Approaches to building strong communities

CEO’s Private Investigation

Key issues in the case

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This case is about a new CEO known as Cheryl Tobin who contemplates launching an inquiry in a fraud case that might have taken place at the firm. The CEO as a new employee has assumed a legendary position at the company. The position had previously been held by the deceased James Rawlings who was the reckoning force behind the tremendous innovative achievements and success of the company and acquiring new business opportunities, which enabled them to be ahead of other players in the industry. In fact, the deceased CEO met his death while still negotiating for a business deal after succumbing to aneurysm (Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein & Teuber, 2007).

Before talking over the CEO position by Cheryl, she was an employee of the Boeing Company heading the company’s largest units. Their main rivals included Hammond holdings and she was among the active participants in a couple of things at the former company. While working for Boeing, Cheryl acquired information through rumors that the exemplary performance of Hammond and its ability to obtain more business opportunities, was because the then CEO, Rawlings applied illegal rewards. According to Cheryl, this strategy of applying rewards in a liberal manner was meant to coax new business negotiations to favor his company (Queen, 2011).

These were just rumors because she has no evidence. However, Cheryl is concerned that the rumors are likely to be key indicators to the reality that the former CEO had been conducting fishy deals for the company under the full glare of the entire company. She becomes curious: this leads her to have the desire to pursue whether she can substantiate the rumors. First, she starts to interrogate her personal secretary, Terrell. Terrell was a long serving the personal assistant of the former CEO for a period of eighteen years. Therefore, she could provide relevant information that could either kill or fuel Cheryl’s suspicion (Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein & Teuber, 2007).

Although Terrell is trying to keep it a secret, she is engaging in risky behaviors because the information can be leaked out to media houses. When people learn about how this company has been operating under such corruption, the business stands no chance because it will lose the public goodwill. Besides, Cheryl is seen as a shrewd boss because her efforts are attempts to paint a bad picture on the former CEO: she cannot fit into the big shoes left for her (Eugene, 2009).

Related literature

Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein and Teuber, (2007) have actively involved in the business of investigating for some time and have a wide range of cases. In their literature, they claim that when a CEO seeking to have a company investigated for possible corruption scandals contacted them, they had to ask him to provide some data from the firm. Evidently, this is an enormous challenge because throughout the CEO did not want her identity to be revealed the investigations. Nevertheless, Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein & Teuber, (2007) established that the CEO is likely to at a better position because she is just newly employed by the firm. This does not have any chances of raising a single eyebrow when she requests for audit reports and related documents. Many people have the feeling that because she is a new CEO, then she is only interested because she wants to familiarize herself with company documents and records. This is likely to save her many costs such as time, which she would have spent collecting the necessary information (Eugene, 2009).

She saved a lot of time, which would have been wasted on stalled processes when she was called to retrieve the data in the course of the investigations. Cheryl would be freed from trouble because collecting relevant figures and information will be helpful in identifying the absence or presence of any chances of loopholes. This may imply that the new acquired CEO will not proceed with the investigations if it proves to lead to the open end and not the dead end. Rushing into the investigations is only likely to make her feel that she is unable to prove the rumors and will make her lose loyalty from subordinates, peers and colleagues (Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein & Teuber, 2007).

Finder, Brandon, Kubasik, Comey, Klein & Teuber, (2007) have demonstrated that even the FBI, who are the most popular investigators have never launched any investigations before a burden of proof is established. Under normal circumstances, FBI investigators are likely to conduct preliminary investigations, analysis, and evaluation. If they establish that there is a possibility, then they are prompted to dig further into the case by embarking on comprehensive investigations. Cheryl should take this as a serious consideration in regards to her case. Currently, the only information available to her is the rumor, which she heard several years ago. She also has an unrecorded discussion with her personal assistant who admitted that her former boss had made fishy bank transfers directed towards unknown bank accounts and destinations (Queen, 2011).

Leadership theories

Three leadership theories are applicable in this scenario. These approaches are held as the most classic leadership styles business that leaders use across the world. Each leadership theory has its drawbacks and strength:

Authoritarian leadership offers clear instructions or what ought to be done and what is expected of employees. Using this model, leaders tell employees what to do and how they should do it (Stippler & Do-rffer, 2011). This model divides leaders and subordinates. When applied in the above case, Cheryl would make independent decisions with no or little input from Jackie and other employees. She would obtain all data, figures and relevant information without consulting anyone at the company (Great Britain, 2012). Under this theory, leaders make creative decisions. Researchers have established that it is easy to shift from democratic leadership towards an autocratic leadership approach than vice versa. This approach is always perceived as dictatorial, bossy, and controlling. Authoritarian leadership style is mostly applicable in cases where there is minimal or no time for conducting discussions to make collective decisions. It is also applied in situations where leaders are more knowledgeable members than the team (Brown, 2008).

Autocratic leadership style is increasingly losing meaning in the current business environment. This is because, researchers have established that employees are likely to perform better without the presence of the overbearing bosses within their workstations, at all times. Nevertheless, some have argued that autocratic leadership styles are increasingly becoming effective just as they have been in Europe. This can only be true in case the leaders can balance them with the face and feedback time (Quiz, 2009).

Participative leadership involves employees, leaders and subordinates coming together to hold discussions with the aim of making collective decisions. This approach is used to soften the above-mentioned approaches. Using this style, Cheryl would involve her subordinates while making decisions, but would still maintain adequate control in guiding the company without imposing her own decisions on the subordinates. This means that as the leader, Cheryl would provide her subordinates with great participation in decision-making and will need to obtain trust from her subordinates (Stippler & Do-rffer, 2011). The above leadership approaches are the building blocks of most approaches employed in at the corporate level in the current business world. Nevertheless, they have not incorporated all the philosophy regarding the nature of companies and ways of handling leadership (Quiz, 2009).


Brown, E. (2008). Inspired Jewish leadership: practical approaches to building strong communities. Woodstock: Jewish Lights Pub.


Eugene, F. (2009). Undercover investigations in the workplace. Boston; Oxford,

Finder, J., Brandon, H., Kubasik, C., Comey, J., Klein, E. & Teuber, W.J. (2007) ‘The CEO’s private investigation’, Harvard Business Review, 85 (10), pp. 47-60, Business Source

Premier [Online].

Great Britain. (2012). Private investigators: fourth report of session 2012-13: report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence. London, Stationery Office.

Queen, D.D. (2011). The California Private Investigator’s Legal Manual. iUniverse Inc.

Quiz, F.Z. (2009). Leadership approaches of the public school principalship: Hispanic and non-

Hispanic superintendents’ perceptions along the Texas-Mexico border. Thesis (Ph. D.)

New Mexico State University

Stippler, M., & Do-rffer, T. (2011). Leadership – approaches, developments, trends. Gu-tersloh,

Verl. Bertelsmann-Stiftung

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