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Running head: Land’s End Case Analysis

Fair Practice

Case Analysis of Land’s End

Managerial Communications

October 5, 2010
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Abstract

Land’s End a clothing manufacture failed to comply with a University’s Code of

Conduct. A code policy which calls for fair and just business practices consistent with the

university’s Jesuit tradition and mission of social responsibility. The primary facility in question

was Land’s End factory in Primo, El Salvador. Over a number of years Land’s End work

integrity and compliance of worker codes have been question. In 2004 Lands’ End was cited by

Daniel Porterfield the vice president of public affairs and strategic development at Georgetown

University Georgetown declared the company’s failure to uphold the code and to “recognize and

respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.”(Aryanpur,

2004) Land’s End efforts are to ensure that worker discrimination does not occur at their El

Salvador factory in question and to ensure that all other factories which supply Lands’ End

clothing will respect all workers’ rights.


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Fair Practice Case Analysis of Land’s End

The company has come a long way from 1963 were they sold racing sailboat equipment

as well as duffle bags, rain gear, and other various pieces of clothing’s from a basement in

Chicago, Illinois. When they founder their business it was just a couple of guys now the

company has grown worldwide with over 4,900 employees and over 290 stores (Casper, 2010).

With the growth of a company there is a growth and development process within management,

employees and overall company ethics. As with any management practice, the most important

outcome is behaviors preferred by this company. The best of ethical values and intentions are

relatively meaningless unless they generate fair and just behaviors in the workplace. In a letter

dated January 22, 2004 Lands’ End received notice from the vice president for public affairs and

strategic development at Georgetown University stating the university would indefinitely

suspend its contract with Lands’ End. (Aryanpur, A., 2004) When a potential employee was

denied a job in El Salvador Land’s End supplier and complained he was black listed.

Step 1: Recap and analyze the relevant facts

Land’s End is a wide geographical located company with multi-cultural classes regarding

their employees. This in itself leads to several problems within a company in balancing worker

personalities, environment and hiring practices. The root of managing and controlling favorable

conditions begins with adequately trained mangers. Experienced managers can realize use of the

deliverable standards of management practices with hiring, planning, organizing and motivating

these are only a partial representations of a well developed company. This is why a company will

need to generate lists of ethical values, or codes of ethics, must also generate hiring policies,
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procedures and training that translate those values to appropriate behaviors.

Step 2: Determining the Root Problem & Step 3: Identifying the Problem Components

After reviewing aspects of this case there are two basic problems. The first is that there

are certain procedures in place for employers to follow if they decided to hire individuals for

potential employment. These are produces are based upon quality decisions by including diverse

interests and perspectives, and increases the credibility of the decision process and outcome by

reducing suspicion of unfair bias. The second is having managers trained in such practices as

codes of ethics and codes of conduct. The training develops sensitized employees to ethical

considerations and minimizes the chances of unethical behavior occurring in the first place.

Step 4: Generating Alternatives (THE WHAT/Setting Objectives)

There are several possibilities that come to mind that could have prevented this situation.

First, it is vital that the company’s employees feel a sense of participation and ownership in the

program if they are to adhere to its ethical values. Therefore, we want the best intentions and

growth for our company. Secondly, organize a committee that would oversee hiring practices,

and the ethical process of equal opportunity employment. Third, appoint one or two key people

within the job qualification/duties to interview, evaluate and give feedback on the potential

employee.

Step 5: Evaluating Alternatives

The first two of the above alternatives would have prevented this situation from

happening. In the presence of proper training practices and ethical hiring methods there would be
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less potential failure of the code of conduct. Following these rules, the interviewers would have

considered properr hiring procedure so to be ethical in nature, without issues in regards to

respect, fairness and honesty. Identify the behaviors are needed to resolve these issues. Identify

which values would generate those preferred behaviors. There may be values included here that

some people would not deem as moral or ethical values, such as requesting race, religion or

marital status, these practical values may add more relevance and utility to a code of ethics. The

last alternative would add a sense of involvement of the current workforce and a different

outlook other than from the managerial level.

Step 6: Choose an Alternative

The most effective implementation that would avoid future problem, as well make a fair

and unbiased work environment would be to reorganize the hiring practices. This ensures the

company is not (or is not near) breaking any of code of conduct guidelines. Identify these issues

and implementing new procedures as well identify which behaviors would generate the most

preferred outcomes.

Step 7: Implementation Plan (THE HOW)

These new procedures should include the entire workplace in regards to the developing

change in personnel hiring policies, reflecting on what are ethical values the company would like

to promote within their organization's and then include these policies in standard protocols.

Implementing these policy changes can be in the form of;

1. Orient new employees to the organization's ethics program during new-employee orientation.

2. Review the ethics management program in management training experiences.


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3. Involving staff in review of codes is strong ethics training.

4. Involving staff in review of policies (ethics and personnel policies) is strong ethics training.

(Howard, & Korver, 2008; Jones & Gendron, 2004)

Step 8: Alternative Choice

Depending on the size of the organization, certain roles may prove useful in managing

ethics in the workplace. These can be full-time roles or part-time functions assumed by someone

already in the organization. Small organizations certainly will not have the resources to

implement each the following roles using different people in the organization. However, the

following functions points out responsibilities that should be included somewhere in the

organization. Land’s End is a large worldwide company and needing to be well versed in Code

of Conduct procedures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the conflict in this case could have been easily avoided if Land’s End

followed the Code of Conduct in the work place. The starting point in any conscious attempt at

rational decision making must be the recognition that a problem exists. While effective meetings

are essential to getting work done, most meetings leave us still looking for a decision.

Establishing a committee which to regulate fairness and unbiased hiring conduct and

procedures. This should facilitate in decision making, assist others in taking responsibility, and

contribute to building team effort within the company. The committee begins with defining the

problem. Identifying the problem is very crucial. It is important to not define a future problems

so there is no question of following fair and unbiased equal rights.


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References

AMA Strategic Case Analysis. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from www.amanet.org

Hattersley, M., & McJannet, L. (2008). Management Communication: Principles and Practice
(3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Company.
Aryanpur, A. (2004) Land’s End Loses Contract. Retrieved from
http://www.thehoya.com/news/lands-end-loses-contract/

Casper, M. (2010, October 4). Public Relations, Land’s End, Interview.

Howard, R. & Korver, C., (2008). Choose Action: Systematic Ethical Decision Making.
Retrieved on October 3, 2010 from http://hbr.org/product/choose-action-systematic-
ethical-decision-making/an/7799BC-PDF-ENG?Ntt=alternatives%2520to%2520
ethical%2520%issues%2520