Spy Games Case Analysis


Spy Games Case Analysis

The happenings in this case involving Renault SA, a French car maker are intriguing and bring forth a number of global issues which afflict the business world. Just as the case topic suggests, spying is the leading issue which is given a lot of prominence. Even though spying on competitors is not a new thing, the behavior contravenes the acceptable CODE OF ETHICS in industrial practice. The second global issue which is apparent in this story is competition. Governments and businesses alike, want their activities to succeed better than those of their rivals. That is the reason why both try to be protective of their activities, and any suggestion of espionage is treated with utmost caution. For example, after the claims of espionage arose in Renault, the French government quickly blamed China; probably because it thought that China was responsible for unfair competitive practices. However, in trying to safeguard their competitive advantage, some organizations misuse their RIGHTS VIEW OF ETHICS and dismiss their workers without credible evidence.

The eventual revelations which emerge after Renault fired three of its workers raise concerns about the commitment of organizations to ethical or social responsibility issues. Particularly, the actions of the top managers of Renault prompt one to question the SUSTAINABILITY of the company’s ethical standards. The major ethical issues evident from the case are unfairness and irresponsiveness. Companies should treat all their stakeholders fairly. Therefore, it was imprudent for Renault to fire three of its officers without giving them a fair trial. Furthermore, when the top managers decided to accept the allegations made by Dominique Gevrey as the ultimate truth, they exhibited a high degree of irresponsiveness which is an unacceptable ethical practice.

Renault’s managers could have handled the crisis facing the company more responsibly by by taking ample time to investigate the allegations raised against the three dismissed employees more objectively. Foremost, if the company had a sufficient level of WORKFORCE DIVERSITY based on carrying out specific organizational functions, the managers could have delegated the crisis to the ethics department. Alternatively, since they did not have a credible ethical department, they could have sought external help by consulting a professional ethical expert or an anti-defraud police detective. Even in the absence of a professional expert, or a police detective, they could have exploited other internal means such as forming an impartial committee to investigate the allegations. However, the managers wrongfully decided to exploit lack of workforce diversity within the company to impose unsubstantiated allegations on innocent officers. Failure to use expert opinion also contributed to their biased judgment.

I do not agree with both decisions of the board not to ask for the resignation of Carlos Ghosn, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and to allow the reassignment of Patrick Pelata, the company’s Chief Operations Officer (COO). Both of these senior individuals were central to the entire crisis involving the wrongful firing of the three innocent employees. Furthermore, they were privy to all the allegations raised against the dismissed employees. Their failure to institute proper mechanisms to give the alleged spies a fair trial is a clear sign of ineptitude. Therefore, to inspire new confidence in the positions, both officials should resign to allow fresh people to take up their positions. Even though the COO resigned, his reassignment will injure the image of the company. It will show that the company is not committed to fair ethical practices and accountability. Furthermore, their continued stay in the company might raise concerns about RACE favoritism; especially if the managers and the dismissed workers are from different races.

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