Business Ethics Alliance: Exercise Caution With College World Series Ticket Gifts
With the College World Series coming up, is your company gift policy in order? Event tickets can be a great “thank you” to customers and suppliers, but such gifts can present ethical concerns for all parties involved. While there is nothing inherently wrong with giving or receiving a gift, business leaders need to consider how their policies might encourage questionable behavior.
The Business Ethics Alliance has seen this come up as a topic of discussion among large and small companies alike. It can be tricky, and there is no single right answer. What companies want to avoid are policies that no one knows about or follows.
What can companies do to tackle this common problem? First, assess your current policy to see where things could go wrong. Consider the contexts in which gift-giving might occur in your industry. Next, be sure to give staff direction on how to discern whether a gift is appropriate or not. When in doubt, the safest bet is probably to politely decline the gift, but be sure to create a process for disclosing any giving or receiving of appropriate gifts.
Formal policies can help set the tone for cordial gift giving and receiving. A great way to start is to use the Decision Making Model found online at businessethicsalliance.org/resources#decisionmakingmodel.