.  

 

Opinion polls conducted among Russian businesses reveal that less than half of Russian managers are 



concerned with this issue.

103


  

 

An analysis of Azerbaijan businesses reveals several examples of corporate culture successfully 



implemented in Azerbaijan.  

 

Azercell and Bakcell are noted for their sound marketing strategies and their respect for Azerbaijan 



history and culture. Gunay restaurant has a clear slogan, which well reflects the company’s niche in the 

market. This immense restaurant specializes in organizing wedding parties, with its slogan calling upon 

the public to get married. In principle, the AZAL (Azerbaijan Airlines) logo would be rather decent, if not 

for the fact that it is a copy of the logo of Turkish Airlines. CELAMIG (Center for Laser Microsurgery), a 

private optometry clinic, designed a schematic model of the human eye as their logo. R.I.S.K firm 

attaches stickers with both their name and logo to office equipment as a guarantee of quality service.  

 

But very few Azerbaijan firms have an appropriate, euphonic name (i.e., AZEL, electronics, Milk–Pro, 



dairy products). There is a widely spread practice of naming firms after family members, even if the name 

in no way correlates to the type of services rendered or assists the consumer in understanding the 

company’s activities. At least, however, they cause no real difficulties. In some cases, company names, 

especially shops, confuse customers. It is very difficult, for example, to see a correlation between 

Sherlock Holmes and the activities performed by a trading firm. Names such as “Blinnaya” or “Russkoye 

Loto” confuse customers as to what language is being used.

104

 These numerous, seemingly minute aspects 



of a company’s name, in truth, play a crucial role in sound marketing policy. 

 

 

The Russian abbreviation for AIOC (Azerbaijan International Operating Company for Azeri-Chirag-Deep 

Water Gunashli Fields) is AMOC, the English and Russian word defined as “a fit of insane love”.105 

Most probably, this is why Russian-language newspapers, in Azerbaijan, prefer to use the English 

abbreviation.   

 

Finally, we approach the very significant topic of management style. According to surveys, it is sad to 



report, an authoritarian-bureaucratic approach dominates most businesses in post-Soviet countries. All 

                                                 

103

 E. A. Utkin, Business Ethics, Zertsalo Publishing House, Moscow, 2000, p. 74.  



104

 Transliteration of Russian words in Azeri Latin script.  

105

 The word “amok” is well-known from a novel written by Stephan Zveig, by the same name.  



There was a time when Soviet foreign trade agencies attempted to introduce the automobile, “Jiguli”, into 

the European market. They were surprised to learn that the word has no ring to the European ear. 

Additionally, in some languages, the name of the make was associated with the word “swindler”. The 

Soviets, in turn, changed the name of the automobile to the more euphonic “Lada”, and the brand was 

successfully assimilated by the market.  



decisions are made somewhere up at the top of the ladder, and mechanically implemented somewhere at 

the bottom. Most managers remain true to the old Soviet principle that “initiative must be punished”.  

 

Many U.S. employers operating in Azerbaijan claim that their Azerbaijan employees are extremely well-



educated, but show a lack of initiative, and are reluctant to execute managerial functions.

106


 

 

The world of modern business welcomes a new type of leader, one who encourages initiatives from the 

bottom up, and who is prepared to overlook his subordinates’ errors in designing and implementing novel 

ideas. The genuine value of this new brand leader does not lie in the fact that he or she  is a skilled 

decision maker, but that the person  is able to utilize the initiatives of his subordinates to the company’s 

benefit. 

107

 

  



We sincerely hope that Azerbaijan businesses will soon realize the significance of designing and 

implementing corporate-culture strategies.  

 

 

SELF-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER X.  

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS, FREE PROFESSIONS AND CORPORATE CULTURE  

 

The questions below are designed to assess  your understanding of the material.  

 

Notion of professional ethics and free professions  

 

Please describe the concept of professional ethics and its underlying essentials.  



 

Please define the phrase, “representative of a free profession”.  



 

What are the differences between the ethical obligations of representatives of free professions, and 



professional businesses?  

 



Why should representatives of free professions unite to form professional associations?  

 



Is state licensing necessary for representatives of free professions?  

Professional obligations 

 



What potential problems are faced by the average citizen who wishes to receive professional aid?  

 



What services should be available on an equal opportunity basis?  

 



What services should be available free of charge? On a paid basis?  

 



Should ethical principles impose the obligation to render services free of charge on professionals?  

 



What measures are taken by professionals to limit competition in their given field?  

 



What restrictions should be imposed upon professional businesses in the spheres of customer 

solicitation, advertising, and professional freedom?  



Notion of corporate culture  

 



Please define the components of corporate culture.  

 



Please summarize how the components of corporate culture are implemented by your company. 

What components of corporate culture should your company introduce? 



 

 

CASE STUDIES  FOR CHAPTER X. 

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS, FREE PROFESSIONS AND CORPORATE CULTURE 

 

Please read the cases below and chose your answer from the options provided. Please substantiate your 

answer. The notes to cases  can be found at the end of the book.  

 

1. A nurse working at the optometry department of a hospital has learned that she needs to undergo minor 

surgery for a small bone tumor on her foot. She has already made arrangements for the surgery with a 

surgeon from another hospital where she used to work. The nurse does not want to take leave so as not to 

lose pay, and decides to change shifts with her colleagues. She can work extra nightshifts and receive 

several days off. The nurse believes that her surgeon is suggesting too lengthy a rehabilitation period after 

                                                 

106


 Azerbaijan Investment Climate. STAT-USA on the Internet US Department of Commerce, www. strategies.gc.ca 

107


 F. Askerov, Business Ethics Required, Caspian Business News newspaper, March 17, 2003.  



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