How Ukrainian businessmen ignore the rules of business ethics

Nowadays, business ethics as a “code of honor” of a modern Ukrainian entrepreneur is in its infancy. Its formation is influenced by many external factors inherent in our country. Among them, I would single out the high level of corruption and criminal schemes, the contradictory attitude of society to business as such, the dependence of the economy on the political decisions of our rulers, imperfect legislation, low cultural level of the majority of the population, war and so on.

However, back to the realities of life. The post-Soviet type of thinking, the formation of statehood, incomprehensible and vague rules of the game gave rise to a layer of Ukrainian businessmen who are guided by the following principles: “Profit above all,” “Do not cheat – do not sell,” “Cult of money.” The reasons lie in deep psychology.

The rule of honesty in doing business

Ukrainian businessmen often hear accusations that they are robbing their country without paying taxes or implementing minimization schemes. In fact, the existing tax system often puts entrepreneurs at a dead end, depriving them of the opportunity to invest in the development of their own business, to pay staff salaries. The output lies on the surface: the state should improve the Tax Code, explain the adequacy of the established size of certain rates, develop a system of incentives for timely payment of all charges, report to taxpayers for the use of budget funds. Under such conditions, the entrepreneur will not need to use shadow mechanisms and play dishonestly.

Unfair advertising

More and more often the information cyberspace begins spreading advertising materials that are fake, misleading consumers about the type, quality, price of a particular product or service. Over the last decade, a number of brutal incidents have occurred in the market: thanks to anti-advertising of foreign products, companies have promoted their own brands, discrediting the products of competitors. Such ‘advertising’ undermines public confidence and does not comply with the principles of healthy competition and, consequently, the rules of business ethics. As an example, we must mention the worldwide spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Some unscrupulous businessmen have expressed a desire to make money in conditions of confusion and lack of awareness of society.

Ethics of relations with partners

Keeping old partners is five times cheaper than attracting new ones. This old axiom is probably also unknown to the general public of Ukrainian entrepreneurs. They openly disregard generally accepted ethical norms, losing their own reputation on the way to super-profits. The culture of business partnership has always been based on trust, honesty, ability to keep one’s word, integrity of the parties. Instead, we have non-compliance with obligations, disregard for the interests of partners in the distribution of profits, the conclusion of secret agreements in the markets, and so on. Thus, maintaining constructive relationships and implementing joint projects with partners is a real art, which, unfortunately, is still incomprehensible to Ukrainian business sharks.

Conflict of interests

It occurs when personal relationships or actions of employees prevent people from being objective in performing daily tasks. There are often situations when some company chooses between its own benefit and the interests of the company. The practice of appointing relatives, the so-called “nepotism”, continues, when family or personal ties come to the fore, rather than the qualifications of a potential employee.

Time management

There is a disappointing trend regarding to non-compliance with the “value each other’s time” principle in business circles. This is the fault of both middle managers and business leaders. As a result, the work process and management decisions are slowed down.

Finally, I would like to add that the more Ukrainian entrepreneurs are interested in long-term success, the more attention will be paid to ethical business. In turn, this will put Ukraine on a par with countries where there is a civilized market for a long time, as well as attract foreign investments, because dealing with a punctual and an educated partner is much more pleasant.

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