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https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/2518/did-organizational-anti-patterns-foster-the-penn-state-cover-up

Have you ever heard of Harvard Business School Case Studies??

They routinely study big businesses so that others may learn lessons!

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    This sounds more like a thesis assignment than a Stack Exchange question. The possible answers are "yes" and "no", but either one could be argued for, landing it exactly in the "not constructive" category. – yoozer8 Jul 18 '12 at 19:30
  • Stack exchange (and workplace by extension) are not places to start discussions of current events. this is a place to ask questions relating to the workplace. By the logic you put in a coment below, you're saying that any question pertaining to events that have happened in a workplace are viable here. thus, the recent shootings in Aurora Col. would be open for discussion here due to them taking place in someone's workplace. No. flat out no. You're asking about a very specific occurrence. That is too localized. In addition, the tone of your question was far too aggressive and pointed. – acolyte Jul 26 '12 at 17:18
  • At least, that's my understanding of the situation. I tend to be a bit blunt with things like this, but those are the points that jumped out to me. – acolyte Jul 26 '12 at 17:19
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    @acolyte: I mostly agree with you. I just got off on the wrong foot with the moderator who abruptly closed the question; but thankfully folks, like yourself and Anna Lear clarified things. – Jim G. Jul 27 '12 at 2:42
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I completely disagree with this being to localized... It is clearly not constructive. (I agree with it being closed though so no matter what reason was chosen the mods did the right thing).

The workplace deals with questions that have practical applications. From the FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

and this line applies as well:

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here.

No one is saying that the problem is not important or that it should never be talked about anywhere. But it does not belong here period.

If the problem was What should I do if I find my self in a situation like The coach at Penn state? then I think the question would be on topic. But there is no practical problem to be solved here. And we do not have all of the evidence gathered in the investigation. So any analysis here would be pure conjecture... Which makes it not constructive.

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    I would be happy to take responsibility for choosing the wrong close reason out of the three possible I could have just as easily checked. I chose "too localized" first because to even begin to edit the question to be something constructive and on-topic (as you have here), all of the localized aspects (time and place) would have to be explained. If it were not too localized, I would have similarly instantly closed it as not constructive -- pure conjecture, which is for academic debates, but is not for SE. – jcmeloni Jul 20 '12 at 19:11
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    @jcmeloni - To me to localized is it is only ever likely to apply to a very limited subset of people. Sadly this problem recurs with too much frequency. For that reason I disagree with the to localized. BUT the question needed closed it is closed. In the end you did good IMO :) – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jul 20 '12 at 19:18
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The description for "too localized" includes "it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time".

It could also have been closed as "not constructive", which "expect[s] answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise" and avoid "debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion."

It could also have been closed as "not a real question": "ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

As the FAQ states, "you should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." That's not present in your question as it stands now.

If your question were edited to include a practical, answerable question that was not overly broad or rhetorical, did not invite debate, argument, or extended discussion, and the localized aspects of time and place were generalized, then that would be a question moderators and the community could vote to reopen.

  • You're wrong. It is very possible to formulate an objective answer to this question. Also, let me remind you that you earned 18 upvotes for an answer to this question: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/1562/… – Jim G. Jul 14 '12 at 17:57
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    @JimG. If you'd like a chance of finding out how your question can be edited to be reopened, I suggest you try for a more constructive tone. – Nicole Jul 14 '12 at 17:59
  • @JimG. ...which is a practical and answerable question. Not sure what you're getting at, but I have provided via the FAQ the guidelines for a starting point for modifications on your part if that is something you are interested in. NickC has also made a fine suggestion; the rest is up to you or any other community members who want to help your question become useful. – jcmeloni Jul 14 '12 at 18:03
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    @JimG. Actually, the reason StackExchange works is that the community can undo actions of mods if those with earned privileges vote accordingly. – jcmeloni Jul 14 '12 at 18:12
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    @JimG. What I'm getting at is that usually it doesn't help to just tell someone "they're wrong". It doesn't convince or persuade them, and usually it just makes things worse. – Nicole Jul 14 '12 at 18:25
  • @NickC: I totally agree. Unfortunately, that's precisely what jcmeloni did when she swiftly and abruptly closed my question without fully considering the ramifications or applicability of her actions. She treated it like a "slam dunk" case which is patently absurd. Observing and critiquing issues in the popular press is a cornerstone of any decent business school education. Emphasis: It's entirely possible to formulate an objective answer to this question that will yield widely applicable and useful lessons. – Jim G. Jul 14 '12 at 18:30
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    @JimG. - As someone who lives in the UK I can tell you that your question is definitely too localized. If it were not already closed, I would have voted to close for that reason. Stack Exchange sites serve more than the US of A. – Oded Jul 14 '12 at 19:35
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    @JimG. As a moderator I can tell you that's not equivalent to closing. A "close" is not a judgment nor is it permanent, it is meant as a "this question's not right at this time" but that doesn't mean it's not close. It's often a tough call to make, and unfortunately we don't have the time to make the edits ourselves, so if you don't know what's needed to change or disagree, you're perfectly welcome to bring it to meta as you did; it would just be helpful if it was a discussion instead of an argument. – Nicole Jul 14 '12 at 19:52
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    @Oded now, something only applying to a nation of 300 million people is not too localized. Something applying to only a room of about 30 people is. Not saying that's a reason to reopen the question, but it's deeper than "it's not globally applicable" – Rarity Jul 16 '12 at 2:27
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Sure, it's not too localized, it's Not Constructive. I've changed the close reason. Usually this isn't a problem worth changing the close reason for, but:

  • This was a moderator only close, so I'm not erasing anyone community close votes
  • The question is completely closeworthy
  • You've become far too fixated on this single closure

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