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FAQ Policy. About this book For the very first time, this book offers a complete overview the topic and its foundations of international entrepreneurship. Show all. Trust is relevant to self-interest if the entrepreneur receives benefits from ethical behavior. Trust can be a source of success, hence, with economic value, if it is based on reciprocal expectations in ethical behavior. Thomas Hobbes maintained that many if not all human actions are prompted by self-interest Hobbes Opportunism has been studied in the fields of economics, game theory, psychology, sociology, politics, ethics, and has been central to entrepreneurship research.

While the concept of economic opportunism lacks a consensus definition or scientific framework, most scholars are familiar with the work of Oliver Williamson.

Transaction cost economics has proposed that economic agents be described as opportunistic where this contemplates self-interest seeking with guile. That has turned out to be a controversial formulation. As argued by Williamson, it has been accepted assumed? The vast majority of entrepreneurs and businesses were assumed to be operating within the tacit rules, the ethical framework of society.

The rules, however, emerge from the specific society and culture, and they are context-driven. The world, the accepted rules of business, and the ethical frameworks of society ies , however, have changed, and continue to change. Globalization of markets, supply chains, communication, and instantaneous information exchange combine to intensify competitive pressure Fukuyama, There has been an exponential increase in available data and information. Entrepreneurs and businesspersons are not equal in their ability to have access to, be able to locate, or be able to appropriate all available information.

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International Entrepreneurship: Theoretical Foundations and Practices

This has resulted in significant informational asymmetry Gross and Solymossy, , which adds dynamism and hostility to the business environment McGee and Rubach, At the same time, information asymmetry offer new opportunities, especially internationally. Sometimes, these opportunities are more enticing than the boundaries of ethical propriety, as demonstrated by the unethical activities revealed by popular media.

Two of the many examples are Sam Wyly and Bernie Madoff, both entrepreneurs in the field of financial management. Neither could have committed their deceptive acts without the internet. The internet also facilitated marketing services and financial products to interested customers who were not able to access, investigate and understand all of the information necessary to validate the risks of what was being promoted.


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The media broadcasts ethical failures after they have happened. Generally speaking, only the major ethical breaches make the news; either due to the magnitude of the money involved or by the number of people affected. Violation of business ethics occur everywhere, in differing magnitudes, and in many forms; greed, fraud, larceny, personal abuse, conflicts of interest, improper employment practices, abuse of power, and bribery to name a few. Some of the names evoke strongly negative emotions, such as Kenneth Lay of Enron, or Calisto Tanzi of Parmelat both of whom defrauded other businesses as well as investors, causing massive financial damage to thousands of persons.

Some names evoke positive emotions, similar to hero-worship, in spite of the persons not being considered ethical. Steve Jobs, however, has his ethical weaknesses as well. He was known for treating his customers and workers by two different standards. He was known for disrespectful treatment of his workers demeaning, belittling and hostile violated their trust, and bringing them to tears Love, He seems to thrive on violating norms and breaking rules, whether parking his car in a spot reserved for disabled persons, or collecting speeding tickets, and asked his board of directors to award him back-dated options; which was both unethical and illegal Bajaj , Ethical questions also kept recurring regarding his contracting Foxconn labor factories in China.

While not as publicized in the press as his success, political contributions to re-elect Richard Nixon seemingly gained special treatment from the Price Commission. The contributions were also deemed instrumental in obtaining preferential legislation allowing sub-minimum wages for teenage employees. Both Steve Jobs and Ray Kroc were extremely successful, and are admired for having achieved their goals.

They both also demonstrate self-interest pursuit while behaving contrary to generally accepted practices, and could be argued to having acted illegally. Here are numerous portrayals, both fictional and real life, which present the entrepreneurs as unethical, unscrupulous, dishonest, and totally self-oriented. A simple web-search reveals many entrepreneurs and executives pursuing ethically improper activities. Unethical entrepreneurs are found at every level of business and in virtually every country.

This illustrates what can be seen as a paradox in the relationship of entrepreneurs and ethics. Some entrepreneurs are portrayed as villains because they abused trust, while others are elevated to the status of heroes because their success is publicized more than their ethical breaches although they also abused trust. The outcome of successful entrepreneurship accomplishment, wealth, position, and prestige is envied by many.

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At the same time, entrepreneurship has its detractors. Within the former state-controlled economies of Eastern Europe, many thought entrepreneurs were gangsters, crooks and thieves rather than the driving force behind economic development. Investigating the intersection of entrepreneurs and ethics is itself a daunting task, and reveals polarized and conflicting views.

Recent research by Bhattacharjee, Dana, and Baron suggests that even in a capitalistic, market-oriented society, people believe high profits come at a social cost, which some consider to be ethically wrong Clearly, there are opposing views on the role entrepreneurs serve in society. The concept of entrepreneurs and profit are seen differently: good or bad, right or wrong, ethical or unethical, within a relatively homogeneous culture sharing tacit rules and ethical frameworks.

It is to be expected that these differences will be magnified when persons are from different cultures, or if they operate under different perceptions of the rules and expectations for behavior. Previously assumed and accepted rules of business have changed. As codified by the Michigan Supreme court in the ruling on Dodge vs. Ford Motor Company [ NW Mich, ], the operating parameters for business at least in the United States were that corporations had an obligation to use profits to increase shareholder value rather than to benefit employees or the community as a whole.

Issues of ethics and morality were the domain of people, not companies Friedman , p1. Changing societal needs, norms, expectations, and ethical frameworks place obligations on businesses that can be envisioned as social-mandates, embodying the spirit of law without the authority of the law Frederick, As far as the general public society is concerned, a business is only ethical if it is beneficial to society and not seen as causing harm. It is no longer sufficient to avoid breaking laws, businesses are to work for the betterment of society. Furthermore, what is perceived as excessive profit can also be interpreted as wrong, since it is seen having created little social value and actually causing harm Bhattacharjee et al.

The attention and scrutiny focusing on business ethics has intensified. Ethics are increasingly related to societal wants framed in terms of social virtue , and less with traditional absolutes of right and wrong, good and evil. Previously, it could be argued that some questionable practices were overlooked and considered the consequence of increasing competition and the desire to remain in business, excused as human weaknesses. Whether there are, in fact, more ethical lapses currently than previously is unknown. Technology has, however, made information readily accessible and immediate.

Information availability along with increased regulatory restrictions and disclosure mandates place entrepreneurs and executives under a microscope of vulnerability. In addition to societal changes, the business environment is also markedly different. The generally accepted phased sequence a business experiences prior to becoming global local, regional, national, international and finally global are no longer sequential or even necessary.

The stages have been made irrelevant because of technology and enhanced communication and transportation mechanisms. In addition, labor is now as portable as capital or materials, perhaps even more so. Businesses operate across the globe, and their personnel come from every corner of the world. Not every corner of the world has the same ethical rules to guide what is right and wrong behavior. Globally, people from different cultures perceive ethics and have moral priorities that differ.

While there have efforts to present global standards e.

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Haidt, who along with psychologist Craig Joseph proposed the Moral Foundations Theory framework, identifies six categories of values and their opposites as a way of understanding how morality varies among cultures. The U. The Declaration presents values that are intended to be universally acceptable as human beings interacting with other human beings in an ethical manner. There are very few global ethical standards for guiding business. The categories presented by both Donaldson and Haidt do provide categorization schemes that identify areas of differences.

Anthropologists and sociologists, call attention to these differences, giving examples of behaviors considered morally correct in some societies yet condemned in others, including infanticide, genocide, polygamy, racism, sexism, and torture. Therefore, it can be seen that moral values and the ethical propriety of an action being right or wrong is based upon the moral norms of the society in which the action occurs.

ISBN 13: 9780230515475

This adds risk, since it gives entrepreneurs and businesses in the global environment cause for concern. Many oil companies, for example, operate in the United States which professes that men and women should be treated as equals and where bribery is considered wrong, while simultaneously operating in several Middle Eastern countries where women are regarded as subordinate to men and bribery is widely accepted. How is the manager to deal with such differences? They also must contend with moral diversity. Business schools traditionally taught students to maximize shareholder value following the Friedman model.

More recently, the stakeholder model is emphasized.