Do businesses and their employees have an obligation to treat their consumers ethically? More specifically, do salespeople have an ethical obligation to provide their customers with the information they need to make mutually beneficial purchases?
1. After finished reading, you should use the concepts from Ch. 6 to write an essay that critically analyzes “The Ethics of Sales,” by Thomas Carson (Reading 6.1).
3. In your essay, you should pick between the two theories of the ethics of sale put forth by Carson and David Holley, and then explain why the theory you picked is better justified than the alternative.
4. While writing your essay, make sure you address all of the following questions
(a) What is the difference between lying and deception? According to Carson, does withholding information constitute deception? What about concealing information?
(b) What is the principle of caveat emptor? What is merchantability?
(c) Holly writes that salespeople are required to avoid undermining the conditions of acceptable
exchange. What three conditions are necessary for an “acceptable exchange”?
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(d) Assess the three criticisms that Carson makes of Holley’s theory. Do you find them persuasive?
(e) According to Carson, what four duties do salespeople have? Explain how the Golden Rule supports these duties. Is Carson’s interpretation of the Golden Rule the best way of understanding it? In your view, is the Golden Rule a basic principle of ethics?
Explain why or why not. What implications does the Golden Rule have for salespeople?
(f) Do Carson’s duties 1 through 4 provide a more plausible account of the ethics of sales than
Holly’s theory does? Explain why or why not. Do you agree that the actions in examples A, B,
and C are morally wrong?
(g) Carson believes that he makes a strong case for duties 1 through 4, but that reasonable people
can disagree about duties 5 and 6. In your view, do salespeople have duties 5 and 6? In example
D, was Mr. Mokarem morally obligated to do what he did?
• 6 – 6.5 pages, excluding title page and references
• Double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman
• 1” margins
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