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New ventures present exciting opportunities because they are prospects for creating new products and services—even new markets. Such ventures are launched in turbulent environments with success marked by rapid growth, technological change, and unpredictable circumstances. Challenging issues emerge daily that call for swift yet ethically sound decisions. Because these operations are often marked by high risk, the need for quick action, and ongoing innovation, a focused effort to establish their ethical foundation may be overlooked. Much of the research on entrepreneurial behavior still focuses largely on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and small business in general, rather than the challenges posed to new venture ethics per se.

Leaders' attention to the ethical foundations of the organization—from its inception—is essential. Management must be explicit about the importance of ...

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