Ethical aspects of bribing people in other countries

Science and Engineering Ethics 4 (3):287-290 (1998)
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Some argue that individuals and organizations doing business in countries where corruption is prevalent should not be expected to adhere to strict standards of ethical practice. The basis for such arguments is faulty. Ethics, unlike etiquette, has a universal basis; it is fundamentally the same all over the world. Even in a practical sense, there are long range advantages to be gained by ethical behavior in these situations. Engineering employees of companies operating in areas where corruption is common are sometimes forced to make very difficult decisions. The focus in this paper is on the ethical aspects of the problem. Laws applying to companies doing business abroad, for example the US Corrupt Practices Act, are not discussed.



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