Business ethics and law field have plenty of interconnections between each other. Therefore, we witness large amount of controversial issues which have to be resolved. Curiously, scandal around SLOC described in Washington post give us large food for thought on appropriate topic.
At first, let’s get clear what is the difference between lobbying and bribery. The point is that both these actions are used to influence someone’s decision which requires individual judgment and discretion. However, the main difference is in the ways that lobbying and bribery affects wanted decision making. According to FCPA bribery is an illegal payment that is meant to influence an official to award or maintain business activity (solutionlibrary). In its turn, lobbying is defined as promotion (as a project) or securing the passage of (as legislation) by influencing public officials (solutionlibrary). It is considered that bribery is different from lobbying with mandatory execution of required briber’s wants. So called quid pro quo. On the other, hand lobbying does not provides clear answers whether the lobbyist’s wants will be satisfied. It is just the try to influence officials, but it does not guarantee desired effects. Therefore bribery refers to law violation while lobbying is ethic one.
Talking about the case around SLOC, there is the view that there was no bribery in members’ actions. This conclusion is raised by previous comparison of lobbying and bribery natures. With the absence of direct evidences that Salt Lake City Olympic Games 2002 approving was caused by IOC members benefiting, there are no legal and logical bases to claim that bribery took place there.
As for punishment for ethical and legal violations, the answer is clear as only legal ones can be subjected to this in established order. However, it should be considered that ethical violations are often covered by legal field. Thus, making clear lines is extremely relevant task. In case ethical violations are out of legal field, it is important to grab public attention to appropriate fact. Public reprimand forces to necessary responses, mostly in the form of disciplinary sanctions to case figurants and managers. This is the power of ethic as the way of commonly adopted rules of behavior existence.
The scandal around SLOC, is suitable to think about whether personal or community responsibility is the most adequate. On the one hand, we have clearly defined members who violated business adopted rules of truthful competition. On the other hand, the state of Utah was benefited by billions dollars what probably could be influenced by stated actions. Being confused with this question answering, it is mandatory to get the source of violation will origin. Obviously, community couldn’t generate it in unison. In addition, the cause-effect interconnection between lobbying and Salt Lake approving is not evidenced. Therefore, there is only one clear fact of ethic incorrect behavior and it the only to be punished. In this respect, SLOC members expulsion is absolutely adequate response.
To conclude, it is claimed that line between legal and ethical business violations is the most important point to be considered. If the first one is featured by precise definitions and responses, the second is incredibly abstract. As any other philosophical issue, it is not accompanied by clear answers. There are only general rules of behavior but they have to be kept not less than law.
1. Solutionlibrary. (2010). Ethics and bribery: Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for Olympics in 2002. Retrieved from http://www.solutionlibrary.com/business/business_law/ethics-and-bribery-salt-lake-city-organizing-committee-for-olympics-in-2002_aauh