After 6 months of investigation, Wells Fargo has released that it will be penalizing two former executives with a 75 million dollar fine to compensate for their claimed involvement in the company’s sales scandal.
According to this article by the New York Times, the six-month investigation conducted by Wells Fargo “…studied the conditions and culture that prompted thousands of Wells Fargo employees to create fraudulent accounts in an effort to meet aggressive sales goals.”
The conclusions found were deployed through an 113-page report. Based on the study conducted, the issues came primarily from the company being too decentralized structurally. Department heads were given the mantra of “run it like you own it”, and given the broad authority to “shake off questions from superiors, inferiors or later colleagues.”
There are a few different normative theories that I believe relevance throughout the incident that occurred with Wells Fargo. First, there was a lack of integrity on the behalf of the sales people. Rather than face the fact that they were unable to make sales and meet the high pressures placed upon them, they acted unjustly in order to keep a “just” reputation. Unfortunately, for the sales people, an unjust character is not a strong enough foundation to build off of and eventually the building will crumble.
This lack of integrity permeates throughout the business much higher than solely the salespeople. “…managers explicitly told subordinates to sell people accounts even if they did not need them.” The organization as a whole was built off of an unjust foundation and therefore they were eventually caught by the public and fell to the level of their actions which were unjust.