Discuss about the Case Study Analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The Boeing Company is the world’s largest aerospace company and the leading manufacturer of jetliners, space and security systems. It is a top United States exporter which supports airlines to government customers majorly in 150 countries, Boeing is divided into two business units under which one is the Boeing Commercial Airplanes and second is the Boeing Defence, Space and Security (Boeing, 2018). In August 1997 Boeing elected Harry Stonecipher as the president and chief operating officer; in the month of May 2001 he was elected as the vice chairman and retired in the month of June 2002. However; he returned from retirement and named as the president and chief executive officer in the month of December 2003 and resigned in the month of May 2005 (Romero, 2010).
The reason for resign of Stonecipher was that he was a faithful supporter of the code of conduct and an inspiration for all the employees as minor violations were not tolerated, but Stonecipher admitted to being in a personal relationship which lasted several weeks and the lady was a long time Boeing employee. A packet of information was sent from an unidentified source to Boeing's non-executive chairman Lewis Platt and several executives who made a series of charges, several charges according to Platt did not stand any chances of internal investigation (Oneal, 2005).
Personal Ethical Perspective
Harry’s Character: Influence on Decision Making
Harry Stonecipher is a blunt talking aerospace veteran, an enforcer; bottom line focused, no-nonsense style, self-confident, dominant, active, higher frequency at personal interaction, warm, assertive, and enthusiastic depicts his character as of a leader (Bayram, 2017). The act of choosing best alternative from all the others is defined as decision making; its process involves multiple ways to achieve success as it depends upon the person’s own values (Moore, Zavaleta & Shaw, 2012). As in the case of Stonecipher his character influenced his decision making positively because he did well on all the positions as he persisted professionalism in his work. He leaded well when he was with General Electric Financial services and further at The Boeing, also received the “Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award” in 2001.
Aspects of Harry’s Spirituality
Spirituality is a broad concept; in general sense it is a connection to something bigger than human beings and involves searching a meaning in life (Hyson, 2012). The aspects of Harry’s spirituality which may have influenced his decision making are mentioned below:
- First aspect is the hopefulness, spirituality add a sense of hope and optimism as challenges encounter at every step of life but staying hopeful during such challenges is the key to win over all the challenges (Chaplain, 2014). This aspect may have influenced Harry’s decision making because it is related with optimism and winning over the challenges.
- Second aspect is the sense of purpose and meaning which signifies a feeling life is of some worth and there is a reason behind being alive, the sight is lost towards what is important and meaningful without the sense of spirituality (Sinek, Mead & Docker, 2017). This aspect may have influenced Harry’s decision making because if he did not have that sense of purpose, reaching such higher positions in the companies where he worked is not possible without taking best decisions.
- Third aspect is the inspiration and appreciation as life is full of inspiration and if the search is done then the result comes that life is more than just struggles and challenges that are faced by the human being (Kontos, 2016). This aspect may have influenced Harry’s decision making because inspiration play an important role while taking the decisions.
Aspects of Transformation in Action: Evident with Case
Business transformation consists of making changes in the fundamentals i.e. changes in the manner the business is being conducted to cope up with the environmental changes (Uhl & Gollenia, 2016). The aspects of transformation action which are evident with the case of Harry Stonecipher are mentioned below:
- First is embracing the hypocritical self i.e. feeling like different at time when at work, with partner, with family, and alone. Thinking about being more, being different, and having any tangible or social skill of which no one is sure to actually possess that in real life, however the shadow self forms from unconscious mind through repressed instincts, ideas, weakness, perversions and desires (Edwards, 2010).
- Second is transcending fear i.e. overcoming fear and exploring how the fear and anxiety are connected, mistakes become learning opportunities for success and focusing on the things which can be controlled directs towards overcoming the fears. Finding right support makes huge difference in overcoming the fears and knowing the potential opportunities caters in fulfilling it (Edwards, 2010).
- Third is disturbing the systems i.e. systems are moving towards new levels of complexity because of which they are disturbed, systems were designed to prevent disturbances and maintain a steady course. But when these systems are deviated and disturbed they straight away triggers the resistance, the only way to get through this is to purify oneself then only the purpose is fulfilled and the transformation takes place (Edwards, 2010).
Ethical Decision Making and Action
Application of Steps by Harry for Sound Decision Making
Harry Stonecipher firstly never gathered any facts by any means from Boeing employees, secondly; issues identified by Harry were that cultural changes were needed in the company after the merger took place between Boeing and McDonnel Douglas, thirdly; stakeholders who were most affected in this were not Harry Stonecipher concerns as he just focused on bringing the cultural change, fourthly; consequences were never given importance by Harry that many of the employees may leave the job or will not be happy at the workplace, fifthly; obligations were that Harry was bound to his own code of conduct as he pushes out executives who fail to deliver, sixthly; Harry always considered his character as the blunt one as he straight away says towards changing the culture that it should run like a business rather than an engineering firm because people invest in a company to make money, seventhly; thinking creatively about potential actions was used by Harry as he always tried to push people for best results as a marks of good leadership, eighthly; Harry did checked his gut because he reviewed all the actions in terms of the cultural changes he brought to the company.
Importance of Moral Sensitivity, Judgement, Motivation and Character in Decision Making
- The skill which is involved in making good decisions is the sensitivity towards the moral issues which are faced in daily life, when a decision has to be taken the problem must not always be seen as a technical one because they can consist moral components (Mower, Robison & Vandenberg 2015).
- Moral judgement and decision making in situations is used where tensions arises between moral principles, theory of social judgement is that people act and reason diversely on the situations which are faced as they are governed by moral rules, social conventions, and personal discretion (Bartels, Ross, Medin & Skitka, 2009).
- In societies individual achievements are rewarded and serious threat arises from those people who cheat the systems for personal gains, maintaining higher standard is demanded from the people and setting active goals which are important in decision making triggered by motivation.
- A person who consist practical wisdom is a wiser one, and is able to perceive appropriate degree of passion and action in response to the problem for which the decision is to be taken.
The above were not evident in Harry Stonecipher’s case because the way Harry executed his decision making was absolutely blunt and never thought what any moral implications may arise from the decisions that are taken by him.
Ethical Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication Aspects which Arise at Boeing
First is the Emotional Intelligence; it referred as the capability of an individual in managing and controlling emotions of oneself and also possessing the ability of controlling others emotions. It is a very vital skill in context with the capabilities of leadership and the biggest single predictor for achieving success at the workplace (Petrovici & Dobrescu, 2014). This aspect arise at the Boeing in the situation when the merger was under process and Harry Stonecipher took the charge of bringing cultural change although Harry was successful in controlling emotions of himself as he did well in applying ethical code of conduct and made others also follow it strictly otherwise gave them the option to walk off from the organization.
Second is managing the conflict; whenever two individuals or groups convey different opinions and do not show any will to compromise, conflicts are raised. Conflicts at workplace arises due to numerous reasons, sometimes mutual acceptance is lacked, sometimes due the organizational change conflicts are there between the top management and the employees or the unions, and like this reasons persist on the basis of organization to organization (Liddle, 2017). This aspect can be linked with Boeing in respect with the conflicts that were between the employees and Harry Stonecipher i.e. the way Harry was implementing changes in the whole organization so rapidly the old employees of the Boeing before the merger took place were not happy as they had issues that politics of the McDonnel Douglas company was brought to Boeing which was not accepted by the old employees.
Exercising Ethical Influence
Way Harry Exercised Power and Influence
In the case of Harry Stonecipher the kind of power which was imparted in his leadership were the legitimate power and coercive power. Legitimate power is the type of power that a leader possess through status and the position in the company and coercive power reflects that leader can punish any employee or team, as threat of getting punished will push the employee to act in the best way (Prooijen & Lange, 2014). Harry exercised these mentioned powers over his staff in the first instance when he retired but as he was the single largest shareholder in the company, Harry remained as one of the board of director and when the ethic scandal came into the picture in 2003 done by Phil Condit and two other executives, they all were sent to prison by Harry.
In the second instance the coercive power used by Harry Stonecipher at Boeing was in the form of communicating executives who were working under him that if they will not obey the ethical code of conduct in their working or they do not work as they are told, they will be fired straight away from the organization. These were the instances from Boeing which signifies that how Harry Stonecipher exercised power and influence over his staff.
The case analysis concludes about the ethical conduct in context to the Boeing Company; how the company and its top management gave importance to the code of conduct, few of the incidents took place at Boeing which questioned the company’s value towards the code of conduct. Initially the case analyses the personal ethical perspective under which Harry Stonecipher’s character is discussed and its influence on decision making, aspects of his spirituality are discussed and aspects of transformation in action which are evident with the case are thrown light. Ethical decision making and action are concluded further under which discussion upon the steps taken by Harry Stonecipher for sound decision making and importance of moral sensitivity, moral judgement, motivation, and character in the decision making and concluding that Harry was too blunt to think about morality in his decision making.
Ethical interpersonal communication is discussed further under which interpersonal aspects; emotional intelligence and managing the conflict are elaborated and linked with instances from the case of Boeing Company. Lastly; exercising ethical influence is analysed in respect with the case under which the ways are discussed through which Harry Stonecipher exercised power and influence over the staff at Boeing and the conclusion is that legitimate and coercive power were used by Harry for which the instances have been stated which justifies the conclusion
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