Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1447-1452 (1997)
|Abstract||A number of business writers have argued that business is a game and, like a game, possesses its own special rules for acting. While we do not normally tolerate deceit, bluffing is not merely acceptable but also expected within the game of poker. Similarly, lies of omission, overstatements, puffery and bluffs are morally acceptable within business because it, like a game, has a special ethic which permits these normally immoral practices. Although critics of this reasoning have used deontological and utilitarian arguments to show that deceit in business is just an immoral as it is in any other realm of human practice, little attention has been paid to the fact that the argument is one of analogy. The analogical argument for business' special ethic is only as strong as the alleged similarities between business and game-playing. This paper argues that this analogy is quite weak and incapable of either providing much insight into business or of offering a reason to think that the ethics of business are, or even could be, like those of a game.|
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