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Modern Russian Society and Sociology

On April 20, 2012 LSCR`s research assistants - Natalia Soboleva and Dina Migunova gave a talk on the VI conference of the memory of Yuri Levada (HSE).

On April 20, 2012 in HSE was held the VI conference of the memory of Yuri Levada “Modern Russian Society and SociologyVarious members of academic and expert community - students, post graduate students, teachers from HSE and the other universities, as well as analysts and experts of  "Levada - Center," the company "GFK - Russia" participated in the conference.  Also among participants were LSCR`s research assistants - Natalia Soboleva and Dina Migunova.

Natalia SobolevaNatalia Soboleva: The topic of my presentation was “Ethical orientations on conducting business (case of MBA students)”. A survey of MBA students (222 persons) I have conducted in three well-known Moscow business schools serves as empirical base.

MBA students are regarded from the perspective of their readiness to modernization. In this respect I point out three aspects of orientation on conducting business which include means of achieving success, ethical orientations and general value orientation. The presentation is mainly focused on the second aspect.

According to the survey, the main principles of business ethics for MBA students are strict adherence to business commitments (85%) and responsibility towards consumers (78%). About a half of students consider taking into account strict adherence to the law as a main principle of business ethics. Among those who refer law to main business ethics principles there is a lower share of entrepreneurs and senior managers and a higher share of those who do not occupy managerial positions. They more often have humanitarian educational background and work in large and foreign companies.

Furthermore, the students were asked if they would agree to take a job in a company offering a decent salary but not adhering strictly to different aspects of business ethics. 37% definitely would not agree to work in the company where the law is not adhered. 20% definitely would not agree to work in the company, where business ethics principles are not adhered. At the same time the share of those who would definitely agree to work in such companies is also very low. It is possible to conclude that the majority of business community takes into account ethical orientations in their activity but a very small share considers obligatory always to adhere to them.

Next, the role of different aspects of business ethics during the process of job search is pointed out.

Ethical orientations on conducting business are also considered as means of achieving success. The respondents had to assess the importance of different factors of being successful in modern Russia. Respect to business ethics, social responsible business behavior and flexibility with the law were included into the list of factors. The representatives of business community attach much importance to being flexible with the law (more than 70% consider it to be an important success determinant). We can conclude that the majority of business community considers that you have to infringe formal rules in order to become successful. At the same time around 40% do not consider social responsible business behavior to be an important success determinant and 30% do not refer respect to business ethics to such factors. Such estimations demonstrate that business culture is not developed enough in Russia. At present Russian business community is only to some extent ready to modernization.

After the presentation the methodological issues were discussed. Furthermore, the point was raised about the actual contribution of MBA programs to conducting business and about the value of formal education in general. 

Dina MigunovaDina Migunova: My report, "The institutionalization of the business - education. Statement of the problem "was devoted to the business - education development as a social institution in Russia.

With the end of the primary capital accumulation period in Russia the main problem is the efficient management. There is a growing demand for highly qualified managers, which influences on the business-education development.

In this regard, there are some problems between the business-education institution and the Russian business community, namely, between the lack of qualified managers, on the one hand, and their willingness (and ability) to raise the level of business - education, on the other, between the potential students demand for specific competencies and the ability of Russian business - schools to meet it.

If we want to understand the conditions and the potential role of the Business - Education Institute in Russia, it is necessary to understand its place in the broader socio-economic system, together with its three main elements. Namely, the institutional environment (the rivalry, the social institution`s development, etc.), social structure (latitude middle class, its level of prosperity and mobility, etc.), and the quality of managers human potential (level and type of basic education, work experience, business culture). In addition, it is necessary to understand the functions (overt and latent) which business - education does to different groups of managers. In other words, the holistic consideration of the business - education in Russia as a social institution together with its external and internal communications, its place in a wider institutional environment and its functioning is important today.