A tough line to work through’: Ethical ambiguities in a South African SME

Elmé Vivier

Abstract


The unique contexts and experiences of SMEs have recently been taken up as a gap within business ethics scholarship. In this exploratory paper, I aim to contribute to the knowledge of ethics within SMEs through an in-depth case study comprising interviews, site visits and document analysis of a South African SME. The paper examines the SMEs’ three owners’ perceptions of ethics and corporate social responsibility, as well as the ethical challenges arising from their employee relations. The case illuminates the deep uncertainties and contradictions that permeate the owners’ values and practices and points to ethical decision-making as a process of reflection and moral imagination. 


Keywords


Corporate social responsibility; labour relations; moral imagination; small and medium enterprises; South Africa

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15249/7-2-42

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