To tell the Truth or to Lie in Business Marketing
As children we were always asked to tell the truth no matter the situation but the reality is truth telling can be a very complex. Imagine this example of a four year old who is not old enough to grasp the importance of her school timetable in her first week of school, she showed up for class 20 minutes late having been diverted by a rather splendid game of marbles. Four black jack chews and a sherbet dip were at stake. By the time she walked in the teacher was so fraught that lying seemed to be the best option. Five minutes later she was before the headmistress because her colourful story about helping a blind man find his way home after his old, crippled guide dog had dropped dead outside the playground gates was – surprisingly ‑ not believed. At the end of the day when her mother came to collect her she was hauled in to the head’s office where the child was forced to recount her rather elaborate story before being made to apologise to the grown-ups and promise always to tell the truth. Just as they were about to leave the headmistress reminded her mother that the school day actually finished at 3.30pm and noted that she had arrived five minutes after the bell. My mother was really annoyed; angry with me for telling lies and irritated by the head’s observation on the importance of time-keeping. On seeing the little girl the next day the headmistress asked her what her mother had to say about the previous day’s events. ”she responded brimming with determination to only tell the truth,”she thinks you are an interfering, old busybody.” As you can imagine that evening when the school bell sounded both her mum and her were back in the head’s office. To the child’s utter amazement her mother lied and when they got home that night she was punished for telling the truth! So what is the truth anyways?
“Whatever satisfies the soul is the truth”.
-Walter Whitman (Whitman, No date)
The decision to tell the truth or to lie comes up in our daily private lives as well as in our professional lives. Doctors struggle with how to bad break news to their patients, most teachers will say anything to encourage their students, teenagers may exaggerate facts to fit in a group, they can cheat in exams, some people even get away with not paying taxes, police officers slip. Fortunately, in the courts people are obliged by the law and swear under oaths to tell the truth with the risk of been punished if they do otherwise.Unfortunately, this is not the case in the business environment? Ethics in business may be described as the morals or conscience in which issues where making right or wrong decisions are addressed. Like Mark Twain, an entrepreneur, writer once said, “What is the chief end of man? — to get rich. In what way? — dishonestly if he can; honestly if he must.” (Bizshifts-Trends, 2012) The attainment of money creates responsibilities and power that are not always straightforward and definitive. Nevertheless, sometimes those who are in power do not realize the ethical implications of their decisions and actions. According toAnna Muoio telling the truth in business means many different things: delivering bad news to the boss; giving a negative performance review to a subordinate; disagreeing publicly with a colleague. But most people think it means something else– risking your future. Business Ethics in Marketing
Advertising, Sales, Public Relations, Marketing Communications, Marketing Management, Sales Promotions, Pricing, etc, generally speaking, the Marketing Department is the most observable of all departments in an organisation and marketers are usually perceived by the public as engaging in unethical behaviours. Simply put, the success of a company depends a lot on what the marketing department can offer the business. Although marketers can enjoy the advantages of visibility, they can also face problems especially in companies that may engage in illegal or deceptive...
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