Bribes vs Gifts in Business Management Essay

699 Words Mar 4th, 2011 3 Pages
| “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
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Customary gifts of minimal value can usually be given without a problem but when a gift is used to influence a business decision or to get preferential treatment it is then considered a bribe. The giving of improper or expensive gifts can harm customer relationships, damage reputations and cause legal problems. Although some people feel that gift giving should never be allowed, business gifts can be a great way to advertise and market yourself and your company. Sometimes gifts are given to show appreciation for a past business relationship or used to create a positive first impression. Gift-giving should be seen as a way to maintain and enhance business relationships. A gift should never be given with the expectation of a return favor or to influence a customer or vendor. The important thing is to always stay within the boundaries of government regulation, company policy, and your own personal ethics when considering a gift.
In our class text book and again in this article the importance for businesses to define and maintain a clear and consistent policy towards gifts is stressed. The benefits of gifting as a marketing and promotional tool keep companies from ruling it out entirely. But excessive gifts can create legal issues and corrupt employees. It should be clearly spelled out in the employee handbook what a company considers acceptable or unacceptable for gifts as well as any other stipulations such as supervisor

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