The Grass Dilemma – Business Ethics Quiz?

The Grass Dilemma – Business Ethics Quiz?

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 31 Aug 2008, 1:46 PM – 2 Comments

Received this via email from Timo and Raj at Heartwood Studios (originally via Vinay Khandpur in India). I called it “The Grass Dilemma” and it is a quick quiz on Business Ethics

The Grass Dilemma (as posed by Vinay Khandpur)

I am from India and it is considered holy to feed a cow! (I don’t know why and that is not important for us now)

Close to my office, everyday i find a lady selling grass bunches for less than 50 cents each. Interestingly she has her cow tied beside her!

Thus a buyer of grass would feed her cow by default..(It is not that easy otherwise to find a cow close to Bombay Stock Exchange).

I wonder thinking of this business model. Anyways she has to feed her cow, she has not only found someone to feed her cow free, but she is making margins on selling the grass as well!

Irony is that every buyer knows that the cow belongs to her, but they still buy grass from her to feed it !

Translating it in simple terms, the question is what she is doing good business ethics?

My take:

I am looking at what others are thinking on this. Since I do want to take a stand (not hover on the fence) here is what I think:

I think she is a smart business woman. Since the buyer knows that the cow belongs to her there is nothing really wrong with what she is doing. She is keeping everything transparent. If someone has a problem with her business model or tactics, they can avoid getting into a transaction with her.

Thanks Vinay, Timo and Raj for allowing me to post this on Life Beyond Code.


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2 Comments so far, Add Yours

Aurelia Robinson  on September 16th, 2009

The Grass Dilemma- Aurelia Robinson Take

I am picturing the old lady and her cow in my mind. I see maybe a scam artist. I am not sure. The lady is selling grass that grows freely out in the open. People buy the grass to help her,because they feel sorry for her, not that they need any grass. What can you do with picked grass? Now,is she unethical, yes. If the old lady is aware of what she is portraying. The old lady could be exploiting people.It is not so transparent of her full intention.

Don’t be to gullible.

Tawana  on September 16th, 2009

I think the lady has good business since because she has a cow that need to be fead and she also need money to live so, she can eat too. So her business mind is kill two birds with one stone. If people is dum enough to buy grass, they might be dum enough to buy anything she has for sale.

I think this was a good tatic for sells.

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