Skip to content

Leg Zero: Threat of Entry. Porter´s Industry Analysis. Part III.

Have a happy day.

Today I will like to continue with the topic of retaliation and corruption as accepted ways of threats of entry. Moreover, what terrifies me is that the majority of us accept these corruption measures as barriers to entry when competing in an industry. Corruption is more than economic bribery or exchange of money in order to get benefits. My advice: do not use retaliation or corruption for anything in life, worst in businesses. Don´t do it, please.

Let me explain what is corruption. Corruption is more than paying an amount of money to accelerate your regulation permits approvals, or to buy a public representative advise to act in your favor.

I would like to speak about other subtle forms of corruption, which are wildly accepted and are dishonest or non-ethical. 

Let´s face some examples of subtle corruption:

1.Gifts: Any person on earth has the right and is able to give and receive gifts. When a gift transforms itself as corruption act, it is when the intention of the gift is a clear request to get in exchange a personal benefit. That is the difference.

Public servers, government officials, bank employees, professors, CEO´s assistants or decision makers in any private company can be tempted to receive a gift in order to grant non-ethical approvals or in order to accelerate bureaucratic procedures. That is not correct. Any gift done with the intention to request a favor in return is not right… To avoid these situations, many companies have restricted to their employees to receive gifts above a certain value. I have worked in a multilateral bank, which restricts the limit of gifts from clients to employees up to 50 dollars per gift per year from the same client, and any present above that monetary value has to be rejected by every employee (from the CEO to the janitor). It has to be returned diplomatically to the gift giver with politeness. Gifts can´t be accepted from vendors either. Each office or entity must have a staff guideline in relation to gifts.

2.Theft: Many of us consider theft as the action to steal something that is not yours. However, theft is beyond that action.

Theft happens when you change the sticker price of an item in the supermarket in order to pay less than the market value of it. Theft happens when you eat a cookie or a beverage inside the supermarket and you leave the place without paying it. Theft happens when you steal intellectual property from other people. Theft happens when you don´t pay your employees the right amount of money given their capabilities and experience, and when you don´t pay them on time. Theft happens when you “slave” someone and modern slavery means to block the talent of a human being and hide that person talents from the society on purpose. Slavery means to diminish another person to an extreme humiliant status, “one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence”. Theft happens when your identity is stolen for “je ne sais quoi” purposes. Theft happens when your boss diminishes your work inside the organization to block your promotion as a banker. Theft happens when your inner peace is stolen because a group of people does “bullying” or “mobbing” to you. Theft happens when you dedicate more than 50 hours per week to prepare slides and write them in a blog, and there is another person who takes your presentations without giving you the recognition that you deserve. I try as much as I can to always give the credit of photographs, phrases, book paragraphs, author credits, etc. And I am not using any of this blog content shared for economic gains either.

3.Non-proper citing or Plagiarism: Any academic or professor knows that copying paragraphs from other sources have to be properly cited in the text.

If you don´t write the reference, it is a transgression or crime against intellectual property. The academic global community is very meticulous about this issue, and in many universities, as the Wharton School of Management, some professors as Doctor Nicolaj Siggelkow, remarks it clearly in its syllabus for example.  “Students are failed when they do not do proper citing”. In my blog, I always include source references, and I always cite the professors who have created the models I share with you. I try to enclose everything, which is not from me, within quotation marks.

4. Abuse of meetings, social networking and abuse of mobile usage during meetings: It is good to be socially accepted and in consequence, it is encouraged to socialize with others. Whenever you wish to meet and greet people in order to get to know them or they get to know you, it is a good occasion to mix and mingle.

Until here, all is perfect. In the case of human resources hirings, if you will be hired by a company, and you have passed for the human resources procedure established for that position (sometimes more than 15 interviews in different locations), and you are invited as part of the process to socialize with your future peers, that is not corruption.  The issue arises when you abuse of socialization and networking in order to get in exchange that position without passing through the interviews. That is corruption promoted by the HR office and by the potential employee.  Another example is when a new company is finding customers for its services, and on purpose, some competitors with dishonorable tactics, block your way to clients by anticipating your connections and offer the same service at lower prices.   Another example of corruption and lack of respect for others is to abuse of the mobile phone during meetings, either social or inside the office. We all have done it, but please try to turn off your mobile if you are speaking and gathering with others.

5. Blocking opportunities to people who deserve them: Each person who wishes to be taken into account for future possibilities or opportunities has to build a path of merit. This opportunity is not automatic, and it will not be granted because of your “majestic last name” neither your economic position nor the family money. In the case of work promotions: Many people have been working hard for years before they can be hired for a position, and it is not fair to retaliate them or block them on purpose. If a position requires a person with a certain level of academic degrees and previous experience or soft skills, it is not fair to block them in order to grant the promotion by nepotism or because of favoritism to another one who has not even a single knowledge of what to do in it. In addition, the role of a manager is to develop his or her team.   Read here: If You’re Not Helping People Develop, You’re Not Management Material. Another way of corruption happens inside your house: when your parents block your way to success for their selfish personal reasons. Or when your parents want you to be in the “slavery” mood for them in order to use you as a “caregiver”, and they cut your possibilities to marry and have babies on purpose, just because they want you to be the “slave” around them. That is slavery, it is unfair and it is punished by law. Each human being has the right to do their own life, to marry and to pursue his or her dreams after 18 years old.

6. Not Waiting in the queue until it is your turn: Have you been in a bank or a public health center waiting in the line for your turn, and then suddenly, someone new, out of the loop surpasses it completely and is welcome as the first one with privileged attention?.

How many times have you been in a pizza restaurant lobby waiting for a table, and suddenly just because someone is a friend of the restaurant host, he/she surpasses all the rest and receives the first available table. Not nice, eh?  In addition, just because you are a passionate youngster with digital knowledge, doesn´t mean you know what it takes to be a leader. Many soft skills to manage people only come with experience and with the years.  Don´t get me wrong, the technical fundamentals can be clearly your best talent, but to lead people is a different art. If you are from the Generation Z or the Millennials’ segment, wait until it is your turn to lead at decision making positions, because it is still the turn of the Generation X and Generation Y. Many of us have waited more than 20 years to get those positions not just at the public but private level, and it is not fair either. Every single person has a talent or specific knowledge, but leading people is a completely different story and maturity and experience are needed.  Many youngsters believe just because they have the stamina and the energy or some type of innovation degree, they will be the perfect candidates to lead organizations, but it is not true. I have seen mega-disasters in organizations when youngsters who do not have the right soft competencies and capabilities are hired and placed to lead. Don´t cut corners in detrimental of others who have been waiting in the “line”. Otherwise, it is another form of corruption too.

7. Establishing romantic affairs in the office is corruption too:

Romance in the office may happen, we can´t avoid it when the romantic click flourishes between two available human beings who like each other. It is normal to be in love, but if there is a conflict of interest in the relationship it has to be resolved. “A sexual relationship between a staff member and his/her direct report, or direct or indirect manager or supervisor is considered a conflict of interest”, and the solution is simple for many company guidelines, one of the two involved in romance has to leave the office or the division as soon as possible.

8. Gossip is corruption too: If someone has all the talents to be hired for a role or position because it is the perfect fit who will bring value to the organization, do not gossip about her or him in order to block her/his way into the company. Let me share a personal experience, in one of my past banking jobs. As an external financial advisor,  I was hired by my first former boss with flexible schedules. That means I did not have to work from the office, neither to fulfill an 8 AM to 6 PM job “in the office”. I could do my job remotely from my house or from a coffee shop, and show up in the office just when it was needed or because of meetings with potential clients or my peers. Some of my former office colleagues blocked my promotion by gossiping to another newly hired boss in the local office. They told this new boss, lies about me related to the issue of not being responsible with showing off early and not respecting the official schedule from 8AM to 6PM system. Of course, I had detractors there. The new chief in the office believed them because he had no idea of my flexible contract, and I was not promoted then because of gossip.

Other examples of blocking people through gossip go to extremely small or petty personal behavior gossip with the purpose to harm you in front of your bosses with performance reviews. Little things such as eating a meeting leftover dessert from the fridge are considered as theft or a corruption reason. Unfairly, gossip happens even if you have previously asked your boss if you can eat that leftover piece of key-lime pie!!!. My advice after all my experiences: do not take anything from the office fridge that is not yours, even if it is a leftover company dessert, otherwise, you are at risk to be considered as a thief and this will diminish your chances to be promoted. Believe it!

Source References:

Note: All the pictures and videos shown on this blog do not belong to me. I do not own any of the lovely photos posted unless otherwise stated.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s