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Bribery

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Bribery

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Offer financial or other incentives to persuade people to give you what you want. The most common incentive is money, but you can also offer goods, access, information, attention, etc. Find out what they value most through careful conversation.

Be very careful when considering bribery, especially when it can get you into trouble.

Example

If you help me clean the house I'll give you $5.

What might it take to let me into your beautiful country? Let me show you a picture of my wife here in my wallet.

Looks nice, huh? ... Oh, yes this could be a gift to you.

Discussion

In is easy to dismiss bribery as wrong, bad or dangerous, and indeed it can be. Yet it is surprisingly common and sometimes necessary when the other person expects to be offered a bribe. Bribery and corruption are endemic in a number of countries and cultures, including with government, local and company officials. If you want to travel or do business there, then you may face the moral dilemma as to whether or not you will abide by this custom.

Bribery often happens by disguised means which would allow either party to deny that it exists. Gift-giving is a common ritual that suggests reciprocal help. Incentives may be put on display or left behind, such as placing money on a table and not saying what it is for.

Bribery may not be seen as such, for example where parents offer their children rewards for behaving well or where financial incentives and bonuses are used to encourage work performance.

A danger of bribery is that it is an extrinsic motivator that can actually de-motivate or corrupt people, making them focus on the bribe rather than deeper and more social reasons for collaboration. It also gives power to the person being bribed as they may expose or punish your act of attempted corruption. Others who know about the bribe may even attempt blackmail to prevent them from blowing the whistle.

See also

Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation

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