Emerging Technologies and Ethics: A Race-to-the-Bottom or the Top?

Raul Gouvea, Jonathan D. Linton, Manuel Montoya, Steven T. Walsh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Does national success with an emerging technology require ethical sacrifices? This question is considered through the simultaneous consideration of ethics, investment, and outcomes in the nine jurisdictions that are making the largest investments in nanotechnologies—an important emerging technology. It is found that while ethical environment has no notable effect on pure and applied research, a more positive ethical environment is associated with measures associated with invention and commercialization. In summary, a race-to-the-top supports invention and commercialization of emerging technologies. A critical finding as it suggests that issues such as corruption and regulation could be critical in limiting the extraction of social and economic benefit from emerging technologies (like nanotechnologies).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-567
JournalJournal of business ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Technology entrepreneurship
  • Ethics
  • Economic development
  • Government processes
  • Creative enterprise
  • Regulation
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanoscience


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