Business Ethics And Social Responsibility
1– Why is the ability for employees to ‘blow the whistle’ important for the reputation of organizations? Consider this in relation to the case. ( words 150-200).
2– What aspects of the ministry’s culture made it more/less likely that staff concerns about Harrison
would be taken seriously? ( words 150-200).
3– What actions would you take to develop a culture at the ministry that encourages and rewards
employees who speak up about inappropriate behavior? ( words 150-200).
4. Based on your understanding of the reputation matrix, how do you describe the type of leadership exemplified in this case by Martin Matthews? Why? ( words 150-200)
Taken for a Ride: Fraud at the Ministry of Transport
Author: Debbie Gee & Todd Nicholas Bridgman
Online Pub Date: April 04, 2019 | Original Pub. Date: 2019
Subject: Change Leadership, Leadership & Ethics, Critical Management Studies
Level: | Type: Indirect case | Length: 4547
Copyright: © Debbie Gee and Todd Bridgman 2019
Organization: Ministry of Transport, New Zealand | Organization size: Large
Region: Australia and New Zealand | State:
Industry: Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
Originally Published in:
Publisher: SAGE Publications: SAGE Business Cases Originals
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526496720 | Online ISBN: 9781526496720
This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes. 2021 SAGE Publications Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The case studies on SAGE Business Cases are designed and optimized for online learning. Please refer to the online version of this case to fully experience any video, data embeds, spreadsheets, slides, or other resources that may be included.
This content may only be distributed for use within Saudi Digital Library. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526496720
SAGE © Debbie Gee and Todd Bridgman 2019
SAGE Business Cases
Page 2 of 10 Taken for a Ride: Fraud at the Ministry of Transport
This case covers a high-profile public sector criminal case of prolonged and serious fraud by a former senior manager, Joanne Harrison, at New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport that went unchecked for five years, despite attempts by employees to draw attention to her repeated non-compliance with procurement policies.
An independent inquiry later confirmed allegations by four staff who raised concerns that they were subsequently disadvantaged in various ways in their employment at the ministry. Martin Matthews, chief executive of the ministry at the time of Harrison’s offending, was subsequently appointed New Zealand’s Auditor-General, responsible for auditing all public entities in the country.
Matthews asked for a parliamentary inquiry into allegations about his handling of these issues but resigned before it was concluded. This case raises questions about the adequacy of whistleblowing legislation and policies and the importance of organisational culture and leadership in creating and maintaining a cultural environment that supports ethical behaviour and protects staff who try to flag what they believe is inappropriate behaviour.
By the end of this case study, students should be able to:
1. Examine the factors that shape employees’ ability and willingness to identify and report inappropriate workplace behaviour by colleagues.
2. Examine the ‘formal’ organisational-level factors that permit, encourage, and discourage such reporting, such as policies, codes of conduct, and procedures.
3.Also, Examine the ‘informal’ organisational-level factors that permit, encourage, and discourage such reporting, such as power and politics, culture, group dynamics, conformity, and leadership.
4. In addition, Examine the wider systemic factors that permit, encourage, and discourage such reporting, such as public sector governance legislation, as well as societal and cultural understandings (such as attitudes towards appropriate responses to authority).
5. Consider the inter-relationship between these levels to use these insights to develop action plans for creating organisations where staff are morally attuned and empowered to speak up about inappropriate behaviour at work.
It is with great regret that I have tendered my resignation as Controller and Auditor-General. The issues and speculation about how I handled matters in relation to the fraud committed on the Ministry of Transport during my term as CEO have made it untenable for me to continue in this role.
…Until April 2016, when I received some concerning information, I regarded the staff member who perpetrated this fraud as an able and high performing member of the leadership team. I believe I acted swiftly and thoroughly to detect the fraud and bring her to justice when I became aware of her potential wrong-doing. I wish that I had detected her criminal activity much earlier.
The information I received caused me to re-examine decisions I had made regarding matters previously