This document under review was taken from a Wall Street Journal article titled, “GE’s Drive to Purge Fraud is Hampered by Workers’ Mistrust. ” Right away it is clear that the writer of this article has a particular bias towards GE, and not the employees. After carefully reading, analyzing and just a little bit of reading between the lines, I have taken a similar stance. The article notes a total of 5 ex-employees with claims of being fired due to “whistle-blowing.
” For the time being, let us assume that each was justified in their accusations, while we examine the steps GE has taken in adjusting their own ethical code. What transpired after Jack Welch (GE Chairman) “declared war on fraud” was a system of ethical training, and several different ways to report wrongdoings. Unnamed experts imply the ethical training program as somewhat of a success by describing it as, “one of the most elaborate and comprehensive…programs” but no mention is made as to these expert’s credibility or whether they share a bias towards GE or not.
In another attempt to boost employee communication, 40 -100 of GE’s 284,000 employees are able to attend what can be described as a team meeting, using group brainpower to make suggestions to the boss. He then has the choice of deciding, or not deciding to act on the suggestions, leaving this extravagant meeting seemingly pointless, but for 0. 025% of the company’s employees having the chance to communicate, with the intention of taking away the fear to report wrong doings in GE employees.
However, as the article states, many GE employees still fear reporting problems despite the efforts of Jack Welch. Many of the claims made by now ex-employees are quite questionable for various reasons. Not to completely discredit their claims, there is a great possibility that they are justified, though the presented circumstances make it impossible to be sure. The first example of this can be seen in Edward Russell’s case, where neither the date of his claim, or firing is shown.
Furthermore, GE’s reason for dismissal in this situation was cited as “poor performance,” which in my experience has always been a legitimate reason for firing. Further examples of questionable claims can be seen throughout the article: Patricia D. Croce complained to her supervisor in 1990 but was not fired until 1992, 2 years later. In 1989 an operator from Ohio reported his own suspicions and was let go 3 years later. Situations like the previous give the impression that these employees are being let go for reasons other than that which they have provided.
The icing on the cake in this article was at the time of the article, the most recent and most noted. Chester Walsh found GE to have fraud the government of around $42,000,000 and chose not to report it immediately, choosing instead to “gather evidence” for 4 years. Going against company policy of reporting through internal channels, he went straight to the government, which resulted in GE’s guilty plea and $70,000,000 in fines, further resulting in Mr. Walsh becoming a multimillionaire.
Mr. Walsh was since fired for breaking company policy of using internal channels, again, a seemingly legitimate reason. The article is a clear case of black vs. white. With a reported 60 cases examined by the government it is certain that some ethical rules were broken, though GE, with the extensive employee training and attempts at increasing communication has done a great job of keeping themselves out of trouble from the possibly false claims presented by the now ex-employees.