Bribery—that is, offering, promising, giving, authorizing, or accepting any undue cash or other benefits in connection to obtaining work or other improper advantages—belongs nowhere in business. Yet it's everywhere. The incessant threat—the opportunity—of bribery (or extortion, depending on who's asking) means that you must be ready when, not if, faced with shadowy businesspeople.
Look, you know bribery is wrong. Just say no to it. But if a first lady couldn't persuade children to keep off the grass with such jejune advice, stringing together words in a corporate handbook surely won't convince businesspeople, especially when they believe they're acting for the good of the company and competing on uneven ground, against competition that doesn't follow the same rules.
Ultimately, you want to do the right thing, but is it right to jeopardize millions of dollars and thousands of jobs so you can hold your head up high? Or too high in the clouds? TCB Review senior editor Vadim Liberman tries to answer these questions.