My previous post was about the impact of culture on two contrasting news organizations. In UK Parliament hearings yesterday, we heard another example of the negative impact culture can have on a media company. Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, said he was not responsible for phone hacking and payoffs by the staff of his News of the World tabloid. Maybe he wasn’t involved in that criminal activity directly News of the world and maybe had no knowledge of these actions by his employees, but as CEO of the organization and as someone who has tremendous influence on workplace culture, he is responsible. He created, or, at the minimum, allowed to exist, a culture that recognized and rewarded news by any means necessary. The ends justified the means at News of the World. Reporters would do anything to get a news scoop and the more salacious the better. A CEO in a large organization cannot know everything that goes on but that person must instill appropriate values and incentives, for example, respect for the laws of the land.

 

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