Bribery: Business Ethics and Ethical Decision Making

Misty Baker Business Ethics Issue Bribing In today’s Business World There are a million ethical issues in today’s businesses and unfortunately there is no perfect decision measurement for all these issues. Ethical decision making can involve a number of determining factors. These factors can include; distinguishing between what is unethical as opposed to illegal, by finding important facts, and identifying the ethical issues involved. Making decisions whether on a micro or macro scale almost always involves ethical implications for how people are affected.

In the large world of business money or gifts are exchanged to alter the behavior of the recipient. Money or gift giving allows the person to receive information that may not be made available to others or could even be used to keep someone quiet. Bribery in some geographical areas isn’t even considered a business or moral issue it’s considered the cost of doing business. While in other area’s bribery is considered against the law and carries various types of punishments. In principle, at least, bribery is an ethical no-brainer.

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There really is no pro-bribery point of view. Some may argue that it’s a necessary evil, something that companies are forced into by practical considerations in some countries. But that’s at least nominally different from thinking that bribery is ethically ok. Bribery involves inducing someone to violate a duty of loyal service, and it diverts resources that ought to go to more legitimate ends. (Ethics World) And besides, bribery is a zero-sum game, which means that by definition the business community as a whole cannot win.

There are two kinds of situations in which bribery seems truly necessary, and neither of them reflects well on the businesses involved. One is when you’re operating in a context where bribery truly is endemic, and you need to engage in bribery just to keep up. The number of places where that’s true is likely exaggerated. And besides, that need is a lousy excuse, frankly, and any self-respecting businessperson should think seriously about why they want to do business at all in such places.

The other situation, of course, in which bribery seems like a true business necessity is one in which you simply aren’t good enough at what you do to compete effectively without doing things you know to be wrong. The one thing about bribery is trying to decide if it really is bribery or just doing business. Wal-Mart in Mexico was caught trying to bribe government officials for building permits. (Thau) When people who shop at Wal-Mart had heard about this they’re out on the store they had been shopping at for so long changed.

Most businesses these days don’t take into consideration just how bad bribery makes them look. People these days want to do business with people that they feel they can trust not someone who would do anything they can to get their way. I feel that for bribery to come to an end businesses need to start doing business in a smarter more honest way. To do this if they can’t get one contract without having to do something for the company than they could look into another business for the same type of contract.

Another way to make sure that no one in the business tries to engage in any kind of bribery act is coming up with some kind of rules and regulations on bribery, for everyone within the company to follow. This allows everyone to know that bribery will not be tolerated within the company. (Excellence) Works Cited Ethics World. Janruary 2013. 2013. Excellence, RMS Operational. Anti-Bribery & Corruption Statement. 2013. Thau, Barbara. “Walmart Bribery Scandal: How Ethical Are the Stores You Shop. ” 26 April 2012. Daily Finance. 15 January 2013.

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Bribery: Business Ethics and Ethical Decision Making. (2016, Nov 13). Retrieved from