Realizing the spirit and impact of Adam Smith's capitalism through entrepreneurship

Journal of Business Ethics 46 (3):251-261 (2003)
Abstract
Adam Smith argued in The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments that in order to create an effective and productive capitalist system, individuals must pursue interests of both the self and society. Despite this assertion, modern economic theory has become tightly focused on the pursuit of economic self-interests at the expense of other, higher order motives. This paper will argue that the tendency to employ such an egocentric strategy often generates externalities and inequalities that serve to detract from the greater welfare of society. However, by tempering these economic self-interests with non-economically motivated considerations, this paper will suggest that individuals may create tremendous benefits to society, precisely as Smith outlined more than two centuries ago. In defense of this assertion, this paper will review an array of theoretical arguments and empirical findings that suggest that today''s entrepreneurs are not only seeking to satisfy both selfish and ethical motivations, but in so doing they are also contributing substantially to the overall welfare of society through job creation, wealth redistribution, and a lack of discrimination. As such, it appears that spirit and impact of the capitalist system that Smith envisioned is being realized through entrepreneurship
Keywords Adam Smith  business ethics  capitalism  economic theory  entrepreneurship  utilitarianism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1025564030922
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,478
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Shared Value and the Impartial Spectator Test.Isabelle Szmigin & Robert Rutherford - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 114 (1):171-182.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
29 ( #179,887 of 2,180,556 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #302,815 of 2,180,556 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums