The ethics of entrepreneurship

Christian Lautermann and Kim Oliver Tokarski*

The central quality of entrepreneurship derives from the literal meaning of the word— entreprendre in French, unternehmen in German—which simply means to undertake or to get things done. So, if entrepreneurship is about getting things done, then immediately two major questions result: 1) “What things?” and 2) “What for?” It is obvious that these two questions have ethical or normative implications, so there is good reason to consider the ethics of entrepreneurship. Oddly enough, however, entrepreneurial ethics has been a generally neglected topic within business ethics and entrepreneurship research. Yet it has begun to emerge more recently. Empirical research ...

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