Bribes vs Gifts in Business Management

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“Walking the Fine Line: Distinguishing between tokens of appreciation and bribes” Article Review| |

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In the article “Walking the Fine Line: Distinguishing between tokens of appreciation and bribes” author Marjean Pountain examines gift-giving, bribery and the fine line that separates them in her profession as a Real Estate Management Executive. Real Estate Managers are in a job that requires them to make many decisions and the choice of which vendor to use should not be affected by anything but what is best for the company’s clients. The competition between various vendors should always be based on who can provide the best service at the best price. The vendors can give them “tokens of appreciation” but she stresses that they “…must be careful, that any such gifts we accept are truly "tokens" of appreciation and not bribes for our choice of vendor”(Pountain, 2010, p.10). Many companies have rules and regulations as to what is an acceptable gift but these policies can greatly vary and some do not allow employees to accept gifts at any time. The use of good judgment and disclosing any gifts received to a company supervisor, as well making it clear to the vendor that there can be no "strings attached" to the gift is always necessary. The author also proposes several ways to handle the gift-giving situation within an ethical framework and without hurting anyone’s feelings. According to Pountain (2010, p.10), “Proper professional decorum befitting the standards of ethics we have pledged to will enable us to maintain respect, and thereby can serve as the best gift we can give to ourselves”.

This article gives us an objective look at the issues involved in gift giving from the perspective of a Real Estate Management company. This is not an issue that is confined to just that one industry and is instead something that affects the entire business world. The decisions regarding gift giving must be considered carefully by companies as well as...
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