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mikehit
mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 10:09 AM


Quote: f, hypothetically, execs of a company request only sight of communication, and instruct that under no circumstances are they to be copied in / BCC etc. How can it be proved otherwise?

An interesting question. Too often I am 'cc' as an arse-covering exercise by the sender and all it does is clog up my mailbox with no benefit to management of the project. Coming from pre-email my view is 'if twenty eyars ago you would not have taken the time to fax this specfically to me, then don't bother sending the e-mail to me'.
I don't need to know the finer points of what is going on and the job of the team lead is to filter what I receive and let me now about any significant issues. They may not 'cc' me on e-mails because (a) they can manage it themselves without needing my guidance or (b) they are scared to tell me bad news or (c) they believe I do not want any bad news in writing so I can duck any flak. Only reason (a) is valid.


Quote: The problem is it is a very fine line between award winning exceptional journalism and the so called gutter press tactics.

That is why legislation is so difficult (impossible?) to frame in a way that lawyers will not cause 'creep' in its definition.

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11 Nov 2011 - 10:09 AM

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ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 12:10 PM

If a senior executive officer of any organisation (and it doesn't make any difference how big or small it is - that has absolutely no bearing on culpability) presides over criminal activity within that company then he or she must be called and held to account.

It is no defence to claim ignorance (you try that one with the traffic cops next time they stop you for speeding - 'I didn't know it was a 30 limit' just see how that one plays!!).

If he/she didn't know about the activity then they are being derilict in their corporate duty for not ensuring sufficient checks and balances are in place to prevent illegal activity and if they did know then 'bang to rights'. The buck stops with the guy on the helm which seems to me, by any measure, to be the Mud Docks, old and new.

The analogy with politicians is an excellent one - as we watch the teflon coated and highly fragrant Theresa May-Pole wriggle out the mire, high heels intact. She is the boss, she must carry the burden - but then the art of politics is to receive the praise with great gusto and completely avoid the brickbats by stammping ones well turned heel and claiming 'I didn't know'.

Try telling that to the traffic cops!!

Wink

mikehit
mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 12:45 PM


Quote:
If a senior executive officer of any organisation (and it doesn't make any difference how big or small it is - that has absolutely no bearing on culpability) presides over criminal activity within that company then he or she must be called and held to account.


Only if you define 'presides over criminal activity'.
If a sales rep of a multionational organisation goes beyond their training and acceptable ethical and business practices to secure a sale, to what extent is the CEO responsible?
If a fleet driver is caught drink driving, is the CEO culpable and open to prosecution?

If the company shows a disregard for proper training or has a corporate culture that turns a blind eye to the practice, then I agree the CEO is responsible for the 'company culture' so should be held to account. And part of the questioning in this case has centres around whether Murdoch have asked more questions as to why the organisation was paying large amounts to settle litigation out of court (the 'wilful blindess' again).
But to have a knee-jerk response that simply says 'it was your company so its your fault' is lazy thinking.


Quote:
It is no defence to claim ignorance (you try that one with the traffic cops next time they stop you for speeding - 'I didn't know it was a 30 limit' just see how that one plays!!).


Maxwell did not commit the offence so the analogy is invalid.



Quote:
If he/she didn't know about the activity then they are being derilict in their corporate duty for not ensuring sufficient checks and balances are in place to prevent illegal activity and if they did know then 'bang to rights'. The buck stops with the guy on the helm which seems to me, by any measure, to be the Mud Docks, old and new.


How much detail should the CEO of a multinational company know about what goes on in every office of his empire? How could he know what conversations the empoyee is having outside the office? And to what extent is the employee responsible for their own actions?
Can you propose any 'checks and balances' at CEO level that would have prevented this? Probably not.



Quote:
The analogy with politicians is an excellent one - as we watch the teflon coated and highly fragrant Theresa May-Pole wriggle out the mire, high heels intact. She is the boss, she must carry the burden - but then the art of politics is to receive the praise with great gusto and completely avoid the brickbats by stammping ones well turned heel and claiming 'I didn't know'.


If Theresa may gave incompetent or confusing guidance then that is mismanagement and she should suffer the consequences. If the Border Agency boss exceeded clear instructions then he is the one who should carry the can - and May should have the responsibility to make sure this (or similar things) do not happen again. If it did happen again then it is clear she is not managing the organsiation properly.

ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 1:26 PM

Excellent response Mike and I am sure you are right, I have been guilty of lazy thinking.

Dare I also suggest however that you have been a little guilty of lazy reading.

Of course any CEO is guilty if they are found to have presided over unlawful activity within their company. In the examples you give, you suggest that a CEO can't possibly be guilty if a sales rep goes too far in securing a sale. Sorry I have to completely disagree the CEO is as guilty as the sale rep - there should be in place proper checks and balances to ensure that this does not happen and there are plenty of direct sales agencies that do exactly this (I know, I have worked for them in the past).

Even the drink driving lorry driver who mows down a party of 15 school children and will carry the can and the prison conviction does not completely exonerate the CEO of that company from some degree of guilt. How was he allowed to be on the road - transport boss must be brought to book - you can see the Sun headlines (after a bit of hacking here and there no doubt!!)

The key definition is not 'presides over illegal activity' it is sir 'some degree of guilt' and that is teh point I was trying and probably failing to make.


Quote: Maxwell did not commit the offence so the analogy is invalid

Mike this is an interesting diversion and I think you are trying to throw me off the scent!! What has Maxwell got to do with this (actually probably quite a bit I guess but where did he come from - I have checked the thread??).

I think it is the 'degree of guilt' and the statement 'committing the crime' that hold the clue. For sure for many people Ms May has committed a crime, its not perhaps the one you had assumed at first.

Her crime, I think, is indeed issuing instructions that were open to interpretation but it was also failing to accept any responsibility when things went wrong, failing to keep a check on a key department and leaving really sound senior civil servants out to dry merely to save her own skin. OK they are not all punishable crimes but for many people they are nevertheless crimes.

Mike I don't think we are disagreeing on the basics at all, we may be departing on some of the detail - but hey such is the stuff of life (and the courts!!)

Smile

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73844 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 1:48 PM

The comparrison with Maxwell is a very valid one, he was after all the proprietor of the Mirror group, and many, many other organisations within the printed media (was it Persammon press ?? can't remember) there was a brilliant documentary on him the day before his death, which was probably one of the last straws. I worked for a company that was agressively targeted by Maxwell (late '80's) I was talking with one of the directors years later and some of the underhand tactics he used were unbelievable.

Going back to the main point. If a corporation has put in place checks and balances the management will have shown reasonable due dilligance. This will probably be in the form of Corporate policy statements and training to back it up (and relevant clauses in employees contracts) - so long as they can show they covered their Backside they will be OK. In the case of newscorp, well how much of this is them actually breaking the law? by that I mean, as far as I can see the transgressors (possible exception Goodman) were third party private investigators. If they are responsible for this (in law) it could open a whole can of worms. How much responsibilities does a business have for the actions of subcontractors? (or for that matter an individual person)

jondf
jondf  82475 forum posts
11 Nov 2011 - 7:29 PM


Quote: ....well how much of this is them actually breaking the law?

I'm grateful to those who point out that ultimate responsibility lies with those at the very top of such organisations. And as mentioned earlier, this isn't about some underling. If 'phone hacking was commonplace, did the NI publication editor know about it? If he did, then the 'checks and balances' referred to previously were sadly lacking. And isn't it plain to see that the people operating in these organisations are ultimately driven by the will of their masters who must also be subject to the culpability process at all times?

scrimmy
scrimmy e2 Member 5365 forum postsscrimmy vcard Scotland5 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 7:47 PM

as with all corruption, the corruption comes from the top and filters it's way down

monstersnowman
11 Nov 2011 - 9:04 PM


Quote: As with all corruption, the corruption comes from the top and filters it's way down

No it doesn't ...

ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 10:06 PM

Yep it does

mikehit
mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 10:50 PM

Only as a corporate culture. To say a single rogue employee got the bad prctice from his boss is (again) lazy.

I know that the NoW issue involves more than one rogue employee but as the OP was about Maxwell then unless you can show that every btrahcn of NI was dong this sort of hting it is hard to say that this sort of 'bad practice' is due to him.
Due to the editor in chief of NI, certainly. But how far it goes up the chain from there needs to be looked at more closely.

Last Modified By mikehit at 11 Nov 2011 - 10:52 PM
Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73844 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
11 Nov 2011 - 11:47 PM

Who was it that said "the buck stops here" ? Taken to the nth degree Pete is responsible for everything typed in the forums on here whether its defamatory, racist, sexist etc, etc.

Anyway I don't think its always helpful, yes directors of a company have responsibilities for their employees actions (there potential penalties far exceed those of the employee committing the offense - often a potential custodial sentence).

In the case of James Murdock people are blaming him for things that happened before he joined the company - just give it a thought, are you responsible for what someone does now, someone you don't know - with a company that you will join in 5 years time? I'm not saying he doesn't have questions to answer (he does and I personally think hes been economical with the truth) but some of the questioning yesterday was amateurish to say the least, come on saying hes part of the mafia isn't helping the investigation.

Without the press what would Nixon have got away with? (or is that OK because its highbrow journalism, and they are allowed to use dodgy tapes etc), or what about the corruption within Cricket, that wouldn't have been uncovered - the very same NOTW journalists were praised last week for that.

The truth is we are all hypocrites, when it suits we say well done, pat on the back. When it doesn't suit we want the heads of all and sundry.


Quote: but as the OP was about Maxwell then unless you can show that every btrahcn of NI was dong this sort of hting it is hard to say that this sort of 'bad practice' is due to him.

Mike you've said that twice, but the OP was about Murdock, not Maxwell.

Last Modified By Nick_w at 11 Nov 2011 - 11:50 PM
ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2011 - 12:41 AM


Quote: The truth is we are all hypocrites, when it suits we say well done, pat on the back. When it doesn't suit we want the heads of all and sundry.

Woah there Nick - there really is no need to beat yourself up because of Mr Mud Rock (I think that was the OP's original name?) you know you are worth ten of him and I haven't even met you!!

I think its more likely this sh*t happens when it suits the media and it don't happen when the media gets paid off.

We live in a fairly crap world where the last few decent thoughts of social justice have just left the building and the pervasive new ideas of 'dog eat dog' have arrived and are bigging it up.

As for being blamed for events that happened five years before he grabbed the tiller - well any 'due diligence' check when taking over such a role would have identified that something was not entirely right. That it took five years for him to do nothing suggests a certain level of complicity perhaps?

jondf
jondf  82475 forum posts
12 Nov 2011 - 10:34 AM


Quote: ....unless you can show that every branch of NI was dong this sort of thing

Well, you can't can you? But isn't it the case that for many outsiders the underlying impression of that organisation is one of inbred arrogance coupled with disdain for anybody or anything standing in its way? A long-standing, fed from the top down notion of getting the story at almost any cost? Should that be the case, it could only be a matter of time before such hedonistic instincts got exposed and that those running such organisations should be deemed morally and legally responsible.

thewilliam
12 Nov 2011 - 3:27 PM

It was Franklin D Rooseveldt, one of the greatest American presidents and a man with a strong sense of honour, who put "The buck stops here" sign on his desk.

Hermann Goering was at the other end of the continuum. At Nurenberg, Goering maintained that, as the Third Reich's #2, he couldn't possibly know of everything that happened within the Reich and so he would have known nothing about the holocaust. The Court didn't accept his "nicht schuldig" plea and sentenced him to hang.

MeanGreeny
12 Nov 2011 - 6:20 PM


Quote: It was Franklin D Rooseveldt, one of the greatest American presidents and a man with a strong sense of honour.

Pity it was Harry S. Truman then Tongue

Truman [who succeeded Roosevelt] received the sign as a gift from a prison warden, who was also an avid poker player - the motto coming allegedly from the game of poker in which a marker or counter (frequently a knife with a buckhorn handle), was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck," as the counter came to be called, to the next player.

Incidentally, the sign remained on the desk until at least the Carter administration.

Wink

Last Modified By MeanGreeny at 12 Nov 2011 - 6:23 PM

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