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Were Philippe Kahn's Business Tactics Ethical?

1143 words - 5 pages

Introduction
Business ethics focus on what constitutes something being right and wrong. In the world of business, ethical and moral principles are applied by companies and individuals in situations that arise in everyday activities in the workplace. Typically these principles are based on our personal values, and they ultimately determine the end results of our decision making process. We should remember that business ethics is not a different type of ethics, nor one that is solely used in the workplace. The ethical standards we use to guide our decisions in our personal lives should be equally applied to our corporations and workplace activities. With that being said, is it ethical to use the tactics that Philippe Kahn did to generate momentum for his business?
If you were leading the startup of a small, faith-based, nonprofit organization, would you be willing to use tactics similar to what Philippe Kahn used in this case to generate startup capital and momentum?
The scripture is basically an ethics book. There are countless verses that direct us in the way we should go. According to the text, Kahn could not afford to place an ad in the BYTE magazine. To convince the salesmen to extend credit terms, he hired people to rush around and look busy. He also made a fake media chart with BYTE crossed out and made sure they salesmen saw it. These actions got Kahn a spot in the magazine (Scott, Rae, Wong, 2012).
If I were leading the startup of a small, faith-based, nonprofit organization, I would not be willing to use the tactics that Philippe Kahn used in this case. If my actions give me an unfair advantage to my competition than it is unethical. We need to remember that the right choices will not always bring success or immediate success, but bad ethical choices tend to lead to failure eventually. Proverbs 11:1 says, “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” While Kahn did not directly lie amount a balance of money he did deceive the salesperson into thinking he had more employees and business than he really did. Leading a faith based organization means the leader must be different than average managers because they are held to a higher standard and should do the right thing even if does not bring the company immediate profit. Being a Christian businessperson means we must not conform. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Consider how business ethics theories, styles, decision making models, and biblical principles apply as you assess what you should do.
The fact that I would have to ask myself if these tactics are ethical lead me to believe that there is a problem. According to the text, ethical decision making should be carried out in light of, and in service of, the overarching mission and purpose of the company. If deceiving the...

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