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Why Might Bribery Become a Problem for Us Managers Working in Foreign Countries?

Autor:   •  February 19, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,013 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,569 Views

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Why might bribery become a problem for U.S. managers working in foreign countries?

Customs and culture in other countries, especially in developing nations, is very different from what culture here in the United States. What the U.S. considers a bribe may be far from that in another country. The dictionary definition of a bribe is a payment to induce somebody to do something that is wrong, or illegal, or that which the bribee does not wish to do. According to the article "A Travelers Guide to Gifts and Bribes" the author turned down a deal because he felt the person he was dealing with was expecting a bribe. This deal was taking place in East Africa and it is pointed out that all negations were complete and details were agreed upon. If all negations were worked out and a deal reached, and then money is asked for by one of the parties, is that really a bribe. The deal was done. Nobody was influenced to do anything wrong or illegal or that they did not wish to do. As was mentioned in the article that is standard business practice in East Africa as a party was to be held in honor of the American and the money was to be used for that party. Because of how business is perceived here in America, the American saw it as an unethical bribe and walked away from the deal. Based on laws and American culture, this country is at a definite disadvantage when making foreign business deals, especially if we obey law and remain ethical. There are parts of the world where bribery is a common practice. Some argue that this should be considered as a cultural difference that should be respected. Those doing business in such places, goes this argument, should be expected to participate in bribery as appropriate and not be handicapped by being held to ethical standards that are not locally valid. Furthermore, engineers who are nationals of countries in this category should not be expected to adhere, while practicing in their own countries, to ethical practices associated with a different culture.

What are the major features of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)?

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was enacted in 1977. The FCPA prohibits the bribery of foreign government officials by U.S. persons and prescribe accounting and record-keeping practices. The anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA apply to any U.S. person and make it illegal for U.S. persons to bribe a foreign government official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. The act also prohibits companies from making payments while knowing or having reason to know that any portion of the funds would be transferred to a forbidden recipient to be used for corrupt purposes. Penalties for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA vary based on whether the violator is a U.S. company or a U.S. individual.


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