Truth telling: Marketing and Disclosure of Information

I disagree with Carr’s argument that business is like a poker. A poker is allowed to cheat in the game. Business is a competition where one can use all means to win over others. I will argue that business should not be considered as a game. Telling the truth is necessary in business. Carr argues that a businessman can earn respect by telling the truth. However, he says that bluffing can be regarded as a game strategy. It is like in poker and does not reflect on the morality of the bluffer. He argues that Henry Taylor suggest that falsehood ceases to be falsehood when it is understood on all sides that the truth is not expected to be spoken. I disagree with this statement and falsehood can never be right in any way. I argue that truth telling is ethical even in business.

Carr in also argues that it is not unethical or immoral to abide by the current rules of business. The rules are determined partly by what is done in business and partly by legal statutes governing business activities. The current rule of the business is involved in lying. I disagree that this is seen as unethical. When determining what is unethical other factors in the society should be considered.  It should not be confined only in what is done in business and legal statutes (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie).

I disagree with the idea of play to win. Doing things that other businessmen are doing so as to fit in the game is unethical. Saying that occasional bluffing is right is not ethical. I disagree with any form of bluffing, either occasional or regular. I argue that a lie is a lie whether done regularly or occasionally (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie). A business can be unique when truth is being told and this can even attract more customers than when a lie is told.  It is argued that telling the truth is risky and can help the business have its reputation. I argue that reputation can be earned even when telling the truth.

In my arguments, I believe that telling the truth is honorary. It is a bad picture when even little children know that a successful business is based on lies. Telling lies just because other people in business are telling is not a good idea. This can be dangerous to customers in case of products that are edible. For instance, a salesman can lie about the ingredients and when the customer consume the products which has an ingredient which he is allergic of, it will cause health problems. It is not right the way Carr argues that business is like poking. In poking, the rule of the game is to bluff in order to emerge a winner (Carr). Even though there is competition, it is good to know that the business does not only benefit the owner by making a lot of money. The community is also a stakeholder. If the products sold destroy the life of a client, then there is no need to be in business. Chemicals or food products may cause harm in people’s lives in the name of a lie. When a food product has expired, the salesman should let the customer know rather than telling a lie so that not to incur losses. Destroying the lives of consumers is not right and at the same time the business may lose even more customer. Telling the truth could save the lives of people as well as the business. For instance, Dow Company lost a great deal when the accident of Bhopal chemical took place.  The fake spokesman made the company lose a stock of two billion dollars. This is just because of a lie. A lie can make a company lose money as well as loyal customer. Even when Dow is accepting the responsibility, and is ready to compensate the people engaged in the accident, this cannot correct all the lies. A business is not a game. It is a respectable institution that should be responsible of all the actions that take place. In this argument I conclude that truth telling should be part of a business. Even amidst competition in the market, a business should remain truthful at all times (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie).

The current rule of business is bluffing. Carr argues that it is not unethical to abide to such rules. I disagree with this idea. This is justifying a lie which is unethical. In most cases, people are attracted and persuaded by lies. Lies are attractive to listen. People tend to respond to lies even they know about them. In an advert, marketing team will look at the words of lies that attract the consumers. These lies however can lead to more damage. The Enron case is an example of business that suffered from it actions.  Enron Corporation is an American energy company based in Houston. Enron was founded by Kenneth Lay in 1985. Jeffrey Killing was hired years later and developed a staff of executives. The executives used accounting loopholes, special purpose entities and poor financial reporting. This enabled them to hide billions of dollars even when they failed in their deals and projects.  The auditors were also hiding the matter and wanted the issues to be ignored. Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Investigations were done and many executives were charged and sentenced to prison. The Enron Auditor Arthur Andersen was found guilty in United States District Court. The company lost its customers and even ceased to operate. This is how les in the business can have negative effects. Lying and engaging in deals that are not worthy can lead to problems in the business (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie).

I disagree with the argument of playing to win. In a business, winning is appropriate when done in a respectable manner. Engaging in corrupt deals so as to become the winner is unethical. The executives should ensure that the culture of the organization is based on truth.  One of the qualities of a successful Chief Executive Officer is credibility. In communicating, the CEO should ensure that what he is saying is the objective truth. This increases their credibility. This credibility can be maintained by telling the truth one hundred percent of the time. Telling a lie one instance in order to win a favorable business deal can lead to loss of credibility and the company at large. Have a truthful Chief Executive Officer will lead to the rest members if the organization to be truthful. This will make the business to be unique and have loyal customers. When Chief Executive Officers think of a business as a game, they can do any bad thing to win the game. They do not care about the stakeholders. Their aim will be to make profits even in illegal ways. They want to be listed in the top companies that are doing well financially. This in the long run can lead to the downfall of the company. Carr admits that playing to will can also be done by ensuring integrity, honesty and decency. However, he says that time to time a businessman can be like a poker. This way, the person can be offered a choice between loss and bluffing within the legal rules of the game. He continues to say that if a business man wants to rise in the company he needs to bluff and bluff hard.  I disagree with this because bluffing can lead to losses such as those experienced by Enron Company. Therefore, it is always necessary to tell the truth in a business (Arnold, Beauchamp & Bowie).

In conclusion, there are different beliefs concerning bluffing in business. Some people think that bluffing is normal in business and aims at attracting customers and winning favorable deals and contracts. Business is viewed as a poker game where one can cheat in order to win. I disagree with these arguments. Bluffing is unethical and businesses should not engage in it. Lying can do more harm than good. It can lead to bankruptcy and losing money in other ways. This also creates a bad image if the organization that lead to lose of customers. Telling the truth on the other hand makes the business to be respectable. The executive will ensure the culture of truth is adapted and as a result win a larger market share. When people know that they are dealing with genuine business owners, they will be attracted to it. They remain loyal to the business.

Works cited

Arnold , Denis, Beauchamp, Tom & Bowie, Norman. Ethical Theory and Business, Ninth Edition. New Jersey: Pearson. 2013. Print

Carr, Albert. From Is Business Bluffing Ethical? Harvard Business Review 46, Jan-Feb, 1968,       pp.143-153