The study of business ethics in various countries and the development of new directions for the correct interaction of business entities is one of the important issues in analyzing the depth, diversity of culture, values, traditions and social life of each state in a globalizing world. Therefore, interest in the study of business ethics in various areas of scientific research is of particular relevance. The system of norms and rules currently accepted in world business has been formed over many centuries. That is, it took shape over a long historical period, under the influence of international trade, the development of religions, customs, traditions that have developed in that territory or region. The article deals with the cultural, social, behavioural aspects of business ethics. The stages of the formation of business ethics in Central Asia and in particular in the Republic of Uzbekistan are disclosed. The features of the cultural, social and behavioural aspects of business ethics are given. The factors influencing the behavioural character of entrepreneurs are determined. The article describes the formation of business ethics in the textile industry in the context of sustainable development.
The system of norms and rules currently accepted in world business has been formed over many centuries. That is, it took shape over a long historical period, under the influence of international trade, the development of religions, customs, traditions that have developed in that territory or region. In particular, the rules and norms of trade were very different between the "East" and "West", between the Islamic and Christian religions, the conditions of trade routes, and the forms of organizing the trade process.
In the works of many foreign scholars, most issues of business ethics are considered through the prism of international economic relations, in particular, negotiation, behaviour of negotiators, keeping promises, decision-making process, fulfilling the terms of contracts and other constituent elements of the negotiation process. At the same time, when identifying the reasons for the differences and characteristics, cultural, social, behavioural, and sometimes historical aspects influencing the "national styles of negotiation" are considered (Khasbulatov, 2015; Starkey et al., 2015).
Previously, people were mainly interested in only large companies that trade with many countries. But now these questions are of interest to representatives of small businesses, entrepreneurs and university graduates who want to make a career in large multinational companies or open their own business in another state. In our opinion, the desire to learn the "business ethics" of another nation, in order to get to know and respect the culture, foundations, values, traditions and other factors directly influencing this process.
Given the recent high-profile ethical crisis in public and private administration, the proliferation of management-related ethics articles is an encouraging sign. But in proposing solutions, management theorists hastily drifted off in different directions.
Briefly speaking about terminology, here in after the term "business ethics" is applied to its historical superiority in the management literature. This is to ignore the advantages of generic terms such as management (business-to-business) and organization (business-to-business), which become unprofitable and popular with the growth of the public sector. The operational assumption here means we need to move from a clear to a shared, well-focused business space to a more light-hearted organizational space.
No matter how well defined business ethics are, there is no doubt that the subject spans a very large area. Accordingly, there must be dozens of legitimate reasons for including a course in business ethics in a business management curriculum (Rendtorff, 2019).
The highest of these reasons are:
- evidence of corporate wrongdoing;
- growing public distrust;
- the threat of legislative reform;
- ethical behaviour of investors;
- increase personal responsibility;
- results of business ethics research;
- specific calls to action.
While these areas are not mutually exclusive, they each add reliable fuel to the fire of interest based on mandatory business ethics.
Evidence of corporate misconduct. Over the years, evidence of corporate misconducts in the form of pricing, fraudulent advertising, illegal campaign additions, environmental degradation, discriminatory practices, and overseas payroll calculations.
Growing public distrust widespread of basic economic institution that cannot be ignored as an ethical requirement for doing business.
The threat of legislative reform. As business decision making prerogatives continue to be whittled down, the mere threat of more ethically-oriented reform legislation gives to business a strong incentive to behave better. This makes more appealing the prospect of ethically articulated business management (Doyduk, 2018).
It is no secret that the direct connection between business ethics is largely viewed from the point of view of the universal ethical standards of the individual (to be respectable, keep your word, respect your elders, honest, do not cheat, etc.), which are reflected in the social role of business in society. That is, a greater stake is placed on generally accepted norms of behaviour than on other components of business ethics. For example, the influence of society (public opinion), reference groups, family, circle of friends on the behaviour of the subject of business ethics. This fact directs the search for factors of a cultural, social and behavioural nature. Consequently, the "facets of business ethics research" are increasing, giving them a unique colour and content (Brett, 2004). Foreign scientists and practitioners have a lot of questions regarding business ethics in the countries of Central Asia. What are the prevailing norms, codes of conduct, negotiation, business organization and partnerships in these countries? What is the impact of historical, cultural, social factors on business ethics in these countries? How does business ethics develop in relation to a specific industry?
Delving deeper into the history of Uzbekistan, one can understand that several different cultures are mixed here: European - (the conquest of Central Asia in the 4th century BC by Alexander the Great), the conquest of Asia by the Arabs - (7th century AD) as a result of which the Islamic religion penetrated. After the invasion of Genghis Khan (XIII century AD), Mongol and Chinese cultures penetrated, which played a role not only in the norms of behaviour and communication, but also in culture, the development of handicrafts, the culture of consumption (cooking, eating, etc.) (Kreitner, 2007).
Evaluation of business ethics
The times of Amir Temur's rule can be called "the flourishing of the development of trade between countries." He restored many trade routes, which played an important role in mutual exchange not only in the trade sphere, but also in the cultural, social, and everyday life of the peoples who settled in these territories. One of the most important achievements of Amir Temur was the guarantee of the safety of property and goods of foreign traders along the entire Great Silk Road, i.e. eradication of robberies and attacks. This enabled artisans, traders and entrepreneurs to work more closely with neighbouring countries, which in turn made it possible to exchange knowledge, experience, cultures and business models. All these factors played an important role in the formation of the Central Asian model of business etiquette.
With the linking of Central Asia to Russia over the past two centuries and the influence of Russian culture, the business environment has changed dramatically. Russia has given Central Asia a new impetus to the development of the region's economy. This was due to the growth of cities, the construction of railways and the introduction of the population to new types of crafts associated with the development of new equipment and technologies. Thanks to the integration of the economies of these countries, new industries and economic spheres have been formed. At the same time, the population of the region increased with the migration of the population from Russia (Fisher, 1977a).
At present, the fundamental scientific study of business ethics in Uzbekistan has not received due attention from domestic scientists. In this direction, there are few publications on the behavioural nature of "Uzbek businessmen". The Uzbeks are accustomed to always slowly pondering any information, slowly making decisions and slowly acting. Therefore, in business communication, it is better to behave as clearly and predictably as possible, since, otherwise, a non-standard situation, abrupt changes can knock your Uzbek partners out of their usual rut, greatly upset and give reason to think about ending any relationship with you.
For Uzbeks, one of the important factors in the business world is the establishment of trusting relationships between partners. They first of all pay attention to the past and honour the roots and traditions. Uzbeks pay great attention to the manifestation of friendship, sincerity, hospitality. In turn, one of the most favourite types of interaction with a partner is "bargaining", which is inherent in the Asian peoples. Since, in China, Arab and many Asian countries, bargaining with a partner is considered quite normal. But this kind of "bargaining" should not be applied to partners from European countries (McGhee, 2020).
Consider another example of the behavioural direction of business ethics in Uzbekistan. Business conversations, business negotiations are conducted exclusively by men. When they meet, men usually embrace, lightly touch each other with their cheeks, pat on the back and shoulders, but such signs of attention are possible only between their own and do not apply to strangers. If the European greeting is short and dry, then the Uzbek one turns into a whole procedure, it is accompanied by questions about health and business. These questions may be repeated throughout the conversation. Learning the "cultural distance" about a foreign partner can take a long time. Until he learns about the partner of important arguments "for cooperation", the Uzbek businessman will not undertake the conclusion of contracts (Abirova, 2014).
During negotiations, for Uzbeks it is important not only material, but also moral satisfaction. An Uzbek entrepreneur needs to feel that you enjoy working with him. Uzbeks never start negotiations from the very essence. It is important and really interesting for them to learn about health, mood, family, to joke together, here it is not about any negotiation tactics. This manner is generally accepted in Uzbekistan, it immediately helps to remove barriers in negotiations and makes the interlocutors feel more comfortable.
This model of business ethics is inherent in many Asian countries and is the complete opposite of the European one. The negotiations in Uzbekistan have many peculiarities - they are both a warm meeting of partners and a friendly atmosphere conducive to cooperation. No plans, manipulations and secrets, only the ability to listen, sincere interest and a desire to help your partner - these are the negotiations in Uzbekistan (Fisher, 1977b)
Until now, the Republic has not paid enough attention to a deep study of business ethics at the level of small enterprises and entrepreneurship. Despite this, the functioning of business in the country is subject to many rules based on traditions, mentality and intertwining of different cultures. For example, the great respect for the older generation instilled from childhood is reflected in respect for higher-ranking employees or for the bosses. Or the influence of the Soviet period and the traditional local self-government body of the communal type “makhalla” influences the prevalence of collective behaviour, where the acceptance of a person by the group is much more important than their own opinion or achievement.
At the same time, most of the members of the group, including the working group, show concern for each other. It should be noted that, taking into account the mentality, the business activity of men has always been many times higher than the female involvement in business. But in recent years, there has been a large increase in the number of women entrepreneurs. Thus, according to the data of the State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, over the past 10 years, the share of women heading small and private enterprises has increased 1.6 times, they are the leaders of over 40% of small businesses (Khen, 2016).
Now let's look at how business ethics develops in a specific industry, where favourable conditions are formed for integration into the international business environment. Uzbekistan has always been famous for the production of textiles and clothing. This trend has continued to the present. After gaining independence, the textile industry received a powerful impetus for development. But there were a number of problems, the equipment of light industry enterprises was outdated morally and physically, working conditions did not meet modern requirements.
In the works of many foreign scholars, most issues of business ethics are considered through the prism of international economic relations, in particular, negotiation, behaviour of negotiators, keeping promises, decision-making process, fulfilling the terms of contracts and other constituent elements of the negotiation process. At the same time, when identifying the reasons for the differences and characteristics, cultural, social, behavioural, and sometimes historical aspects influencing the "national styles of negotiation" are considered. The research question of the article is to describes the formation of business ethics in the textile industry in the context of sustainable development
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this article is to deal with the cultural, social, behavioural aspects of business ethics. The stages of the formation of business ethics in Central Asia and in particular in the Republic of Uzbekistan are disclosed. The features of the cultural, social and behavioural aspects of business ethics are given. The factors influencing the behavioural character of entrepreneurs are determined. The article describes the formation of business ethics in the textile industry in the context of sustainable development.
The research is a mixture of confirmatory - exploratory research. methods are used: classical and contemporary search of literary materials.
The solution of all these issues was facilitated by the formation of a targeted systemic state policy, in which special emphasis was placed on factors unique for Uzbekistan, which gave manufacturers a number of important advantages. This is the availability of the necessary legal framework and raw materials, including cotton fiber and silk, favourable conditions for doing business and a wide package of benefits and preferences for investors, political and macroeconomic stability in general, which serves as a guarantor of investment security. We can say that over the 30 years of Uzbekistan's state independence, the light industry and its management system have come a long way of improvement and development. Significant results were achieved and the necessary measures were taken to expand the presence of textile products of Uzbekistan in the world textile market.
Uzbekistan, as a major exporter of cotton fiber, is systematically shifting to the development of modern technologies for the production of threads, knitwear, fabrics and garments. By 2020, Uzbekistan plans to implement more than 80 projects in the field of light industry with a total value of over one billion dollars, to increase the volume of domestic processing of cotton fiber from 44% in 2015 to 70% in 2020. To this end, the Program for the Development of the Textile and Light Industry for 2015–2020 was developed, the implementation of which will increase the export potential of the country's textile industry by more than 1.8 times.
Today, Uzbekistan attaches particular importance to attracting foreign investment, opening joint ventures, creating enterprises with a "full production cycle" that produce competitive goods on the world market. Many German and Korean companies conduct marketing research to identify more promising business process models at the small enterprise level. Therefore, at present, for many Uzbek small enterprises and entrepreneurs, the application of the principles of "Sustainable Development for the period from 2015-2030", initiated by the UN, as the main directions of development for the future, is more in demand (Jeong, 2016).
At present, the system of norms and rules in world business is constantly being improved. International organizations represented by the UN, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic and Social Development and other organizations develop and implement universal general norms and rules of business ethics.
At the same time, another important aspect of business ethics is the introduction of a corporate social responsibility system. According to the American scientist Archie Carroll, the social responsibility of business is determined by the presence of four of its components: economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibility - which represent the so-called "CSR pyramid" (Doyduk, 2018). For the domestic market of Uzbekistan, the concept of CSR is quite new and still unexplored, and only a few companies understand the essence of the concept. Despite this, those organizations that are still involved in CSR practice practically all types of responsibility presented by Carroll (1991).
Thus, the social responsibility of Uzbek companies is to produce goods and provide high quality services, as well as their availability, create jobs, provide decent working conditions for their employees, train and professional development of employees, provide vacancies to university graduates and charity.
As we can see, business ethics in the modern world covers a wider range of issues related to business. Scientists from many countries are conducting research so that entrepreneurship becomes a more important direction in the economic development of each state, contributes to the development of international trade and international business.
Nowadays, Uzbek entrepreneurs establish relations not only with their partners from the CIS countries, but also strive to establish contacts with foreign countries. However, they, often lacking information about the Western management system, about their principles and experiences, experience difficulties in the decision-making process, in gaining the trust of foreign partners. This is especially evident in the example of the spinning and textile industry in Uzbekistan.
Therefore, the study of business ethics and the establishment of relationships with foreign partners and buyers in the textile industry of Uzbekistan is relevant and requires a multilateral analysis.
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25 September 2021
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Economics, social trends, sustainability, modern society, behavioural sciences, education
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Akhemdov, O., Elmurodov, S., & Sharipova, Z. (2021). Evolution Of Business Ethics In The Textile Industry In A Sustainable Development. In I. V. Kovalev, A. A. Voroshilova, & A. S. Budagov (Eds.), Economic and Social Trends for Sustainability of Modern Society (ICEST-II 2021), vol 116. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2504-2510). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.09.02.278