Bribery – the Dilemma

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Everyday U.S. managers in developing countries face the dilemma of furthering their business concerns in countries such as India, China, Russia and Mexico where bribery is commonplace while at the same time trying to ensure that they do not violate their companies code of conduct or worse the government’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). It is a fine line they walk. This paper will help those managers by explaining what bribery is, why it is thought to be an issue, show recently where companies have bribed and been caught as well as offer suggestions that will enable the U.S. manager in Mexico to accomplish what bribery accomplishes but is not unethical or illegal or in violation of a company policy that prohibits bribery. Bribery…show more content…
As noted, corruption is prevalent in these markets, but bribery is not necessarily perceived as a serious crime in some places. It is just the way of doing business and it has enabled companies to expand globally regardless of the means.
For those managers doing business in Mexico they should understand that the bulk of retailers pay bribes and Mexican firms are the third most likely to have to pay bribes, right after Russian and Chinese ones. (Josh, 2012) “La Mordida” translates to “the bite” which in Mexico is the term used for a bribe. It is the customary and traditional way of getting things done. In Mexico to get things done and to keep projects moving forward it is normal to have to bribe a cop, judge or permit agent, it is a way of life instead of as in the U.S. where it is considered an aberration in the system. In Mexico almost all agencies of government: Treasury, immigration, customs, commerce commissions, police, judges, planning departments and even lawyers are used to receiving bribes for their services, it is the customary way of doing business. (Some things in Mexico seem to never change: The Bits is Alive and Well In Mexico, 2006) Mexico is a highly controlled, heavily regulated mixed economy, with a complex bureaucracy of government officials dictating who is permitted to sell what and to whom.
A U.S. Manager in Mexico needs to understand the business climate and the culture. According to the
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