PHI 300 – Section (51)
RESPONCE TO ALBERT CARR’S CLAIM THAT
BUSINESS IS LIKE A GAME
Shamsa Lal Mohammad
Sequence # 30
Professor’s Name: Dr. Sam Eldakak
Date Submitted: March 29, 2014
According to Albert Carr, Business has its own norms and rules that differ from those of that of society. I agree that individual as well as corporations has the personal character of game in business. However, should business rules and everyday life rule be separated? To me business can be allowed to play by its own rules but not be entirely divorced from that of society. Businesses should have the best interest of the company as well as that of society. In an organization, having a player’s attitude is considered to be good for business. A business owner will do anything to keep his business running, even by setting aside everyday life rules. So, Albert Carr’s “business is a game” theory works well in this context, where following business rules where wrong statements, covering up facts, or bluffing is considered ethical in business. According to Carr, some executives are forced, either for their interest or the companies to engage in some kind of dishonesty when dealing with customers, dealers, labor unions, government officials, or even other departments of their companies (Carr, 1968).
From my point of view and experience, business can have its own rule to a certain level, but not completely ignoring moral ethics. True, business is a competition, but I would prefer to do it in a right way, but one can say what is the right way. From personal experience, I have seen executives setting rules they want their employees to strictly follow (e.g. attendance, dress codes, leave policies) but don’t follow rules when instructed by other companies for them (e.g. submission of tender on a particular time, attending meetings, or finish a project on a certain date). So, by doing it the right way, I meant “do unto other as you would have them do unto you”. This Golden rules clearly doesn’t apply in business, as the example I have mentioned above, where executives set up rules for employees to strictly follow, this rule is a rule until it becomes applicable to them, then suddenly the rules changes. Mentioned in Carr’s article of “Is Business Bluffing Ethical?” that some businessmen follow the same ethics in their personal lives, however when they are in their office lives they stop being a private citizen and become a game player who need guidance from a different set of ethical standards. A Midwestern executive made a point by saying “So long as a businessman complies with the laws of the land and avoids telling malicious lies, he’s ethical. If the law as written gives a man a wide-open chance to make a killing, he’d be a fool not to take advantage of it. If he doesn’t, somebody else will. There’s no obligation on him to stop and consider who is going to get hurt. If the law says he can do it, that’s all the justification he needs. There’s nothing unethical about that. It’s just plain business sense” (Carr, 1968). This point personally is a great wrong, because if the business rules permits killing, then that makes killing ethical in business perspective, which again defies morality. What we have learned is that moral standards take priority over any other standards. He also said that the business ethics is like a game which differs from the ethics of religion. He states that the purpose of a game is to defeat the opponent by working within a different set of rules, in which the” business game” are the “laws of the land,” so if the act is legal, then it is moral. However, to prove my point of doing business the right way, I would agree Page 1 of 4
with the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, in which he indicates that the primary objective of business is to make profit by satisfying customers and not by defeating or tricking a customer into buying a product they do not want or need. Those who satisfy the customer will make...
Bibliography: Carr, A. (1968). Is Business Bluffing Ethical? The Magazine.
Kirkpatrick, J. (2002, April 21). A CRITIQUE OF “IS BUSINESS BLUFFING ETHICAL?”.
Shaw, W. (n.d.). Business Ethics. In W. Shaw, Business Ethics (pp. 201,202,203,204). Baxter
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