Journal of Business Ethics 65 (3):203-217 (2006)

This two-part study analyzed some of the ethical choices made by founding entrepreneurs during the creation and development of their ventures in order to identify the areas in which founding entrepreneurs must make decisions related to ethics or social responsibility during venture creation and development. Content analysis was used to identify decisions with ethical components and/or implications from in-depth interviews with 10 successful business founders. The research for part one of the study was guided by the following research question: In what areas must entrepreneurs make decisions with ethical and/or social responsibility implications during new venture creation and development? The authors identified four distinct categories of decisions where ethical or social responsibility components exist: (1) individual entrepreneurial values-related decisions, (2) organizational culture/employee well-being decisions, (3) customer satisfaction and quality decisions, and (4) external accountability decisions. In the second part of the study, the decisions identified in part one were analyzed using a framework derived from prior research in ethics. This framework was developed from the work of Kant (1964) who theorized about human morals and Rawls (1971) who developed theories about justice. Part two of the study was guided by the following research questions: Do entrepreneurs have values and ethics similar to those held by society in general? If they don’t, how do their values and ethics differ? The comparison revealed that the ethics and/or values that the entrepreneurs either explicitly or implicitly acknowledged were in fact similar to those of society in general.
Keywords Entrepreneurs  ethics  social responsibility  decision-making
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-005-4674-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,291
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases.Manuel G. Velasquez - 1988 - Journal of Business Ethics 7 (8):592-604.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ethical Decision–Making: A Multidimensional Construct.M. Ronald Buckley Danielle S. Beu - 2003 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 12 (1):88-107.
Promoting Ethical Judgment in an Organisational Context.Stephen Cohen - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 117 (3):513-523.
Making Codes of Ethics 'Real'.Peter J. Dean - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (4):285 - 290.
Ethical Decision Making in Environmental Communication.Joann Myer Valenti - 1998 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 13 (4):219 – 231.
Ethical Decision Making: Special or No Different? [REVIEW]Dawn R. Elm & Tara J. Radin - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 107 (3):313-329.


Added to PP index

Total views
51 ( #211,323 of 2,456,092 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,366 of 2,456,092 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes