Gift vs Bribe: What Counts as Corruption?

Hana Benesova, John Anchor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper builds theory concerned with the conceptual interpretation of the corruption threshold. In order to find the key to this issue, we ask, approximating corruption with a bribe, the following questions: (i) What is the threshold for corruption? and (ii) What is the difference between a bribe and a gift? Since this paper intends to conceptualise this phenomenon, which is seldom inquired about in qualitative, conceptual terms, we employ qualitative methodology to discuss our research questions in semi-structured interviews. Due to the necessity to access the information related to the threshold between gifts and bribes, we conduct a study with Czech managers due to the Czech managerial culture being one of gift-giving (Myant and Smith, 2006). We find, using Clarke and Braun’s (2006) protocol for thematic analysis of semi structured interview data, that the fundamental threshold for corruption is anything of a monetary nature; the threshold between bribery and a gift seems much less straight-forward with the intention, nature, timing, beneficiary and value being highlighted. Additionally, we find that whilst consensus is available for the former factors, the value of a ‘gift’ is highly subjective. Moreover, a great disparity is apparent between the public and private sectors. We consequently discuss these findings and their implications for practitioners and legislators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLiberec Economic Forum 2019
EditorsKlára Antlová, Tereza Semerádová
Place of PublicationLiberec
PublisherTechnical University of Liberec
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9788074944826
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019
EventLiberec Economic Forum 2019 - Technical University of Liberec, Liberec, Czech Republic
Duration: 17 Sep 201918 Sep 2019 (Link to conference website)


ConferenceLiberec Economic Forum 2019
Abbreviated titleLEF2019
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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