Moral Obligations to Customers and Competitors: My Questions

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About Baker Wright

Baker Wright, PhD, BCBA is the Director of Clinical Family Services with BMC, Inc., ( a behavior analysis consulting group in Tallahassee, Florida. He also maintains, a website devoted to helping parents solve common childhood behavior challenges.


  1. As we enter the final months towards the 2012 election, you will see this over and over. “Will he win by trashing the opponent or by explaining why he has the best ideas and policies?” Your stomach will turn and you will be frustrated by the predominance of negative campaigning. :
    I just started writing for an online gaming mag (Gaming Insurrection) and with E3 (big time gaming conference) the editor in chief addressed a similar issue. For background sake if you don’t know the main console developers Microsoft (XBox360), Sony (Playstation 3), and Nintendo (Wii) (sometimes called The Big Three) will each deliver their own keynote speeches during the conference.

    My editor in chief has specifically said that when we do our write ups on wht keynotes from The Big Three we are not to set them up as being competitive with each other.

    Yes MS, Sony, and Nintendo are competing in the console market but she doesn’t want our coverage on their keynotes to be setup like that. Why? Because it then goes from the Big 3 showing what they have and being graded on how well they did to talking about who “won” the conference.

    This is a bad idea because that leads down a path where MS, Sony, and Nintendo shift from “I’m going to become the leader in the game industry by concentrating on giving customers the best gaming experience” to “I’m going to become the leader in the game industry by concentrating on being competitors”.

    So yeah I can see how this plays out in elections. Makes you wish the candidates would focus more on giving the voters what they want/need rather than focusing on just getting rid of the competition.

  2. Danny,
    Thanks for your story. I like it and think it speaks well to the overall issue of an effect attacking your competitors can have on your own business. Ultimately, what happens is the target, the goal, changes as you have described here. If the target remains serving your customer to your best ability, you are doing not only what is best for the customer, but what is best for your business, regardless of the competition.


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