Manual for Azerbaijan companies Rena Safaralieva

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Keep information to myself?  



Start looking for a job for him myself?  



Have a word slipped out to the whole department?  



Do anything else?  


5. A foreign company operating in Baku arranged a party for its personnel to celebrate Novruz Bayram. 

The party broke up late at night. An expatriate drives a car and offered to give a lift to several other staff 

members, living close to him. The last person to be dropped happens to be a young and nice looking 

secretary. The girl was scared to walk alone and the expatriate offered to see the girl to the door. Once 

they got out of the car, they were grabbed by the police, who claimed that the girl was a prostitute and 

suggested two options: take the girl to a police station to verify her identity or to buy her freedom for 



What is the right thing to do under these circumstances?  


6. An Azerbaijan  employee of a foreign company operating in Baku circulated an e-mail message, 

commemorating the Black January of 1990 and addressed to all staff members. The employee received an 

official reprimand for abusing the office e-mail system and sending unauthorized material of non-business 

content. The employee accused the foreign company of disrespect for Azerbaijan  history and culture. He 

submitted a grievance signed by about half of Azerbaijan   staff members. The conflict was covered by 

local media.  




Was the employee right or wrong to circulate the material? 



Did he have a right to grieve?  



Was he entitled to seek assistance from his co-workers?  



Was the management right in punishing him?  



Was there another way out of this delicate situation?  



Is there a way to prevent things like that?  



Sanar Mammadov   




General provisions 


In the domain of internal corporate ethical problems, relations between management and employees are of 

paramount importance. Management expects from their employees fulfillment of their obligations, a 

positive attitude towards their work plus loyalty to the moral and material values of the company. In 

return, employees also expect decent salaries, fair treatment and a healthy workplace environment. Below 

we will discuss these issues through the prism of employer-employee relationships.  


The Chief executive officer should be able to prevent even minor unethical acts, which, however small, 

can have substantial consequences. A good manager, shall, first of all, possess an ability to avert crisis. 

An unsound work environment breeds lying, stealing, hypocrisy, flattering, lack of discipline, cheating, 

discrimination and other problems, which undermine the reputation of a company. Unethical behaviour 

evokes an emotional response on the part of employees. Research and psychological tests demonstrate 

that, if employees realise that their work is done for the common good and that a lot depends on their 

performance, they are more productive., The findings of several surveys illustrate this phenomenon.  


According to estimates of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, minor stealing in the work place wreaks 

annual damage of US $40 billion to  businesses..  The attitude of employees to their work is also of 

interest: the 1990 survey in Australia


 showed that the majority of respondents spend about 20% of the 

work time on problems outside their work scope. The following findings are interesting as well: 




 L. K.Treviño, K.A.Nelson, Managing Business Ethics, 1999,  J.Wiley & Sons  Inc. Publishing House,  p.25 


One of every six respondents confessed that they take alcohol during work hours;  


Three of every four try to evade being seen by their management;  


Only one respondent in every four works hard.  


A survey conducted by the 


Working Woman Magazine» in the U.S.,



showed that the overwhelming 

majority of respondents would not like to work for firms, whose names are mentioned in court trials, 

have poor reputations and violate norms of ethics.  


Another survey found that employees cherish implementation of their company’s norms of behaviour, 

fair treatment and respect to employees. These values were among the five top values. By comparison, a 

high salary was rated only number eleven. 


Taking all of the above aspects into account, we can state that both internal problems and the methods 

used by employers to eliminate them are important factors both for employees and their management. 

Major internal ethical problems of businesses can be summarised in three major groups: 


human resources deficiencies;  


conflict of interests; 


violation of confidentiality principle. 



Human resources 


The key importance of fair human resource management is beyond any doubt. Employees, or human 

resources, constitute the most important component of business investment. Human resources determine 

the success or failure of any business. 


A survey conducted the U.S. 18 showed that, according to managers and chief executives, 60% of all 

ethical problems emerge because of deficiencies of human resources management and drawbacks of the 

system of management in general.  


Any business in any country of the world  can suffer from a lack of professionalism of its employees. 

Speaking of professionalism, we mean not only competent but also diligent performance. Every firm 

strives to increase professionalism of its staff members with the help of training. No manager would wish 

to lose a highly professional and able employee. According to experts, the most effective and feasible 

way to avoid fluctuation of personnel is to create an environment where employees feel useful and 

valuable. In most cases, when employees believe that management does not care about them, they work 

less diligently.  


Of course, the emergence of various kinds of problems in a business environment is inevitable and 

managers and human resource specialists encounter numerous human-resource related problems every 




Biased attitudes or discrimination in the work place 


As a rule, discrimination has little to do with professional qualities, but rather emerges from envy, enmity, 

and grovelling. A sample of discrimination is a biased attitude of older staff members towards young 

employees. For example, an employee with a long record of service in a particular company might 

express animosity towards a new and much younger boss to whom he or she must report.. This hostility 

might be “justified” by complaints of lack of experience of the new boss. In their turn, younger staff 

members often do not take into account recommendations of older people, claiming that older people are 

typically apt to think conservatively. The most widespread forms of discrimination are as follows:  


by sex; 


by religion; 



 Ibidem, p.27  


 Toffler, B. 1986. Tough Choices: Managers Talk Ethics, New York,  John Willey & Sons Publishing House, p 12 


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