Title: Entrepreneurial wisdom: incorporating the ethical and strategic dimensions of entrepreneurial decision-making

Authors: Laura Dunham, John McVea, R. Edward Freeman

Addresses: Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA. ' Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA. ' Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 6550, Charlottesville, VA 22906, USA

Abstract: Entrepreneurs face particularly ambiguous and complex decision contexts (Busenitz and Barney, 1997). Furthermore, many of the decisions entrepreneurs make are fraught with ethical tensions, given the many moral considerations and consequences that arise from entrepreneurial action (e.g., Dees and Starr, 1992). However, while a growing body of work in entrepreneurial cognition (e.g., Mitchell et al., 2004; Forbes, 1999) has sought to understand how entrepreneurs make decisions despite uncertainty, and various decision-making models have been put forth, to date very little of this work has explored how entrepreneurs address the ethical dimensions of the decisions they make. In this paper, we offer a conceptualisation of entrepreneurial wisdom that we believe addresses the need to better integrate the ethical dimensions into entrepreneurial decision making. Such an approach enables us to adopt an explicitly creative, aesthetic and adaptive perspective that is well suited to the dynamic and complex challenges of the entrepreneurial context.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; wisdom; ethics; stakeholder management; entrepreneurial decision making; strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2008.017386

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2008 Vol.6 No.1, pp.8 - 19

Available online: 04 Mar 2008 *

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