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Is it a conflict of interest ... ? I have a question about the following essay. I cannot understand why the writer uses the phrase "conflict of interest." Would you explain it? Singapore recently got its inaugural Michelin Guide. In a country of foodies who get into intense debates about where the best chicken rice is, everyone had an opinion. Why was this restaurant left out? How could they miss out on dishes like char kway teow and laksa? Did the Michelin inspectors visit only one or two food centres? Is it a conflict of interest that the guide is partnering Resorts World Sentosa, where as many as four restaurants were awarded Michelin stars?
Oct 18, 2016 2:04 PM
Answers · 4
Suppose a store sells vacuum cleaners of brands X, and Y. Suppose a salesperson receives money from company X whenever he sells a brand X vacuum cleaner. Suppose that X can clean pet hair, but that Y can clean pet hair much better than X. You walk into the store and ask "We have a dog that sheds a lot of hair. What's the best vacuum cleaner for us?" The salesperson has a conflict of interest. He has an interest in you being happy with your purchase and coming back to buy more things from the store. Selling you brand Y would serve that interest. But he will get money from the manufacturer for selling you brand X. Selling you brand X will serve his own self interest. These interests conflict with each other. The writer hints that the Michelin guide put the Resorts World Sentosa restaurants in their guide and gave them better reviews than they deserved, because they are in a business partnership with Resorts World Sentosa.
October 18, 2016
A conflict of interest usually has to do with somebody's need to do a job vs. their need to be nice to people who have money. The Michelin guide has a job rating the best restaurants, but they also need money to do it. To make money they partnered with Resorts World Sentosa, but they also have to rate restaurants there. So there is a conflict between their need to keep a good relationship with Resorts World Sentosa and their need to provide honest restaurant ratings.
October 18, 2016
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Japanese, Korean
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese