Small business ethics refers to social responsibility and ethics in small and medium-sized privately owned businesses. Despite the fact that by most measures 99% of private business organizations are in this category, probably 99% of research on business ethics and society is on large firms and multinationals, giving us a very limited understanding of the relevant issues for small firms. In terms of ethics and social responsibility, the most important perspective is the differing character, structure, and dynamics of smaller business organizations compared with their larger counterparts. The most pertinent perspectives are outlined in this entry.

The Owner-Manager as Both Principal and Agent

In most small firms, the person with ultimate responsibility for running the organization is also the primary owner, that is, he or she ...

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