Skip to main content
Business is not a Game: The Metaphoric Fallacy
Journal of Business Ethics (2009)
  • Maurice Hamington, Portland State University
Sport and game metaphors are ubiquitous in the culture and language of business. As evocative linguistic devices, such metaphors are morally neutral; however, if they are indicative of a deep structure of understanding that filters experience, then they have the potential to be ethically problematic. This article argues that there exists a danger for those who forget or confuse metaphor with definition: the metaphoric fallacy. Accordingly, business is like a game, but it is not the equivalent of a game. If business is equated to a game, then the potentially negative implications for ethical content and the application of ethical theories are numerous. This article suggests a fresh approach to issues of contemporary business ethics discourse, by attending to the business-as-game metaphor.
Publication Date
June, 2009
Citation Information
Maurice Hamington. "Business is not a Game: The Metaphoric Fallacy" Journal of Business Ethics Vol. 86 Iss. 4 (2009)
Available at: