Week 6 Ethical Dilemma – Undercover Leaders
A reality show called Undercover Boss has taken CEOs from DirecTV, Hooters, 7-Eleven, NASCAR, Chiquita, Choice Hotels, and Waste Management placing them in some entry level positions in their companies. The CEOs were a bit disguised and fellow workers unaware that it is the CEO. The object is to give the CEO understanding and empathy for their employees. The show does not truly present reality since the CEO knows he is being recorded as well as some employees. Even so, the series is popular and CEOs recommend other CEOs to experience being “undercover”. Questions
I think it’s ethical for a leader to go undercover. Someone in a position to make policy should experience all levels of the organization. If they are sincere about caring for employees as well as making a profit, going undercover will remind a leader to that their employees needs are different at different levels. It really depends on the inner personality whether going undercover truly affects the Leaders. Sure, in front of a camera someone can definitely portray themselves as noble but could behave entirely different in a Board room. An article written in the online magazine Big Think titled, “Leaders Are More Likely To Be Sociopaths” states 2% to 4% of the population are such Sociopaths and they get into the leadership positions maybe 8% or 10% of the time. It’s something to consider. Since we do not have proof that going undercover is more than surface affective I do not believe we should have our tax dollars spent on a government program to promote leaders to go undercover. Something about government involvement doesn’t sit well with me. Conclusion
The concept of Undercover Boss is great for entertainment but in reality I doubt that we are seeing real results. Most companies want business and present a face of caring and altruistic on television and can use the show as a sales gimmick. If a leader truly supports...
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