Adaptation to new ethical values: A case of Russian immigrant entrepreneurs in Finnish business networks

Olga Dziubaniuk, Maria Ivanova-Gongne

    Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


    This work-in-progress focuses on exploring thesignificance of the business ethics values inherent to in the internationalbusiness-to-business (B2B) interaction. Although academic research on ethicalbusiness behavior has been widely conducted in organization and managementfields, the managerial ethical values are under-researched within the scopes ofthe business network and relationships perspectives (Halinen & Jokela, 2014). This work aims to analyze the ethicalityof business behavior of B2B actors interacting within the international businessnetwork context. We refer to the concept of business ethics as to the developednorms and values of business behavior (e.g. trust, commitment, loyalty etc.)employed for a sake of fruitful business relationships placing the moraljudgment and considerations of the business actors at the core of such interaction(e.g. Bartels, 1967; Boattight, 2000; Mele, 2009).

    The business networks and relationship approach is theconventional attribute of the Industrial marketing and purchasing theory (e.g.Håkansson, & Ford, 2002; Håkansson & Snehota, 2006) and it implies bothinterorganizational/business and interpersonal/social interaction amongbusiness actors that are embedded in the business networks at different levels (Granovetter,1985; Uzzi, 1997; Halinen & Törnroos, 1998; Lindfelt & Törnroos, 2006).Formal and informal social interaction tends to be developed with time andgrounded in aroused ethical norms and values specific to the relationshipsunder the influence of the business environment context where they take place(Dziubaniuk, 2015). Considering the importance on the context where thebusiness relationships are constructed and specifics of ethical valuesinherited in each relational interaction, this empirical research is aimed tounveil the ethical values developed within business relationships of thefirst-generation Russian-speaking immigrants in Finland with other relatedbusiness actors. Special attention is given to first-generation immigrants’ adaptationto the ethical values in the new business context as opposed to the usage ofthe conventional values, which arise from their personal background. Therefore,this research aims to answer the question of: how do the ethical values of first-generation immigrants vary accordingto the business interaction context they operate in? 

    This research contributes to deeper the understandingof how the immigrants organize the business practices in the host country’sbusiness networks and how do they adapt to the host-business context and itsethicality. The research is framed as a multiple case study, which isparticularly useful when the aim is to provide more in-depth knowledge on thephenomena under study (Yin, 2009). Methodological approach to the empiricalresearch is grounded on the data collection via the interviewing. The selectionof the respondents is based on the following criteria: 1) born abroadRussian-speaking immigrants who have moved to Finland, 2) have businessrelationship partners both in the host country and in the native country.Therefore, the respondents are considered as bicultural.

    This work-in-progress expands the understanding of theconcept of business ethics within business network field. It contributes to theunderstanding of business interaction specifics in immigrant business networks.From a managerial perspective, it contributes to the explanation of how ethicalinteraction among international actors is facilitated and adopted according tothe context of relationships in order to avoid anecdotal situations and aid theadaptation to business realities. This work bears the understanding of whatchallenges individuals can face during the adaptation to contextual ethicalityin terms of business facilitation and management. Also it explains what kind ofpersonal moral principles are valuable for successful development of internationalbusiness relationships.  

    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherStockholm University Press
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeO2 Other


    • Business ethics
    • Business networks
    • immigrants
    • industrial marketing


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