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Ethics of Persuasion

Persuasion is typically concerned with communication that seeks to influence others. It aims to modify an audience’s beliefs, attitudes, behavior, or values. It is central to much of what goes on within and between organizations and their various stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, and suppliers. For example, an entrepreneur may have to persuade investors to finance their venture, organizational leaders may have to persuade staff to undertake various activities, sales staff try to persuade customers to purchase a product or service, and, of course, most societies are replete with persuasive discourses that are trying to get people to identify with brands, products, or lifestyles. The purposes and forms of all these instances of persuasion potentially involve important ethical questions. Furthermore, since persuasion is typically ...

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