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Shaping the attitudes of Russian managers in ethical issues – personal attributes and environmental pressure

Marc Oberhauser (Department of Management, ESCP Business School, Madrid, Spain)
Dirk Holtbrügge (Department of International Management, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany)
Igor Gurkov (Department of General and Strategic Management, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 1 February 2022

Issue publication date: 5 December 2023




The purpose of this study is to investigate how the attitudes of Russian managers are affected by personal attributes, environmental conditions and also cognitive processes.


Based on social cognitive theory, the authors developed hypotheses and tested them against data collected from 173 Russian managers via an online survey. A linear regression analysis revealed several determinants of ethical attitudes within the Russian context.


The findings suggest that personal values (i.e. political orientation), environmental conditions (i.e. hierarchical level, ownership – state-owned versus private – of the current employer, industry in which a manager works) as well as cognitive processes (i.e. the presence (absence) of multilingualism at the workplace) strongly affect ethical attitudes of Russian managers in several issues related to both job ethics (relations inside the organization) and business ethics (relations outside the organization).

Practical implications

Revealing a positive effect of multilingualism as cognitive process on managers' ethical attitudes, this study calls for incorporating a second lingua franca, for example, English, within the working context.


The study provides an in-depth investigation of the determinants of ethical attitudes in Russia. Conducting a single-country study, the authors are able to reveal locally meaningful determinants that may otherwise be overlooked.



The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Graduate School of Business of the National Research University Higher School of Economic, Moscow (No: 2021.003NP), which enabled Igor Gurkov to co-author the study.


Oberhauser, M., Holtbrügge, D. and Gurkov, I. (2023), "Shaping the attitudes of Russian managers in ethical issues – personal attributes and environmental pressure", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 18 No. 11, pp. 4734-4753.



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