In the world of business, bribery stories are prevalent. Conceptually, bribery is a term used to describe a situation where one offers money or gifts to someone to convince them to make a decision that is both favorable and biased for business gains. Over the world, bribery is considered an unfair practice that is punishable by law, hence regarded as illegal. However, some companies and organizations in the nations of the world have 'legalized' bribery thus no longer considered corrupt but rather a normal way of doing business. This trend is seriously spreading in many countries, mainly through the multinational companies that are operating across the nations hence diluting the moral and business ethics. Siemens AG is one of those companies that recorded several bribery scandals over the years. Therefore, this paper presents the ethical analysis of Siemen's bribery scandals and the response of the various personnel related to the company.
Siemens AG is a big German-based conglomerate that provides engineering and electronic products and services all over the world. The products and services therein are used in the markets such as industrial automation, power generation, telecommunications and transportation (Verschoor, 2007). It is ranked as one of Europe's largest dealers in sales of the said outputs. Unfortunately, the company was bedeviled by a series of bribery scandals as presented in the case study one: The bribery scandal at Siemens AG.
Based on the findings in the case study review, indeed, bribery is unethical and illegal and not in any way the cost of doing business. This is because of the many subsequent impacts and costs associated with the practices of bribery. First, bribery is an endeavor that denies the opportunities to the deserved. In our world today, it is a sad fact that those who deserve specific reserved opportunities and allocations are the poor people in the community. But the rich and wealthier sections of people, who are far off the necessary merit would win themselves favors through the act bribery. Hence, the poor population in the societies across the world would remain poor as they are paralyzed by the power of money characteristic of the rich population. In the case of the Siemen bribery scenario, most of the deserving contractors were denied opportunities to secure the contracts opportunities as this giant company bribed other business companies for unmerited offers.
Acts of Bribery
Secondly, the acts of bribery promote and accelerate the loss of money. This culture encourages companies to spend a lot of money to win tenders and contracts which are in most cases for selfish gains. They are meant to benefit a small group of individuals. The Siemen AG was reported to have lost billions of Euros to such malpractices which eventually contributed to the deterioration of the annual revenues recorded by the firm from their daily operations. This is attributed to the fact that money gained from bribed contracts are usually meant to benefit a few people hence not tallying up to the overall company's growth.
Moreover, bribery practices promote the culture of selfishness and ravenous desire for wealth. This is the characteristic behavior seen among most of the Siemen AG personnel such as the managerial staffs colluding with the supervisory board members in their bid to win the tenders for selfish gains and interest against the company's visions and missions, which is, commitment to ethical and responsible actions.
Third, acts of bribery lead to the deterioration of the moral standards and culture of a company and nation at large. This leads to mistrust among various personnel of a particular company. In the case of the Siemen AG, there is distinct mistrust between the supervisory and management boards members. It resulted due to the conspiracy that occurred between the small segment of members in both teams that involved bribery. This led to the change of management leadership from time to time hence fluctuation in the company's development over the years. As it is said, someone's visions can never be transferred, but leadership positions can be transferred.
As a corrective measure, companies should heighten their competitive base and merits win to clean deals and contracts. Also, there is a need for companies to cultivate a good culture associated with honesty and considerate deals among their employees. This helps to ensure that they pursue the plans, missions and visions of their employers other than their own. In every situation, the employer comes first before their salaries and personal pursuits.
Given the successive bribery cases, the supervisory board was wrong in irrationally dismissing Kleinfeld, the CEO. This is because, at that time, he improved and maintained high performance in the company. Furthermore, no bribery case was directly implied to him. Thus, the board was wrong on terminating his term of service as the CEO based on allegations. Kleinfeld could have been the savior of the company from the various serious bribery cases given his competencies in the position of the CEO.
Consequently, the company's performance stands to decelerate following the removal of this competent CEO. The incumbent CEO shall take time to cope with the situations in the company. In order to attain a long-lasting impact, there is a need for a general overhaul of the company. Also, Siemens was overly wrong in that she should have detected the situation before it was out of hand.
In conclusion, indeed, bribery practices are unethical and illegal in that it results in detrimental effects to individuals, community and/ or nation at large. There is a need to fight this act by all means. Siemens AG suffered a lot from such acts. There is a need to overhaul the two-tier system of governance or better, come up with smarter frameworks of management.
Fernando, R., & Bellamkonda, B. K. (2007). The Bribery Scandal at Siemens AG. In Parliamentarian: Vol. No. 707-03 (Issue 707, pp. 1–15).
Verschoor, C. C. (2007). Siemens AG is the latest fallen ethics idol. Strategic Finance, 11-14.
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