Though history has it that copying of business models has been a phenomenon in the business arena, it is highly questionable the extent to which such business practices are ethical. In this case, this piece holds the position that it is unethical for Rocket Internet to copy the business models of emerging business entities. The implication is that ethics of business protects the integrity of innovations where the laws of business ethics condemn any attempts to imitate products of a given company (Jones and Frederick 482). On the other hand, laws of business ethics recommend that businesses should show justice in their actions where they should not engage in practices that are not morally upright to their competitors. In the case of Rocket Internet, the company seems to be stealing business ideas from startup businesses around the world and marketing the models as if they are its original ideas. By engaging in such acts, the company denies the small startups from growing and becoming large enterprises that can sell their business models to the international market. Though a major argument on Rocket Internet’s action is that the company is helping small business startups to market their models at the international level, it remains a question of business ethics because most of the international corporations that the world knows today began as small startups and grew into larger businesses. Therefore, Rocket Internet’s actions may be legal but in terms of business ethics, the company is compromising the originally and innovativeness of the small startups because it is Rocket Internet benefiting from the sale of the business models (Thomas 786). Nonetheless, it is unethical to copy business models because it kills or reduces creativity in the business environment (Thomas 786). However, creativity and innovation play a major role in the success of any economy and market since it drives competition. Therefore, ethically speaking, Rocket Internet is unethical with its idea of copying business ideas from the small startups.
Jones, Thomas M., and Frederick H. Gautschi III. "Will the Ethics of Business Change? A Survey of Future Executives." Citation Classics from the Journal of Business Ethics. Springer Netherlands, 2013. 481-504.
Thomas, Kedron. "Intellectual property law and the ethics of imitation in Guatemala." Anthropological Quarterly 85.3 (2012): 785-815.
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