In the concepts that govern B and the Penn State scandal, the research considers how ethics, culture, and leadership become key factors in how a business operates within itself (Organizational Behavior c. 15-16). Throughout this research I will identify three issues that are underlining factors to B and the Sandusky scandal. The first question of research is the exploration of organizational culture theories: to explain why Penn State employees were more interested in protecting Sandusky, than exposing the truth about sexually abused children.
The second interest of research is examining the group dynamics of: leadership, inferior counterparts, and environment; and discover which of these here dynamics held majority to lesser responsibility/blame. The last topic of this research I will attempt to answer is: discovering when the lines between ethics and business became blurred; and if/why they are capable of being kept separate. 3 Introduction There are multiple dynamics that took place during the exposure of Jerry Sandusky who was a former defensive coordinator for Penn State University football team.
This scandal came as a shock to the university, football society, and the nation. The fact that these crimes occurred themselves was not as shocking or provoked as much Edie attention and outcry, as the fact that some university officials had knowledge of the on-going sexual abuse; which occurred on school property, but chose to enable Sandusky by covering it up for over a decade. School officials ignored Sandusky behavior to avoid ruining the school’s reputation or worse Jeopardizing the football programs legacy built by Sandusky and his counterparts (Rockaway’s, n. . ). The idea that school officials may have been in over their heads because of the culture of unity that surrounds football, and what the success of the team meant to the reputation of Penn State University. The B dynamic of the key players that contributed to Sandusky being able to abuse children for as long as he did was conducive to the Penn State environment of making success a priority over ethics and integrity (Bauer and Reardon, 2012).
The leaders within the university knew about the abuse and the followers who were aware knew their inferiority to the core group (Sandusky and his counterparts) making them too afraid to speak up (Patella, 2013). The leaders at Penn State University were held to a code of ethics as all universities are, except this abuse would not have been tolerated had Penn State officials’ ethics en monitored or scrutinized, meaning there were no checks and balances to govern the actions of Sandusky or the school officials (Alder, 2013).
Pennsylvania State University Scandal 4 Contributing Factors – Overview Jerry Sandusky was investigated in 2011 when it was exposed that he had been sexually abusing children. Sandusky had invested 32 years into coaching and mentoring young lives through Pennsylvania State University football program, along with ‘The Second Mile’ charity for at risk youth he founded. Sandusky undoubtedly appeared to be an upstanding citizen and role model. Sandusky created a way to continue his abuse past retiring as assistant coach from Penn State in 1999.
Sandusky was still able to receive full access to the Penn State facilities and maintain an office through the university officials granting him special privileges; despite the fact of abuse allegations surfacing in 1998. In 2011 the initial shock of the media and reports of the Sandusky scandal uncovering years of victims and allegations, left spectators in disbelief. The idea that this type of abuse went undetected from 1994 to 2009 seemed preposterous. The fact of the matter is that Sandusky was enabled to intention his abuse through high ranking school officials sweeping Sandusky behavior under the rug (Chapel, 2012).
The school officials that contributed to covering up the Sandusky scandal were: Penn State athletic director Tim Curler, senior vice president for finance and business including overseeing the university police Gary Schultz, Penn State football coach, Joe Pattern and university president, Graham Spanner. All four of the elite university officials became informed of Sandusky sexual misconduct by a graduate assistant Mike Macaques who later became assistant coach to Pattern (Chapel, 2012).
After Sandusky sexual misconduct was officially brought to the attention of these key officials the solution was to basically punish Sandusky by telling him he is no longer allowed to shower with the boys on campus facilities. The core group Pennsylvania State University Scandal 5 of officials completely ignored the fact that the boy Sandusky was seen by Muscular engaging in a sexual act at 9:30 p. M. On a Friday, was no more than 10 years of age; which warrants the question why the young boy was on the university campus at all. It was the consensus of the elite core group to lessen the situation from what
Macaques reported as “anal sex” to what Spanner labeled “horsing around” and excused any reasons to tell the authorities or human resources (Peel, 2012). Keep in mind none of the elite group of officials considered asking Sandusky his side of the story or even telling him the extent of what they were advised by Macaques (Chapel, 2012). Issues/Solutions Protecting Sandusky at all cost is what appeared to be the theme throughout decades of abuse. The questions of why the elite group of officials was more fixated on protecting Sandusky secrets then protecting the children of abuse.
After the sex scandal was biblically exposed in 2011, Penn State hired their independent former FBI director Louis Freer to investigate the case. Throughout Fresh’s investigation it became more evident that Spanner, Pattern, Schultz, and Curler knew more about the allegations then Penn State administrative board initially realized (Chapel, 2012). The bottom line as to why this elite group covered up Sandusky behavior is not because he was their “best colleague ever” but more for the betterment of the group’s function as having prestigious and successful reputation as a whole.
The behavior of the elite group in terms of organizational behavior is described as utilitarianism which explains that decisions are made for the team or group based on the most ideal outcome that creates the greatest good for majority of the group (Robbins ; Judge, 2014). Based on this Pennsylvania State University Scandal 6 theory it would not have mattered what type of crime the senior officials covered up for Sandusky because they would have remained silent for the betterment of the greater purpose that drove Penn State; which is football status and revenue.
After he investigation conducted by Freer he made a statement as follows: “The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a total and consistent disregard for the welfare of children, had worked together to actively conceal Mr.. Sandusky assaults, and had done so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity would have hurt the nationally ranked football program, Mr.. Pattern’s reputation as a coach of high principles, the Penn State brand and the university’s ability to raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in the country’ (Peel, 2012).
The solution to his organizational dysfunction and most problems in organizational business is maintaining checks and balances. One solution I will highlight from Robbins and Judge, Organizational Behavior is the concept of transparent communication (2014, p. 175, 327). Part of the problem is keeping the secrecy without having an outside unaffiliated opinion of the group/situation involved. Implementing transparency between separate groups would help prevent the breakdown in communication by senior department officials.
Including implementing policies that the human resource department is automatically notified of any discrepancy among leadership ND their conduct regardless of how trivial the complaint. Creating a transparency in communication between departments and HRS could prevent mass media scandals as the one involving Sandusky and serve as a safety net to the business. B: Leaders, Followers, and Environment 7 The breakdown of leadership, subordinates, and environment, plays a crucial role in how the Sandusky crimes continued throughout the decades.
The Triangle Dynamic of the leaders, followers, and environment explores the idea that each part plays a hand in contributing to the issue of the Sandusky scandal. As previously discussed he elite force of leadership officials within Penn State demonstrated a lack of accountability towards each other, and in the same sense the senior officials involved never explicitly discussed the need to keep Sandusky behavior an actual “secret” it was more of an unsaid notion of the group.
According to the report of the special investigation counsel by Spooking and Sullivan, 2012; In 1998 Sandusky was reported to the Penn State University Police as taking a shower with an 11 year old boy and giving him a “bear hug from behind”. The 11 year old boy was a participant in the second mile charity and Sandusky bought him onto university property where he showered with the boy in the coach’s locker room after a workout. The police report was initiated by the boys mother.
The details of the police investigation alleging child sexual abuse was confidentially shared by the university chief of police Thomas Harmon to Schultz, who was closely monitoring the investigation. Schultz informed Curler and Spanner (including one email to Pattern) of Sandusky being investigated. Schultz intentionally failed to inform HRS or the administrative board of trustees about n on-going investigation of alleged child abuse involving coach Sandusky.
Although it was noted of correspondence between Curler and Schultz expressing concern that Sandusky had been showering with several boys before this initial report and that there could be an underling issue. The investigation concluded by Chief Harmon informing Schultz that no action would be taken and no official case number on record detailing the investigation as a sex crime offense, but instead an administrative in house report because no Pennsylvania State University Scandal 8 crime was established.
Schultz did not take any administrative action to prohibit Sandusky from this behavior in the future. Schultz also trusted the opinions of the investigator at the time, instead of calling a specialist to weigh in on the matter to what Sandusky behavior was classified as. Spooking and Sullivan, 2012, research supports the notion that Schultz had a moral concern about Sandusky behavior but lacked the ethical aptitude to face possible repercussion that could tarnish the Penn State football legacy had HRS or board of trustees been made aware of the scandal in 1998.
Schultz showed a loyalty to the environment that Penn State football set forth, which was the mentality of success above all else. In a way had the Sandusky investigation in 1998 been made public or handled with transparent communication between departments, it would have tarnished the name of leadership and athletic success that Penn State used as their selling point in recruitment to the university. Solutions to leadership issues in organizational behavior theories would be training! Robbins and Judge in Organizational Behavior, discuss skills that define effective from ineffective leadership.
Schultz, Curly, Pattern, and Spanner all handled the Sandusky Scandal poorly, partway because they did not develop good conceptual skills. Organizational behavior explains conceptual skills as “the mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations that require conceptual skills. Decision making requires managers to identify problems, develop alternative solutions to correct those problems, evaluate those alternative solutions, and select the best one,” (Robbins, & Judge, 2014, p. 8). At no point did senior officials utilize these skills.
It is possible they did not consider a solution because they were shocked and afraid – choosing to cover Sandusky behavior up. If that was the case, another solution would have been to utilize information and expertise from an outside source that could have weighed in a more unbiased Pennsylvania State University Scandal 9 solution, which would be someone who was trained in technical skills (someone who is trained with extensive formal education) and human skills (someone with the ability to understand and communicate between the groups).
This should sound familiar because it is commonly what Human Resource does in conflict resolution, yet was not utilized in 1998 or 2001 to form a direction to permanently put a stop to Sandusky; because of the potential consequences it would have created for the athletic department and reputation of the university. Followers and the dynamic of Subordination, fast-forward to 2000 when the Janitor witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a young boy; and 2001 when graduate assistant Macaques witnessed anal sex in the shower between a Sandusky and a young boy.
Both subordinates’ being the Janitor and Macaques immediately reported what they witnessed to their superior. Both Janitor and Macaques followed chain of command hoping the issue would be resolved by someone more authoritative. They appeared to carry the personal, moral, and ethic responsibility that would have invoked reporting the crime directly to the police. However, both the Janitor and Macaques were participants in the good ’01 boy system for fear of stepping on their superiors discretions decision of the incident. The Janitor was afraid of going against the prestige of the elite status created by the football program’s leadership.
Whereas Macaques was afraid of what it would mean for Sandusky and others involved in the leadership of the university athletics. Both Macaques and the Janitor were concerned but not willing to risk their polished or reputation to prompt an investigation on their own accord (Bass & Newman, 2013). Once again outside individuals learning of Sandusky indiscretions were incapable of going against their environment which taught them to idle the success of the team and its pride above any individual Pennsylvania State University 10 issue.
As a result the abuse allegation rested on the shoulders of the leadership between Curly, Schultz, Spanner, and Pattern to discretely deal with Sandusky. In chapter twelve of Organizational Behavior 2014, Judges and Robbins talk about the concept of knowledge based trust. This concept helps explain why Macaques and even the Janitor felt as though reporting the incident to their superior was the end of their responsibility. Organizational Behavior explains knowledge based trust as having adequate information about someone to understand them well enough to be able to accurately predict their behavior… ND the more communication and regular interaction you have with someone the more the trust is developed and depended upon. Based on this B concept Macaques had some trust in Pattern to do what was best by reporting Sandusky behavior to him directly, making Macaques feel as Hough he had done the “right thing” given the situation. The implication of this concept would explain why Macaques felt more accountability to speak with Pattern a man in leadership that he trusted over reporting it to HRS or the police.
The same B concept could explain why the information about the alleged abuse was only shared between Curly, Schultz, Pattern, and Spanner, because they were a close group that had been together for decades and understood the idea of keeping the Football program above all else and their unity was built in knowledge based trust and their underlining belief that Sandusky was misunderstood and not a sexual predator (Spooking & Sullivan, 2012). Solutions to the role of followers would be clear communication and personal accountability.
Managers should train their subordinates to take responsibility and initiatives to problem solve issues instead of solely relying on the discretion of a supervisor to develop a Pennsylvania State University Scandal 11 solution. Organizational behavior refers to the concept of perception and individual decision making Judge & Robbins, 2014. P. 159). In this concept empowering on-management to solve problems and make decisions based on their perception of the situation, causing the individual to derive reasoning on their own.
If this concept occurred when Macaques first observed Sandusky immoral behavior he would have felt empowered to make a decision such as notifying the police; instead of passing the responsibility onto a senior official who downplayed the seriousness of the situation because the decision was based on Pattern’s personal perception. The environment played the largest role in the cover up of the Sandusky scandal because here was more at stake to lose, which was the prestige of the athletic department and the reputation of integrity and success in which the university principals were built.
In 2011 the Sandusky Scandal became public knowledge. The focus was on assessing blame and the dysfunction of leadership as the root cause for the cover up. Numerous articles were written by ESP., The Washington Post, and The New York Times, educating the public and swaying opinions as to who should be held responsible in the publics eye for the scandal. In the publics opinion Pattern was cost responsible and his years of goodwill and honor have come undone (Hill, 2012).
Newspapers went on to call Pattern a “liar” and a “cover-up artist… Indictable hypocrite” Nonsense, 2012). The New York Times wrote an article holding Macaques responsible for witnessing child sodomy’s and lacking any sense of morality or ethics to not immediately call the police (Dodd, 2011). Schultz, Curly, and Spanner were also blasted by Sports Illustrated as “scumbags” who failed to report the 2001 incident to police and kept their knowledge inclusive to their group (Staples, 2012).
All of the media attention and weigh-ins by other sports officials did not consider the offending group environment that influenced the cover up, or the lack of 12 leadership’s emotional intelligence in terms of organizational behavior to handle a situation like the one Sandusky created. For forces that drove the environment of “success at all cost” that Penn State officials operated under, was the necessity to commercialism universities and airframe them as profitable corporations. The idea that cash flow increase creates a higher level of prestige therefore makes them more palpable of providing a sought out education (Group, 2007).
Universities that become affluent corporations governed by the democratic process, focused on university programs that generate the most popularity and revenue; and contribute less to social good and human morality (Group, 2007). The Penn State University football athletic program generated on average 1. 83 million a year; because of their ability to win at all cost and keep the face of integrity and unity. The entire university and football program was centered and commercialese around the idea of strong leadership.
That being said it was not one individual involved in the scandal that could possess more blame over the other because the senior officials lived by the code the university environment created and profited from, making it an intangible entity or concept for one individual to represent in this scandal. Solutions to environment issues would be to minimize individual power and promote stronger conceptual organization. Pattern was held in such high esteem that he was able to use his power to remain head coach past the average age of retirement, despite the board of trustees encouraging him to retire.
Pattern would not give up his control and the lack of dispersed centralization of authority and outside influences of check and balances continued to contribute to the lack of transparency and balance (Patella, 2007). Since the board of trustees was apathetic in their supervision of the university’s athletic department, they could have designed a more Pennsylvania 13 measurable way to perform checks and balances within the department, by holding all of its employees to an employment contract.
This solution could have alleviated the pressure of making decisions on handling the power of an individual, because heir ethical and physical performance could be measured on a standard level. Part of the issue was that the athletic department carried a high amount of revenue for the school that everyone benefited from the work of a few (Alder, 2013). This type of situation is part of what made Penn State have unclear ethical motives in preserving the success and legacy of the football program, which brings this discussion to its last issue of blurred lines in ethics.
The blurred line of ethics I believe first occurred in 1998 when the concern of sexual misconduct involving Sandusky and children first surfaced. The senior officials did not report this initial known incident to the administrative board or HRS because there was a potential that Sandusky behavior was an actual problem, as Schultz noted in his documents of the incident (Spooking & Sullivan, 2012). Another big area where ethics broke down was when Spanner went against rules and regulations by allowing Sandusky to have special privileges after he retired; by granting him emeritus status allowing unlimited access to the university.
Sandusky was able to come and go has he pleased using this special status to groom and sexually abuse more boys on university property, Spooking & Sullivan, 2012. P 60). By not adhering to the standard rules and regulations, Spanner began to bluntly blur the lines of ethics and bend rules; making it impossible to impose on someone else afterwards. The moral and ethical decision to keep this incident closed record and hidden from the board was an unspoken choice by Schultz and Carry to protect the leadership of Penn State University.
It was not until the scandal grew in 2000 – 2001 , that the senior officials acknowledged there may be a real problem but where in too deep and did not Pennsylvania State 14 know how to handle it. This concern along with denial are what prompted Schultz to seek outside council realizing these incidents were a part of a bigger issue with Sandusky (Spooking & Sullivan, 2012). However, once the core group of officials again agreed to keep details of the incident hidden for the betterment of Penn State, they also ignored each of their individual consciences and moral ethics trusting the other person’s Judgment and decisions over their own.
Had there been no doubt that Sandusky intentions were innocent there would have not been so much secrecy surrounding it where any other issue was transparent between HRS, the board of trustees. There was a clear indication by these senior official’s actions to weigh the success of the university over the code of principals and ethics it was founded on, focusing on the needs of the group and trust in each other over their obligation to protect children as school officials. Solution to ethical issues is a part of the previous discussion to implement checks and balances, rules and regulations.
One way to prompt ethical behavior is to train employees to a “see something, say something” rule. This could be achieved by funding multiple lines of communication between departments and administration. The university could have easily funded a tip hotlist” worked by an independent agency responsible for fielding and investigating complaints that could be summarized for the board of trustee’s in monthly meetings. This form of communication would create more openness to report department issues anonymously regardless if someone was covering it up.
Chapter eight in Robbins and Judges Organizational Behavior, discusses the concept of “courtship and grouping”. An underlining issue of the Sandusky Scandal was that the core group was operating in a “grouping” capacity. According to B grouping occurs when “a consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative rouses of action”, which is what resulted in the core group assigning Sandusky 15 behavior to being Just inappropriate oppose to criminal; because he was viewed as a longtime friend/colleague, instead of objectively situational based.
The solution to this type of opinion forming in terms of B is utilizing courtship perception; which causes an individual to make a shift towards a less conservative opinion that would vary from the original group’s position. Implementing a different course of action such as the official’s idea to alert the police and HRS would have resulted in a better outcome for the entire group instead of its dismemberment from poor decision making and lack of leadership (2014, p. 263). Thoughts Conclusion and Ending The overall consensus of public opinion regarding the Sandusky scandal is that it could have been prevented.
Considering how organizational behavior operates, its purpose is to create interpersonal relationships that serve a common purpose; whether it is a positive or negative outcome Monsoons, n. D. ). It is almost odd that the public reacted with such shock that an institution was capable of producing such a secretive environment believing they are above common law. The combination of individuals and environment that operate within a systematic structure influences the success or failures of businesses Monsoons, n. D. ).
The structure of influence if based on the pattern of behavior that influences the environment and controls how individuals think and behave within that structured environment. Think about how B operates in other institutions that participate in scandalous behaviors and cover- ups. Since the dawn of enlightenment, the widespread scandals of the Roman Catholic Church have become a well-known secret. Thousands of reports have been add against the Catholic Church and their participation to cover-up child sexual abuse by Pennsylvania State University Scandal 16 priest.
The notion of child abuse through the Catholic Church has been an on-going issue because of the loyalty shared among members of the church towards the Vatican (Kim, 2013). Like Penn State the Vatican is a representational imagine that people within the organization glorify. By comparison, in terms of a church and school being organizational institutions, Sandusky is as a priest; and the core group is as the clergy. Sandusky held a position of power that others sought to please and inform to; keep in mind, that scandals are seldom exposed until years after the initial occurrence (Kim, 2013).
Yet after corruption within the organization becomes public, the blame does not fall on the entity that it represents. Mainly because people are not going to stop being catholic do to the reputation of priest the scandals have exhibited for the church. In the same terms, university students are not going to stop pursuing a higher education due to scandals within the athletic department. Scandals can be dismissed by blaming the corruption of those individuals involved while maintaining an image that the organization itself is not to be blamed for the behaviors of those that operate within it.
Environments within an institution create a culture of the greater good mindset. There is an intangible entity that allows the most revolting acts of abuse virtually go unpunished (Borrowers, 2004). There is no difference in the fundamentals that govern B and its ability to take a group of people and control their behavior based on what bonds them to their organization and the environment within it. The institution of churches, schools, and governments operate under the same fundamental principles that is the basis of organizational behavior and what an individual is capable of within an inclusive environment loyal to a cause.
The idea that organizational behavior is capable of producing the most influential environments in any type of group setting based on the individuals commitment to the greater cause of the Pennsylvania State University Scandal 17 institution itself, to the point of going against one’s own morals and better Judgment (Hub, 2003). Organizational behavior is built on shared goals, commitment to the successes of the image, and deep trust towards the belief of an institution.
For a member of the priesthood or faculty of the university to expose secrets would be a betrayal to what they have come to identify themselves as. This reason of exposing truths and feeling as though the individual has betrayed part of their own public identity, stands for public shaming; which may be worse than a moral driven secret and guilty conscious (Borrowers, 2013). Consider how powerful is the image for which one is willing and capable of committing crimes in the name of loyalty to their organization. References 8 Alder, C. (2013).