Title: Moral disengagement among social entrepreneurs: initial insights from Indonesia

Authors: Ari Margiono; Pantri Heriyati

Addresses: Management Department, BINUS Business School Master Program, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, 11480, Indonesia ' Management Department, BINUS Business School Doctor of Research in Management, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, 11480, Indonesia

Abstract: Moral disengagement - a concept that is closely related to the unethical behaviour of individuals - has started to gain significance in management studies. However, there has been limited research on moral disengagement in entrepreneurship, especially in the social entrepreneurship domain where people tend to assume that social entrepreneurs are inherently ethical individuals. Despite its importance, there is even less social entrepreneurship ethics research in the literature that specifically investigates moral disengagement in the context of developing countries. Using a qualitative method and a critical incident technique, this research investigated moral disengagement among social entrepreneurs in a developing country, Indonesia, in three different periods: during the start-up phase, when they have received revenue, and in the last three months. Our study reveals two important findings. First, in contrast to extant literature that focuses on individual-level attributes, we found that contextual factors drive social entrepreneurs to engage in moral disengagement activities at most stages of venture creation. Second, social entrepreneurs in our sample seem to practice moral disengagement to cope with perceived losses arising from contextual uncertainties. These findings imply the importance of an effective social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Indonesia.

Keywords: critical incident technique; moral disengagement; prosocial; social entrepreneurs; social entrepreneurship; Indonesia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2022.124792

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2022 Vol.46 No.4, pp.505 - 525

Received: 14 Jun 2019
Accepted: 14 Oct 2019

Published online: 09 Aug 2022 *

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