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sweetheart agreement

 and sweetheart deal
a private agreement reached between a public agency or government official and a private company that includes illicit payments or special favors. They found that the mayor was involved in a number of sweetheart agreements. Most of the building contractors in town would be out of business if they didn't have sweetheart deals with the local politicians.

sweetheart deal

n. a deal made between friends so that both may profit well. (Such deals usually involve illegal or unethical practices.) Most of the general contractors in town would be out of business if they didn’t offer “sweetheart deals” to the politicians.
See also: deal, sweetheart
References in periodicals archive ?
For instance, they found that the frequency of sweethearting is greater when employees have higher levels of need for social approval, higher levels of risk-seeking propensity and weaker ethical values.
The research indicates that managers attempting to control sweethearting should consider including measures of ethics and need for approval in their pre-employment screening and target applicants who are on the high and low ends of such scales.
On the customer side, the study found that although sweethearting inflates a firm's customer satisfaction, loyalty and positive word-of-mouth scores by as much as 9 percent, any benefits in terms of customer satisfaction or loyalty initiatives are tied to the rogue employee.
Gaudette adds that, in addition to detecting and reducing sweethearting, the use of the technology will enable the chain to improve its cashier workforce through better training.
Employees who engage in sweethearting are identified the first time they conduct a fraudulent transaction and can be dealt with immediately rather than months later.
Kundu, who developed facial recognition systems for identifying terrorists before he founded StopLift, points out that the system has successfully detected sweethearting incidents that were previously unidentifiable through typical exception-reporting metrics.
In developing the software Kundu characterized and classified behaviors that are indicative of sweethearting.
The software examines how each item is handled in every transaction, enabling it to catch sweethearting in the act.