Title: Barriers to ethical business in Slovakia: an exploratory study based on insights of top representatives of business and employer organisations

Authors: Anna Lašáková; Anna Remišová; Alexandra Bohinská

Addresses: Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Odbojárov 10, 820 05 Bratislava, Slovakia ' Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Odbojárov 10, 820 05 Bratislava, Slovakia ' Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Odbojárov 10, 820 05 Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: The paper investigates unethical business practices and their causes in one of the CEE countries, in Slovakia. Qualitative research design was employed with focus group as the primary method. Sample consisted of top representatives of Slovak business and employer organisations. To address complexity and interconnectedness of ethical issues identified in this study, a framework 'Vicious circle of barriers to ethical business' was outlined, linking five components: (1) weak state as a bad role model for business community, (2) inadequate business regulations causing perceived injustice and lack of stability and predictability in business, (3) orientation of businesses to short-term quick gains, (4) mistreatment of stakeholders (society, competitors, suppliers, customers and employees) and (5) self-serving intrusion of business to politics, using alliances and networks to influence decision-makers in creating strategically important policies and business regulations. These five elements interfere and reinforce each other, thus impeding advancement of business ethics in Slovakia.

Keywords: ethics; barriers; business ethics; unethical practices; business associations; employer organisations; entrepreneurship; stakeholders; Slovakia; CEE.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2022.119742

European Journal of International Management, 2022 Vol.17 No.1, pp.86 - 113

Received: 03 Jul 2018
Accepted: 05 Sep 2018

Published online: 14 Dec 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article