Examining Ethical Issues in Cases


Examining Ethical Issues In Cases

Examining Ethical Issues in the Exxon Valdez

How did organizational culture influence ethical decision making?

The investigation of the accident by the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) established that the Exxon organizational culture crippled ethical decision making because Cousins failed in the safety steering of the ship (Kurtz, 2003). Additionally, it was revealed that the organization failed in its supervisory mandate over Hazelwood and providing adequate human resource for the ship hence leaving nine members of the crew without knowing what to do when the tragedy occurred (Kurtz, 2003).

What are the Ethical Issues?

The ethical issue in the case study is the massive oil spill that occurred on March 24, 1989 caused by Exxon Valdez oil tanker that was owned by Exxon Shipping Company when it struck Bligh Reef in the morning hours (Liszka, 2010). The spill caused environmental problems and destruction to communities, people, livelihood of several Alaskans as well as the future generations. Additionally, the spill caused destruction to the aquatic life (Kurtz, 2003).

What are the Issues Facing the Decision Makers?

The decision makers in the case were faced with the issue of how to address the spill. The spill was regarded as one of the worst in the American history following the magnitude of the damage caused. The decision makers in the National Park Services (NPS) addressed the spill as it were a forest fire using their knowledge. This was a major tactical error because the procedure of containing fire is very much different from oil spills. Additionally, the ‘can- do’ mentality adopted by the National Park Services did not adequately serve well in the capacity of oil spill (Kurtz, 2003).

How did the Organizational Culture Influence Decision Making?

The organizational culture laid the groundwork for the thoughts of decision makers. For instance, NPS had a sense of self- worth that made the leaders feel superior in the duty of protecting the pack as well as the natural environment (Kurtz, 2003). The NPS therefore saw themselves at the frontline while their actions were not supported by competency with regards to knowing what should be done in a case such as oil spill (Liszka, 2010).



Examining Ethical Issues in Cases
Subject Area
Public Relations
Additional Instructions?
Select one of the following cases:
Guantanamo (McNeal, 2010) or
the Exxon Valdez (Kurtz, 2003).
Then, consider the following:How did organizational culture influence ethical decision making?
What are the ethical issues?
What are the issues facing the decision makers?
How did the organizational culture influence decision making?
What did you learn from this case that you can use as a public administrator?
What, if anything, does the case have in common with the 2013 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal over IRS audits of conservative nonprofit agencies?
To what extent does attention by the American public media influence ethical decision making of public and nonprofit public administrators? Do you think that such media exposure should determine administrative decisions?

Post a brief description of your chosen case. Identify the ethical issues within the case. Then, explain how the organizational cultures influence the decision making related to ethics in your chosen case. Finally, suggest two strategies that public administrators might use to promote an ethical organizational culture. Examining Ethical Issues in Cases.

support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.
Expand on your’ postings regarding the influence of organizational culture on the decision making related to ethics.
Provide another strategy that public administrators might use to promote an ethical organizational culture in you case

Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role (6th ed.). New York, NY: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter 6, “Maintaining Responsible Conduct in Public Organizations: Two Approaches” (pp. 127–159)
Chapter 7, “Integrating Ethics with Organizational Norms and Structures” (pp. 161–195)

Kurtz, R. S. (2003). Organizational culture, decision-making, and integrity: The National Park Service and the Exxon Valdez. Public Integrity, 5(4), 305–317.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

McNeal, G. S. (2010). Organizational culture, professional ethics and Guantanamo. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 42(1/2), 125–149.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases. Examining Ethical Issues in Cases.