Ethics Essay

1322 words - 5 pages

Introduction: One of the great arguments in business has always been whether a certain amount of deception or trickery is an ethical practice

Introduction: One of the great arguments in business has always been whether a certain amount of deception or trickery is an ethical practice. For decades businessmen have perfected some form of business bluffing whether it was to gain an edge against a competitor or to get a promotion. However, simply because everyone else is bluffing, does that make it an ethical practice? Albert Carr has attempted to answer this question in his article, "Is Business Bluffing Ethical"? A "bluff" in business is regarded as one of the most widely accepted business strategies according to Carr. Albert Carr's article states that business is comparable to the game of poker with its own set of rules and ethical standards, and that standards regarding deception do have the same applications in the business world as it does in our personal lives. Carr is of the opinion that you can only truly thrive in the business world if you are guided by ethical standards that are different from society's accepted ethical standards. The ethical business standards that Carr refers to include: price fixing, using industrial espionage to gain advantage over competitors, misleading consumers, deceitful negotiation of union contracts, concealing facts, advertising in a way which makes your product look better than it actually is and increasing profits by using less expensive materials.

The argument Carr makes for bluffing is based on his assumption that business is comparable to some type of game. A game is usually seen as something that is done for fun and being in business is not equivalent to playing a game. Having said that I personally believe that Carr has a strong argument. In business, much like in a game, there are always objectives which you try to achieve. These objectives can be to maximize profits, obtain a promotion, reduce spending and increase their customer base. No matter what the objective is, it is a generally accepted concept that people and businesses are willing and able to do whatever is within the legal limits of the law to reach these objectives.

Situations which require bluffing in the business environment is something that the majority of people will be faced with at some point in time. There are a numerous ways in which a bluff takes place. Conscious misstatements, concealment of facts, or blatant exaggeration are the most common forms of bluffing. Bluffing in business is done mainly to persuade consumers to believe in whatever is being sold, whether it is a product or a service. There are countless examples where individuals have been forced to bluff in business situations. In a commercial for a product for example, a company will generally not provide the public with any known product shortcomings. Instead a company will just let somebody see...

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