1. What do you make of Steel’s behavior? Do you think his actions were unethical? Which ones specifically and why?
Steel’s behavior is more of the petty-type than it is damaging to personnel and or company image. Much of it has to do with managing a former CEO with a different style and the CEO’s crony (for lack of a better word). His methods are abrasive to Sharp and Block because they are used to having power. Being phased out is never easy unless you’re in total agreement with your replacement.
Steel has vision that does not necessarily line up with company standards. But unless there are company policies that clearly state that CEO’s are to follow the directives of the UK offices and the former CEO of the company then he is not in the wrong if he decides on taking a different direction. Again, while Steel is petty in his dealings, he’s playing his cards as a new CEO properly without breaking any real ethical standards.
2. How do the political aspects of the situation interfere with the ethical aspects of the case?
The political aspects of this case are actually hampering ethical and objective behavior. Because Block and Sharp are emotionally involved in the affairs of the business, Steel operating as a CEO is in effect a conflict of interest for them. Block is still assuming responsibility for the firm and Sharp has decided to side with Block. In the process of the transition in power Block and Sharp are attempting to hamper Steel’s efforts. Most of the unethical behavior has its source in Block and Sharp. They are not objective and they are not taking a hands-off approach to handling business affairs. Block wants to pry into Steel’s decision making process and he’s using Sharp’s position and loyalty to do make a go from the inside. Sharp is cooperating with Block and has currently moved into sabotage mode. Block and Sharp are operating unethically.
3. What would you do if you were in Sharp’s position?
If I’m in Sharp’s position I want to take as much of an objective position as I possibly can. I want to observe how opportunities are lining in regard to my future at the company and make decisions based that knowledge. My mentor has been frozen and the new boss is crowding me out of my position. A power shift has taken place and I am not a part of the upper-hand faction of that shift. Perhaps it’s time to move on, or better, convince Block to sell his share and start another company. The last thing I want to do is to try and fix the company by getting rid of or fixing the “bad guy.”