Bribery: Business Ethics and Ethical Decision Making

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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. 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...
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