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An Affair To Forget… Eth301 Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

Module 1 Case Study: An Affair to Forget…ETH301September 1, 2008An Affair to Forget…Harry Stonecipher, president of Boeing Aircraft should have been forced to resign after he admitted to his adulterous affair with a fellow executive of the company. Stonecipher violated the very code of conduct he so stringently enforced with his employees. He did not tolerate the smallest infraction and fought hard to restore Boeing’s tarnished reputation and sought to inject a new set of ethical standards at the company. Stonecipher, who came back to the company after a 15-month retirement, took the reins of a troubled company that had already been plagued by poor business practices and procurement scandals. He helped the Boeing Company develop compliance programs that promoted its commitment to integrity and values and even set them forth in a structured and detailed contractual Code of Conduct that dictated employee behavior. All employees were asked to review these policies and by their signature agreed to abide by and comply with proper business conduct in the workplace. Harry Stonecipher, the standard bearer for the company, had now through his own bad judgment made a mockery of the values he had tried so hard to instill and impart to his own employees.Boeing Board Chairman, Lewis Platt, noted that, “He (Stonecipher) drew a very bright line for all employees, and when one does that, you have to live by that standard” (Chandler, 2005). Harry Stonecipher set the standards high in his company and set himself up for the course of destruction he would embark on. The Code of Conduct carefully spelled out the conduct of its employees and left little to misinterpret:In the course of conducting company business, integrity must underlie all company relationships; including those with customers, suppliers, and communities and among employees...employees must not engage in conduct or activity that may raise questions as to the company’s honesty, impartiality, or reputation or otherwise cause embarrassment to the company. …. They do not engage in any activity that might create a conflict of interest for the company or for themselves individually. (Boeing Code of Conduct, 1/26/2004)Did President and CEO Harry Stonecipher violate this strict and enforceable code by his consensual affair with a fellow employee? On March 7, 2005, the Board of Directors said yes and made the decision that he did indeed violate that code and asked for his resignation. The Board determined that his actions were inconsistent with the Boeing’s Code of Conduct. The board felt the CEO must set the standard and demonstrate unimpeachable professional and personal behavior. (Canning, 2005)Harry Stonecipher exercised extremely bad business as well as personal judgment when he involved himself with a relationship with a fellow employee. He made a moral choice based on his own desires and needs, without regard to those who would suffer as a result of his actions....

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