Ethics Skit Summary
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In Ben W. Heineman Jr.’s 2007 article titled Avoiding Integrity Land Mines, the discussion supported the case for creating cultures from the top down in which departments and levels of professionals maintained an interdependence that supported ethics as well as profit growth. The principles presented, such as consistent committed leadership, transcending financial and legal rules, and staying ahead of the proverbial sheriff were by no means exercised in the company. The CEO had very little connection to the productivity mechanisms that were in place that promoted falsification of reported hours worked and the management had no incentive for improving the efficiencies and moral fiber of the sales team. Our team elected to demonstrate this situation due to a member experiencing the politics of mine fields in which the corporate culture hindered ethics and moral reasoning. From the disassociated CEO’s perspective, the manager’s were responsible for ensuring the clinical teams increased revenue and the clientele. From the perspective of management, the goal was only to achieve the numbers, specifically productivity quotas.
There was very little cohesion in the culture that allowed for improved efficiencies and more motivated effectiveness. According to Mr. Heineman (2007), effective leadership is fundamental. In order to establish a culture environment with high integrity and ethically sound values leaders must conduct themselves accordingly. The idiom, “Do as I say, not as I do” does not apply. It is imperative leaders from the CEO down be cognizant of every aspect of their behavior and actions. Also, executives as well as staff need to be accountable for lapses in integrity. Ethical processes need to be reviewed periodically to access the effectiveness. High integrity and ethically sound practices mandate change. Whether the necessary change is the result of internal or external factors leaders need to see it as an opportunity not as a threat. Selecting the correct process to implement change will determine how quickly the change transpires.
Nahavandi (2012) provides models of how leaders can successfully plan, implement and combat the forces that resist change. Also, according to Nahavandi (2012) changing organizational culture requires leaders to provide inspiration and vision for employees. This is accomplished through practicing exemplary and visionary leadership. The culture of discipline is not referenced in any of the models that successfully implement culture change. Jim Collins, 2001 believes very few companies have a culture of discipline. Discipline is a necessity to instill high integrity and ethically sound practices. A distinct difference exist between companies whose CEOs brought and expected tremendous discipline to their organizations. In summary, integrity and ethical behaviors in any organization requires the CEO to lead by example. Questions
1. Is succumbing to unethical behavior justified to keep a job? 2. What if the best way to correct unethical behaviors in an organizations? 3. Should CEOs be expected to conduct themselves in the manner they expect their employees to behave? 4. In the skit what would you have done in a similar situation?
Collins, J. C. (2001). Good to Great. New York, NY: Harper Business. Heineman, Jr., B. W. (2007). Avoiding Integrity Land Mines. Harvard Business Review, 85(4), 100-108.
Nahavandi, A. (2012). The Art of Science of Leadership (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.