Ethics Research Paper. Business Communication


We would like to bring to your attention one of the most debatable topics of ethics. In order to specify the broad direction, we chose the topic of a dispute. This one and other topics can be found on the website

Now, in our turbulent time, it is simply impossible for a person to live without the ability to look after himself or herself, to emerge victorious from a conflict situation, a dispute, to survive in this world. In recent years, it has become clear that anyone who aspires not only to survive but also to succeed in this world must comprehend such a difficult, but necessary science, conflictology, in theory and in practice.

From the point of view of theoretical knowledge, conflictology as a science is only at the very beginning of its development. Therefore, it acts as the art of a dispute, negotiating and conflict resolution.

Conflictology as a nascent science relies primarily on the synthesis of socio-psychological and pedagogical knowledge about laws, principles, rules for resolving conflicts, as well as the methods of their anticipation, so that people participating in them have the least losses for themselves and for others.

Dispute, Its Goals and Approaches

Reading some psychological literature, one can make up an opinion that interpersonal business communication always takes place smoothly and without any problems. However, it is always far from immediately possible option to find complete mutual understanding with a partner, one has to defend one's own opinion and listen to other points of view. It happens that a heart-to-heart talk is quite painful, at least for one of the parties. The main thing is to prevent the escalation of a usual dispute over business issues and its transformation into an interpersonal confrontation.

How many leaders thought, for example, about why not all subordinates allow themselves to argue, defend their point of view? In words, almost all leaders express the desire that their subordinates show great activity and initiative in defending their point of view in the process of business interpersonal communication, but not all of them really want it. It is possible to single out some reasons, in consequence of which subordinates are extremely reluctant to enter into a dispute with leaders:

  • Feeling of your own safety. Subordinates are afraid of getting themselves into trouble. In the course of observing development of events, they often come to the conclusion that people who always agree with their superiors tend to move faster up the career ladder than those who express their own opinions, even clever and worthwhile. They also understand well that their future depends mainly on their immediate supervisor, and, therefore, they have no right to disagree with him or her;
  • Status of differences. Differences in the position occupied by a leader and a subordinate often hamper establishment of successful business and interpersonal relations, especially if such a head constantly emphasizes his or her "top" position and does not allow any interpersonal rapprochement with his or her subordinate;
  • Past experience. After having "rich" past experience of trying to argue with leaders, subordinates begin to experience the sense of worthlessness of any kind of struggle for their own opinion and the belief that any disagreement with authorities can only lead to antagonism on their part and a waste of time on the part of a subordinate;
  • The leader's manner of making decisions. If the view that whatever you say to your leader, he or she will stick with his or her opinion, is formed among subordinates, it is unlikely that someone will risk arguing with such a leader;
  • The reputation of a head. Rarely enough, but such a thing still happens: when a leader has a reputation of being a vindictive person who never forgets anything and does not forgive, it is highly unlikely that any of the subordinates would venture to argue with such a leader.

Synonyms or Not?


Since the art of a dispute is becoming increasingly important for each of us, there is every reason to understand its essence, to compare it with such close terms as "disputation", "discussion" and "polemics".

The word "disputation" comes from the Latin "disputo – to reason". In those situations, when it comes to a disputation, we mean a collective discussion of moral, political, literary, scientific, professional, and other problems, that doesn’t have an unambiguous, generally accepted answer. In the course of a dispute, its participants express different opinions, points of view and assessments of particular events or problems.

The word "discussion" comes from the Latin "discussio – examination, research". We usually mean under a discussion the public consideration of any problems, controversial issues. A discussion is often seen as a method that activates the learning process, studying a complex topic, a problem that is interposed into the context of, for example, a seminar session.

The word "polemics" comes from the Greek "polemikos – hostile, militant". It is not difficult to understand that polemics procedure is also characterized by a dispute procedure, but a dispute leading to confrontation and struggle of fundamentally opposite opinions and approaches to solving certain problems.

It is known that discussions and disputes often lead to a peaceful outcome of events, to a collective search for truth. The aim of a polemic dispute is to defeat the enemy by all means.

However, it should be noted that in a disputation, in a discussion, and in polemics, the dispute arises between its participants, albeit with varying degrees of activity and confrontation. A dispute is, as it were, a characteristic of the process of discussing a problem or issue by two opposing sides. Also, note that the words "dispute" and "discussion" are often used as synonyms.

Practice shows that a discussion can be conducted with a different severity of confrontation. This can be a dispute, a debate or polemics. In any case, for a discussion to proceed, at a minimum, it is necessary to have two different points of view, two different approaches to the solution of a relevant question or problem. Although in reality, as a rule, things are much more complicated. In essence, each of the participants in a discussion often has their own point of view on the solution of a problem.

Speaking of a dispute, it can be defined as a discussion in the form of problem research with the goal of investigation of the truth. We propose the following definition.

A dispute is a characteristic of the process of discussing a problem, a method for its collective investigation, in which each of the parties, arguing (defending) and refuting (opposing) the opinion of an interlocutor (opponent), claims to monopolize the truth.

In the process of a dispute, a certain contradiction appears in an explicit or latent form, which allows us to formulate a problem. In the process of collective conviction, either a problem is resolved, or each of the opposing sides holds on to the same positions.

Options for Discussion

There are seven options for development of a dispute:

  1. Heuristic approach, when one of the parties, not insisting on his or her approach to solving a problem, gradually convinces other interlocutors and participants of the dispute of correctness of his or her point of view using persuasion methods, intuition and common sense;
  2. Logical approach, that is characterized by a rigid logical analysis and reasoning, due to which, following the methods and rules of formal logic, the participants of a discussion come to some final conclusion;
  3. Sophistic approach, in which one of the parties seeks to defeat his or her opponent using any, even logically wrong way, with the help of so-called sophisms;
  4. Authoritarian approach, when one of the parties, relying on authorities or using his or her own authority and often power, imposes his or her point of view on others;
  5. Critical approach, when one of the parties fully focuses only on shortcomings, weaknesses of opponents, does not want and does not seek to see positive elements in the opposite point of view and cannot offer his or her solution;
  6. Demagogic approach, that consists in that one of the parties is in a dispute not for the sake of the truth, but rather to take the discussion away from truth while pursuing his or her own personal goals, often unknown to the parties of a dispute;
  7. Pragmatic approach, that consists in the fact that one or both of the parties are in dispute not only for the sake of truth, but for the sake of their practical, sometimes mercantile goals, that are hidden and unknown to interlocutors.

We will continue examining this topic in the following articles since it cannot be covered at once.

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