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Chapter 7-1

PP247 Chapter 7-1: Unit 7 Reading 1

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Craig Beam

Is business Bluffing Ethical? By: Albert Carr The basis of private morality is a respect for truth and the closer a businessman comes to the truth, the more he deserves respect Most bluffing in business might be regarded simply as game strategy much like bluffing in poker, which does not reflect the morality of the bluffer Falsehood ceases to be falsehood when it is understood on all sides that the truth is not expected to be spoken. Henry Taylor The ethics of business are game ethics, different from the ethics of religion Pressure to Deceive By conscious misstatements, concealment of pertinent facts, or exaggeration in short, by bluffing executives seek to persuade others to agree with them Before any executive can make profitable use of the strategy of the bluff, he needs to make sure that in bluffing he will not lose selfrespect or become emotionally disturbed If he is to reconcile personal integrity and high standards of honesty with the practical requirements of business, he must feel that his bluffs are ethically justified The justification rests on the fact that business, as practiced by individuals as well as by corporations, has the impersonal character of a game a game that demands both special strategy and an understanding of its special ethics The Poker Analogy While both have a large element of chance, in the long run, the winner is the man who plays with steady skill Ultimate victory requires intimate knowledge of the rules, insights into the psychology of the other players, a bold front, a considerable amount of selfdiscipline and the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to opportunities provided by chance Poker has its own special set of ethics which is different from the ethical ideals of civilized human relationships The game ignores the claim of friendship and cunning deception and concealment of ones strength and intentions, not kindness and open heartedness, are vital We Dont Make the Laws Most industries can easily be attacked for their (un)ethical business practices If the laws governing their business change, or if public opinion becomes clamorous, they will make the necessary adjustments, but morally, theyve done nothing wrong As long as they comply with the letter of the law, they are within their rights to operate their business as they see fit Violations of the ethical ideals of society are common in business, but they are not necessarily violations of business practices
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