ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ETHICSA CLOSER LOOK OVER THE ENTREPRENEUR’S BEHAVIOR
ABSTRACT What is the binding between entrepreneurship and ethics? E t H i c s ENtREPRENEURsHiPEntrepreneurship – attitude, a way of thinking and behavingEthics – describes the moral content of behavior and provides direction through its code of conduct The common denominator: life lived in accordance with a set of strong principles and virtues
ABSTRACT An entrepreneur faces all kinds of ethical decisions, choices for doing the right thing, without violating the rights of any stakeholder. The general aim of this study is to point out that the main qualities which characterize a successful entrepreneurship are also crucial to ethical decision- making. The paper is a work in progress planned to be continued with some empirical research departing from the hypothesis that ethics and profits don’t necessary have to be mutually exclusive.
1 INTRODUCTION “There is no such thing as business ethics – there is only ethics.” (Peter Druker)Fundamental rights and obligations are relevant regardlessof the time and place. 2 A PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH OVER THE ETHICS Human nature: everybody has the potential ability to distinguish between right and wrong Basement of ethics theory: concepts of good, duty, honor, honesty Code of moral principles: elementary beginnings Ethics: derives from the Greek “ethos” = the usual way of life The usual life of an entrepreneur is characterized by change The key to a successful business: an authentic behavior in searching for ethics
3 TODAY’S BUSINESS WORLD “Managers are concerned to make things right, leaders are concerned to make the right things”, entrepreneurs have the duty to always follow the right way. Despite technological progress and new tendency in management and marketing, all business are reduced to a matter of trust. “The broken window” theory Business environment: some little ethical issues are often ignored. The most common attitude is tolerance towards ignorance, superficiality, lack of morality and even to fraud. Another meaning of the Greek “ethos” is “character”: approaching the business domain with an ethical attitude means being an entrepreneur of character. Success = Ethics + Competence
3 TODAY’S BUSINESS WORLD Entrepreneurs are responsible not only for what they know, but also for what they could and should have known. The entrepreneur is the first responsible for his company deficiencies. There is no universal formula for solving ethical dilemmas, but there is a specific type of thinking: analyzing everybody involved and their position provides the necessary tools in order to make the decision. Ethics should be present in the entire process of taking a decision: identifying the problem, establishing the criteria for solution taking, finding different alternatives, decision itself, applying the decision. ETHIC CODE
4 CONCLUSIONS “In life, each of us remains debtor towards our profession.” (Marcus Pollio Vitruvius) Work has to be included into a bigger project: a project of life for individual, a common goal of more individuals, a way through something else. Ethical entrepreneurs valorize a positive relationship towards stakeholders, based on trust, respect, integrity, honesty, fairness, equity and compassion – “laws of the universe” (Stephen Covey). An entrepreneur without ethics may have success even a long period of time, but eventually his lack of morality will destroy him. You can’t build a strong business on a week foundation.