Scientific Adviser – Iliuk T.I.,
Chernivtsi Trade and Economics Instituteof KNTEU, Chernivtsi
ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ENTREPRENEURS
The life of entrepreneur is not easy. An entrepreneur must take risks with his or her own capital in order to sell and deliver products and services while expending greater energy than the average business person in order to innovate. Faced with daily stressful situations and other difficulties, the possibility exists that the entrepreneur will establish a balance between ethical exigencies, economic expediency, and social responsibility, a balance that differs from the point at which the general business manager takes his or her moral stance.
If it is true that a manager’s attitudes concerning corporate responsibility are related to the existence of an organizational climate perceived to be supportive of laws and professional codes of ethics, entrepreneurs are likely to be particularly at risk, since their company is relatively new, with few reference persons, role models, and developed internal ethics codes on which to rely. It would seem that they have to depend on their own personal value systems much more than other managers when determining ethically appropriate courses of action.
Although drawing more on their own value system, entrepreneurs have been shown to be particularly sensitive to peer pressure and more general social norms in the community as well as pressures from their competitors. The differences between entrepreneurs in different types of communities and in different countries reflect, to some extent, the general norms and values of the communities and countries involved. This is clearly the case for metropolitan as opposed to nonmetropolitan locations within a single country. Internationally, there is evidence to this effect about managers in general. U.S. managers seem to have more individualistic and less communitarian values than their German and Austrian counterparts.
The significant increase in the number of internationally oriented businesses has impacted the increased interest in the similarities and differences in business attitudes and practices in different countries. This area has been explored within the more individualized concepts of ethics. The concepts of culture and ethics are somewhat related. Whereas ethics refers to the “study of whatever is right and good for humans,” business ethics concerns itself with the investigation of business practices in light of human values.
Ethics is the broad field of study exploring the general nature of morals and the specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others. The English word ethics is generally recognized as stemming from the Greek êthos, meaning custom and usage, it is more properly identified asoriginating from swëdhêthos, in which the concepts of individual morality and behavioral habits are related and identified as an essential quality of existence.
Most Western authors credit the Greek philosophers Socrates (469-399 B.C.), Plato (427-347 B.C), and Aristotle (384-322 B.C) as providing the earliest writings pertaining to moral codes and laws, however, can be found within both Judaism (1800 B.C ) and Hinduism (1500 B.C).
American attitudes on ethics result from three principle influences: Judeo-Christian heritage, belief in individualism, and opportunities based upon ability rather than social status. The USA was formedby immigrants from other countries, frequently fleeing the oppression in their homelands, dedicated to creating a society wherein their future and fortunes were determined by their abilities and dedication to work.
Research on business ethics can be broken down into four broad classifications: 1) pedagogically oriented inquiry, including both theory and empirical studies; 2) theory-building without empirical testing; 3) empirical research, measuring the attitudesand ethical beliefs of students and academic faculty; and 4) empiricalresearch within business environments, measuring the attitudes and ethical views of primarily managers within business large organizations. Each of these areas offers insight into the ethical dimensions of entrepreneurs and managers.
The study of entrepreneurship has relevance today, not only because it helps entrepreneurs better fulfill their personal needs but because of the economic contribution of the new ventures. More than increasing national income by creating new jobs, entrepreneurship acts as a positive force in economic growth by serving as the bridge between innovation and the marketplace.
1. Hirsch, RobertD. Entrepreneurship / RobertD. Hirsch // Role of entrepreneurship in economic development. – 2010. – 4th. – pp.13-27.
2. Benson, Gary L. Journal of Applied Business Research / Gary L. Benson // Thoughts of an Entrepreneurial Chairholder Model Entrepreneurial Curriculum.-2003.–pp.124 - 136.