When Bullying Leads to Believing
“Following Lance Armstrong: Excellence Corrupted case study, written by Clayton Rose and Noah Fisher 2014, of Global Research Group for Harvard Business School.” When it came to the sport of cycling, Lance possessed characteristics that made him unique. His ability to take in and use oxygen effectively was higher than an average man by 90% and a trained and active many by 42%. Lance also produced less lactic acid than others, which allowed him to dominate the shorter races (Rose & Fisher, 2014). By the time he was 21, Lance had already ridden in his first tour and won the U.S. Pro Championship. Lance Armstrong also cheated death at the young age of 25. He won the battle against cancer when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that then spread to his lungs and brain (Rose & Fisher, 2014). Lance vowed to return to the cycling world someday and that he did. Taking with him the hearts of Americans. Could all these achievements have create a man that thought he was so invincible that he could bully his way to the top, have people lie for him and also bring down all those around him who thought he cheated while still believing it wasn’t “cheating”? With personal sponsors such as Nike, Oakley and Giro and creating the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Lance became an iconic figure. In 1997, when the USPS (United States Postal Service) sponsored the U.S. cycling team, they also took a chance with Lance. It was a rocky start until Johan Bruyneel became the team director and changed Lance’s training schedule and regime (Rose & Fisher, 2014). Armstrong was the key decision maker when it came to the team such as choosing the other riders, the doctors and the support staff. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance describes doping as leveling the playing field because everyone else was doing it. This could be considered rules based (Ghillyer, 2014) as he is doing it the same as everyone else. Tyler Hamilton had doped for the first time after the 1997 Tour, which was two years before Lance won his first Tour (Fisher, 2014). The descriptive perspective (Ghillyer, 2014) is that doping has been going on for more than 50 years and it will always be there. The cyclists need to be faster and stronger and feel that there is no other option in order to stay in this sport. It was said that doping is an unfortunate act of cycling and that cycling can’t separate itself from it’s own history. In order for Lance to maintain the momentum that doping was giving him on cycling, his teammates also had to increase their performance level by doping as well. Scott Mercier who rode with Lance in 1997 on the USPS team refused to go against his value system and simple truths (Ghillyer, 2014) and succumb to the bullying and peer pressure and decided instead to just leave the sport. Lance’s individual rules of appropriate behavior (Ghillyer, 2014) were flawed. At the age of 15, Lance was already lying about his age in order to compete in the adult races. This is found to be a value conflict (Ghillyer, 2014) as Lance had done this many times for his own greater good so that he could be able to race against stronger competition. In the1999 Tour, the French Newspaper Le Monde reported that Lance had actually tested positive for cortisone. Lance responded to this by producing a backdated doctors note (Rose & Fisher, 2014). Maybe this was the start of Lance’s ends-based resolution principle (Ghillyer, 2014). Knowing that if he won the Tour, this would be a phenomenal feat for his sponsors, his teammates and all the staff that have supported him throughout this journey. In 2000, the disposal of syringes and Actovegin by staff of USPS was witnessed by French television. Armstrong and his team claimed that the team’s mechanic used the syringes for the treatment of his diabetes and the medication was for the riders to treat their road rash. As the years went on Lance and the other riders and team members...
References: Blanding, M. (2013). Lessons from the Lance Armstrong Cheating Scandal. Retrieved from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7308.html
Ghillyer, A. (2012). Business Ethics Now (4th ed.). : McGraw-Hill.
Morlidge, M. (2015, January 26). Lance Armstrong says he would cheat again if cycling career
started over…and believes it’s time to be forgiven after drugs shame. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2927113/Lance-Armstrong-says-cheat-cycling-career-started-over.html
Rose, C. & Fisher, N. (2014, October 7). Following Lance Armstrong: Excellence Corrupted.
Harvard Business School, 9-314-015. Retrieved from https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu
Schrotenboer, B. (2014). Lance Armstrong at impasse with feds over evidence. Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/cycling/2014/12/03/lance-armstrong-at-impasse-with-feds-over-evidene
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