1. What is the ethical dilemma in this situation?
Here, the ethical dilemma is one of BRIBERY vs. GIFT.
Since I would, hypothetically, be in charge of purchasing from an office vendor that costs $100,000. per year and that vendor has recently gone up on their prices, then offers a gift of $300.00 to the company, I have to consider if the gift is actually a bribe.
Because this vendor has been doing business with my company for five (5) years for about $100,000. per year, it is not going to want to let that kind of profit go without trying various types of human relations measures and or tricks.
Considering that my company has no policies in place to help me decide what's best in a situation like this one, and this vendor has never sent a gift basket before, the specific verbiage of the note accompanying the gift basket has to be taken into account. Here, the vendor stated in the note, "we hope you and your family enjoy the gift".
So, it appears that the vendor is appealing directly to me in order to maintain their business arrangement with the company I work for here by bribing me with a gift basket for me and my family. An act like this speaks volumes about the vendor.
2. Do you accept the holiday basket OR, send it back? Why or why not?
Here, I would not accept the holiday basket.
I could not accept because the day before the basket arrived , I told the CFO I would not be using Simply Supplies after the first of the year because of their rising product costs. So, since the food basket is a bribe from the vendor to keep their account with my company and I had already contemplated letting them go, I would not accept their bribe.
Therefore, based on my sense of "right and wrong" and Narvan's maxim that one must appeal to their own sense of what is appropriate corporate behavior when their are no corporate guide lines, my sense of right and wrong here is the deciding factor.
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