CSR Pat Gnazzo Must Decide Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Putting a UTC executive into Chubb would discourage that line of thinking.

To address the issue of the ethics program being fleeting, UTC needs to illustrate in its message the importance of the ethical culture. The message should begin with the scandals that the firm has suffered, which provide the underlying rationale for the ethics program. The message should -- briefly -- outline the history of the program. More important is the next phase, which should be an explanation of the value of the program today. A subtle dig at Chubb's lack of ethics contributing to its low valuation that allowed the takeover would be good, if it could be done tactfully. The final component of the message should be the current structure of the ethics program.

Because Chubb is a new acquisition, the culture cannot be expected to take either quickly or easily. It will take considerable reinforcement efforts to ensure that the culture of ethics is instilled in Chubb. This reinforcement should be in the form of supplementary communications and meetings over the course of the first year at least. Given the remoteness and independence of many of the Chubb employees, the culture is less likely to be self-supporting quickly. As a result, UTC may need to be a bit more aggressive than they otherwise would be at pushing their culture on Chubb employees.

The plan to instill the UTC code of ethics at Chubb can only be effective if it is measured. Measurement allows UTC management to gauge the effectiveness of different tactics and the overall strategy. They can adjust their tactics as needed, and identify roadblocks to implementation. The metrics used for measurement should include perceptions of the importance of ethics and the UTC ethical code. Other measures should include knowledge of the code, its underlying motivations and its antecedents. The degree to which employees value the code and are aware of its contents will determine the degree of the training's effectiveness well in advance of proxies such as ethical breaches, which may not be revealed for years.

One last recommended strategy for Gnazzo is that he should take from the lessons learned within his own organization. He views the geographic and cultural diversity of Chubb as a challenge, yet UTC faces the same challenges every day. Gnazzo has already identified that people all over the world, of all culture, recognize certain statements as fundamental truths: "don't lie; don't cheat; don't steal." Chubb employees will see these statements as truths, too. A more important lesson from this simply fact is that Gnazzo needs to approach the change process as though it will not be a challenge. The message, in both words and actions, from UTC headquarters to Chubb and all of its employees, should be that the new ethics policy is something they already do. That may not be true, but if UTC shows faith in the Chubb employees' good ethics, they are more likely to be responsive. If UTC views the lack of an ethics program at Chubb as a sign that Chubb employees are thieves and crooks, that will come across in communications and the message will meet resistance.

Pat Gnazzo faces the challenge of integrated 49,000 Chubb employees into the UTC code of ethics. This is not unreasonable, given that the company had to instill this code in all of its employees not too long ago. Gnazzo needs to improve the communications chains between Chubb employees, their supervisors and head office. From there, UTC needs to spare no effort in instilling the ethical culture in Chubb. Online training courses and increased meetings at regional offices would enable the remote and independent workers to gain exposure to the program. An incentive program will encourage front line managers to instill the program in their charges. The message should include the rationale for the program and the benefits that the program has brought to the company. These benefits should also tie in how the program will help Chubb and its employees to meet their goals as well. Lastly, Gnazzo must be positive -- the ethics program is a good thing, and Chubb employees should be excited to adopt it. To project anything else to them increases the risk of…

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