Original Research

Emerging market entrepreneurs’ narratives on managing business ethical misconduct

Emeldah Lingwati, Anastacia Mamabolo
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1078 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1078 | © 2023 Emeldah Lingwati, Anastacia Mamabolo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2022 | Published: 28 February 2023

About the author(s)

Emeldah Lingwati, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Johannesburg, South Africa
Anastacia Mamabolo, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape faces multiple challenges that minimise the growth of established firms. Ethical misconduct is one of the main challenges entrepreneurs encounter in their business activities.

Research purpose: To gain deeper insight into the entrepreneurs’ narratives of the types and management of ethical misconduct when engaging in entrepreneurial activities.

Motivation for the study: Entrepreneurs are central to economic development and alleviating challenges, such as poverty, employment creation and economic inclusion. Therefore, managing challenges that hinder their growth will contribute to the country’s economic development.

Research design, approach and method: This study used narrative qualitative research to gather data on business ethical misconduct types and their management strategies. A sample of 17 established entrepreneurs participated in one-hour semi-structured interviews. Focusing on established entrepreneurs with more than three years in business provided real experiences of ethical misconduct and their management. Thematic narrative analysis was used to analyse the participants’ experiences and develop key themes from the data.

This study used narrative qualitative research to gather data on business ethical misconduct types and their management strategies. A sample of 17 established entrepreneurs participated in one-hour semi-structured interviews. Focusing on established entrepreneurs with more than three years in business provided real experiences of ethical misconduct and their management. Thematic narrative analysis was used to analyse the participants’ experiences and develop key themes from the data.

Practical/managerial implications: This study provides an ethical misconduct management framework that entrepreneurs could use in business practice and teaching.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to entrepreneurial ethics literature and South African entrepreneurship knowledge development.


Keywords

entrepreneurship; ethics; ethical misconduct; ethical misconduct management; narrative.

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