A Brief History of the First Five Years

A Labor of Love

The Journal of Ethics and Entrepreneurship was born in the fall of 2008, after a monumental gift from John and Linda Godbold to the College of Business at Gardner-Webb University provided funding for both a Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship and a journal that would publish research about the intersection of ethics and entrepreneurship. The previous summer, while the gift was being planned, Donald W. Caudill was being considered for a faculty position at GWU, and the Dean of the College of Business, Anthony Negebenebor, the Associate Dean, Van Graham, and the Associate Provost, the late Gayle Bolt Price (who would do the hiring) all felt that Caudill, in addition to serving as Professor of Marketing, would be an excellent choice for editor of the new journal.

In the fall of 2008, when the Godbold gift was announced, Caudill began researching the feasibility of starting a journal. Caudill consulted with the editors of several journals (most published by universities) and researched the costs, pitfalls, and benefits of journal publishing. While Caudill found that there were numerous journals that catered to entrepreneurship and ethics research, there were, however, no existing journals that specifically addressed the intersection of the two disciplines. Indeed, Caudill’s research revealed only one conference (2006) and one special issue of the Journal of Business Venturing (2009) about the convergence of ethics and entrepreneurship research.

Almost immediately after being tasked with editing the JEE, Caudill asked James Littlefield, one of his former doctoral professors from Virginia Tech, to serve as Associate Editor. Because Littlefield was preparing to retire after 28 years at Virginia Tech and 18 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he agreed. Both Caudill and Littlefield decided that the mission of the JEE would be to publish (double-blind, peer reviewed) interdisciplinary scholarly research (conceptual, theoretical, empirical) or teaching cases that connect entrepreneurship and ethics and appeal to both the academic and the practitioner and to offer a forum (non-refereed) for the reflection on contemporary issues related to the ethics/entrepreneurship interface. Most of all, the JEE would be “author”-centered and of high quality (JEE now has an acceptance rate of less than 20 percent). Both Caudill and Littlefield consider editing the JEE a service to the profession and “a labor of love.”

In January 2009, Caudill attended the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) conference and found a receptive audience for the proposed Journal of Ethics & Entrepreneurship. Caudill spent the remainder of 2009 and most of 2010 distributing calls for papers, putting together an editorial review board, reviewing manuscripts and handling the myriad of details involved in publishing a journal.

The inaugural issue (dated Spring 2011) went to press in late 2010. As the JEE celebrates another year of publication, the editors acknowledge that many people (authors, reviewers, readers, GWU administrators and staff, and others) have contributed to the success of the journal, and it is with profound gratitude that they submit this edition.

Amanda Wood Williams

Funding of JEE

e Journal of Ethics & Entrepreneurship (JEE) is funded in its entirety by the John and Linda Godbold College of Business Endowment. is multi-million dollar endowment was created in 2008 at Gardner-Webb University to fund initiatives for education, culture, tradition, faith, scholarship and leadership. Among the projects created was a Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. And one of the projects of the Center was to publish a journal that contained scholarly articles about the connection between business ethics and entrepreneurship. Mr. Godbold, an astute and well-respected entrepreneur, had proven that it was possible to create enterprises that were both extremely profitable and uncompromisingly “ethical” at the same time.