Case_03_Skeleton_in_the_Corporate_Closet_TN - Teaching Note...

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Teaching Note: Case 3 – The Skeleton in the Corporate Closet Case Objectives 1. To help students understand how the ethical orientation of the leader is a key factor in promoting ethical behavior among employees. 2. To highlight the difference between integrity-based and compliance-based approaches to organizational ethics. 3. To help students understand the role of corporate governance mechanisms in aligning the interests of managers, owners, employees and other stakeholders. 4. To encourage discussion of the importance of stakeholder management and the implications of a firm’s vision, mission and goals for coherence in values and direction of organizational strategy. 5. To point out the challenge of protecting intellectual property, developing dynamic capabilities. See the table below to determine where to use this case: Chapter Use Key Concepts 11: Strategic Leadership Ethical orientation; integrity-based vs compliance-based ethics 9: Strategic Control & Governance Corporate governance mechanisms; stakeholder identification 1: Strategy Concept Role of organizational leadership; stakeholder management; vision, mission and goals 4: Intellectual Assets Intellectual property; dynamic capabilities Case Synopsis Hudson Parker founded General Parkelite Company (GPC Incorporated) in 1927. The company owed its success to Parkelite, the miracle plastic patented by Parker in 1920. On the occasion of the firm’s 75 th anniversary a document was accidentally uncovered that indicated this plastic, this synthetic polymer material, had been invented by someone else – Hudson’s friend Karl Gintz, a fellow chemist. It looked like Parker had stolen the formula. Hap Parker, Hudson’s grandson, now CEO of the company, must decide whether to disclose this fact and discredit his grandfather, “contain the discovery” by putting a gag order on the few employees who now knew the truth, or rationalize the incident by putting on a public relations spin. The facts were ambiguous. The document had not been used to file the patent. It’s possible that the innovation was essentially Hudson’s but that Karl had taken notes on it to perhaps improve it. Both Hudson and Karl were dead, Karl having died during World War I, but Karl’s father had brought a lawsuit against Hudson in 1938 claiming Karl was the sole inventor. The suit was denied, by a jury trial, and Hudson went on to found the company. 75 years later, GPC had grown into a successful enterprise with a strong culture, largely due to the efforts of Hudson Parker. Hudson had infused the whole organization with the importance and excitement of constant innovation, and had won the respect of business leaders, customers, and employees for being fair-dealing and compassionate, a
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philanthropist and community leader. Hap had carried on his grandfather’s high standards, and was proud of the company. Hap believed GPC was all about honesty and integrity. The GPC brand was considered trusted, straight shooting and dependable. Employees monitored
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2011 for the course BUSINESS A 474 taught by Professor Thompson during the Spring '11 term at Ill. Chicago.

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Case_03_Skeleton_in_the_Corporate_Closet_TN - Teaching Note...

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