For the Greater Good
Aren’t we humans a strange bunch? I wonder how many other words have been created because we do not like the associations we have made with their meanings. Pretexting sounds much better than lying. Pretexting is lying. It does not matter whether you intentionally let someone create their own falsehood or you create it for them, it is deception. The real question is not whether Patricia Dunn instructed Hewlett Packard’s lawyers in the methods of investigation. Whether she was actually told what they would be doing is almost irrelevant. She knew a logical course of action would include searching for phone records; phone records which not normally just given out without legal justification. The real question is should she have been forced to resign because of her actions? I’m of the opinion that she should have lost her position. Whether she should have been forced out or resigned is inconsequential. She was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hewlett-Packard. That position and few others within the company are accountable for what happens in the company. Therefore, in some ways, she is a scapegoat. However, I will show how for the greater good of the company and for a larger number of people that she needed to be held responsible for her actions.
The players in this modern day drama are many; however those whose roles are critical to our purposes are only a few. Obviously, Patricia Dunn as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Tom Perkins, one of the directors both take center stage. The background information of the case is laid out by David A. Kaplan in his Newsweek article. In it he states:
(Hewlett-Packard) has now admitted to spying on its own directors' personal phone records in order to root out a leaker. It did so by using private investigators who engaged in "pretexting"--calling up phone companies and impersonating directors seeking their own records. HP late last week additionally admitted to spying...