1. What does the NoW phone-hacking scandal tell us about how the behaviour of leaders influences the ethical culture of an organisation?

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The News of the World Phone-Hacking Scandal

 

This assignment is in the form of a critical examination of the News of the World (NoW) phone-hacking scandal, which has become one of the most serious cases of corporate malpractice in British business history. Originally, NoW argued that phone-hacking was limited to ‘one rogue reporter’ hacking the phones of a few royals and celebrities.  In 2007 the ‘rogue reporter’ and a private detective were jailed for illegally intercepting phone messages.  However, NoW’s ‘one rogue reporter’ defence was challenged by other newspapers, most notably the Guardian, and it eventually crumbled. It is now clear that the practice was rife throughout NoW and that phone hacking was being carried out on an ‘industrial’ scale.  So far, this has resulted in the closure of the 168 year old NoW, the withdrawal of its parent company’s bid for BSkyB, the arrest of a number of senior (ex) NoW managers and journalists, and a public inquiry conducted by Lord Justice Leveson.

 

There is a vast amount of literature available on the NoW phone-hacking story. However, so far there is a lack of serious academic studies of the topic. Therefore, the available literature needs to be treated with some caution. In starting to understand the case and gathering information, the following sources should prove useful:

 

 

The assignment should be treated as a serious piece of research work. You will, therefore, be responsible for identifying and using the relevant literature. You are urged to start work early on this piece of coursework. 

 

The coursework involves answering three questions. Each question should answered separately in a separate section of your assignment with a clear subheading, and you must abide by the word count for each question.

 

The questions you are required to answer are:

  1. What does the NoW phone-hacking scandal tell us about how the behaviour of leaders influences the ethical culture of an organisation?

(1000 words/40 marks)

use leadership theory e.g transformation/ethical/op..

social influences (first and second lecture)

 

  1. What does it tell us about the ability of individuals to act ethically in organisations?

(1000 words/40 marks).

 

  1. What have you personally learned about leadership from studying the NoW case?  How would this affect your behaviour as a leader?

(500 words/20 marks)

 

Your answers will include:

  • A discussion of the key leadership and ethical issues involved in the phone-hacking scandal.    
  • A discussion of the relevant aspects of leadership and ethics covered in semester 1. 
  • A clear and logical structure.
  • Conclusions which critically evaluate the assignment questions.
    • Evidence that the answers cite relevant and reliable literature and sources. 

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