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Corporate Profit, Entrepreneurship Theory and Business Ethics

Economic profit is produced by entrepreneurs, those special individuals able to detect and seize as yet unexploited market opportunities. In general capitalist firms manage to deliver positive profits even in the most competitive environments. They can do so thanks to internal entrepreneurs, a subset of their employees able to drive change and develop innovation in the workplace. This paper argues that the goal of profit maximization is fully consistent with the corporation doing good for society. However, there is little justification for corporations to transfer the whole economic profit to shareholders. Economic agents entitled to receive the economic profit are precisely those who create this profit, namely the internal entrepreneurs.

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File URL: http://hal-essec.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/82/35/21/PDF/WP1308.pdf
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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number WP1308.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-13008
Contact details of provider: Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France
Web page: http://www.essec.edu/
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  1. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2010. "Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 1-19, 01.
  2. vranceanu, radu, 2007. "The moral layer of contemporary economics: A virtue-ethics perspective," ESSEC Working Papers DR 07006, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  3. Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto, 2007. "Moral Agency, Profits and the Firm: Economic Revisions to the Friedman Theorem," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 209-220, January.
  4. Vranceanu, Radu, 2005. "The Ethical Dimension of Economic Choices," ESSEC Working Papers DR 05001, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  5. Herbert Kierulff & Grant Learned, 2009. "Limiting Laissez Faire Profits: The Financial Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 425-436, December.
  6. Robert A. Burgelman, 1983. "Corporate Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management: Insights from a Process Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(12), pages 1349-1364, December.
  7. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Organization Form, Residual Claimants, and Corporate Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 351-66, June.
  8. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  9. Williamson, Oliver E, 1993. "Calculativeness, Trust, and Economic Organization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 453-86, April.
  10. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
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