Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Zero Tolerance or Zero Rationality

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Zero Tolerance or Zero Rationality

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary subject matter of this case concerns organizational culture and conflict management. Secondary issues examined include ethics, human resource management, organizational theory and strategy. The case has a difficulty level appropriate for upper division and graduate business students. The case is designed to be taught in one to two class hours and is expected to require two to four hours of outside preparation by students. Zero tolerance policies, while still on the rise in many institutions in this country (most prominently in U.S. school systems), are increasingly being challenged in courts at various levels. Two of the most common reasons for court cases in this area are inflexibility in relatively minor violations and egregious penalties that far exceed the particular situation. Both of these reasons for litigation are evidenced in the case presented here.

CASE SYNOPSIS

A large international distribution company has a personnel problem in their Orlando, Florida division. An internal audit has discovered that two long-time employees have violated a zero tolerance policy concerning the private use of a company vehicle. This division falls under the supervision of Linda Douglas, southeastern U.S. regional vice president for the company. Linda, while vacationing in Miami Beach, has been instructed by the international vice president for human resource management at the company headquarters in London, Victoria Vasilias, to terminate both the delivery driver for personal use of a company delivery van and his supervisor that knew of the violation and did nothing about it. …

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