Intellectually, bribery is a straight-forward, obvious crime. Everybody knows you can’t hand over a wad of cash for favors, preferential treatment or illegal gain. Yet, it still happens — especially when it can smoothly close a delicate business deal. Pressure for success can make it easier to look the other way.

“Capote,” based on the true story of Truman Capote writing the seminal true crime novel “In Cold Blood,” contains a scene where the famed author bribes a warden in order to gain access to his incarcerated subjects. While the bribery depicted here is blatant (it often is), the clip should provide a good launching point for team discussion.


What are some other forms of bribery (beyond a cash payment)?

Have you heard of bribery occurring in our industry? If so, what happened?

When might a person be tempted to or feel justified in resorting to bribery?

What might motivate someone to offer you a bribe?

What compels people to remain silent about attempted bribery, even if they don’t accept?

Where should you go to report any bribery in our company or business associates?



Bryan Belknap, an award-winning screenwriter and speaker, is Creative Director at Resonate Pictures, which specializes in story-based training and branding films. His new ebook “How to Teach Ethics and Compliance with Hollywood Movie Clips” is available for free download.

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