Abstract

This study deals with the relationships between entrepreneurs’ perception of whether the economic reward system produces fair and equitable merit-related outcomes and the likelihood of their firms engaging in opportunity-seeking entrepreneurship vs. rent-seeking entrepreneurship vs. destructive entrepreneurship. We develop theoretical arguments dealing with the influence that distributive justice perceptions held by these key decision makers have on these firm-level entrepreneurial behaviors. The extent to which they perceive the rule of law as inadequate in motivating ethical firm behavior is expected to influence their distributive justice perceptions. These perceptions are subsequently hypothesized to be antecedents to a variety of behaviors undertaken by the entrepreneurs’ firms. Our study delineates between three types of behaviors entrepreneurial firms can undertake -- opportunity-seeking, rent-seeking, and destructive. Opportunity-seeking behaviors of interest include offering new products or services, entering new geographic markets, and improving processes or technologies. Rent-seeking behaviors include legal and political activities. We also investigate the likelihood for firms to engage in destructive entrepreneurship (i.e., illegal corrupt transactions).

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