Mccaskey Case Essay

729 Words Dec 12th, 2011 3 Pages
Analysis: Martha McCaskey

Harvard Business Review

The Issue:

This case focuses on Martha McCaskey. McCaskey is a relatively recent Harvard B-School grad on the fast track at Seleris Associates. She is a consultant who specializes in competitive analysis for corporations.

McCaskey has been assigned as lead on project Silicon 6. She has a strong track record for delivering quality on her projects, which is why she was chosen as lead for this project. The focus of the project is to reverse engineer cost structure and manufacturing processes for the competitor of a key client of Seleris. This unnamed client is responsible for 20% of the revenue for this division. Therefore, the head of the division is invested in making this
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Management must focus on the means as well as the outcomes to ensure that they are operating not only within legal boundaries, but socially acceptable and responsible boundaries as well.

Malone, McCaskey’s superior, is heavily directing her approach. When McCaskey went into the presentation with the clients, Malone was the one to make the promises to deliver through access from the ex-employee. Malone also authorized the increase in “pay” to the ex-employee. McCaskey cannot look to her immediate management to resolve ethical issues. The saving grace for McCaskey is, hopefully, Richardson, Malone’s manager.

Senior associates often discuss case status directly with Malone and Richardson. McCaskey should use this to her advantage to go directly to Richardson with this dilemma to gain his buy-in to resolve the issues in a more ethical manner. In the past, Richardson has communicated his ethical expectations to the staff via lunchtime talks. Therefore, McCaskey may find a worthwhile advocate in Richardson.

It is not clear if Richardson really believes in building an ethical culture as he has given direct management responsibilities to Malone. Richardson has to be aware of Malone’s practices, but has not taken a firm stand on stating and shaping the organization’s values and conduct by providing visible role models who exhibit ethical behavior. However, Kaufmann, an associate who

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