Business Bluffing: A Game of Ethics

Fifteen years from now, you and millions of Americans wake to find that you’re plagued by brain tumors and other cancerous ailments. You also learn that the most likely cause of these tumors is linked to cell phone usage. The news leaks information that cellular providers have been paying large sums of money to hide the adverse health effects of cellphones. This ultimate bluff has horrifying consequences on society’s health and has the potential to destroy the economy. How would it make you feel if this bluff impacted you or your family’s lives? How bad would this make the cellphone industry look? The answer is simple: you would be enraged and cellphone businesses would be sued on a large scale because of their selfish, unethical actions. However, in other scenarios, the answer to whether or not business bluffing is unethical is not as clear-cut. Norman Gillespie and Albert Carr both have differing opinions on the role ethics and playing the “business game “. I concur that it is okay to bluff between businessmen, in order to gain the upper hand, so long as it is done lawfully. On the other hand, it is unethical to lie or withhold crucial information to the general public because the consumer does not have the “game ” knowledge required to discern a business bluff from truth and facts.

To the consumer, bluffing businesses may seem completely unethical yet businesses seem to think it’s more of a strategy like a game of poker. Carr states ” poker’s own brand of ethics is different from the ethical ideals of civilized human relationships and no one should think any worse of the game of business because its standards of right and wrong differ from the prevailing traditions of morality in our society. ” If in poker you decide to tell the truth, you put yourself at a disadvantage and lose, bringing yourself closer to bankruptcy. Like business, you cannot be honest because other’s in business bluff for their greater success.

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