In times of organizational crisis, some companies are able to right the ship, while others sink under the pressure.
Recently, Uber has been under fire for a bad corporate culture, which promoted, among other things, sexism and other forms of toxic behavior. This led to a four-month investigation and pressure from the board for founder and CEO Travis Kalanick to take an indefinite leave of absence. He suddenly resigned as CEO on June 20 after several major investors demanded he step down.
Unfortunately, Uber is not the only company to come under public scrutiny in recent months for its toxic culture. Fox News and Sterling Jewelers have also been accused of widespread sexual harassment. And other companies, such as Volkswagen, Wells Fargo and Chik-Fil-A, have been in the media spotlight for unethical behavior.
Many have focused on the role of leaders in allowing toxic cultures to fester, which is what led to the ousting of Fox founder Roger Ailes and Kalanick's departure. While this is certainly a necessary step, it's not enough.
Our research shows that companies need also to root out a bad leader's followers among the rank and file and make other important internal changes. Otherwise, a moral meltdown like Uber's is likely to happen again.