Ethics and Social Entrepreneurship: An Exploration

Ethics and Social Entrepreneurship: An Exploration

Renuka Garg (Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, India) and Subhash Yadav (Narmada College of Management, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5837-8.ch013
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The authors highlight that it was the personal spiritual experience of the founders which slowly evolved into an ethical-spiritual social organization. The researchers suggest that ethical social entrepreneurship is the result of an intense yearning on the part of the social entrepreneur to serve and advance the wellbeing of people and the environment around them. These personal values of the social entrepreneurs impel a process of help and resource contribution from like-minded people and institutions which result in the formation of a social organization based on ethical intentions. The study proposes a new subdomain of social entrepreneurship which focuses on the subjective, individual, personal values of the social entrepreneur which result in the formation of the social enterprise. The present study is an attempt to highlight the role of own values in the creation and evolution of a social enterprise. It is an attempt to explore the relationship between ethics and social entrepreneurship with the help of three case studies of social enterprises in South Gujarat, India.
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In this section, the aspects covered are understanding ethics, social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, social entrepreneurship and ethics and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. The literature on ethics and entrepreneurship is equally divided into researchers who argue that entrepreneurship and ethics are inherently incompatible while others like Hisrich (2001) suggest that while entrepreneurs and managers are in general agreement on many ethical issues, in some areas “entrepreneurs consistently placed a greater emphasis on ethical behavior.” He argues that personal values may strongly influence how entrepreneurs reason about and act upon, the ethical problems they encounter. It is proposed that it is the ethical purpose and intention which creates a social enterprise, though some researchers (Dey & Steyaert, 2016) argue to the contrary.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Aarogya: Health is all aspects – physical, mental, spiritual.

Bapu: An honorific for an elder usually in a fatherly sense.

Karmabhumi: A physical place of living for an individual which helps in extinguishing his karmic debts incurred in previous existence/s.

Muni: A sage, who usually is silent and non-vocal about her/himself.

Shri: An honorific for males, occasionally used for females as well.

Yatra: A journey, usually undertaken for self-discovery.

Parivar: Family.

Vanaprastha: The third stage of life as conceived in the Indian scheme of life, a phase of gradual withdrawal from active life.

Sharda: Goddess of learning, named as Saraswati.

Pujya: An honorific for a venerated one, used for both genders.

Ashram: A place of learning. Indian tradition differentiates learning at two levels: The lower knowledge is empirical knowledge, knowledge of the world gained by the senses and interpreted by the intellect. Higher knowledge knows oneself in one’s essence, understanding the source of one’s being. An Ashram is a place of learning where students are taught the former and guided towards the latter.

Ritah Jatah: Born of the cosmic order.

Bhagini: Sister.

Gaushala: A cowshed. The cow is a symbol of Sattva Guna: purity and harmony. Hence cowshed is usually is an essential part of all Ashrams.

Sewa: An act of service towards all that exists, done only after understanding and realizing the oneness of all existence.

Dharma: That which holds together all existence, one’s role in life.

Ritam: A cosmic order which is the basis of all ethics, spirituality, and values.

Atithi: Guest who comes on a not appointed date.

Prerna: Inspiration.

Bhakhri: A thick chapatti made of coarse grain.

Mandir: A place of consecration and worship as conceived in the Indian tradition.

Amrutasyah Putrah: Son of immortality.

Maharaj: An honorific used for great men, the ruling lord.

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