IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Justice in entrepreneurial organizations

Listed author(s):
  • Scott L. Newbert
Registered author(s):

    Purpose - Justice is a traditional and central moral criterion in society, and is determined, expressed, and assessed differently in different social settings. The purpose of this paper is to propose a justice perspective from contemporary political philosophy in order to explore and prescribe ethical justice behavior in the context of entrepreneurial firms. Design/methodology/approach - John Rawls' influential political theory of justice is examined and then discussed as a potential guide for the ethical decision making of founders of new organizations. Findings - The empirical realities of entrepreneurs are curiously analogous to Rawlsian choosers in the original position as they operate under a similar veil of ignorance. As a development of the authors' argument, three entrepreneur-inspired justice principles are suggested. Social implications - A society of entrepreneurs who value fairness with regard to their stakeholders is likely to shape the business environment in ways that figure into assumptions of business decisions for all organizations, which may in turn result in a society in which all organizational stakeholders are treated fairly. Originality/value - The paper shows that a Rawlsian justice perspective is plausible, illuminating, and potentially useful when applied to the entrepreneurial context.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (April)
    Pages: 453-465

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:5:p:453-465
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
    Web: Email:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Roemer, John E., 2008. "The Veil Of Ignorance Violates Priority," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 233-257, July.
    2. Richard Marens, 2007. "Returning to Rawls: Social Contracting, Social Justice, and Transcending the Limitations of Locke," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 63-76, September.
    3. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
    4. Andrew Henley, 2005. "Job Creation by the Self-employed: The Roles of Entrepreneurial and Financial Capital," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 175-196, September.
    5. Brock, Gillian, 1998. "Are Corporations Morally Defensible?," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 703-721, October.
    6. Child, James W. & Marcoux, Alexei M., 1999. "Freeman and Evan: Stakeholder Theory in the Original Position," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 207-223, April.
    7. Edward Freeman, R. & Evan, William M., 1990. "Corporate governance: A stakeholder interpretation," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 337-359.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:5:p:453-465. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.