Dishonest salespeople and gossip

6 June 2016

No matter what culture one belongs, common observation shows that women “gossip” while men “talk shop”; women are “bossy” and men are “firm” (Women’s Language, 2005). However, even if common observation shows that women talk more than men, research findings prove otherwise.

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In fact, findings would even show that “men have been shown to talk more than women in settings as diverse as staff meetings, television panel discussions and husband-and-wife pairs in spontaneous conversation” (Women’s Language, 2005). As men tend to talk about “male things” like politics, sports, cars, women talk about the “women things” such as child-rearing, household chores and some personal relationships.

According to Pamela Fishman’s research studies, women are relatively weak in interactive situations because they tend to “exploit questions and answers in order to force a response and keep the conversation going” (Women’s Language, 2005). Therefore, “gossiping” is common and universal. People always love to hear something about the other person who is not on the scene of conversation.

What about dishonest salespeople? (rhetorical question) Are these people more disgusting than those who gossip? Looking at the gravity of damage which one causes more harm?  Looking at the gravity between the results, which causes greater damage? Looking at the gravity of the situation, it seems that gossiping is the most destructive trait here. (parallelism).

But of course, people will not discount the fact that dishonesty in sales is also a bad trait. For one, not all incidents of dishonesty are detected and not all detected cases are reported. Therefore any fraud statistic is an estimate. Nevertheless, the statistics make it clear that dishonesty in salespeople occurs frequently, and no organization is immune (Peterson & Zikmund, 2004). The costs of fraud and dishonesty will continue to rise unless auditors, management, and the general public become more proactive in learning about the types of fraud, the perpetrators and valuable fraud prevention and detection techniques (Bezanis, 2002).

It is important to be able to know the difference between the real and spurious products in order to maintain the good image of that company. Fraud is conventionally defined as “intentional deception, deceitful pretenses, or deliberate trickery to gain an advantage” (Hanlin, 2004). Fraud encompasses an array of irregularities and illegal acts characterized by intentional deception. Every fraud involves three elements: (1) theft act, (2) concealment, and (3) conversion (Albrecht & Albrecht, 2001).

For instance, buyers who get the misfortune of buying fake Gucci bags are able to identify the fake product because of the flimsy hardware, cheap leather and misspelled logos. The fake bags are so like the originals that it is hard to spot them quickly. There are businessmen who are able to copy the smart way. High-end label bags cost around $500 to over $1,000. Anything less than these price ranges are fake. Buyers are also encouraged to read the fine print so that they do not buy those that says, “Designer Inspired.”

The numerous issues which plague the business sector with allegations and prosecution of unethical conduct easily fall under either the definition of fraud or unfair and deceptive practices. Or if the issue does not fit with the two terms, it can fall under unethical business conduct. The unethical conduct is a catchall phrase that includes fraud and unfair practice and other aspects beyond the scope of the two terms. In the same manner, gossip is also an unethical business indulged by people regarding other people.

However, gossip causes hurt. It can hurt people and damage lives. Thus, gossip, depending on the seriousness can be extremely dangerous too. It can damage a person’s reputation and image. In the long run, gossip seems to be more damaging than dishonest salespeople because one can always return a fake product. But the destruction one causes in gossip spreads like wildfire and cannot be restored.

As defined, ethical business conduct is doing something that is not required by law, contract, or other obligation and which is a positive contribution to society. Therefore, a contrary conduct is unethical. This means doing something which is prohibited by law, contract, or other obligation or which has a negative contribution to society. Contribution to society is now part of the definition because ethical business conduct has evolved into what is termed as corporate and social responsibility.

An act of the company has a vast effect on the society as a whole. In the course of human interactions, there are many situations in which it is difficult to make a decision because values come into conflict. It is essential that an individual or an organization engage in values clarification to develop a personal decision-making process that fosters ethical behavior.

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