Sandusky Scandal

Topics: Penn State Nittany Lions football, Pennsylvania State University, Joe Paterno Pages: 9 (5267 words) Published: October 23, 2014

Pennsylvania State University Scandal 1
Pennsylvania State University Scandal
Contribution and Cover-up of Sexual Abuse
OL-500 Human Behavior in Organization
Southern New Hampshire University
C. LaMour Romine
October 2, 2014
Pennsylvania State University Scandal 2
This research paper will discuss the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Sexual Child Abuse Scandal, involving perpetrator Jerry Sandusky; and its cover up by university officials. This research is centered on Organizational Behavior (OB) and its’ function within a business including the capacity of understanding organizational culture and how it operates. In the concepts that govern OB and the Penn State scandal, the research considers how ethics, culture, and leadership become key factors in how a business operates within itself (Organizational Behavior c. 15-16). Throughout this research I will identify three issues that are underlining factors to OB and the Sandusky scandal. The first question of research is the exploration of organizational culture theories: to explain why Penn State employees were more interested in protecting Sandusky, than exposing the truth about sexually abused children. The second interest of research is examining the group dynamics of: leadership, inferior counterparts, and environment; and discover which of these three dynamics held majority to lesser responsibility/blame. The last topic of this research I will attempt to answer is: discovering when the lines between ethics and business became blurred; and if/why they are capable of being kept separate. Pennsylvania State University Scandal 3

There are multiple dynamics that took place during the exposure of Jerry Sandusky who was a former defensive coordinator for Penn State University football team. This scandal came as a shock to the university, football society, and the nation. The fact that these crimes occurred themselves was not as shocking or provoked as much media attention and outcry, as the fact that some university officials had knowledge of the on-going sexual abuse; which occurred on school property, but chose to enable Sandusky by covering it up for over a decade. School officials ignored Sandusky’s behavior to avoid ruining the school’s reputation or worse jeopardizing the football programs legacy built by Sandusky and his counterparts (RockfordGray, n.d.). The idea that school officials may have been in over their heads because of the culture of unity that surrounds football, and what the success of the team meant to the reputation of Penn State University. The OB dynamic of the key players that contributed to Sandusky being able to abuse children for as long as he did was conducive to the Penn State environment of making success a priority over ethics and integrity (Bauer and Erdogan, 2012). The leaders within the university knew about the abuse and the followers who were aware knew their inferiority to the core group (Sandusky and his counterparts) making them too afraid to speak up (Padilla, 2013). The leaders at Penn State University were held to a code of ethics as all universities are, except this abuse would not have been tolerated had Penn State officials’ ethics been monitored or scrutinized, meaning there were no checks and balances to govern the actions of Sandusky or the school officials (Alderfer, 2013). Pennsylvania State University Scandal 4

Contributing Factors - Overview
Jerry Sandusky was investigated in 2011 when it was exposed that he had been sexually abusing children. Sandusky had invested 32 years into coaching and mentoring young lives through Pennsylvania State University football program, along with ‘The Second Mile’ charity for at risk youth he founded. Sandusky undoubtedly appeared to be an upstanding citizen and role model. Sandusky created a way to continue his abuse past retiring as assistant coach from Penn State in 1999. Sandusky was still able to receive...

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