Week Five Theme – ETHICS AND INTEGRITY
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You are the Senior V.P. of a Legal entity that has recently purchased a company in Silicon Valley about a year ago. You have just recently been assigned this product line so you have been spending the last couple of weeks at the facility becoming acquainted with their operations, customers, staff and closely viewing the alignment of the management of the company. While eating in the company cafeteria with some employees from the Accounts Payable department, an individual that identifies himself as the Manager of Facilities approaches and introduces himself and states “what a great boss you are.” This puzzles you as to date you have not had any direct involvement with facilities due to your Director, back at your Headquarters having been involved in any facility issue. In addition, this is a little embarrassing as you have never been one for public displays of appreciation. This person goes on to indicate what “good” things” that he has done for the company including representing the company in court with a local real estate matter. Since until a few moments ago, you, 1) had not met this individual and 2) did not recall him in any of the meetings that you had been in the last few weeks, you are deducting that this is one of those individuals that believes he has to “tout his own horn; as no one else will” (and that in a more informal way speaks for itself). You indicate that in the future that all legal matters should be handled by Corporate Legal. He responds with that should not be a problem as “I have a Doctorate in Law.” You assume he means a Juris Doctorate and again repeat that all legal matters must be handled by Corporate Legal. Again he repeats his statement that he is qualified due to his Doctorate in Law. You respond with the question are you recognize by the state of California to practice law? To which he responds, yes. He departs, and you turn your attention back to your lunch party, at which time one of the ladies indicated that this particular individual had presented an invoice for his “legal services” regarding this real estate matter. You inquire, was the invoice paid? She responded with a yes, and the Controller approve the invoice. This troubles you as you know this is not standard procedure for any organization.
After lunch you return to your “visiting office’ and call the Human Resource Manager and inquire if this person has a law degree, She responds yes. You then ask if she did a background check on him prior to his hiring. Again you receive a yes. You are still puzzled but go to your next meeting. Later in the day, you are in the “visiting office” again having a conversation with one of the salesmen and you observe this individual going to his car in the parking lot and leaving. After the salesman leaves the office, you again call Human Resources and ask to see the personal file on this individual but you have specifically asked one of the administrative assistant’s in the HR department instead of the manager. You begin reviewing the file and because of your accounting background (bean counter) training you note that this individual has used a different Social Security number for his medical than the one on the main application form. Continuing you note that he has used a third and different Social Security number for this dental and yet again a different fourth number for this life insurance. This “strikes” you as very odd. You pick up the phone and call the “University” where he obtained his “Doctorate of Law” to discover 1) it is no longer in operation and upon further phone calls discover that it was a “diploma paper mill” organization in San Francisco. You then call a University in Tennessee that he has listed when he received his Masters degree. The registrar researches this individual name with all four of the Social Security numbers and indicates that the University has no record of an individual with this name or any of the Social Security numbers having ever attended and definitely did not graduate. You then proceed to yet again another University in Tennessee to confirm his undergraduate degree and get the same negative response. (This was back in the days when you could do this over the phone with verification of education- [aging myself am I not] before all of the privacy laws) You now know you have a problem but do not know to what extent other than this person has “bogus” his “degrees”. You call an agency that the company uses for in depth background checks, usually for high level positions, and ask for a specific individual. You have done business with this gentleman many times and have been impressed with his thorough investigative work. You ask him to “check” him out. After the phone call, it is no longer on your “radar.”
Almost two weeks later, you are at dinner in another city with the City Manager of that particular city as your organization has submitted a huge bid for all of their communications needs for their police and fire departments and your pager goes off with a display of URGENT (this was in the early days when cell phones were still large in size) and you carried both a pager and a cell phone with you). You excuse yourself and step outside and make a phone call. The investigator informs you that his guy is a fugitive wanted by the FBI and to please be in the FBI offices early the next morning with whatever documents you have.
You fly back on a red eye and go to the “visiting office’ and pick up the files. Early the next morning you deliver the files to the FBI agent and they began coordinating with the local police and sheriff and our security team to have the individual come to the lobby where they will arrest him. This goes smoothly and he is arrested.
Now after this individuals arrest you are back in the “visiting office” deciding on the announcement that you are going to make to the employees in the cafeteria in a few minutes to explain all of this early morning activity at the facility. You decide that your announcement will be a generalization that it had come to your attention that the authorities were seeking this person and leave it at that. But you are thinking about another issue as well which you do not address in the cafeteria. You are recalling your questions and the answers that you got from the Manager of Human Relations. You call the Merger and Acquisition V.P. and ask for the roster of employees names that were provided when the company purchased this organization. You received it the next morning and you call the investigator and schedule lunch. At lunch you inform him that of the people on the roster (500 plus) you want background checks which include previous employers and education on the 180 plus exempt employees. He jokingly states that this will allow him to take a vacation after he completes but estimates that it will take a few weeks. You leave him with the list.
About 4 weeks later he calls and indicates that he has the information. You fly out and meet in his office. Of the 180 plus exempt employees, there are 83 that do not have the education degrees that they entered on their application blanks. Another 21 (in some cases this list is mixed with both so the total does not add up to 104 people) have not worked for the employers that they listed on their application form And “Surprise, Surprise” the Manager of Human Relations has committed fraud on both, education and previous employer. You depart for your bosses offices in Chicago. Enroute you call and inform him of the information and suggest that Corporate Legal and well as Corporate Human Relations meet with the two of you tomorrow.
Next morning at the meeting it is decided that there will be a mass firing the next week. You, Corporate Legal, with a couple of additional attorneys and Corporate Human Relations with another 6 or 7 people, and Corporate Security and a team of a dozen or so will fly to San Jose and enter the facility early on Tuesday morning. You will set up operations in the vacated manufacturing plant, specifically the Inventory Control area. Once in place and around 9:30am the Security team will “locked down” the facility. Corporate HR representatives will “fan out” and bring the people on the “firing” list to the area.
These individuals were given documents to sign indicating that they were not entitled to any of their benefits, other than vacation on the books and they were being “terminated for cause.” Specifically, submitting fraud information on their application forms for the purposes of employment.
After this was completed you inform the remaining employees what has occurred and also that you have decided to move their positions to Phoenix, Arizona. Everyone remaining would be offer relocation and have a job for them in Phoenix. They have 30 days to accept this offer and discuss with their families. Those not accepting would be provided all benefits including out-placement, and a weeks pay for every year of tenure.
Task and/or Project:
Prepare a “White Paper” which in conclusion contains the explanations for why individuals will compromise their ethics and integrity by “puffing” their resume to the point of outright misrepresentation, lying and complete fraud. Include in your “paper” the consequences of these actions and what effect that they have on the creditability of employees of corporations in the market place. Include within the paper, how these actions can be paralleled to plagiarism in the academia environment. Specifically how does utilizing someone else work and creative thought and presenting it as yours without giving citation and credit to the author is similar to these individuals presentation of untrue information regarding their credentials? Please include your thoughts on whether this was a failure of upbringing or early education as to why individuals will be untruthful in regard to these types of situations in life. Your audience for this “White Paper” is your classmates some of who will become the future executives of tomorrow. Do not repeat any of the above Case situation statements or facts/circumstances within the minimum 4 pages of your “White Paper.”
Deduction of points will result if these statements/facts/circumstances are repeated within the minimum or complete text of pages for this assignment. To emphasize a twice made statement: “Tell me something that I do not know.”
- Read and analyze the above case.
- Provide the requested “White Paper which is a summarization of the causes, whys and outcomes.
- Prepare response in APA format and post in Week Five dropbox entitled Theme-Weekly Case – ETHICS AND INTEGRITY by 11:59pm on Sunday, May the 3rd Central Standard Time.
- Minimum of four pages Please see Rubric Case) but no maximum limitations on page content. Responses must be ample text to directly answer the questions. No PowerPoint or Bullet dots – must be sentence structure and within paragraphs.