Canada Post: Research and Ethical Decision-making

Stepping Stones believes that Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra should be fired.
Stepping Stones believes that Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra should be fired.

This will be my last ‘official’ post on our Canada Post research project, which means that I technically do not have to complete any more for our COMM 57 assignment. However, I have pushed myself to build the research page to try to carry this topic through to the point where I will post our research findings over the next 3 weeks.

In the way of a quick update, our team does have quite a bit of data to sort through now, so I am budgeting a couple of weeks to sort through it all, come up with some scintillating graphs, and put it in a report form that we can be proud to submit. I will offer my thanks to everyone that contributed their opinions. If you would like to fill out the survey or the interview sheet you can find it on the research page.

The assigned topic for today is Ethical Considerations, which will probably make this post a bit lighter on links and heavier on my opinion. I suppose I could go out and search for specifics articles on the importance of ethics and objectivity in research, but I am not in an academic mood. I want to shoot from the hip.

The first point of ethics I would like to discuss was touched on in my February 14th post. I admit that I have been critical of crown corporation management from the beginning because it seems like the decision to cut home delivery and raise stamp prices was done virtually in a vacuum. There was very little public input, no access to market research, Canada Post employees were not engaged sufficiently, and the decision was announced the day after the House of Commons exited their winter session.

None of the above aspects imply any kind of business rationale or accountability in decision-making for the crown corporation. This would be completely unacceptable for a publicly-traded corporation, so I cannot understand how CEO Deepak Chopra has escaped more severe public scrutiny. Canada Post continues to be mismanaged and I have trouble understanding why this man still has his job…UNLESS his decision-making is really being directed by the Canadian federal government, which is who appointed him in the first place.

This leads me to the question of the redacted and minimized market research that should be guiding the process of decision-making as Canada Post moves forward. When the company is part of public life and public interest, is it ethical to leave this document to collect dust on a shelf? How can we assume that the decisions made were anything but political decisions, when the business decision-making process has been ignored? I don’t need to tell Canada Post workers that their jobs are at stake, as is the quality of public services. This is not a small matter.

I will end my comments with a disclaimer that even without the business proof, I would be in favour of saving those jobs and continuing delivery service. I believe the benefits of public service contribute more to our economy than the cost. However, if I can bear down and use business principles to try to chart an honest and accountable path forward, I don’t see why our federal government cannot do the same. That is the thing that bothers me the most, because the Conservatives are awfully quick to invoke business rationale in their principles – but I just don’t see it in practice.

DJB.

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