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Gift-giving and accusations of bribery

One of your colleagues recalls an incident at a former employer which involved gift-giving and accusations of bribery. Which of the following points of view do you agree with and why?

1. Although giving gifts shows respect in some cultures, bribery has no place in international business operations. Businesses that condone it enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over those that don't.

2. Bribery is used in many countries as a way of cutting through bureaucratic red tape and expediting business deals. One could argue those opponents of bribery in the business context are preaching cultural imperialism. What is your response?

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Please see my explanation below.

The investigation by the International Olympic Committee of Salt Lake City and other venues has shed light on a very dark tradition of international business - bribery of public officials.

From our window on the world in North America, we wonder why any clear thinking businessperson would support the practice. Characteristically, we ignore the history of graft and corruption in our country.

As champions of the free market, it is imperative that we seize the moral and ethical high ground on this issue. Instinctively, we know that, even if some business people do not live up to this high standard, we will approach that ideal and be better for it. Business people of goodwill know that, at the end of the day, corrupt bureaucrats will serve their own ...

Solution Summary

The case of gift-giving and accusations of bribery is discussed in this solution, including opinion regarding which statement the author agrees with.