News
 
Current Affairs

 

Study: Czechs world leaders in tolerating use of gifts and entertainment to win contracts

 
photo:  (Barbora Kmentová)
 

A freshly published international study from consultants Ernst & Young makes for disturbing reading when it comes to unethical practices in Czech business. In fact, the report says Czech executives rank as world leaders when it comes to tolerating the use of special events – and luxury gifts – to win contracts and keep clients sweet. I discussed the study’s findings with one if its authors, Ernst & Young’s Tomáš Kafka.

 
 

“A large portion of Czech managers – approximately 70 percent – tends to justify unethical sales practices. Among those, the first would be entertainment: sending customers on trips to exotic destinations, or having some exclusive marketing events.

“The second practice would be providing gifts to customers to influence their decisions, such as expensive watches, jewelry, a computer. Or maybe also some barter services, like construction work.”

Isn’t it the case that providing entertainment also goes on in other countries and is not necessarily a corrupt practice?

“Yes, you are right. We were asking specifically about a decision by a customer to award a contract to the company and whether it is justifiable.

“The word corruption is actually from Latin and means influence… so in a way this sales practice is considered to be unethical. And in some countries it’s also illegal.”

As regards gifts, what kind of gifts are Czech executives giving in order to win contracts or maintain contracts?

“It was not really part of the interview, but overall from our practice we see definitely expensive watches. And we had some cases here in the Czech Republic where handbags or Cartier jewelry was provided to one of the public officials…”

Are you talking about Jana Nagyová, the former chief of staff to then prime minister Petr Nečas?

“That’s your conclusion, but obviously it was meant in this way.”

Is giving gifts seen as being different from giving a plain envelope full of cash?

“Yes. About 37 percent of respondents were basically supportive of the idea of giving gifts to win a contract, whereas only 6 percent supported paying bribes.”

Where do you think this difference comes from in the minds of Czech managers?

“There is probably… they feel that [cash bribery] is beyond the border, that this is something that is illegal.”

And is it also a hangover from communism where people had to give, I don’t know, a doctor a gift in order to get better service?

“I think the Czech mentality is to find the way around. It is crystal clear that giving an envelope is a bribe, whereas providing gifts or providing special entertainments is something people can easily justify. I would probably see it this way.”

 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 11.06.2014
 
 
 

Related articles

 
Current Affairs
 
 

Unified school-leaving exams yield...

Nearly 19 percent of students at Czech secondary schools have this year failed their final examinations...

 
 
Current Affairs
 
 

Police investigate tragic death of...

Police are investigating the shocking death of a pregnant woman shortly after a routine test at a clinic...

 
 
Current Affairs
 
 

Czech scientists develop Lyme disease...

Czech scientists have developed a new vaccine against Lyme disease. Presenting their breakthrough on...

 
 
Current Affairs
 
 

Prague takes over administration of...

The City of Prague has taken over administration of the Opencard – the multi-purpose transit pass with...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

 
 

Facebook recent activity