“Down and Dirty” Use and abuse of risk management !

In the article “Down and Dirty” Leiss.W surprises me how down and dirty our society can be when comes to terms of negotiating either for profit or power. Interestingly the readings started of with an example most of us love, a game of poker. Who would not agree risk management would be best described by a game of poker. 

Risk and bluff are something we associate together. In the article Leiss relates bluff is something acceptable not because it is good but it is acceptable to people in a game in poker because it is part of the game mechanics  Similarly during the process of negotiation  bluffing is part of the mechanics as risk is involved which i believe many of us do not agree as its not ethical. 

Leiss brought up an example of how environmentalist “bluff” their way into a new world. They make assumptions of chemicals not fully tested and claimed they are harmful as they affects human life. These methods of re-evaluation of prior research is essential to the scientific enterprise but it is considered dirty business of risk controversies, generation public fear based on provisional research findings and all these are just part of the game.


5 comments so far

  1. durianshells on

    I like the author’s use of the game of poker’s metaphor as well. The fact is that in a world of capitalism, everything is about profits and power nowadays. An example in my opinion would be that of the tabacco companies case. Jeffery Wigand, the whistle blower had a vicious campaign against him by the industry players who knew about the health issues but have kept them from the public. Even the government was involved, Wigand was under a temporary restraining order from a Kentucky state judge not to speak of his experiences at Brown & Williamson (B&W).

  2. slky87 on

    I share the same sentiment with durianshells. The world of capitalism is controlled by the rich and powerful people. They can bluff or rather conceal the facts by money or authority like what durainshells had highlighted.The game of poker analogy written by the author is interesting and effectively convey his ideology. The media is controlled by these groups of people to create a new world known as ‘Poker’.

  3. orube90 on

    I think ‘bluffing’ is ethical to a certain extent, it would not be considered a ‘bluff’ when information is deliberately left out from the negotiation. ‘Bluffing’ is only unethical when the person is tricked from buying or agreeing to something that deviates from the initial ‘product’, like scamming.

    In negotiation we are taught to keep quiet about the bad stuffs and expand on the good stuffs, if there are no questions raised, even better. In the business world, there is no such thing as all is equal, the one who is able to take risk and ‘bluff’ their way (ethically of course) is often the ‘winner’ Those that are unable to catch up or smarten up when suffer great losses.

    Take sales for example, when customer do not ask for a discount, we would just sell them at the current price. As long as the customer do not ask for it, we would not give discounts to them at all. It is unwise and not profitable if we give discounts to every customers, we would be at the losing end instead.

    For risk management, I think it would be unwise to ‘bluff’ and withhold information when lives are at stakes. Information must be disseminate quickly to the public or panic and chaos would ensue.

    Looking at the SARS outbreak in Singapore, I think our government handled it quite well. We were informed of the virus, how it would spread, and what precaution we have to take while going out. We were also informed about the symptoms and were advised to seek help from hospitals immediately if we suspect that we have contracted it.

    I still can recall the SARS outbreak vividly, we had to buy masks and put it on while going out. If possible, we should not go out unnecessarily until the virus could be cured and contained. The Singapore Government also enforced compulsory quarantine of any infected person. I believe that it was handled quite well as I did not feel any sense of panic at all as there was no withhold of any information by the government.

  4. janisuhoshi on

    Interesting reading that uses game of poker to discuss an issue that is very real and is happening around us all the time. Life is a game, isn’t it? We are play by a certain set of rules in life, and at times, we have to bluff to advance, bluff to attain our means, bluff to avoid blames, bluff to look good.

    In the reading, Leiss spoke about how environmentalist resort to ‘lies’ to garner support for environment issues. To what extent is this ethical? If lying can help improve a problematic issues, would you still regard the bluff as unethical? Is a little exaggeration about the seriousness of an issue wrong?

    “White lies are well-meaning and innocuous. When we tell them, we feel justified or excused—a subtle moment of dishonesty that promotes a better, kinder world. But not all little lies are white. Some are green.” – Jeff Bennett (2011)

    So what are the “green lies”? According to Vol. 29 PERC Report, these “green lies” are lies about environmental issues and they can be very misleading, creating a false perception of the risk (Bennett, 2011).

    I feel the communicators who are communicating something for a good cause should not simply resort to white lies. Those such lies are easy, it can be “counterproductive for the environment and society as a whole” (Bennett, 2011). When the lies are exposed, it may damage the reputation of the organisation and even lose the trust from their stakeholders. Lies can confuse the public who receives a barrage of information every day.

    Honesty (and transparency) is still the best measure in effective risk communication.

    Bennett, J. (2011). Little green lies. PERC Report: Volume 29, No.3, Fall 2011. Property and Environment Research Center.

  5. tarrycher on

    This is my personal view on the topic, I am thinking that why in the first place, people with power such as the stakeholders try to abuse the public trust and take advantage if it? However, if they can put themselves in the shoes of the society and change their view point and think as part of the society, they will come to understand that they will be affected by the decisions they had made. Furthermore, they have to understand that if they are to lose the public trust, it will take a very long time to gain it back as trust requires a period of time.

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