GratuitiesGratuity stems from the word gratitude and, in a business context, usually refers to thegiving of gifts.The distinction between a gratuitous gesture and a bribe differs from culture to culture,and can be difficult to determine. For example, there have been numerous scandalsreported where large sums of money were paid to business and political officials in returnfor favourable treatment and consideration when negotiating deals or awardingbusiness contracts.For this reason, many businesses have now established policies regarding ‘acceptablevalues’ of corporate gifts, for giving and receiving. It must be remembered, however,that many cultures view gift-giving and other gratuitous gestures as an important aspectof international business negotiations, as illustrated in the following article on page 115.
Questions• Pg 116 Q1 and Q3
Work Ethics• To have a work ethic is to have a belief in the value and virtue of hard work, and doing a job well.• A diligent, reliable and honest worker—someone with a ‘good’ work ethic—is usually rewarded with promotions, bonuses and greater responsibility within the workplace, while those failing to display this same level of commitment to their positions will struggle to progress anywhere higher within the organisation.• In many western countries, including Australia, there has been a blurring of the division between demonstrating a good work ethic and being labelled a workaholic.• The latter is now being addressed in many workplaces through the introduction of policies that are designed to support and encourage work/life balance. In other cultures, however, this is not the case and there are markedly different perceptions of what is meant by work ethics. For example, in Japan where there has been a strong tradition of becoming an ‘employee of the company for life’, the work ethic is killing some employees, as highlighted in the following article page 117.