As we approach the end of the calendar year, businesses grapple with the issue of giving and receiving gifts and entertainment to and from suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. This blog looks at the psychology of gift giving, the inherent risks in both giving and receiving gifts, and how the implementation of a ‘Gifts and Entertainment’ register can provide a defensible position if questioned about the probity of giving or receiving gifts.
The giving of gifts is ingrained across all cultures and societies. As an evolutionary trait, the act of giving a gift could be as old as humans. Individuals who generously gave would have more easily attracted a mate, and small gifts of food between members of a troop have been observed in our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzees.