Hughes Aircraft Case Study

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With money being the driving factor behind most of today's illegal activities for personal gratification and greed, creating shortcuts in the production of vital goods is becoming an ever increasing reality. This neglecting of damage or loss of life that can occur has been the reason for many whistle-blowing incidents. Whistle blowing can be defined as the act where an employee informs the public or their upper management about illegal or unethical behaviour within the company being performed by another employee or supervisor \cite{whistle}. Four conditions are said to be met before whistle-blowing should be attempted, they are need, proximity, capability and last resort \cite{conditions}. This assignment details the professional and personal…show more content…
Difficulty can be experienced in the professional experience needed to adequately access the situation. In the Hughes Aircraft case the fraud and unethical behaviour was occurring directly in Aldred and Goodearl's department. Goodearl asked Aldred to assess some of the lot traveller papers where she then picked up the anomalies concerning leak sticker removals and reworks after which Aldred was told to keep quiet by her supervisors\cite{case5}. Both Aldred and Goodearl had also had previous experience in the quality assurance fields before the problems began to become apparent \cite{case5}. Thus both had direct firsthand knowledge of the unethical behaviour occurring and were knowledgeable enough in their fields to be able to discern whether they anomalies were just random or actual acts of interference with the system. This could justify their actions and overcome the difficulties in order to be successful with their whistle-blowing case. Further personal difficulties can be experienced by whistle-blowers as a direct result of their proximity by means of intimidation, such was the case with Aldred and Goodearl. Both experienced direct threats to their job positions if they were to continue and even death threats to their families…show more content…
Difficulties can often arise in receiving internal assistance resulting in the whistle-blower having no alternative than to go for the external whistle-blowing option. Such was the case for Aldred and Goodearl. Numerous attempts were made by both Aldred and Goodearl to upper management and supervisors resulting in complaint letters being torn in front of them, racial and verbal remarks being directed towards them and orders to stick with current protocols and to continue to perform the testing the way they were currently being done and falsified \cite{case6}. As is evident Aldred and Goodearl had other choice then to approach the public domain which resulted in the criminal and civil lawsuits against Hughes Aircraft. Another difficulty faced by whistle-blowers is that of company disloyalty as a result of external whistle-blowing which may have been the reason for Goodearl's dismissal. Aldred was not dismissed but rather moved to another position where she was her daily activities surmounted to doing very little during the day and being removed of all meaningful responsibilities before she left \cite{case6}. This can be interpreted as punishment and public humiliation for her company disloyalty in wanting to

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