Corporate Lawbreakers as
Sources of Interactive Training
Jeffrey M. Kaplan
Every company faces its own particular compliance problems, but all face the same overriding challenge: to make law and ethics come alive in the work place.
Consider the following hypothetical situation (which could easily be adapted to virtually any business setting). A sales executive instructs a subordinate to prepare and sign what is obviously a complementary bid. There is initial resistance, but the executive makes it unmistakably clear that this is an order--not a request--and that the subordinate will deeply regret any refusal to follow orders. The executive says that he wants the bid completed immediately--and that he won't leave the subordinate's office until he receives it.
The next ten seconds may be critical in the life of both the subordinate and the company. Once he has gone along even with one criminal act, it may be very difficult for the subordinate to resume his prior state of happy lawfulness. The executive will always have additional leverage to command obedience in the criminal enterprise, and, in any event, the subordinate will probably begin to rationalize his participation.
If the scheme is uncovered, the wrong choice made during these ten seconds could be nothing short of ruinous. For the individual there is a high likelihood of prison, particularly under the federal sentencing guidelines; the loss of employment and future employability; and,