Managerial Ethics: Moral Management of People and Processes

By Marshall Schminke | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
Interpersonal Manipulation: Its Nature and Moral Limits

Mark A. Seabright Western Oregon University

Dennis J. Moberg Santa Clara University

There is a certain amount of fibbing in promotion; we tell people that a certain service is just about to sell out even though it's half sold; they rush to reserve space. -- Waters, Bird, and Chant ( 1986, p. 377)

Shades of truth are required in negotiating with suppliers. One may offer me a product at $3.50/unit and I tell him I have a promotion and need it at $3.00. After he says okay, I tell him to hold on and then go out to look for a promotion. -- Waters et al. ( 1986, p. 378)

In one plant we visited, an engineer confided to us (obviously because we, as researchers on human relations, were interested in psychological gimmicks!) that he was going to put across a proposed production layout change of his by inserting in it a rather obvious error, which others could then suggest should be corrected. We attended the meeting where this stunt was performed, and superficially it worked. Somebody caught the error, proposed that it be corrected, and our engineer immediately "bought" the suggestion as a very worth while one and made the change. The group then seemed to "buy" his entire layout proposal. -- Lawrence ( 1954, p. 56)

Charlie, the executive vice president, has reluctantly concluded that Lee must be taken out of his position as Director of Engineering. Charlie recognizes that it would demoralize the other managers if he were to

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