Why some entrepreneurs commit to business ethics, report of a Glaserian grounded theory research

Document Type : Research Paper


1 tehran university

2 Associate professor, faculty of entrepreneurship, University of Tehran


Today public opinion and researchers in Iran believe violation of ethical principles is undeniable reality and public concern. However, there are successful entrepreneurs in food industry which their commitment to business ethics is rare. Due to need to deep understanding of alive experience of successful entrepreneurs and they flourish in business ethical actions, this applied qualitative research tries to explore subjects’ understanding of business ethics essence and their reasons to commitment to it, by classic grounded theory. Authors tried to explain their business ethical experiences on through deep interviews and find reasons to commitment. Research population is Iranian food industry successful entrepreneurs which identified by criterion like owners ownership of established firms, repeated innovation, ownership of brand; final selection has been down by purposeful sampling. Data has been gathered through ten event based interviews. Data analysis has been done through two real and theoretical coding by using classic grounded theory. Findings are that subjects have different understanding from business ethics. Their main concern is acquire benefit (interest and BREKAT) through guaranteed way and it is fulfilled by balancing self-interests and stakeholders interests in business weightier. However, stakeholders are different in their views. The reason for their commitment to business ethics is benefit which is functionalistic. Though, benefit for some of them is economic interest and business development, for others it is economic interest and BAREKAT which is result of satisfaction of latent stakeholder of business.


آقامحمدی، مهرداد؛  محمدی الیاسی، قنبر؛  نظری توکلی، سعید و احمدپور داریانی، محمود (1397)، "سنخ‌شناسی التزام  رهبران کارآفرین به اخلاق کسب‌وکار"، توسعه کارآفرینی، دوره ( 11): 401- 420
دادگر، یدالله (1385)، "اخلاق بازرگانی از منظر اقتصاد و اقتصاد اسلامی"، پژوهش‌نامه بازرگانی، 10(1): 87-120.
سرایی، حسن و شریفی، نیره (1395)، "تغییر اخلاق کسب‌وکار در بازار- مورد مطالعه: بازاریان شهر بابل"،  راهبرد فرهنگ، 9(3): 149-174.
شریف‌زاده، محمد شریف؛  عبدالله‌زاده، غلامحسین و  عربیون، ابوالقاسم (1393)، "آسیب‌شناسی اخلاقی کارآفرینی و توسعه کسب‌وکار: رویکردی پدیدارشناسانه" ، توسعه کارآفرینی، 7 (4)-589-611.
شیرین‌کام، فریدون و فرجام‌نیا، ایمان   ( 1393)، سرگذشت پنجاه کنشگر اقتصادی ایران، با  نظارت علمی علی ططری و ناظر فنی محمد شریفی. انتشارات فرهنگ صبا.
حسینی قمی، مژگان (1394)، "بررسی عوامل اجتماعی مؤثر بر  پای‌بندی به هنجارهای اخلاق اقتصادی نیم‌قرن اخیر در بازاربزرگ تهران"، جامعه‌پژوهی فرهنگی، 6(4):1-27.
علیزاده، مهدی؛  حجازی، سیدرضا و  کاشف‌آذر، رامین (1397)، "تحلیل جایگاه مفهوم برکت در کسب‌وکار"، توسعه کارآفرینی، 11 (1): 121-139.
فراستخواه، مقصود (1389)، "در باره نیمرخ رفتار ایرانی (سنخ‌شناسی مدل ها)"، جامعه شناسی ایران، 11(1):   1-47             
محمدی الیاسی، قنبر و  بادلی، زهرا (1394)، "تأثیر عوامل محیطی بر تصمیم‌گیری اخلاقی در کسب‌وکارهای نوپا"، توسعه کارآفرینی، 8 (1): 175-193.
مرکز پژوهش‌های مجلس شورای اسلامی ( 1393)، "پایش محیط کسب‌وکار ایران در تابستان 1393". شماره مسلسل 14142، کُد موضوع 220.     
موسایی، میثم (1381)، " التزام و اعتقاد مردم به رفتارهای اقتصادی توصیه‌شده در اسلام"،  نمایه پژوهش، 23(6): 247-292.
Artinian, B. M., Giske, T., & Cone, P. H. (2009). Glaserian grounded theory in nursing research: Trusting emergence: Springer Publishing Company.
Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In Action control (pp. 11-39). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Bageac, D., Furrer, O., & Reynaud, E. (2011). "Management students’ attitudes toward business ethics: A comparison between France and Romania". Journal of Business Ethics, 98(3), 391-406.
Callaghan, M., Wood, G., & Svensson, G. (2008). "A longitudinal study of the commitment to business ethics of corporate Australia". International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 6(1), 173-184.
Carroll, A. B., & Buchholtz, A. K. (2008). Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.
Ciulla, J. B. (2011). "Is business ethics getting better? A historical perspective". Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(2), 335-343 .
Choi, T. H., & Jung, J. (2008)."Ethical commitment, financial performance, and valuation: An empirical investigation of Korean companies". Journal of Business Ethics, 81(2), 447-463.
Cohen, A. (2007). "Commitment before and after: An evaluation and reconceptualization of organizational commitment". Human resource management review, 17(3), 336-354.
Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research method: Choosing among five approaches.
De Cremer, D., Tenbrunsel, A. E., & van Dijke, M. (2010). "Regulating ethical failures: Insights from psychology". Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 1-6.
De George, R. T. (1987). "The status of business ethics: past and future". Journal of Business Ethics, 6(3), 201-211.
Denzin, N. (2007). Grounded theory and the politics of interpretation. The Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory (London: Sage, 2007), 454-471.
Etzioni, A. (1988). The moral dimensión: toward a new economics. New York, NY, US: Free Press
Fayolle, A., Basso, O., & Tornikoski, E. T. (2011). 10 Entrepreneurial commitment and new venture creation: a conceptual exploration. Handbook of research on new venture creation. Edward elgar publishing.
Friedman, M. (2007). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. In Corporate ethics and corporate governance (pp. 173-178). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Ford, D. A. (1973). Commitment: "A mathematical model". Quality and Quantity, 7(1), 1-40.
Ghoshal, S. (2005). "Bad management theories are destroying good management practices". Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4(1), 75-91.
Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theorethical sensitivity. Sociology Press.
Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing grounded theory: Issues and discussions. Sociology Press.
Glaser, B. G., & Holton, J. (2005). "Staying open: The use of theoretical codes in grounded theory". The Grounded Theory Review, 5(1), 1-20.
Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. L. (1965). Awareness of Dying. Chicago: Aldine.
Goodpaster, K. E. (1985). The Challenge of Sustaining Corporate Conscience. Notre Dame JL Ethics & Pub. Pol'y, 2, 825.
Haidt, J., & Trevino, L. (2017). "Make business ethics a cumulative science". Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 0027.
Hambrick, D. C., & Mason, P. A. (1984). "Upper echelons: The organization as a reflection of its top managers". Academy of management review, 9(2), 193-206.
Hunt, S. D., & Vitell, S. (1986). "A general theory of marketing ethics". Journal of macromarketing, 6(1), 5-16.
Klein, H. J., Molloy, J. C., & Cooper, J. T. (2009). Conceptual foundations: Construct definitions and theoretical representations of workplace commitments. Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions, 1, 3-36.
Kuratko, D. F., Goldsby, M. G., & Hornsby, J. S. (2004). "The ethical perspectives of entrepreneurs: An examination of stakeholder salience". Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 9(4), 19
Kurpis, L. V., Beqiri, M. S., & Helgeson, J. G. (2008). "The effects of commitment to moral self-improvement and religiosity on ethics of business students". Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3), 447-463.
Lehnert, K., Craft, J., Singh, N., & Park, Y. H. (2016). "The human experience of ethics: a review of a decade of qualitative ethical decision‐making research". Business Ethics: A European Review, 25(4), 498-537.
Lewis, P. V. (1985). "Defining ‘business ethics’: Like nailing jello to a wall". Journal of Business Ethics, 4(5), 377-383.
Meyer, J. P. (2016). Handbook of Employee Commitment. Employee commitment: looking back and moving forward. Edward elgar publishing.
Meyer, J. P., & Anderson, B. K. (2016). Handbook of Employee Commitment. Action commitments. Edward elgar publishing.
Meyer, J. P., & Herscovitch, L. (2001). "Commitment in the workplace: Toward a general model". Human resource management review, 11(3), 299-326.
Moore, C., & Gino, F. (2015). "Approach, ability, aftermath: A psychological process framework of unethical behavior at work". The Academy of Management Annals, 9(1), 235-289.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative interviewing. Qualitative research and evaluation methods, 3, 344-347
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). "The big idea: Creating shared value, rethinking capitalism". Harvard business review, 89(1/2), 62-77.
Rest, J. R. (Ed.). (1994). Moral development in the professions: Psychology and applied ethics. Psychology Press.
Robin, D. P., & Reidenbach, R. E. (1987). "Social responsibility, ethics, and marketing strategy: Closing the gap between concept and application". Journal of marketing, 51(1), 44-58.
Schwartz, M. S. (2006). "God as a managerial stakeholder?". Journal of business ethics, 66(2-3), 291-306.
Schwartz, M. S. (2017). Business Ethics: An Ethical Decision-making Approach (Vol. 10): John Wiley & Sons.
Sen, A. (1997). "Economics, business principles and moral sentiments". Business Ethics Quarterly, 7(3), 5-15.
Singhapakdi, A., Kraft, K. L., Vitell, S. J., & Rallapalli, K. C. (1995). "The perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility on organizational effectiveness: A survey of marketers". Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 23(1), 49-56.
Spinelli, S., Ensign, P., & Adams, R. (2016). New venture creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st century. 10th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.
Svensson, G., & Wood, G. (2008). "A model of business ethics". Journal of Business Ethics, 77(3), 303-322.
Swedberg, R. (2005). Interest. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Verschoor, C. C. (1998). "A study of the link between a corporation's financial performance and its commitment to ethics". Journal of Business Ethics, 17(13), 1509-1516.
Vig, S., & Dumičić, K. (2016). "Impact of commitment to business ethics to nonfinancial business performance". Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems: INDECS, 14(2), 165-181.
Weeks, W. A., Longenecker, J. G., McKinney, J. A., & Moore, C. W. (2005). "The role of mere exposure effect on ethical tolerance: A two-study approach". Journal of Business Ethics, 58(4), 281-294.
Whyatt, G., Wood, G., & Callaghan, M. (2012). "Commitment to business ethics in UK organizations". European Business Review, 24(4), 331-350.
Wiener, Y. (1982). "Commitment in organizations: A normative view". Academy of management review, 7(3), 418-428.
Wood, G. (2017). "Reflections on business ethics through 1992-2017". European Business Review, 29(6), 628-641.
Yin, J., Singhapakdi, A., & Du, Y. (2016). "Causes and moderators of corporate social responsibility in China: The influence of personal values and institutional logics". Asian Business & Management, 15(3), 226-254 .