In a 2012 Harvard Business School case on corruption at German conglomerate Siemens AG, Peter Solmssen —brought in to clean house —reflects on how people approach a business bribe.
“The stupid ones say, very simply, what are you going to do for me?” says Solmssen, managing board member and general counsel. “Sometimes they’ll be a little more subtle and say, ‘My wife’s going to be in Hong Kong next week, and she’s going shopping.’ Either you say, ‘That’s nice,’ and you pass on, or you say, ‘What store is she going to, and can I give you an account number?’ “
Does corruption really pay? Paul Healy finds that corruption may not be as lucrative—or as unavoidable—as it may seem.