Exxon Valdez Discussion
How did organizational culture influence ethical decision making?
The author of this response has chosen the Exxon case study.
There were a couple of organizational culture and training issues involved with the Exxon Valdez disaster. However, the major one cited was that the company was not properly supervising and controlling the behaviors of the people that worked for them. For example, people were not being given the breaks, rest and relaxation that were required by law. Even if they were not required by law, it is quite punitive to not allow people to get frequent breaks and sleep when they are doing something as rigorous as manning a boat. Second, there was apparent issue with the warning systems not being functional on the ship. If the organizational culture at Exxon was about compliance and doing things the "textbook way," it clearly wasn't happening at that time…at least not on the Valdez (Kurtz, 2003; EPA, 2015).
What are the ethical issues?
The ethical issues would include making...
Indeed, the work itself (not to mention what can happen when things go wrong) can be hazardous to the people working the jobs as well as the people (or animals) that are near or otherwise affected by the actions or inactions of the crew and/or the company. Ostensibly, there was plenty of that going on across the board (Kurtz, 2003; EPA, 2015).
What are the issues facing the decision makers?
One issue is that, while he was not "actively" commanding the ship, the captain was completely drunk when the collision occurred. That should never be permitted or allowed. He should get his rest and the people that cover for him should be competent. However, he should never be drunk and the people that were covering for the captain were incompetent and/or were using faulty equipment (Kurtz, 2003; EPA, 2015).
How did the organizational culture influence decision making?
There apparently was a lack of attention to detail, lack of proper maintenance and lack of doing one's job correctly overall. A culture that relies on compliance, safety and keeping each other accountable. For example, the captain being drunk (heck, alcohol being on the boat at all, really) is a HUGE red flag and that captain should never be drinking if he's on duty. In any event, there was…
That the Exxon Valdez case serves as an example of what can go terribly wrong when procedure is not followed when it comes to safety and so forth. There is often "moral luck" and there are factors beyond the control of the people involved (Stanford, 2015). That was NOT the case in the Exxon Valdez situation because the Captain was drunk by choice, the ship was not properly maintained (the warning system) and procedure was not being followed (Kurtz, 2003; EPA, 2015).
What, if anything, does the case have in common with the 2013 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal over IRS audits of conservative nonprofit agencies?
One major thing it would have in common is lack of institutional control being exerted. Surely, what the 2013 IRS people were allegedly doing was against what they SHOULD have been doing. The only question is
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