Vaduva, S. and Tundrea, E. (2021), "Editorial", Journal of Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Technology, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEET-07-2021-0022
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited
Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Technology. We are both humbled and excited by the opportunity to provide a forum for scholars and practitioners from the developed and the developing world to discuss issues of entrepreneurship and technology from an ethical perspective. Over the last two centuries, humanity had an ambivalent relationship with entrepreneurship and technology. We enjoyed the benefits and innovations of the modern world, the prosperity and the high living standards. However, we were also uncomfortable with the “creative destruction” process through which progress was accomplished. At the dawn of the 21st century, this western economic development model is being adopted by the non-Western world with vigor and will be verily tested as the global population is poised to reach ten billion people.
The first challenge for our future world will presumably be the impact of our current economic model on the environment. With such a population increase, providing the basic necessities of life will require higher and different levels of entrepreneurship and technology in both the private and the public sectors. The second challenge of our future world will plausibly emanate from the acceleration of technological development. One of the distinct characteristics of the current “4th industrial revolution” is that it does not require a high level of employment as the previous three industrial revolutions. In many respects, recent technological innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence seem to focus primarily on eliminating jobs rather than their creation, leading some experts to predict a future “useless generation.” Regardless of the outcomes, the current global workforce will have to be reskilled, the educational systems will have to be upgraded and social and digital entrepreneurs will have to create new jobs for the burgeoning global population.
The third and perhaps most significant challenge of the future will be accomplishing economic growth in the new technological environment ethically and equitably. The first three industrial revolutions took place primarily in the western world in a culture build on Judeo-Christian values. The inherent excesses of technology and entrepreneurship in the past were tempered by a vibrant civil society, which in the context of political pluralism, eventually entered politics and gave rise to equitable public policies and beneficial governmental activities. The fourth industrial revolution and the flurry of entrepreneurial activity it has generated are no longer in the context of Judeo-Christian ethics and traditions. The entrepreneurial and technological activities of the 21st century will most likely unfold in areas with different cultural values, a timid civil society and limited political pluralism. This reality will require a significant upgrade and contextualization of ethics in entrepreneurship and technology discussions, for which we hope our journal will play a significant part.
In future issues, we hope to discuss and suggest solutions to challenges such as discrimination and harassment, unethical accounting and reporting, health and safety for employees and consumers; favoritism and nepotism, conflict of interest and abuse of authority, privacy and espionage, accessing capital and managing partnerships, talent development and HR policies, public procurement and public−private partnerships, data security and data management, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, social media and privacy, wearables and the internet of things and many more relevant subjects on ethics in entrepreneurship and technology.
As the world is rapidly progressing in technology and innovation, there is a heightened risk of declining moral and ethical values, so we believe this journal brings relevant discussions and debates that can provide significant answers. As Albert Einstein eloquently said, “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”