CASE STUDY: Cleaning up Boeing
Q1: How would you describe Boeing’s unethical culture. So called rotten to the core (5)?
The unethical culture inside Boeing was widespread, and affected multiple geographic areas and there were cases across all divisions of such unethical behaviour.
The promotion of the well-being of stakeholders was no longer being practised. Managers were no longer taking the claims of all stakeholders into consideration in their decision-making, and as such all stakeholder groups were at threat from this unethical behaviour, including the stockholders, employees, suppliers and distributors and the customers.
The problem is that the relentless pursuit of self-interest was evident, and this seemingly led to a collective disaster inside the company, as one or more people started to profit from being unethical in the company, which likely encouraged other managers and employees to act in the same way.
As a result, the efficiency and effectiveness of the company and its performance was compromised (e.g. failing to capitalise on cost savings initiatives). All in all, this resulted in reputation loss (e.g. humiliating ouster of Harry Stonecipher).
As unethical behaviour was evident from the former CEO (affair with colleague) to his executive and other lower level managers (imprisoned employees), it is understandable and appropriate to refer to the culture and being ‘rotten to the core’. The culture that existed was simply unacceptable.
Q2: What kind of factors resulted in Boeing’s unethical culture (10)?
There are a number of factors that led to and resulted in culture at Boeing being unethical in nature. Some of these helped to create the environment for poor ethical decisions (e.g. poor ethics), and some of the factors were direct breaches of ethical conduct that served to stimulate further acts of ethical breach in the organisation.
The four rules for ethical