The moral space in entrepreneurship: an exploration of ethical imperatives and the moral legitimacy of being enterprising
Alistair Anderson and
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 2007, vol. 19, issue 6, 479-497
This paper explores the morality associated with entrepreneurship. It has been argued that there is no moral space in entrepreneurship, but such instrumental views may miss out much of the nature of enterprise and how it is understood. Consequently we propose that a socially-constructed perspective, based upon the meanings of entrepreneurship, may help to understand the morality of entrepreneurship. By applying such a lens, we find that the narratives and discourses of the meanings of entrepreneurship are ideological and clearly present a moral space. This space lies between the individual and society and is normatively articulated in entrepreneurial discourses. We develop a tentative framework which links values and outcomes that shows how ‘authenticated’ entrepreneurship, that is to say that which resonates with a socially approved moral dimension, is legitimized by comparisons with the socially constructed view. The empirical part of the paper comprises of two case stories. The first is a local garage owner who has a reputation as a decent man; the second is a notorious, but entrepreneurial London gangster. Our analysis shows that to be judged ‘entrepreneurial’, it is not enough to act entrepreneurially; the social constructs of public perceptions entail examining both moral means and moral ends. We conclude that there is a moral imperative in entrepreneurship.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (17) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:taf:entreg:v:19:y:2007:i:6:p:479-497
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development is currently edited by Professor Alistair Anderson
More articles in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().