Entrepreneurs’ ethically suspect behaviors and effective information acquisition: The moderating effect of impression management
Vol. Volume 17, Number 4 December/2012
Jintong Tang, Shaji A. Khan & Renhong Zhu
Understanding the ethical conduct of entrepreneurs is becoming increasingly important. Previous research has focused on the differences between entrepreneurs and managers in terms of their ethical values and behaviors and investigated the antecedents of ethical behaviors. However, the question that whether entrepreneurs’ ethical behaviors contribute to or hamper crucial aspects of new venture development such as effective information acquisition has remained unanswered. In this paper, we extend previous research on ethics and entrepreneurship by examining the impact of entrepreneurs’ ethically suspect behaviors on information acquisition. Data from 139 entrepreneurs in China revealed the negative influence of ethically suspect behaviors on information acquisition. Further, this relationship is weakened by entrepreneurs’ impression management tactics such as ingratiation and self-promotion. Implications of these findings for entrepreneurs and research at the interface of entrepreneurship and ethics are discussed.
Entrepreneurship, ethics, information acquisition, impression management