Policy & Ethics


Answer the following questions:

1.  Explain what the top-down control management style is as described in this article.

2.  How and why can this kind of culture create unethical practices?

3.  Outline the sort of “perfect storm” set of conditions, both internally and externally, that created the dilemmas for the engineers. 

4.  How did the engineers “solve” their problem?

5.  While the executives may have perceived the organization as having an open door policy, what was actually taking place within the organization?

6.  What did the new management immediately say needs to change for the problem to be fixed?  Hint!  This is the main idea of the last two modules.  🙂

7.  What types of companies survive better in tough times and why?

Part 2

So, again, for the above questions, these were meant to simply to guide you through the main parts of the article.  Although this is about a private company, people are people, regardless if the organization is public or private.  And, as explained in the article, this is the biggest class action settlement ever.  It is huge not only because of the scope of the problem, but it is huge because of the scale of both illegal and unethical actions.  As Zimbardo would state, the Volkswagen executives created a bad barrel for its workers.  I don’t believe the engineers woke up one day and just became evil.  They were under so much pressure to perform, and they were alone in their “silos” within the organization, that they probably began to see no other choice but to get the job done at all costs.  This doesn’t excuse their actions at all. It just simply helps to explain it. 

That being said, and taking what you have learned throughout this course, and experienced in your own work environments, create your own list of how YOU would build an ethical agency. 

This should be an “action plan” of at least 5 different things.  List out these action items, and then fully explain what they mean and how you would implement these plans.  Are there rewards?  Are there punishments?  What things would you require be in place?  What things would you require your employees to do?  What things would you state your employees cannot do? 

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