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Ethics and Entrepreneurship

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Ethics and Entrepreneurship

"I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." -Acts 24:16

When researching the fundamentals of morality and ethics in entrepreneurship there seems to be a trend of information, which portrays its most essential characteristics as those that are only fully functional when commissioned to operate under the contingency of social approval and public perception. Ethics as a philosophy is an inquiry of nature that places value on the standards by which human actions are judge as right or wrong. Ethics deals with the justification of moral principles within a business. In this case it is the business of entrepreneurship. According to the article, "Ethics are the most systematic categorization of morals, the socialized moral norms that reflect the social systems in which morals are embedded" (Anderson & Smith, 2007, p. 480).

Over the past decade there have been a number of events which have demonstrated the conflict that occurs in the way business conducts its affairs and public perception. Therefore it is crucial to understand that morals are a set of rules or principles which are established to guide human behavior. Based on these principles, business is judged according to how it conducts its activities within society's current standards. It must be clear that these standards of practice or moral responsibilities can change from one social setting to another.

This article provides both a narrow and broad perspective of "morality, individuals, change and the economy" (Anderson & Smith, 2007, p. 479). Divide into five sections, the article finds that it can provide data which validates the societal methodology of "subjective values" which are "judgmentally applied" (Anderson & Smith, 2007, p. 480). By establishing a foundation of understanding of the relationship between ethics and entrepreneurship, the authors can demonstrate where each element is intertwines and establishes a fundamental framework of operations. Such operations can either maximize the positive or negative effects the business will have on the society where every business cares a social responsibility which include:

* Economic: to produce goods and services, which society needs at a price that satisfies both-business and consumers.

* Legal responsibility: laws that business must obey.

* Ethical responsibilities: behaviors and activities that are expected of business by society, but are not codified in the law.

* Philanthropic responsibilities: represent the company's desire to give back to society (charities, volunteering, sponsoring).

Therefore entrepreneurship is described as an inherently containing a moral imperative (Anderson and Smith, 2007; Carr, 2003), or at the least, being consonant with ethical conduct (Surie and Ashley, 2008).

There are some that believe that entrepreneurship can be socially unproductive and detrimental to society as a whole. There is an uneasy fact that entrepreneurial innovation can result in "losses and hardships for some members of society" because entrepreneurship is "destructive



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