My intention with this assignment is to take an in-depth look at business bluffing. I want to determine why it takes place and if it is ethical or not. Various people have varying perceptions about business bluffing, my plan is to investigate these different perceptions and to form my own. Definition Bluff: When you deceive someone about something and give them a false impression about it.
Business: Organizations that sell products or provide a service to consumers. Business bluffing: To deceive someone and get them to buy a product or service from the business by providing them with false information. People deceive others for the sake of the organization; most people will do anything so that their organization can benefit from it. Discussion Bluffing in business may be ethical. Bluffing (deceiving) in certain situations may be more acceptable than in others.
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On the other hand, there is a true benefit from a reputation of honesty in business, as well. While it may be true that the closer a businessman comes to the truth, the more respect he deserves, Carr suggests that most bluffing in business may be regarded simply as game strategy. Similar to bluffing in poker, Carr maintains that this business bluffing does not reflect the morality of the buffer. Carr maintains that the ethics of business are game ethics, which differ from the ethics of religion or those of private life. The nature of the business is comparable to poker: while both have a large element of chance, the winner, in the long run, is the individual who plays with steady skill. The ingredients necessary for ultimate victory are the same in both: *Intimate knowledge of the rules *Insight into the psychology of the other players *A bold front *A considerable amount of self-discipline *The ability to respond swiftly and effectively to opportunities provided by chance. Poker has its own special ethics.
In contrast to the cheat, the unethical poker player is one, while abiding by the rules of the game, finds ways to put the other players at an unfair disadvantage. Cunning deception and concealment of one’s strength and intentions are vital in poker. No one thinks worse of poker on that account 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 society. Most businessmen are not indifferent to ethics in their private lives.
Individuals cease to be private citizens in their office lives; rather they become game players who must be guided by a somewhat different set of ethical standards. Business seems to be full of sharp distinctions between its own ethical standards and those of the church. Critics of business are quick to point out actions which they consider unethical, but businessmen know that they are merely playing the business game. Violations of the ethical ideals of society are common in business, but they are not necessarily violations of business principles.
An individual within a company may find it difficult to adjust to the requirements of the business games, especially when he tries to preserve his private ethical standards in situations that call for game strategy. He suffers when he is obliged to carry out company policies that challenge his conception of himself. The major tests of every move in business are legality and profit. A business executive must play to win in order to be a winner. This does not mean that he must be ruthless, harsh, or treacherous.
In fact, an individual’s chances for success, in the long run, will be better if he has a reputation for integrity, honesty, and decency. Whatever the form of the bluff, it is an integral part of the business game. The individual who does not master its techniques is not likely to accumulate much money or power. One of the most famous, or perhaps infamous, cases of business bluffing was the Ford Pinto. The ultimate breach of ethical behavior is to sell a product knowing it to be dangerous or to operate a plant in such a way as to threaten the lives of workers or the community (Anon 2003, 24).
In this case, Ford bluffed to customers about the Pinto’s safety. Ford rushed the pinto into production in 1971 to compete with foreign imports. In doing so, they did not discover that the gas tank could explode if the car was hit from behind until the tooling for the car was underway (Sherefkin 2003). Rather than slow production or spend on expensive retooling, they introduced the car as-is. Their decision was determined by cost-benefit analysis: the exploding tanks could be fixed at a cost of $11 per vehicle, or $137 million over the life of the Pinto.
Estimated deaths and injuries from the gas tank would cost Ford $48 million (Anon 2003). The company sold Pinto’s to unsuspecting customers for eight years before the gas tank problem was brought forth by independent journalists. It is hard to consider ethical a course of argument that considers a human life worth less than an eleven-dollar repair. The Ford Pinto In the Ford Pinto case, the ethical course of action would be to correct the gas tank, and it would have paid off for Ford.
Ford was forced to settle numerous lawsuits as a result of the Pinto, one for $128 million dollars (Sherefkin 2003). Their cost-benefit analysis did not properly consider the value of human life and ended up costing the company a lot of money in addition to damaging its reputation. http://listing-index. eBay. com/cars/Ford_Pinto. HTML Like I said before when a person joins a company, he will put the company first and do anything to make sure the company benefits from it. The company’s goal is to make a profit. Therefore the businessperson is paid to contribute to that company profit.
To not do so, in and of itself, would be unethical behavior since the person was hired explicitly for such contribution (Chryssides and Kaler 1993). For example, assume a businessman must pretend to support a social cause for which he has no interest whatsoever because it is important to a customer. The customer invites him to a fundraiser dinner and talks about the cause on several occasion. The businessman bluffs by pretending to be interested in the cause, but really only play along to secure the customer’s continued business.
Businessmen often tell lies (bluff) in order to keep customers happy and most important of all to keep his company happy. Findings During my research I have found that various people have different perceptions of business bluffing. Some see it be ethical and essential for business success. Others, on the other hand, don’t see it as an option. According to them business bluffing is wrong and it pays to be honest. Personally, I am against business bluffing. I also believe that it pays to be honest.
Take the Ford Pinto incident as an example; if they were honest from the beginning they would have saved themselves a lot of money and their reputation. Do to others what you would like others to do to you. There are a lot of elements in managing a business that can ensure a healthy profit like, efficient purchase management, quality control management, marketing etc. I also found that most people like myself, don’t agree with business bluffing because it includes lies and deceiving people. Because they want to keep their jobs, they eventually participate in business bluffing.
People that bluff in business aren’t necessarily bad people but that is just the way things are done in the business world. People comfort themselves with the fact that business is merely a game and they are just playing the game. It has no connection to their personal life in a single way. They see it as two separate lives. To conclude I state the following: Money makes the world go round… It turns even the most honest people into liars and deceivers. Recommendations Based on my findings I recommend that business people should not take part in business bluffing.
If the company forces you to lie to or deceive people, resign and find a new job. Dishonesty should not be an option. Be honest at all costs no matter what, the truth will always pay because what comes around goes around. Trough being honest in life and in business, one will achieve great success and set a good example for others to follow. If every person follows this little bit of advice, the world will be a better place. References Anon 2003. Profits Before People. Canada & the World Backgrounder; vol. 68, issue 6, May 2003, pp. 24-28.