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Biography & Abstract
Marina Vorholzer

Marina is a PhD candidate at Lund University in Sweden. She works on the nuances of ethicality, expanding the debates on the “bright and dark sides” of entrepreneurial phenomena. Drawing on ethical theories, her dissertation unpacks the grey zones, exploring entrepreneurial action that is both productive and destructive.

What’s my agenda? Navigating conflicting understandings of ethicality in entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and business research by and large treat ethics from a utilitarian stance, where an action is ethical if it creates more benefits than harm. Yet, conducting an interview-based case study of ethicality at a startup hub, we observe that entrepreneurial actors’ understanding of ethicality is much more versatile – based on laws, legitimacy, social norms, virtues, as well as different utilitarian approaches. As a result, our current understanding in entrepreneurship literature is inconclusive as to how, why, and under what circumstances entrepreneurial action occurs that is dysfunctional for individuals, organizations, and society. With this paper, we seek to categorize conflicting understandings of ethicality and theorize how actors navigate these in developing their personal value system within entrepreneurship.

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