In this assignment, you are asked to do a case analysis that focuses on features of a certain firm’s corporate culture that appear to have motivated serious unethical behavior by some of its key employees. In thinking about corporate culture as a causal force that helps explain the conduct (or misconduct) of members of an organization, it will be especially helpful to consult these course readings: Langevoort, “Chasing the Greased Pig”; Anand, Ashforth, and Joshi, “Business as Usual”; and Darley, “The Cognitive and Social Psychology of Contagious Organizational Corruption.” I also recommend Langevoort’s earlier article, “Opening the Black Box of ‘Corporate Culture’ in Law and Economics,” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 162 (March 2006). (Of course, Blind Spots, “Ethical Fading,” and other assigned readings may be useful too.)
Select a case in which the unethical behavior (which could include culpably excessive risk-taking) was likely influenced by various factors in the corporate culture—the kinds of drivers of behavior discussed in the articles just cited. (Langevoort’s concept of an “adaptive culture” and what contributes to it is an especially fertile construct.) NOTE: Choose a case different from the one(s) on which you wrote your Midterm Paper.
As for specifics, regarding the case you select, your paper should address the following questions (which you need not restate in the text):
What was the unethical behavior, and who engaged in it? What stakeholder obligations were violated, and how?
What features of the organization’s culture help explain the unethical behavior? How? (This will be the most substantial and important portion of the paper.)
What symptoms of the problematic aspects of the corporate culture might have been evident to ethically perceptive individuals, inside or outside the firm? That is, what might have been some red flags that those who “slid” into the wrongdoing may have missed or ignored or failed to appreciate?
Given the significant impact of a firm’s leadership on its culture, what might this company’s leaders (with the help of its gatekeepers) have done differently to limit the incentives and opportunities for such behavior?
NOTE: At the end of the paper, be sure to cite the sources you used. You should also check the “similarity score” and highlighted passages on Turnitin before submitting your final version, to make sure there is no problem with using text without placing it in quotation marks and citing the source. (Note that I said that Turnitin is not perfect, sometimes flagging text in quotes or bibliographical material. So, I don’t go by the score but by whether any text should be in quotes with a citation.) Please proofread, taking care to avoid spelling and grammatical errors.

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