Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Small Business and Empirical Perspectives in Business Ethics: Editorial

  • Laura J. Spence
  • Robert Rutherfoord


In this editorial to a collection of papers on ethics in small firms, the case is made for greater use of high quality empirical research on business ethics. Sociological perspectives have much to offer to the field of business ethics that continues to be dominated by normative, moral philosophy. The second contribution of the paper is to argue for a re-orientation away from the large multi-national firm as a benchmark subject of business ethics research. One important point of view to be included is that of the small firm, which remains the dominant organisational form throughout all the OECD countries.

empirical research enterprise small and medium sized enterprises social capital sociology 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura J. Spence
    • 1
  • Robert Rutherfoord
    • 2
  1. 1.Brunel Research in Enterprise, Sustainability and EthicsBrunel University, School of Business and ManagementUxbridge, MiddlesexU.K.
  2. 2.Small Business Research CentreKingston UniversityU.K

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