Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Stevens, Nicholas. "Online Trust & Internet Entrepreneurs: A Kantian Approach." Wharton Research Scholars Journal. University of Pennsylvania. April 2010.


Being a successful entrepreneur often requires long hours. Competing on the internet adds the intense “hypercompetitive” nature of this fast paced environment. As a result of all these time pressures, most online entrepreneurs are not giving important ethical decisions their adequate consideration as they release new products and services. Additionally, the academic entrepreneurship literature does not provide any reference for these entrepreneurs to actively ensure they are acting responsibly as they innovate. The paper attempts to fill in this hole by answering answer the question “What constitutes responsible behavior for internet entrepreneurs?” Employing lessons from Immanuel Kant and John Rawls, we have come up with an internet model of online behavior based on respectfulness, transparency and universalizability. Ultimately this model is used to update the FCC’s Information Practice Principles with select additions to help guide internet entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Privacy, Internet, Online Business, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Federal Communication Commission



Date Posted: 02 September 2010


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