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Gifts versus bribes

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The line between accepting gifts and taking bribes may not always be clear. For instance, if a data processing manager decides to purchase mainframe computers for his or her company, it is unethical or illegal for him or her to accept a percentage of the sales as a gift from the seller. Some data processing managers may accept meal vouchers, sports tickets, and other perks from computer salespersons.
Is accepting such gifts ethical? Does it matter if the manager accepts the gifts but promises nothing in return? Why or why not? Cite sources to support your response.

Support your answers with examples and reasoning.

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Solution Preview

Gifts are items given without expectation of getting something in return. Bribes are the opposite, gifts that are given to encourage something in return. However gifts, like bribes, can lead to an unfair advantage. While getting a small notepad or pen seems like a nonissue, the reality is, these items often give the giver an unfair advantage with the receiver, even if it is ...

Solution Summary

A short review of the difference between accepting gifts and when it becomes a bribe.

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - Impact

1. Why might bribery become a problem for U.S. managers working in foreign countries?
2. What are the major features of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)?
3. Why might the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act create a competitive disadvantage for U.S. firms?
4. Describe the three non-Western traditions that can lead to confusion regarding "gifts" vs. "bribes."
5. What are some suggestions for managers who want to give bribes without violating the FCPA?

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