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Case Study Analysis-CLA-Course Outcome 2

Read the BUSINESSWEEK CASE: EXECUTIVES: MAKING IT BY FAKING IT at the bottom. Answer the three questions at the end of the case in a 2 page paper. Follow the project guidelines Complete a 2 page paper not including the title page and reference page.
3.Answer each question thoroughly.
4.Demonstrate your understanding of the information presented in the weekly reading assignments by defining terms, explaining concepts, and providing detailed examples to illustrate your points.
5.Include at least two references from your reading assignments or other academic source to reinforce and support your own thoughts, ideas, and statements.

Executives: Making It by Faking It
At least once or twice a year, businesspeople the world
over are reminded of the high cost of a little exaggeration,
a material omission, or an outright lie on a résumé and
how a tangled web concerning one’s background can lead
to career catastrophe.
Consider the case of the MIT dean whose career track
was halted when her employer realized that she hadn’t
graduated from a single one of the three institutions from
which she had claimed to have earned degrees. Or any one
of a string of business executives who learned the hard way
174 PART 2 Acquiring and Preparing Human Resources
that faking their way is no way of making their way into
executive management.
Just ask headhunter Jude Werra. The president of
Brookfield, Wisconsin–based Jude M. Werra & Associates
has spent the better part of 25 years documenting executive
résumé fraud, credentials inflation, and the misrepresentation
of executive educational credentials. It’s
something that has kept Werra pretty busy over the years,
given the prevalence of such management-level chicanery
and the fact that so many ambitious and transition-minded
individuals have convinced themselves that it’s their
credentials—real or otherwise—that matter most.
Werra’s semiannual barometer of executive résumé deception
hit a five-year high, based on his review of résumés
he received during the first half of 2007. He figures
that about 16 percent of executive résumés contain false
academic claims and/or material omissions relating to educational
And when you account for the fudging of claims of experience
unrelated to academic degrees earned, it’s easy to
see why executive headhunters generally acknowledge
that as many as one-third of management-level résumés
contain errors, exaggerations, material omissions, and/or
blatant falsehoods.
Some people will stop at almost nothing to get to where
they want in their career. Still, Werra wonders why otherwise
experienced executives would inflate their credentials
or otherwise mislead with their résumé, in light of the
potential career-ending consequences.
Given the alarming levels to which they do attempt to
mislead, he constantly reminds hiring organizations that it’s
critical that they verify what they read on résumés, even at
the executive level. What’s even more alarming—and more
prevalent than people falsifying their backgrounds and
qualifications—is the number of hiring organizations that
fail to conduct a rigorous background check on their new
management recruits. Far too many organizations figure
that checking a few references is enough.
And even the most thorough reference checks won’t uncover
false claims that predate those references’ own professional
interactions with the individual executive. It’s quite
possible that a fabrication of one’s education, certifications,
and experience is what got the executive his first management
job many years ago, leaving the trail cold unless it’s
reopened during the course of a diligent background check.
When it comes to executive-level hiring that’s going to
cost the organization into the high six figures, at minimum,
when you factor in headhunting fees, the new executive’s
salary, and benefits, it becomes a matter of caveat
emptor [let the buyer beware].
A thorough background check is an important insurance
policy for the recruiting process, and headhunters
will tell you that your organization risks getting burned if
an executive it hires has, at any time in his or her past, decided
to assume the risks of playing with fire. Given the
high cost of a bad executive hire, today’s organizations
simply can’t afford not to do their homework.
SOURCE : Excerpted from Joseph Daniel McCool, “Executives: Making It by
Faking It,” BusinessWeek , October 4, 2007, .


1. Suppose you are an HR manager at a company that
needs to fill an important management position. In
what situations would a candidate’s educational background
be important? In what situations would a candidate’s
track record as a manager or leader be important?

2. If you are considering a candidate whose management
track record is good, would it matter whether the
candidate described his or her educational background
accurately? Why or why not? What if the
misrepresentations involved the candidate’s work history?
Would your opinion change?

3. The writer of this article expresses an opinion that
the utility of background checks is high. Do you agree
that employers should place more emphasis on background

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