Organization Culture at Goldman Sachs

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB070
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1999-05
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Goldman Sachs
Industry : Investment Banking
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Drawbacks and Challenges

Detractors of GS argued that the collective focus at GS quashed innovation. The interviewing process at GS was criticized for recruiting clones and not bringing in candidates who had the knack of understanding and diversifying into emerging areas in financial services. Friedman questioned, "Why should Goldman Sachs have been so much later than other firms in getting into derivatives? Why should we have been so much later than Salomon in getting into the mortgage business or in developing a capital markets group?" The collective focus at GS had a negative side due to the existence of groupthink in the organization...

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Compliance Issues

In 2002, the company paid US$ 1.65 million in fines for allegedly violating e-mail record keeping requirements. In 2003, GS paid US$ 110 million as part of the settlement over research improprieties when New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, fined Wall Street for bad behavior.

In the same year, the company agreed to pay US$ 4.3 million in restitution and US$ 5 million in penalty related to improper trading in US Treasury securities and futures. In 2004, GS agreed to pay US$ 2 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for settling charges of promoting an IPO before the IPO registration became effective. The SEC also alleged that GS spoke to the media about an IPO by PetroChina before an initial registration was filed. Spear Leeds, a firm GS bought in 2000 and renamed as Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing LP, had to pay US$ 45.3 million to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in 2004 to settle charges that it traded ahead of customers.


Exhibit I: Services Offered by Goldman Sachs
Exhibit II: Financial Highlights of Goldman Sachs Between 1999-2004
Exhibit III: 14 Business Principles of Goldman Sachs
Exhibit IV: Organization Representation of Goldman Sachs
Exhibit V: Movement of Goldman Sachs (GS) Stock at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Between 1999 and 2005.


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