The Prisoner's Dilemma and the Prisoners of the Prisoner's Dilemma

Business Ethics Quarterly 6 (2):165-178 (1996)
Abstract
The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a popular device used by researchers to analyze such institutions as business and the modem corporation. This popularity is not deserved under a certain condition that is widespread in college education. If we, as management educators, take seriouslyour parts in preparing our students to participate in the institutions of a democratic society, then the Prisoner’s Dilemma-as clever a rhetoricaldevice as it is-is an unacceptable means to that end. By posing certain questions about the prisoners in the Prisoner’s Dilemma, I show that management educators have created a Prisoners Dilemma, whereby they intellectually imprison themselves and their students by continuingto appeal to the Prisoner’s Dilemma. These questions are not encouraged by the advocates of the Prisoner’s Dilemma
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