Volume 26, Issue 1/4, 2007
Donald P. Robin
A Symbiotic Link between Entrepreneurial Objectives and Ethics
The Issue of Trust Building
This article focuses on the issue of finding and illustrating a common ground for discussions between those academics involved in the science of entrepreneurial behavior and those involved in the ethics of entrepreneurial behavior. Several articles appeared in the April 1994 Business Ethics Quarterly on the relationship between the science of business and business ethics. In one article by Weaver and Trevino (1994; 130–143), the authors proposed three possible relationships between the normative and empirical business ethics. The author of another article in that issue, Tom Donaldson (1994; 157–169), endorsed only one of the three relationships (165) offered by Weaver and Trevino and argued against the others. The relationship endorsed by Donaldson was called “symbiosis.” In doing so he recognized that both normative and empirical insights are necessary to business ethics. This article follows the combined
reasoning of these authors by describing a symbiotic relationship between the empirical and normative requirements of trust building for entrepreneurs.