Ratio Working Paper No. 250: Virtue as Competence in the Entrepreneurial Society

PublikationWorking paper
Dygder, Elina Fergin, Entreprenörskap, Företagandets villkor, Nils Karlson
Ratio Working Paper No. 250
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This paper analyses the relationship between competence and virtue. We argue that virtues should be regarded as a kind of competencies, which are essential in an entrepreneurial society, both for individual development and for the sustainability of such a society. Such competencies, or virtues, are essential not only for entrepreneurial success, but they may also be regarded as the informal norms, the rules of fair conduct, necessary to uphold an open market system. Moreover, to a certain degree virtues are learnt through the practice of entrepreneurship. Due to their importance, though, this may not be enough. Formal education should be complemented with situated learning, reflection and dialogue on moral and ethical issues, particularly in the context of management and entrepreneurial praxis.

Related content: Virtue as a competence in the entrepreneurial society

Nils Karlson, & Elina Fergin, The Ratio institute.

Liknande innehåll

Less from more: China built wind power, but gained little electricity.
Grafström, J.


Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 219.


This chapter investigates Chinese wind power development and concludes that innovation cannot be pushed by the efforts of many, and that when the state clarifies directions and objectives, these can be achieved but with severe and unexpected side effects. Two topics are explored: wind curtailment and low technological development, both examples of unproductive entrepreneurship induced by government policies. The goal of wind power capacity expansion leads to construction (i.e., generation capacity) but little electricity. Examples of failures include low grid connectivity with, some years averaging 15% of generation capacity broken or unconnected to the grid. A key lesson for Europe is that forced innovation often amounts to little and that the old saying holds up: “no plan survives contact with reality.”

The book can be downloaded here.

Rätt att välja. Framtidens vård och omsorg
Karlson, N. & Lundbäck, M.


Publicerat i

Dialogos förlag


Svensk vård och omsorg har väl kända problem med tillgängligheten, väntetiderna, servicenivån och vårdkedjorna. En åldrande befolkning, dyra behandlingar och en förväntad ökad efterfrågan på vård och omsorg förstärker utmaningarna. Därför behövs en breddad diskussion om hur framtidens sjukvård ska finansieras och organiseras.

I boken jämförs vård och omsorgssystemen i Sverige, Nederländerna, Australien och Schweiz, med hjälp av internationella index och fallstudier. En slutsats är att valfrihet och olika typer av försäkringslösningar i regel leder till större tillgänglighet och förbättrar förmågan till institutionellt lärande.

Ratio Working Paper No. 353: From free competition to fair competition on the European internal market
Working paperPublikation
Karlson, N., Herold, T. & Dalbard, K.


Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper


This paper investigates whether an increased use and reinterpretation of what has been called “fair competition” has occurred at the expense of “free competition” among the central institutions of the European Union. We are also interested in assessing how frequently these terms have been used by the various EU institutions over time.

We have empirically examined this through a quantitative survey of more than 12,000 public documents, out of totally 242 000 documents containing 630 million words, in the EUR-lex database over the last 50 years, from 1970 to 2020. Our conclusion is that the emphasis of the common policies in the EU is likely to have shifted from free competition and an open market economy to “fair competition” in the sense of a level playing field, in official EU documents, such as treaties, EU acts institutions, preparatory documents relating to EU directives and recommendations including motions and resolutions, case law and more.

The European Commission has been a driving force in this development, followed closely by the European Parliament and subsequently by the Council of Ministers. This change entails a risk that the regulation of the European internal market has shifted so that the dynamics of the internal market and thus the EU’s competitiveness will weaken. The change also entails a centralization of decisions at EU level at the expense of the Member States.

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