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Is Business Bluffing Ethical?

Uploaded by irish_hoosier on Oct 05, 2005

Albert Carr stated that legality and profits are the only standard that people in business should follow. In Carr’s article “Is business bluffing ethical?” he compared and found the rules of business to be similar with the rules of poker. 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. Therefore, I am going to use Mill’s Utilitarianism, and Kant’s ethical theory to support Carr. I will also use the stakeholder theory to view business bluffing.
Since bluffing is often mistaken for cheating, the difference between them should first be made clear. Bluffing, according to Carr, is not entirely cheating but not entirely telling the truth either. It is usually just an exaggeration of a true fact.
In his theory of Utilitarianism, Mill argues that if an action can cause both good and bad consequences, the way to judge whether this action is morally right or wrong depends on which action produces more happiness. In addition, Mill also advocates producing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Applying this theory in business, bluffing can also cause two consequences, bringing more profits to the business or creating mistrust among its customers. It is not hard to measure which consequence produces more happiness for people. Just check any company’s business plan and one can see that all they want to do is increase profits, not be honest. In the short run bluffing in business promotes sales for firms and increases profits. In the long run, people tend not to believe everything a businessman says. They take everything they say with a grain of salt. In other words, if a businessman says his product is the best, consumers tend to believe that it may be average or even close to the best but not necessarily the best. Therefore unless the businessman totally cheated and lied to them about his or her product, they keep buying this product.
Products without bluffing are hard to...

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Uploaded by:   irish_hoosier

Date:   10/05/2005

Category:   Business and Economics

Length:   7 pages (1,596 words)

Views:   5031

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