Business and game-playing: The false analogy [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1447-1452 (1997)

Daryl Koehn
DePaul University
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.
Keywords analogy  business  Carr  ethics  games
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005724317399
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,938
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Trustworthiness, Governance, and Wealth Creation.Cam Caldwell & Mark H. Hansen - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 97 (2):173 - 188.
Truthfulness and Business.Lubomira Radoilska - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 79 (1-2):21 - 28.
Allhoff on Business Bluffing.Jukka Varelius - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 65 (2):163-171.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Truthfulness and Business.Lubomira Radoilska - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 79 (1-2):21 - 28.
The Market Ethic: Moral Dilemmas and Microeconomics. [REVIEW]Julianne Nelson - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (4):317 - 320.
Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction.Ken Binmore - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Hume's Theory of Business Ethics Revisited.William Kline - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):163-174.
Business and Games.Peter Heckman - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (12):933 - 938.


Added to PP index

Total views
52 ( #137,716 of 2,319,358 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #335,223 of 2,319,358 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature