the ethics of whistle blowing

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The Ethics of Whistle-Blowing

Introduction and Alignment

What do you do when you become aware of an ethical lapse on the part of your organization? Increasingly, the answer is to call the whistle-blowing hotline and collect on the reward offered to those who provide tips that result in successful prosecution. However, what if the organization itself is not aware of the issue because it results from the malfeasance of an individual? What is the ethical action to take then? What if it is not clear if the ethical lapse is illegal? This assignment will prepare you to answer these questions should you be faced with the issue of whistle blowing in the future.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate ethical responses to potential whistle-blowing situations.
  • Examine challenges faced by leaders in crises.

Resources

  • Textbook: Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership
  • File: Chapter 11.ppt

Background Information

Partially as a result of the actions of Enron, Adelphia Cable, and other companies, federal regulators have been promoting rewards to those who report ethical wrong-doing by their organizations; those who do so are called whistle blowers. Whistle blowing has many challenges, both ethical and operational. A review of recent cases of reported whistle blowing show that fewer than 10% of reported charges result in successful prosecution; those individuals who made the charge are often fired and occasionally black balled within the industry. Whistle blowers often violate confidentially agreements and loyalty, and sever relationships. Additionally, whistle blowing can lead to negative consequences for many who had no knowledge or participation in the ethical violation.

What is the ethical manager to do when faced with a possible violation? This assignment will help prepare you for such a situation.

Instructions

  1. Download and review the PowerPoint presentation, Chapter 11.ppt.
  2. Read Chapter 11 in the textbook Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership. As you read, think about the types of crises that organizations face and ethical issues that may occur as a result of these crises.
  3. Review “Blowing the Whistle: Ethical Tension Points” on pp. 437-438 in the text.
  4. Conduct a search using the Off Campus Library Service for one incident of employee whistle blowing that resulted in a successful prosecution and payment of a reward to the whistle blower.
  5. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following:
    1. Evaluate the instance of employee whistle blowing identified in the article you found using the ethical decision models identified in assignments 4.2 and 5.3 of this course.
      1. Based on this evaluation, was whistle blowing the appropriate ethical action?
      2. Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
    2. Determine what the likely positive and negative outcomes of the whistle blowing for society, the organization being reported, the customers and employees of the organization, and the whistle blower.
      1. Given these outcomes, was the reward to the whistle blower fair and equitable?
      2. Provide a detailed defense of your position that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
  6. Your initial post should be 200 to 300 words in length and include two academic resources that are properly cited.
  7. Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
  8. Read and conduct a critical analysis of postings by two of your classmates by the end of the workshop.
    1. The topic of your discussion response should be your classmate’s posting and should be written as if you were reviewing his or her posting in an academic journal. Your discussion response should therefore answer the following questions as applicable:
      1. Were the arguments of your classmate articulate and logical? Were the facts correct?
      2. Was the interpretation your classmate provided reasonable and consistent with experts in the field? Was your classmate consistent with both the substance and intent of his/her references?
    2. The focus for your critical analysis is not whether or not you agree with your classmate, but how well his/her position was presented.
    3. Each response should be at least 200 words in length and cite two academic sources. (Note: the academic sources do not count towards the word length requirement.)
    4. Respond to the following:
      1. Evaluate the instance of employee whistle blowing identified in the article you found using the ethical decision models identified in assignments 4.2 and 5.3 of this course.
        1. Based on this evaluation, was whistle blowing the appropriate ethical action?
        2. Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
      2. Determine what the likely positive and negative outcomes of the whistle blowing for society, the organization being reported, the customers and employees of the organization, and the whistle blower.
        1. Given these outcomes, was the reward to the whistle blower fair and equitable?
        2. Provide a detailed defense of your position that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
        3. 6.3 Ethical Communication in Crisis

          Introduction and Alignment

          Crises provide serious tests of ethical leadership. It is easy for most leaders to do the right thing during days filled with routine, but even the least complicated task grows increasingly difficult in a crisis, and leadership often fails during these times. The textbooks (and the news) are full of such examples. Studying these examples will help prepare you to make the ethical decision when you find yourself faced with a crisis.Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

          • Select the appropriate and ethical response to a crisis.

          Resources

          • Bible
          • Textbook: Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership

          Background Information

          In Romans 12:2 (New International Version), you are told: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Though it is not likely that Paul anticipated social media sites such as Facebook, it is clear that God did. Paul, however, experienced many of the same challenges you face with today’s media, just at a different pace. In this study, we will examine potential responses to organizational crises catalyzed by social media.

          Instructions

          1. Review Chapter 11 in the textbook Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership. As you review, think about how news about a crisis is communicated, and how the failure to response to news of a crisis can make the crises even worse.
          2. Read Case Study 11.2 on pp. 445-447.
          3. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following:
            1. How would you evaluate the crisis response of Southern Cross Austereo based on the five components of ethical crises leadership presented in the chapter? Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
            2. What steps should Southern Cross Austereo take to restore the firm’s reputation and that of station 2Day FM? Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
          4. Your initial post should be 200 to 300 words in length and include two academic resources that are properly cited.
          5. Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
          6. Read and conduct a critical analysis of a posting by two of your classmates by the end of the workshop.
            1. The topic of your discussion response should be your classmate’s posting and should be written as if you were reviewing his or her posting in an academic journal. Your discussion response should therefore answer the following questions as applicable:
              1. Were the arguments of your classmate articulate and logical? Were the facts correct?
              2. Was the interpretation your classmate provided reasonable and consistent with experts in the field? Was your classmate consistent with both the substance and intent of his/her references?
            2. The focus for your critical analysis is not whether or not you agree with your classmate, but how well his/her position was presented.
            3. Each response should be at least 200 words in length and cite two academic sources. (Note: the academic sources do not count towards the word length requirement.)
            4. Respond to the following:
              1. How would you evaluate the crisis response of Southern Cross Austereo based on the five components of ethical crises leadership presented in the chapter? Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
              2. What steps should Southern Cross Austereo take to restore the firm’s reputation and that of station 2Day FM? Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
              3. 6.4 Personal Ethical Framework

                Introduction and Alignment

                Perhaps the most noteworthy case of corporate fraud in the United States was Enron. Only after the collapse of Enron did the full magnitude of the corruption and ethical misconduct become known. Yet another lesson learned from Enron is that the corruption and ethical misconduct did not develop overnight, but as a result of many actions and decisions that created a culture where profitability was more important than ethics. Scholars have concluded that the ethical collapse of Enron came as a result of a culture that slowly chipped away at the ethical standards of employees until almost any action could be justified. The most potent defense against this erosion of ethics is a robust, pre-determined ethical framework for personal decisions. This assignment will lead you through the process of establishing your personal framework for ethical decisions.Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

                • Evaluate one’s personal ethical standards and create a personal/professional framework to guide decision making compatible with a Christian worldview.
                • Synthesize the interrelatedness of biblical principles and the ethical and legal fabrics in American society.

                Resources

                • Video: A Conversation About the Documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”

                Background Information

                Jesus often taught with parables. A parable is a story, usually shared verbally, that uses an image or story to illustrate a truth and defines the unknown by using the known. Parables help the listener to discover the deeper meaning and underlying truth of the reality being portrayed. An example of a business-related parable can be found in Luke 16:1-12, where a business man conducted a test of three of his employees. The collapse of Enron was vividly described in the documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.” Although the documentary is not available to view in class, it is available for you to watch as a private individual. Be aware that it contains both profanity and nudity.The documentary sparked a great deal of conversation over its message, as you will hear in the YouTube video. In this video, you will see an interview with the movie’s producer and the author of the book by the same name discussing the underlying causes and issues involved in the Enron collapse.

                Instructions

                1. Watch the video “A Conversation About the Documentary ‘Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room'” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNIooXEeVu4.
                2. As you watch, make note of how the Enron culture applied a constant pressure on employees to compromise on their principles.
                3. Write a 1200- to 1400-word research paper that addresses the following issues:
                  1. What factors led to the development of the culture of profit before principle at Enron? Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
                  2. Create a personal code of ethics that will guide you in professional and personal decision making. The code should address behavior in the following areas (as a minimum):
                    1. Relationships
                    2. Honesty and integrity
                    3. Work ethics
                    4. Transparency and disclosure of information
                    5. Fairness
                  3. For each element of your code, justify your principle by linking it to a concept articulated in the secular or biblical ethical frameworks presented in this class. Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
                4. Support your positions with at least six references from scholarly sources.
                5. Use proper spelling, grammar, and APA formatting for your analysis paper. (Note: cover pages, academic sources, reference pages, etc. do not count towards the word length requirement in your paper.)
                6. When you have completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor using the Dropbox by the end of the workshop (Turnitin will be enabled).

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