How entrepreneurs deal with ethical challenges – an application of the business ethics synergy star technique

Journal of Business Ethics 71 (4):411 - 423 (2007)
Abstract
Entrepreneurs typically live with the ever-present threat of business failure arising from limited financial resources and aggressive competition in the marketplace. Under these circumstances, conflicting priorities arise and the entrepreneur is thus faced with certain dilemmas. In seeking to resolve these, entrepreneurs must often rely on their own judgment to determine “what is right”. There is thus a need for a technique to assist them decide on a course of action when no precedent or obvious solution exists. This research paper examines how entrepreneurs experience and deal with these dilemmas. The research is based on interviews with seven entrepreneurs in established service-oriented ventures, which gave rise to 26 dilemmas. These dilemmas were analyzed by making use of the Synergy Star technique, which is introduced here as a tool that is useful in defining any dilemma, isolating the ethical component, and resolving the dilemma in a way that is congruent with the entrepreneur’s personal world-view.
Keywords entrepreneur  ethics  Synergy Star  BESS  ethical dilemma
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