1. What is this text about? What is the main issue or problem raised in this text? (20%)
The article by Carr (1968) offers an analogy which suggests that business has its own set of ethics and
rules which can be likened to a game of poker. The notion that businesses use deception is not a new
concept; rather, it has become widely accepted.
2. How does the author address the problem? (20%)
An example of this is the acceptance of sales puffery and its blurring distinctions from false
advertising. While the latter is governed by law, the former is tolerated – but in practice it may be
difficult to find a clear point of difference between the two. Hence, in this example, if companies
exaggerate in their advertising claims while avoiding blatant lies, their behaviour is not only legal –
according to Carr it is also business-ethical. We may not agree with this as private individuals, but in
business it may be morally acceptable.
3. What is the main conclusion of this text? What recommendations (if any) are offered? (20%)
The author suggests that the burden of maintaining ethics in business is on the government and the
legal system. He also concludes that business is a game of its own and only good players, who
understand its rules, will succeed. He does not suggest that all communications or transactions should
be dishonest and deceptive but only implies that business should not be judged in the same way as
‘public citizens’ or people in their private lives.
4. What are the strengths (if any) of the argument(s) presented in this text? What are its weaknesses
(if any)? Briefly state the reasons behind your evaluation. (20%)
This article offers an explanation of the differences in ethical standards between business and
‘society’. It discusses a variety of examples to highlight how common business practices can end up
being interpreted as ethically wrong. The article’s main weakness is the one-sided consideration of the