Business Ethics Perceptions in the Czech Republic during Global Economic Crisis
Based on a questionnaire survey, this study investigates business ethics (BE) in the Czech Republic as perceived by employees of Czech private and public organizations. Four main aspects of Czech BE are covered: 1) the management of BE in Czech organizations, 2) Czech managers’ opinion of BE practices in their industries, 3) managers’ previous experience of ethical conflicts, and 4) the factors influencing (un)ethical decisions. According to the results, while most organizations are making effort to enhance BE, large companies are more active in promoting BE when compared with small and medium size enterprises. The most common BE tools are corporate philosophy, code of ethics, and contribution to social/cultural activity. Personal code of ethics is the strongest driver of ethical decisions, and financial needs and lack of company policy are the strongest factors in making unethical decisions. Slightly over a half of respondents have some experience with ethical conflicts, majority of which are related to honesty in internal communication, offering bribes, and honesty in executing contracts and agreements. Unethical practices seem widespread, with bribing, unfair competitive and pricing practices, and contract violation perceived as the most serious issues. Our study also tentatively suggests that BE is increasingly beginning to be seen as an issue internal to the organization.
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