In many countries, the influence of business people goes beyond their own business projects. Even though most people think of organizations in terms of occupations and profits, business establishments are significant members of the community. Consequently, leadership must have grounded ethical values and the moral image of a good existence in the categorical use of the term. Its authority and power must encompass an ethical legality by going beyond self-interest. Its dedication to moral values must contain an inherent value.
Problem with Gifts
A gift given in business dealings is a spontaneous gesture from one entity to another (or to various workers operating in the same industry), typically through two parties from either company. Gifts can have many appearances: from financial contributions to gift certificates and items such as foodstuffs. Autonomy often defines gifts. An ordinary gift is not a part of a program or a settlement between two individuals. Any gift offered as a settlement, referred to in business circles as an incentive, and is a representative of the relationship between bosses and workers.
Business entertainment activities and gift giving have been characteristics of business culture since time immemorial. They are often part of festivals and public holidays. Decision on whether to give and receive offerings is always a serious subject. To some business organizations, offering of business gifts is a regular way to reinforce business associations, and, with some limitations, is a legally recognized practice. To other corporations, workers may offer and accept suitable, officially recognized, offerings in connection with their relationships with customers and additional nongovernmental operatives. It is acceptable as long as such gifts are not of considerable value, and they are not offered with a goal or expectation of influencing the beneficiary’s business choices in giver’s favor.
No Gift Policies
Some business establishments have firm no-gift directives. To avert conflicts of interests, or the necessity for employees of such corporations to scrutinize the principles of gift acceptance, corporations do not agree to receive gifts from their retailers, contractors, clients, potential workers, potential retailers, potential contractors, corporations or any other people.
Rules of conduct in such establishments call for all staff to exhibit the business’ pledge to handle all individuals and business establishments who they have to work with or perform business functions, objectively. Company employees ought to exhibit high standards of moral principles and behavior. Employees perform and demonstrate fair treatment, unprejudiced professionalism, and evenhanded tactics in relation to all retailers, suppliers, clients, workers, prospective recruits, potential contractors, and any other person or business establishment. A gift is an item of some worth, presented without an anticipation of a return or any other nature. Similarly, a bribe is the same thing offered with the expectation of gaining influence or somehow profiting.
Reasons for Bribing
Bribes and gifts can be tangible items; they can even be vouchers for an anticipated sporting function such as a golf tournament, travel, or restaurant vouchers. Gift giving between companies has always been widespread but controversial at the same time. Company gifts arepromotional, sales advertising, selling, and communication media (Biegelman & Biegelman, 2010). Cassin (2008) points out that gifting serves a number of purposes:
(a) In gratitude for previous customer associations, ordering for new products, and for giving referrals to other potential customers;
(b) With the expectation of producing an affirmative, first impression, which could assist in establishing a primary business connection;
(c) Giving may be considered as a quid Pro quo (giving a favor or anticipating one due to the services rendered).
Businesses that allow gift-giving claim that performing business functions are frequently an aggregate of individual relations and associations. They argue that gift-giving is a normal method of preserving and improving the interactions. A business gift, particularly one offered during the festive period, is an indispensable means of reinforcing corporate interactions and generating goodwill (Loughman, & Sibery, 2011). Corporate gift-giving has proven effectual in forming constructive associations among industrial customers (Rupp, 2003), and in enhancing business and creating lasting goodwill among realtors (Wells & Hymes, 2012).
Disadvantages of Bribing
While it is usually believed that gift giving may improve the prospect and reflection of a corporation, business organizations must proceed carefully as gift giving between companies has numerous lawful, moral, and realistic concerns attached. Most business operators concur that there is a fine line between bribing and gift giving by companies. To them, it is hardly ever clear when the line is traversed. Present situations are seldom uncomplicated. Recent research studies also signify that offerings of high value and contributions to potential customers instead of the existing clients unconstructively influence contractor choices (Wrage, 2007).
Wrage (2007) asserts that while gift giving is a ‘decisive part of carrying out business functions’ in high-context societies such as the Middle-Easterners, Japanese, and nations near the Mediterranean, it is only a ‘voluntary tradition’ in low-context societies of America and Northern European nations. Even if such expansive cultural contexts are considered, worldwide business dealings may still comprise of situations where a high-context gift giver has to exercise tremendous caution in order not to cause offense to a low-context culture’s business gift receiver. Similarly, business operators from low-context cultures that unaccustomed to giving or receiving gifts, when conducting business, may be offended, or seem cold and detached by not offering a gift to a business person from a culture that accepts gifts when initiating a joint venture. Often, a corporation’s culture may be different from the culture of its country of origin, because the administrators overseeing the business may originate from somewhere else. The business could also be accustomed to transacting with global clients who have different values than the nation where it is based.
In summary, the offering of gifts between two companies is a compound strategy issue that confronts many corporations at present. However, the repercussions of either not offering to business colleagues in gift giving nations, or offering gifts in nations that do not accept the offering of gifts can have a considerable impact on the business’s performance. It can also generate numerous lawful, moral, and brand-associated concerns.
During the Christmas holidays last year, a friend who owns a chain of restaurants sent gifts of assorted chocolates as well as assortments of smoked meats purchased from a minority retailer to his most loyal clients. He said that he was trying to show his gratitude for their assistance and support, and at the same time shore up another minority business. In the gift basket was a card that informed clients about the restaurant’s website, and the fact that customers who visited the site might be paid. He was well aware that due to the ‘pay’ offer, he would get a continuous supply of patrons as well as strangers who heard about this offer. The reception of many online visitors can easily translate to consequential leads, and then to increased restaurant sales. Like a self-perpetuating dynamic power machine, more online visitors of the restaurant’s website enhance its sales.
Moreover, bribing consumers in order to draw them to a restaurant’s online site may be a superior method to use in an interim period. However, it may result in numerous future difficulties. However, when a company bribes consumers in any way, the demand for the restaurants’ food products is synthetically created. Such demand will not be kept up for much longer than the time such a procedure is being used. This demand will probably not create many sales for a long-term period. Paying customers to ‘artificially’ favor the restaurant and posting as many ‘likes’ as possible in its favor, also meddles with the normal cycle of how customers ordinarily start to favor a restaurant, then grow to like it.
Consumers, bribed to pretend to favor the food of a restaurant, are not really aficionados of that restaurant. They cannot be trusted with any information about the restaurant. Paying customers to visit a restaurant can result in a large clientele, as my friend realized, but they come on their own terms. Such consumers will visit the restaurant because of the payment offered on its website to people who regularly visit the site, and then depart the moment they are paid.
Having more people in the restaurant might also mean increasing risk of pilfering, vandalism, and nuisance for the authentic customers. While my friend profited from the large numbers of clients that unexpectedly began to visit his restaurant, he lost the goodwill of his neighbors.
My friend also found out that his lack of ethics inspired his own employees to break the laws in order to benefit themselves. Prior to this incident, they had never suspected that their boss would ever pay random people to review the restaurant’s site. After he did this, they seemed encouraged to bend the rules to benefit themselves. It was as though his standing had been negatively affected among his own workers. A sales panel, tasked with acquiring the opinions of loyal clients about preferences for dessert dishes, took his money and then distributed the survey to random people. There would be no hard work, rigorous analysis and policy developments if they just handed the questionnaires to ordinary passersby to fill up. The sales force believed that the restaurant’s focus had shifted from creating value food products to getting in as many patrons as possible to increase the number of sales. They also believed that there would be no emphasis given to the issue of repeat sales. It is obvious that if the restaurant runs on the principles, it would eventually collapse.
My friend also discovered that many people felt that his pricey gift baskets, presented only to ‘loyal’ clients during the Christmas holidays, were an endeavor to hold onto those who regularly spent a lot of money in his restaurant. The essential idea is that the restaurant that rewards customers for making many visits will benefit from steady business over time. While this may be accurate, genuine loyalty is hardly ever involved in such considerations. Some marketers illustrate inducement programs as a way of presenting ‘thank-you gestures’ in order to keep the consumers coming back. Specialists in business psychology equate such practices to subtle forms of bribery. They observe that the repeated procuring of goods does not indicate true loyalty. True loyalty does not come about because of give-aways or discounts. Genuine loyalty can be undermined by bribes.
Consumer loyalty is an issue that concerns business association management. In contrast to petitioning for repeat clients, there is a higher road to authentic loyalty. It is more beneficial and involves a dissimilar view of trade relationship. Though traders and their retailers logically seek more and better customer data in order to vend more products to more consumers, true consumer loyalty is a subject usually left out of the equation. Ordinarily, customer reliability and rewards do not fit in together in the framework of the reasons why consumers purchase products.
The principal view compares loyalty with repeated buying, “If consumers persist in buying from you that means they’re dependable” (Cassin, 2008). That sounds logical, but lacks a fundamental understanding of what leads customers to a desire to be loyal. True loyalty fits with attitudes such as dependability and truthfulness. It has more to do with inherent motivations rather than extrinsic enticements. For a restaurant to acquire genuine loyalty of its clients, it must appreciate that contests and discounts and contests, which are examples of extrinsic inducements, are shallow. Consumers desire more than it is preferable in harmony with their individual principles, such as being treated genuinely as an esteemed individual.
When consumers manifest genuine loyalty to a brand, it results in a greater depth of the business association along with reciprocated affection. Generation of genuine brand loyalty comes from personnel, serving consumers with earnestness. Engaged workers who promote true consumer loyalty function for restaurants that look after their needs, and work under definite service-focused ideals. Such restaurants can make considerable profits and do away with the trinkets. No ‘loyalty’ agenda, based on extrinsic enticements, can bring genuine loyalty. A restaurant that constantly treats its clients and its workers as responsible, trusted, and appreciated persons produces a triumphant brand. A successful brand characteristically also has significant objectives and a slogan that articulates persuasively what makes it manifestly valuable. Genuine loyalty for such a brand easily follows, and long-term success may be the expected outcome (Wells & Hymes, 2012).
Restaurants that recognize and recompense generous spenders tend to treat lesser spenders with less cordiality. The rewards also promote destructive behavior, persuading point- and mileage collecting consumers to purchase products they might not require. Marketers consider that reward plans are nothing more than reward-based advertising. By giving a certain percentage of clients rewards not distributed to all clients, restaurant owners are subtly urging large spenders to purchase food products that might be actually unworthy. This cheapening effect can be viewed accurate even if the offered food did have a basic value for the consumers (Rupp, 2003).
The key to appreciating and profiting from genuine consumer loyalty is to distinguish and respect consumers as individuals, who are intensely loyal to themselves, and those they feel affection for, but not to goods or brands. They are faithful to their own standards and the causes, and individuals that they believe in. What appears to be loyalty to a commodity, brand, or a restaurant is to indicate that they exists and value all of their clients. Key to drawing more customers is aiding those consumers to grow better at something of their concern (Cassin, 2008). Consumers show loyalty to goods that add to improving their confidence in their daily functions, whether at work or at home, in a measurable and sustainable way. As the research case showed, if the owner wishes to profit from a customer’s loyalty to his restaurant, he cannot bribe the client; he must earn the loyalty or show to be worthy of it..
People allow themselves to be bribed sometimes, because the practice of companionship and casual associations co-exist with the more official and unbiased systems of obligations, rights and evenhandedness. The basic law of friendship is that we should extend specific treatment to our associates to the level at which they become our friends. One setback with this statute is that it can effortlessly be reduced to egoism, in which person A aids person B only if A believes that assisting B will be beneficial to A. Another, more morally serious issue is that bribery sanctions the formation of groups or factions that seek only the interests of a small group of people, as that group appreciates their interests at the expense of others.
Restated Thesis Statement
Moral principles must shape all business functions; businesses must show an authentic desire to grow and develop their objectives beyond individual financial goals of their directors and managers in order to introduce long-term benefits to the general society.
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