in -- in other words, to "do as the Romans do." When a corporate official is faced with real situations abroad, this advice can give rise to conflicts and ambiguity, when actual situations require responses which are incompatible with the ethical norms in the home country. Payment of a tip to a government official or employee in the home country intended to facilitate licensing can be considered bribery, and therefore subject to legal consequences, at home; however, in a foreign country it may be a standard operating procedure that can facilitate and expedite action. The cost of refusing to comform to local practice can be result in significant losses which are disproportionate in relation to the small amount of "bribe" money. The international marketer can face a difficult dilemma when he has to respond to situations where there is no local law, where local practices forgive a certain behavior, or the companywilling to “ do what is necessary” is favored over the company that refuses to engage in practices that are not ethical.
The issue of bribery and corruption is not extensively covered in international or global marketing textbooks. The subject is often located under the rubric of legal environment (subtopic: ethics and regulations); cultural environment, (as in Hill 2005; Verna and Sarathy 1993). Or it is discussed as part of international promotions (Verna and Sarathy). For the most part the subject presents the the relevant US statute (FCPA) and analyzes its features and implications for the business person and marketer. A more comprehensive treatment, including its history and philosophical basis is found in textbooks dealing with the business environment (such as Baron 1997) and legal environment (such as Jennings 1997).
This study will deal with the issue of bribery from the Western viewpoint, particularly that of the United States, being the first country to enact a law prohibiting its practice by its companies abroad. The Foreign Corrupt