David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 3 (1):21 - 28 (1984)
The integrity of corporate product advocates (advertisers and salespersons) is questionable for the same reason the integrity of lawyers is questionable. In both cases the requirements of a professional role inevitably lead to forms of deception. However, the integrity of lawyers has been taken to be a more serious issue than the integrity of product advocates. I consider why this is so, and I conclude that we should pay more attention to the integrity issue in the corporate case. In addition, I consider a parallel set of arguments that purport to justify a lack of integrity among product advocates and lawyers respectively. According to these arguments, a great social good is obtained from the institutions, corporate and legal, of which these persons are essential participants. Against these arguments, I emphasize the overriding importance of integrity, both within institutions and in society at large.
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