If there is a lack of trust, or the actions of the purchase executive is suspect, the company cannot be expected to prosper. If the chief concern of a purchase executive is of getting rich quickly, then the relationship will weaken and crumble. Dishonesty, corruption, cuts, kickbacks, commissions, etc. in the area of purchasing are merely a reflection of the prevalent creed in the organization, industry, society, public life, as well as in the socio-political environment in the national and international arena. It is not that in many organizations, all purchasing decisions are influenced by the user department which indicates the sources of supply The marketing department sometimes exerts its own pressures on the plea of reciprocal buying. Top management dictates to purchasing, particularly when large contracts and capital equipment are involved.
It is a common sight to see double standards practiced in that, marketing departments are forced to give gifts to the consumers, while the vendors are prohibited to give presents to the buyers. The comments such as ‘no smoke without fire’, ‘man who takes honey is bound to suck his fingers’, are often heard in the corridors of large organizations. The attitude of people to bribery and their actual behaviour in critical situations are diametrically opposite. In this context we recall the speech of the former Indian Prime Minister Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, who said in the Congress convention in Bombay in December 1985, “… corruption is regarded as the hallmark of leadership. Flagrant contradictions between what we say and what we do become the way of life in our party…” “When it comes to the crunch, the behaviour of people even in the highest political and executive policy making levels, is contemptible in the matter of personal honesty and integrity, which is obvious when one goes through the reports of inquiry commission at the highest level. One can easily come across corruption and kickbacks, in defence scandals at political level, executive policy-making level, implementing and operating levels, etc., the government turning a Nelson’s eye to the dubious tactics of businessmen”.
Scandals like Bofors, Recruit, Watergate, Wiretap, Getting cuts, Agreement violations are well known. In such an environment, the industrial buyer will also be affected by this process and it is impossible to expect the purchasing executive to be a saint, who has renounced all workably attachments and pleasures. Trust is difficult to measure, not only in politics but also between the buyer and the seller. It is not created by romantic or sentimental gestures, but the ethical value system rests on trust. Alcoholism, nepotism, power brokers, influence peddlers, etc. turn the corridors of power into careerist, opportunistic and sycophantic, while the standards of integrity have fallen, with honour and patriotism becoming unfashionable in most countries today with supreme indifference to ethical values.
A business gift means big business and the palm that works has to be greased!