ETH501 Trident University Wells Fargo Ethics Case Discussion

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Module 3 – Case

PROFESSIONS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE; WHISTLEBLOWING

Assignment Overview

This Case 3 focuses on how a large, well-respected financial institution can seriously put its reputation at stake and what happened to bring that about.

Begin by watching the following series of videos.

WatchMojo.com (2016). Wells Fargo scandal: 5 things you need to know! Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Wells+Fargo+ethics+video&&view=detail&mid=0E639C8E646F0952B35C0E639C8E646F0952B35C&&FORM=VDRVRV Standard YouTube License.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at Banking Committee hearing, September 20, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJhkX74D10M. Standard YouTube license.

C-Span (2017). Sen. Warren to Wells Fargo CEO: “You should be fired.” Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyVr4qcn8EM Standard YouTube license.

Note: Mr. Sloan replaced Mr. Stumpf who retired October 12, 2016. Mr. Sloan retired March 28, 2019.

CBS News (2018). Wells Fargo whistleblower on fraudulent banking practices. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=309&v=mua-_cQOC5Q Standard YouTube license.

View the following on whistleblowing:

Pope, K. (2017). How whistle-blowers shape history. TEDxDePaul University. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_richmond_pope_how_whistle_blowers_shape_history

And, finally read the following follow up:

Flitter, E. and Cowley, S. (2019). Wells Fargo says its culture has changed. Some employees disagree. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/09/business/wells-fargo-sales-culture.html

These optional sources might also be useful to you:

Armstrong, R., and Noonan, L. (2019). Wells Fargo: repairing a damaged brand. FT.Com, Retrieved from ProQuest in the Trident Online Library.

Forbes (2014). 10 simple ways to improve your reputation. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/01/28/10-simple-ways-to-improve-your-reputation/#6cd6373e6b9f

Iraci, J. (2017). The complex process of managing reputation risk. The RMA Journal, 99(10), 40-43. Retrieved from ProQuest database in the Trident Online Library.

MarketingWorks (2014). 6 ways to rebuild reputation with PR after a crisis. Retrieved from https://marketingworks360.com/2014/03/marketing-tips/6-ways-to-rebuild-reputation-with-pr-after-a-crisis/

Case Assignment

Address the following in a 3- to 4-page essay demonstrating your critical-thinking skills. It should be written for an audience of business owners. As an ethics expert working for a national ethics association, you have been asked to address the following:

  • Evaluate what Wells Fargo has done to repair the damage to their reputation. What should they still do?
  • Should top leaders be responsible for the behaviors of its customer-facing employees? Why or why not.
  • In your judgment, why is this Wells Fargo situation an “ethical dilemma”? Bring in a philosophy (or philosophies) that you have learned about in this Module.

This assignment should include third-person voice, in-text citations, and a reference list. It should be evident that you followed some of the basics of APA formatting. Write a well-integrated paper with a strong introduction and conclusion, and use a few section headings (e.g., do not simply follow a Q & A format).

Bring in subject matter expert viewpoints (authors or speakers) to validate and support your writing. Utilize at least 3 sources that are not included as background readings in this course and use ones that are new to you. These sources, for example, can be found by searching the Trident Online Library databases (such as Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Skillsoft Books 24×7, and/or ProQuest Central).

General References Useful for Preparing Graduate-Level Papers:

For a list of general reference sources related to locating library sources, using APA formatting, applying critical-thinking skills, and so forth, see General References Useful for Preparing Graduate-Level Papers. It is not required that you read these sources page-by-page, but rather you refer to them for guidance as needed.

Assignment Expectations

Your submission will be evaluated using the following criteria from the Case grading rubric, located in the Case dropbox:

Assignment-driven criteria: Covers all key elements of the assignment in a substantive way.

Critical thinking: Conceptualizes the problem. Multiple information sources, expert opinion, and assumptions are analyzed, synthesized, and critically evaluated. Logically consistent conclusions are presented with appropriate rationale.

Business writing: Mastery in written communications and a skilled, knowledgeable, and error-free presentation to an appropriately specialized audience.

Effective use of information: Locates relevant and quality sources of information, using strong and compelling content to support ideas, convey understanding of the topic, and shape the whole work.

Citing sources: Mastery using in-text citations of sources, proper format for quotations, and correct format of full-source information in the reference list using APA style (bibliography).

Module 3

Required:

Readings:

Byars, S. and Stanberry, K. (2018). Business Ethics. Rice University, OpenStax. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/col25722/1.3 pgs. 220-225, 265-289. CC BY 4.0 license

Flitter, E. and Cowley, S. (2019). Wells Fargo says its culture has changed. Some employees disagree. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/09/business/wells-fargo-sales-culture.html

Guebert. A. (March 21, 2019). Costco, Walmart want ag control. Farm and Dairy. Retrieved from https://www.farmanddairy.com/columns/costco-walmart-want-ag-control/542531.html

Videos:

CBS News (2018). Wells Fargo whistleblower on fraudulent banking practices. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=309&v=mua-_cQOC5Q Standard YouTube license.

C-Span (2017). Sen. Warren to Wells Fargo CEO: “You should be fired.” Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyVr4qcn8EM Standard YouTube license.

NBC News (2018). The last days of an American dairy farm: “Hard to believe it’s over.” Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=u.s.+milk+industry+video&view=detail&mid=F3352CF9B9F8720D8700F3352CF9B9F8720D8700&FORM=VIRE. Standard YouTube license.

Pope, K. (2017). How whistle-blowers shape history. TEDxDePaul University. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_richmond_pope_how_whistle_blowers_shape_history

WatchMojo.com (2016). Wells Fargo scandal: 5 things you need to know! Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Wells+Fargo+ethics+video&&view=detail&mid=0E639C8E646F0952B35C0E639C8E646F0952B35C&&FORM=VDRVRV Standard YouTube License.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at Banking Committee hearing. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJhkX74D10M. Standard YouTube license.

Optional:

Armstrong, R., and Noonan, L. (2019). Wells Fargo: repairing a damaged brand. FT.Com, Retrieved from ProQuest in the Trident Online Library.

Forbes (2014). 10 simple ways to improve your reputation. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/01/28/10-simple-ways-to-improve-your-reputation/#6cd6373e6b9f

Iraci, J. (2017). The complex process of managing reputation risk. The RMA Journal, 99(10), 40-43. Retrieved from ProQuest database in the Trident Online Library.

MarketingWorks (2014). 6 ways to rebuild reputation with PR after a crisis. Retrieved from https://marketingworks360.com/2014/03/marketing-tips/6-ways-to-rebuild-reputation-with-pr-after-a-crisis/

Mintz, S. (2019). Has Wells Fargo Learned its Lesson? Retrieved from https://www.workplaceethicsadvice.com/2019/04/has-wells-fargo-learned-its-lesson.html

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