What constitutes ethical practice when it comes to writing a resume or disclosing information in a job interview? What about negotiating business deals? After all, that would be tantamount to encouraging them to lie! But, in that is exactly what Albert Carr seemed to do in his article by asking the question: Is Business Bluffing Ethical?
|Published (Last):||23 July 2011|
|PDF File Size:||7.15 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||5.34 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
What constitutes ethical practice when it comes to writing a resume or disclosing information in a job interview? What about negotiating business deals? After all, that would be tantamount to encouraging them to lie!
But, in that is exactly what Albert Carr seemed to do in his article by asking the question: Is Business Bluffing Ethical? The analogy he uses is the game of poker.
Many of you perhaps are familiar with poker and perhaps have even played in some of the online sites or with friends. Of course, there are rules to the game and certain things constitute cheating. If I am holding a pair of threes and you have a full house it is perfectly acceptable for me to bluff you out of your better hand and take the winnings.
Similarly, there are cases, according to Carr, where bluffing is acceptable in the business world. His argument for this seems to rest on the presumption that the business world is, in some sense, fundamentally different than the world of private morality. The argument Carr makes seems to rest on two points.
First, there is a strong pressure to deceive in business. Consider the example he cites about an applicant filling out a psychological profile. Sure, this is a small example but it does illustrate that the pressure to deceive enters the business world from the very start. If one wishes to be successful in the world of business, or in this case even enter the business world, one has little choice but to deceive.
Or as Carr more politely puts it, bluff. A second point is that business in general only has the obligation to follow the law. There is no good reason for any business to go beyond the law or to consider what might be ethical if it demands doing more than the law requires. So, in a sense, he is equating, for the purpose of the business world, law and ethics. The two points seem to go hand in hand. Given the competitive nature of business like the competitive nature of poker there is a strong pressure to only follow the law.
After all, you can be sure that your competition will do this and nothing more so if you decide to run your business by extra-legal moral principles you will suffer as a result.
Not only is this the case, but also everyone expects that you will only follow the law. As an extreme case in point remember the Italian Tax case. There, it was expected that everyone would bluff on their taxes. Look at all the trouble that was caused when someone actually told the truth! But then what explains all the talk about ethics in business? According to Carr this is partly good PR and prudent.
After all, no one wants to deal with a business that talks about bluffing. But also, talk about business ethics and codes of ethics might just protect a business from government regulators. If you talk a good game of ethics today you might save yourself from more intrusive laws and regulations tomorrow. You might think that business people would have loved Carr. After all, he seems to be giving them a license to behave just as they please.
Perhaps you can guess why. Here he is giving away their cover! But the strategy of bluffing is less effective the more it becomes known that you are bluffing or intending to do so.
Also, once you equate ethical behavior with following the law you send a signal that if businesses need ethical improvement that means there needs to be more law and regulation of business. But, that is the exact opposite of what businesses want.
The central point of criticism which Norman Gillespie raises in his article is that the business world is not, as Carr seems to think, fundamentally different from the rest of our lives.
So, the claim that business ethics must be different to accommodate this is unjustified. To call it a game is to trivialize what really amounts to the method people use to make a living. In other words, the analogy Albert Carr makes between business and poker is weak. You cannot say that because bluffing occurs in the business world it should occur. Carr seems to take as his starting point a catch That is, if everyone in the business world is bluffing then the only rational strategy for me is to bluff.
Gillespie specifically outlines three of these cases. The cost of telling the truth in this case is too high so we are not obliged to tell the truth.
Of course, we do need to address what counts as too high of a cost but this is an issue that has been addressed in standard ethical theory. One good example is W. This may sound identical to the first case but the difference is that in the first case the cost involved is to a moral principle such as the principle of truth telling and in this case the cost is to the individual.
The example Gillespie gives is instructive. After all, it would be ineffective. Ideally your duty is not dictated by what others are doing but the simple fact is that if doing your duty puts you in danger and would be wholly ineffective there is a good case to be made on practical grounds for you not being bound by your duty. Instead, he argues that the principles governing our ordinary life also govern the business world. This raises an important point regarding business ethics in general.
So much of the discussion of issues in the business world relates to how things are. Yes, people lie, cheat, and steal. The question is whether this is justified. Should they lie, cheat, and steal? What makes business ethics so difficult for many people is to recognize that what we are trying to do here is get some clarity about how the business world ought to function.
Some things might be fine as they are. Others need to be changed because changing them would make things better for everyone involved. And, what is not a trivial reason, because changing them is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint.
Proudly powered by Weebly.
Albert Carr: “Is Business Bluffing Ethical?”
He simply noticed that folks in business often seem to operate under one set of moral principles at home and another in the business world. The business world appears, on the whole, much less moral than the world of home and church. His proof is largely anecdotal rather than logical. He gives stories illustrating his points but does not try to attain philosophical consistency of argument. He writes:. Business is our main area of competition, and it has been radicalized into a game of strategy. The basic rules of the game have been set by the government, which attempts to detect and punish business frauds.
Albert Carr and Business Bluffing Essay
Filed Under: Business plans Tagged With: business ethics 4 pages, words Albert Carr stated that legality and profits are the only standard that people in business should follow. In Carrs article Is business bluffing ethical? In a game of poker, bluffing is a central part of the game and this is known and accepted by all the players. So bluffing in poker is not considered morally wrong. If in business everyone understands that bluffing is okay, should we still consider bluffing immoral? As a matter of fact, Carr also pointed out the moral rules in business are different with those outside of business. Most people think that bluffing both inside and outside of business should be ruled by the same moral standard.
Is Business Bluffing Ethical?
Home Essays Albert Carr and Business He simply noticed that folks in business often seem to operate under one set of moral principles at home and another in the business world. The business world appears, on the whole, much less moral than the world of home and church. Our customs encourage a high degree of aggression in individuals striving for success.