Essay about The 2008 Financial Crisis

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Have banks responded to the public accusation that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by a “crisis of character” in their industry by actively seeking candidates of integrity and character?

There are two components to this research question: The first draws on strategic management research and the notion of organizational legitimacy and to what degree organizations operationally respond to public opinion; the second is the concept of “character,” what it means, how it is conceptualized, measured and operationalised through the selection of new employees. I hypothesize that, since September 2008, banks:
1. have changed the qualities they seek in employee candidates;
2. and are now actively seeking candidates with higher levels of
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National Public Radio (NPR) in the US has suggested there is “moral rot” on Wall Street. In all, an acute level of pressure has befallen the global banking industry, shining a bright spotlight on the role of ethics, integrity and character in organizations.

And rightly so. The benefits of hiring and training employees with “character” and “ethics” have been shown to relate at an individual level to well being (Park, Peterson & Seligman 2004), and at an organizational level to performance and leadership success (Sarros & Cooper 2006). Ethics also aids in retaining employees (McDaniel, Organizational Ethics: Research and Ethical Environments, 2004), which is increasingly business-critical as the “war for talent” intensifies (Michaels, Handfield-Jones, Axelrod, War for Talent, Harvard Business School Press, McKinzie & Co, 2001). McDaniel suggests leaders have two ways to instil ethics in their firms -- the selection method and the training method. However, Beer (1998) asserts that selection is really the only reliable method for finding employees with desired characteristics, as unlike skills and knowledge, personal

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