Bribery Essay

Bribery And Corruption Essay

The existence of bribery and unethical behavior is rampant in the world market and may not change overnight. The question of bribery has been distilled in business literature as a question of ethics. In this situation at the airport with the customs officer, it is important to distinguish between business ethics and personal ethics. In a business ethics situation, the Foreign Corruption Practices Act would prohibit offering any bribe to the custom office – for example to free a shipment of goods that was lost in red tape (Pitman & Sanford, 2006). Most companies also have policies against bribery as well. In this situation, however the main issue at hand is that of personal ethics. When in a situation where your company is unknown and there is no business being conducted, normal business ethics and laws (including FCPA) do not apply only personal ethical standards.
In West Africa, bribery is socially accepted. In a situation such as this, it is also expedient. If we consider fundamental negotiating theory, the customs officer has nearly all of the bargaining power because the power associated with being “right” does not exist, according to the prevailing norms of that country. Combined with the time constraint under which you are operating, you have no real bargaining power in this negotiation. In the absence of applicable laws, the moral imperative is defined only by one’s own personal ethical standards. If one deems it worthwhile to miss the airplane on principle, then that is an option. However, this has consequences in that you miss the plane but you should also do nothing to prevent future incidents of bribery. The bribery stems from ineffective, likely bankrupt government, which means passport control officers are paid next to nothing, becoming essentially private contractors rather than the comfortably-paid public servants we associated with the role of the West.
Given that you have ceded all hint of bargaining power by telling the officer about your immediate departure, and that a moral stand on your part will do nothing to ease corruption in the country, the best course of action is the one that will minimize the damage. Fifty dollars is far too much to pay for such a bribe. The going rate for a bribe of a border guard in the developing countries is typically measured in five or ten dollars, maybe twenty dollars, and this guard is simply taking a home run swing since you are clearly naïve. There is no need to increase the going rate. Produce a few dollars and get your passport back. Being morally right by Western standards may make you feel as though you have made a difference, but your stand has not made a difference and you will have missed your plane and put yourself through considerable expense and discomfort for nothing. The time reflect on the morals of a situation is either before the trip (in which case you would have arrived much earlier and been prepared to wait a few hours for your stamp) or relaxing at home with your...

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In general terms, bribery means exchange of cash, material or goods in return of a favour that is otherwise impossible or hard to attain. However much we say that we are against bribery, against giving or taking any kind of bribe, deep down we all know that we are either accepting or offering bribe in a way or the other.

It is nearly impossible to find a person who has neither given nor accepted any kind of bribe in his entire lifetime. If you want your kid to get admitted in a better school, you offer bribe, if you want a seat allotted in a train, you offer bribe, if you want to get rid of the crimes you have committed, you offer bribes; as a matter of fact, there is no area in life where you do not offer bribes.

In fact you even bribe your child with a chocolate or two to get the work done. Bribery thus starts from the household itself. When a child will see his or her parents offering bribe, what outcome do you expect. The most important reason for corruption especially in India is the never-ending chain of bribes that are offered and accepted throughout the country.

All we talk about is equality of all the citizens, allowing equal opportunity to one and all in matters of education and employment and the like. But this equality is impossible to achieve especially where an individual takes away the opportunity of another individual just to fulfil his own self- interest. You are obviously taking away the seat of a deserving individual when you offer huge sums of money to get an admission in your favourite Medical College. It is the government of a country which can make or break this bribery system.

But in a country like India where bribery is the major source of income of most of the government officials and public servants, we cannot expect the government itself to do away with this corrupt practice. But the citizens cannot complain that the government and government officials are involved in the corrupt practice of bribery because it is the citizens who offer bribe to these public servants. If the citizens themselves stop offering bribes, the roots of bribery will diminish in no time.

It is essential for parents at home and teachers in school to teach the children the importance of honesty so that they do not offer or accept bribes in their lifetime. Slowly but steadily, the practice of offering and giving bribes can be eliminated from its very roots if people join hands and take an oath to eliminate this practice by hook or by crook. But the bitter truth remains; we ourselves cannot imagine our life free from this practice so how do we expect to abolish it completely.


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