Operationalising ethics in entrepreneurship education: experiential and practice-based approaches

Blundel, Richard and Winchester, Nik (2016). Operationalising ethics in entrepreneurship education: experiential and practice-based approaches. In: ECSB 3e conference, 11-13 May 2016, University of Leeds.

URL: http://www.3e2016.org/


Ethics is widely recognised as an important theme in entrepreneurship education, as reflected in subject-specific guidelines, and in the accreditation requirements that are being applied more generally within the fields of business and management. Educators also recognise a growing student interest in ethically-driven entrepreneurship and a more general need to help students prepare for a variety of complex ethical challenges. In addition, more responsible models of entrepreneurial practice are vital in many contexts (e.g. to address environmental threats, including climate change, and to promote economically and socially productive enterprise development, particularly in marginalised communities and post-conflict situations). However, business ethics education has been criticised for its ineffectiveness, focus on abstract principles, restricted pedagogy and limited engagement with students’ norms, practices and ethical beliefs. As such, it lacks a compelling rationale as developmental practice. Ethics curricula are primarily oriented towards CSR, stakeholder relations and ethical decision-making in larger and more established corporations, albeit with notable exceptions. This prompts our core question: how might pedagogical innovation help to bridge the ‘ethical practice’ gap, with particular reference to entrepreneurship education?

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