Saturday, March 12, 2011

An ethical question

Imagine that your company (an MNC) is looking forward to enter a foreign country. You are the manager responsible for the entry and dealing with foreign Government officials.

After a few months of negotiations, the Government officials of the country which has recently opened up a particular sector, have agreed to let you in and also give you preferential treatment. Getting this approval is crucial as it would mean that your company would have the first mover advantage. None of your competitors have entered the market yet.

The chief Government official responsible for the decision calls you suddenly and when you get to his office, he suddenly makes it clear that he would require a cut - a gift for "services rendered". He also hints that even though your company had the approval "almost in your hands, there was still a chance that you might lose it if you delayed....".

He makes it clear that if you don't agree to provide a cut, they were going to choose another competitor even though they were clearly no where near as as good as your company. He also mentioned that he was willing to negotiate.

Your company does not have a policy with regards to "gift giving" or "kickbacks" and you know that if you refuse, there were several other companies who would go ahead and give money just to get into the newly opened lucrative market.

You don't want to lose out on this opportunity but at the same time, you are not comfortable with the idea of engaging in corruption.

Put yourself in the shoes of this manager.

What would you do?


WireBliss Design (Mei) said...

Very good question! and a reality in certain parts of the world.
If I am the manager, its time to talk to my "Boss" so he can talk to the "Boss" of the Govt. official.
Maybe this Govt Boss requires even bigger cut :) but at my Boss's level, he can change the company's policy on a case by case basis.
Ehem! Am I encouraging corruption here????
Have a great weekend.

Dan said...

I bet that once you give a gift you'll always have to give a "friendship gift". So, it's an important decision, and unfortunately sometimes you need to play how your partners sing :(

Anonymous said...

Actually this has been the practice in most part of the world.Unfortunately the manager cannot decide on his own as this is something a policy matter that has to taken care of by the senior management of the company. Manager being an employee should refer the matter to the senior managemnt and let them decide what they have to do because ultimately it's their BUSINESS and their ETHICS. Employees have to follow the culture and ethics of the company or you know...........that's the way things move on in this world.


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