oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Ethics beyond the code of conduct - understanding the ethical dilemmas of entrepreneurs



Entrepreneurs choose a particular way of life with the dual aim of maximising profit and gaining a sense of self-satisfaction. In these endeavours, entrepreneurs typically live with the threat of competition and the risk of business failure, while attempting to do their best within the limitations of their resources. This qualitative study first examines existing theories of ethics and ways of applying business ethics and thereafter investigates entrepreneurs' actual experiences by means of in-depth interviews and the use of phenomenology. It finds that entrepreneurs are not guided by any specific code of conduct, and must decide for themselves what is right. It describes the entrepreneurial business ethic, some of the types of dilemmas that they experience and the methods that they have developed to deal with the dilemmas.


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