Volume 13, 2016
Jodyanne Kirkwood, Melissa Baucus, Kirsty Dwyer
Ethics in Entrepreneurship Education
The Case of a Student Start-Up Entrepreneur
Ethics researchers focus on moral awareness as a precursor to ethical decision making, but they pay little attention to framing processes that precede moral awareness. This study addresses this gap in the literature to examine how a student entrepreneur starting a venture while completing an assignment frames issues and how these frames affect moral awareness (i.e., whether or not the entrepreneur considers ethical dimensions). Framing does not occur in isolation but is part of a sensemaking process involving others. Using a single case study method, we capture an entrepreneur’s framing process over time as the new venture emerges and our data reveals frames that may preclude consideration of ethical dimensions, including some frames developed and reinforced through entrepreneurship education. We make a contribution to the entrepreneurship education literature by suggesting ways to incorporate ethics into entrepreneurship courses.