Finding the extraordinary and creating the unexpected: Gnome and Genius combined in an entrepreneurial ethical heuristic

Pellegrini, Massimiliano M., Ciappei, Cristiano, Lamberto, Zollo and Boccardi, Andrea (2016) Finding the extraordinary and creating the unexpected: Gnome and Genius combined in an entrepreneurial ethical heuristic. Journal of Management Development, 35 (6). pp. 789-801. ISSN 0262-1711

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Purpose – This paper aims to present an integrated framework for ethical decision making in uncertain conditions, such as those of entrepreneurship. The model aims to build an exceptional ethical heuristic employable by entrepreneurs.
Design/methodology/approach – The theoretical framework is anchored to Aquinas’ theory of practical reason virtue, specifically its minor virtue gnome, and the Kantian faculty of genius or to better say its modus operandi. Thanks to the composition of these prima facie distant ontologies it is possible to build a ‘ready-to-use’ heuristic.
Findings – The paper through a philosophical discussion offers a ready-to-use heuristic that may help entrepreneurs and businesspersons when ‘navigating’ uncertain and troubled situations. In such situations, firstly it is important to recognize the ‘exceptionality’ of the situation, disregarding where necessary the ordinary criteria of judgment (an act directed by gnome). Secondly, a creative reconstruction of available knowledge able to re-shape the ‘rules of the game’ is needed (an act directed by PR but with connotations drawn from genius).
Research limitations/implications – The paper provides only a theoretical conceptualization of the heuristic model. However, the result is a ready-to-use heuristic rule for entrepreneurs, who work in uncertain and unclear conditions. Empirical validation of the framework can represent an opportunity for future research to test the operative impact of such an exceptional ethical heuristic.
Originality/value – Little attention has been dedicated to ethical decision making in the entrepreneurial setting built on a virtue ethics approach. This paper’s proposed model may represent an innovative alternative to strictly rational models for ethical decision making.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1108/JMD-09-2015-0130
Additional Information: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2016
Keywords: Ethical decision making, Entrepreneurship, Heuristics, Gnome, Genius, Aquinas, Kant
Subjects: Business and finance
Depositing User: Max Pellegrini
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2016 16:39
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:46


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