Fanning Center for Business Communication

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Fanning Center Cases Directory

A Collection Scandal at Sears Roebuck & Company
Categories: Customer Relations, Retail

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

America’s second-largest retailer tries to bolster profits in its credit card division by aggressively pursuing delinquent customers. Unknown to CEO Arthur Martinez and his senior team at Sears is the company’s action against more than half-a-million credit card holders who had filed for – and been granted – protection in bankruptcy court. Martinez ponders what to do as Federal attorneys file criminal charges against the company. 4 pp. Case #00-05. (2000)

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A Philosophy of Dress: Rebuilding Trust in the Brooks Brothers Brand
Categories: Investor Relations, Retail

Authors: Johnson, J.; Stevenson, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Founded by Henry Sands Brooks in 1818, Brooks Brothers' business was built on relationships maintained over generations with employees, suppliers, and customers. Once the most admired retailer in the country, Brooks Brothers lost its corporate identity and consequently, broke the trust of one of America’s most loyal base of customers. During the 1980s and 1990s, three companies took ownership of the nation’s oldest, and for much of its history, most profitable men’s retailer. In 2001, Brooks Brothers was sold to Retail Brand Alliance for $225 million. RBA CEO Claudio Del Vecchio was determined to save Brooks Brothers. Mr. Del Vecchio tailored a turnaround plan stitched with a communication strategy for Brooks Brothers’ stakeholders. (A) Case, 8 pp. (B) Case, 7 pp. Case #06-09. (2006)

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ABN AMRO: Activist Shareholders Among the Hedges
Categories: Financial, Investor Relations

Authors: Maduro, L.; Paunescu, A.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On February 20, 2007, The Children’s Investment Fund sent a letter to the board of Dutch bank ABN AMRO requesting that ABN AMRO explore options to merge, sell, or spin-off some of its assets, or even the whole business. Never before had shareholder activism reached such a scale. As turmoil reigned and speculation began, the largest bidding war in banking history began over one of Europe’s largest and oldest banks. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #08-01. (2008)

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Accenture: The Re-branding of Andersen Consulting
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Relations, Financial

Authors: Gaul, M.; Cosenza, L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The 1989 split between Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting resurfaces as Andersen Consulting files suit against its sister company. One outcome of the negotiations is that Andersen Consulting must abandon the Andersen name by January 1, 2001. The new name will be Accenture. The re-branding coincides with a variety of new capabilities and restructuring within the company. It hopes to leverage these changes to retain former clients and add value for new ones. The company must also decide the best way to present its new image to the public, to clients, and others in the marketplace. 5 pp. Case #01-10. (2001)

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Alaska Airlines: Navigating through Crisis toward an Uncertain Future
Categories: Transportation

Authors: Hein, C.; Tipps, T.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On January 31, 2000, an Alaska Airlines MD-80 crashed in the Pacific off the coast of California. A company with a sense of independence and strong culture, Alaska Airlines responded quickly to the NTSB investigation of the accident and the media assault that focused on Alaska’s sloppy maintenance records as a contributing factor to the crash. Brand equity, employee morale, and stockholder confidence emerged essentially unscathed as a result. A little more than one year later, though, the entire airline industry was forced to deal with the consequences of the 9/11 tragedy. Today, Alaska Airlines is among the most recognized for service and quality in the industry, but is facing financial challenges as the industry moves toward a low-cost model. The company must now decide how to strengthen its financial position without sacrificing its service and quality. 10 pp. Case #04-09. (2004)

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AM General Corporation and the Hummer Plant Expansion
Categories: Manufacturing, Transportation

Authors: Silveus, T.; Sarzen, J.; Strilchuk, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Speculation surrounds the rumored agreement between General Motors and AM General to market and manufacture the civilian version of the HMMWV, known as the “Hummer” H1. Plant expansion would be critical to AM General’s ability to manufacture and sell the vehicle. Success of the deal and ultimately the plant expansion is dependant on city cooperation, a contract with the UAW, and most importantly the relocation of nearly 50 local residences from their lifelong homes. 5 pp. Case #00-21. (2000)

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Amaranth Advisors LLC: Anatomy of a Hedge Fund Meltdown
Categories: Financial, Investor Relations

Authors: Breslin, B.; Farivari, J.; Michalak, R.; Rasmussen, C.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On September 22, 2006, Nicholas Maounis, founder of Amaranth Advisors LLC, reported to investors that his hedge fund had lost approximately 65% of its value (about $6.0 billion of $9.2 billion) since the end of August 2006. His hope was that, despite these losses, he would be able to convince his investors to stay the course and not divest; if they divested, then Amaranth would join the annals of hedge fund history as the largest financial meltdown ever. Looking beyond the local travail of Amaranth to the potential global disruption of the world financial system, how would the situation play out in the long term? 10pp. Case #07-09. (2007)

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Amazon.com, Inc.: The Zappos Data Crisis
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations

Authors: Hanson, A.; Kenney,K.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Amazon.com, Inc.: The Zappos Data Crisis Authors: Hanson, A.; Kenney, K.; and O’Rourke, J.S. On January 15, 2012, Zappos, an Amazon subsidiary, was the victim of a purposeful hacking attack. CEO Tony Hsieh sent out a tweet, alerting customers that the systems had been penetrated and directing them to a letter with incident details and recommended customer actions. Given that security breaches have become an increasing concern due to the amount of data stored online, the public immediately criticized Zappos, and a class action lawsuit was filed. Tony Hsieh, and parent company CEO, Jeff Bezos, must decide if any additional payment is due to customers and how to retain brand equity and customer security going forward. Case # 12-01 (2012)

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American Apparel: The Plus-Sized Problem
Categories: Apparel and Textile, Brand Management, Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Manufacturing

Authors: Garg, P.; Fan, K.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

American Apparel, a multinational fashion retailer headquartered in Downtown Los Angeles, looked to target the plus-size clothing customer segment in an effort to grow its stagnant sales. It launched “The Next Big Thing,” a marketing campaign requiring contestants to submit modeling shots for American Apparel’s online audience to vote on. Little did they know that their ad copy, which utilized several puns as adjectives to describe larger women, would invoke a negative response by media outlets as well as the incite members of the plus-size community. Nancy Upton, a size-12-wearing student and actress based in Dallas, Texas, decided to join the contest with a satirical entry, and created a blog. What happened next was a series of corporate communication problems that revealed a deeper issue of cultural insensitivity rather than just a poor choice of wording. 17 pp. #13-08 (2013)

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American Electrical, Inc.: Managing an Environmental Crisis
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Environment, Investor Relations, Manufacturing

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A mid-size manufacturer of electrical equipment buys out a competitor and discovers improperly disposed polychlorinated biphenyls on the property. Though he is guilty of no wrongdoing, the CEO must move quickly to deal with the concerns of employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, and the neighboring community, which suspects the company of complicity in contamination of the local water supply. 9 pp. Case #97-01. (1997)

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American Girl: A Protest Over Corporate Philanthropy
Categories: Non-Profit, Retail

Authors: Murphy, K.; Halvorsen-Ganepola, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In November of 2005, just prior to the Christmas shopping season, the Pro-Life Action League and the American Family Association announced a boycott of the popular doll line American Girl®, citing outrage at American Girl’s® charitable support of Girls, Inc., which they accuse of supporting abortion and promoting lesbianism. The two special interest groups staged the boycott after failed attempts during the month preceding it to influence American Girl® to cut the “I CAN” promotion. The groups felt that the company would respond to the challenge of the campaign because they claimed to be representative of the primary consumer segments of the American Girl® dolls, with which they historically held shared family values. The boycott lasted through the Christmas season, and the “I CAN” promotion ended the day after Christmas, as scheduled. 6 pp. Case #06-15 (2006)

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American Red Cross: Out of Catastrophe Come Charity and Controversy
Categories: Non-Profit, Reputation Management

Authors: Hulett, J. M.; Malaier, A. B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the American Red Cross collects so many donations for victims that it creates a special fund called the Liberty Fund to handle more than $564 million. When the public discovers significant portions of the fund will not be used for the families of those who died in the bombing, Congress intervenes and begins investigating Red Cross’ activities. The charity is also under fire for not cooperating with other charities in the distribution of monies or using proper screening to determine genuine requests for relief. In the midst of the largest scandal ever for the Red Cross, its CEO and president Dr. Bernadine Healy resigns and the Board of the Red Cross, specifically Chairman David McLaughlin, must find a way to rebuild trust in the Red Cross and ensure the public that the funds collected are distributed properly. (A) Case, 14 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #02-08. (2002)

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American Rubber Products Company
Categories: Crisis Management, Manufacturing

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

The CEO of a $35-million manufacturing firm in the American Midwest is faced with an executive’s worst nightmare: a boiler explosion that kills two employees and seriously injures five others. This crisis management case takes the reader through a series of information-gathering and decision-making steps as the CEO and his senior team grapple with human tragedy and calamitous business problems simultaneously. (A) Case, 5 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #98-01. (1998)

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Amtrak Acela: The Challenge of High-Speed Passenger Rail Service
Categories: Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Benson, A.; Hermo, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In August of 2002, maintenance workers find fractured locomotive brackets and brake discs on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela line between Washington and Boston. As a result, the Acela is taken out of service for three years and Amtrak continues to lose money and struggle with funding for everything from infrastructure maintenance to passenger service amenities. CEO David Gunn is faced with the most critical circumstances in the 34-year history of the troubled passenger rail service. While Japanese and European high-speed train services continue their profitable operations, the United States has yet to devise a model that works. Brand strategy and building trust are at the center of the challenge for Amtrak. 9 pp. Case #06-05. (2006)

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Analyzing a Case Study
Categories: Other

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An instructional essay on how case studies are used in business education, particularly in MBA programs. Focuses on why cases are an integral part of management instruction, the types of cases used, and how they are researched and written. Of greatest importance to students is a section on how to produce a case solution, both for classroom discussion and in writing. 8 pp. Case #00-06. (2000)

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Apple AntennaGate: Apple's Loss of Signal
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Reputation Management, Retail, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Retartha, J.; Riordan, B.; Tingey, J.; Vega, K. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

After the successful 2010 launch of Apple’s iPhone 4, complaints of dropped calls and reduced signal began to pour in from major tech blogs. Apple’s initial response was to deny it had a hardware issue. Soon after, Consumer Reports released a review that labeled the device “Not Recommended.” How can Apple address the problem while being forced to backtrack on several communications missteps? (A Case, 9 pp; B Case, 3 pp)

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Apple, Inc.: Pricing the iPhone
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Retail, Technology

Authors: Fischer, L.; Staffieri, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On September 5, 2007, Apple, Inc.’s Steve Jobs announced a 33% price decrease in his company’s newest gadget, the iPhone. The announcement came only ten weeks after the phone’s initial introduction in late June. Billed as a revolutionary product that would change the mobile communications industry, the iPhone retailed at $599 in Apple and AT&T Wireless stores throughout the country. Unfortunately, the initiative set off a wave of backlash as early iPhone adopters flooded internet chatrooms and sent scathing emails to company executives exclaiming their distaste for the company’s actions. Analysts and investors shared similar concerns as Apple’s stock price dropped 6.1% on the date of the announcement amidst fears that the price reduction was fueled by weakening demand for the company’s newest "blockbuster" product. Going forward, Steve Jobs and his executive management team must develop a strategy that will effectively respond to consumer complaints and simultaneously suppress investor concerns. (A) Case, 14 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #08-05. (2008)

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Apple, Inc.: Transparency in Corporate Statements About the CEO
Categories: Employee Relations, Investor Relations, Technology

Authors: Kim, P.; Lee, J.; Lee, S.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On January 14, 2009, Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs announced he was taking a six-month medical leave of absence, just nine days after he reassured the public that he would be continuing as CEO. The media and public feel misled, and investors are wary of Apple’s post-Jobs future. The issue for Apple is whether investors and the public are entitled to more information and, if so, how much? 8 pp. Case #09-04. (2009)

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Arthur Andersen, LLP: An Accounting Firm in Crisis
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Relations, Financial, Reputation Management

Authors: Bonaguro, J.; Kane, K.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The famed accounting firm Arthur Andersen fights for its very existence after one of its largest clients, Enron, falls from the top ranks of the Fortune 500 to bankruptcy in a matter of months. Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC force Andersen to reveal its role in the destruction of thousands of Enron-related documents. Andersen CEO Joe Berardino must find a way to regain the public’s trust in the firm and its audits, as well as convince the Department of Justice that Andersen should not be prosecuted for its actions in the Enron collapse. (A) Case, 23 pp. (includes 16 pages of attachments). (B) Case, 10 pp. (includes 7 pages of attachments). Case #02-05. (2002 & 2004)

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AT & T Inc. and T-Mobile USA: Anatomy of a Failed Merger (A) and (B)
Categories: Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Mergers/Acquisitions

Authors: Galbraith, B.; Hoye, M.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

The United States’s second-largest wireless telecommunications provider attempts to create competitive advantage in the marketplace through a $39 billion merger with a top competitor. In pursuit of a merger with T-Mobile, AT&T ends up fighting allegations of uncompetitive practices and antitrust litigation from the U.S. Department of Justice. AT&T now looks for a strategy to promote the efficiencies of the deal and gain regulatory approval. Case # 12-02 (2012)

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AT&T Inc.: A Proposed Merger with T-Mobile
Categories: Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Mergers/Acquisitions, Technology

Authors: Hunt,T.; Wang, A.; Liu, B. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor

In an effort to gain market share and technological resources, AT&T and T-Mobile USA agreed to a merger that would create the largest mobile carrier in the country. Concerned about preserving competition in the wireless telecommunications industry, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block the transaction. AT&T’s management must now decide how to convince stakeholders that the benefits of a deal far outweigh the risks. Without this merger, AT&T would need to find an alternative way to remain competitive. 14 pp. Case # 11-07 (2011)

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Augusta National Golf Club: Membership for Women or Staying the Course?
Categories: Ethics, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports

Authors: Swart, R. B.; Singh, A. K.; Nelson, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Professional golf’s most prestigious venue and most storied tournament come under fire as the National Council of Women’s Organizations attacks Augusta National Golf Club for its exclusionary membership practices. The Club, which annually sponsors The Masters Golf Tournament, has no women members and balks at the idea of being told who it must include as members. A very public tussle ensues, involving the CBS Television Network, the Professional Golfers Associations, several prestigious sponsors, and the business organizations of the club’s members. Both sides resolve to stand their ground. 12 pp. Case #03-02. (2003)

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Bank of America Corporation: Losing Public Interest
Categories: Social Media

Authors: Andrew, B.; High,M.; and O'Rourke, J.S.

Bank of America experienced significant backlash in late 2009 regarding excessively high credit card interest rates and overwhelming late fees. This backlash came in the form of YouTube videos and a “debtors’ revolt” started by a former customer, Ann Minch. Jackie Ramos, a former customer service employee, garnered public sentiment for her plea against Bank of America. Bank of America's brand image was being tarnished in the public arena and they were forced to develop a comprehensive corporate communication strategy to restore public trust. Case # 12-03

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Bank of America: The Death of an Intern
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Financial, International, Reputation Management

Authors: Gago, O.; Valdivia, M.K.; and O'Rourke J.S. (Editor)

On August 15th 2013, Moritz Erhardt was found dead at his student housing. The official cause of death was an epileptic seizure possibly caused by the long hours and lack of rest associated to his work, after pulling “all-nighters” and “magic-roundabouts” for three days in a row during his summer internship in the investment banking area at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

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Bank of America's Debit Card Fee: Corporate Strategy vs. Consumer Perception (A) and (B)
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Financial

Authors: Bonanno, J.; Guindon, J.; Riley, P,; Stevens, J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

In the fall of 2011, Bank of America announced a plan to begin charging customers $5 per month on debit card accounts. The announcement met with sharp public outrage. Due to the backlash, Bank of America was faced with a difficult dilemma: proceed as planned and face a public relations nightmare - or cancel the fee program, lose billions, and be forced to answer to shareholders. (Case #13-04)

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Bank of New York: A Money Laundering Scandal
Categories: Crisis Management, Financial

Authors: Fields, M.; Swain, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

One of the country’s oldest banks is embroiled in a scandal involving the laundering of seven to ten billion dollars. Key players include high level executives who used the failing Russian market and Russian organized crime to move money from Russia to other countries. While there may be a lack of a strong legal case against the Bank of New York, a crisis still exists. 6 pp. Case #00-24. (2000)

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Baxter International, Inc.: Corporate Values and the Arab League Boycott of Israel
Categories: Ethics, Healthcare, International

Authors: Wilburn, L. and O’Rourke, J. S.

The role of ethics in decision-making is highlighted in this case study of the world’s largest manufacturer of health-care products, systems and services. Between 1975 and 1993, Baxter executives employed a range of tactics, from selective overseas investment to illegal disclosure of proprietary information, to have the company’s name removed from the Arab League's forty-year boycott of Israel. Includes ethical/legal issues, information management, and executive decision-making. 6 pp. Case #94-09. (1994)

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Bayer AG: Anthrax and Cipro
Categories: Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Lee, S. K.; Laabs, J. C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

As the United States reeled from terrorist attacks in the days following September 11, 2001, the threat of bio-terrorism emerged in the form of Anthrax. Envelopes containing the biological weapon began to appear in Washington, New York, and Florida. Bayer CEO Manfred Schneider soon found his company in an unusual position. The company’s drug, Cipro, was the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of Anthrax. Bayer was in the international spotlight as the press, public, and politicians began to debate whether Bayer could provide enough of the drug to keep the U.S. population safe, and whether the company’s patent should be rescinded to allow for generic production. Dr. Schneider must decide how to extinguish doubts without losing his most profitable product. 12 pp. Case #02-03. (2002)

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Bayer Corporation: The Recall of Phenylpropanolamine (PPA)
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Hwang, D.; Kolar, M.; Cox, B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Bayer responds to concerns about Phenlypropanolamine (PPA) found in its key brand, Alka-Seltzer Plus, by co-sponsoring a study to assess the safety of the ingredient. The study finds that PPA does carry a risk, and the Federal Drug Administration requests a voluntary recall. Bayer must confront the media’s distorted interpretation of the recall before it taints the reputation of Alka-Seltzer Plus and other important Bayer brands. As it enters the peak season for flu and cold medications, Bayer must also decide how to respond to a recall as it faces losses from promotional campaigns and sales, as well as a loss in consumer confidence. 14 pp. Case #01-13. (2001)

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Beam Inc.: The Dilution of the Maker's Mark Brand (A) and (B)
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Food and Beverage, Social Media

Authors: Klinger, R.; Laughner, T.; MacDonald, K. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Marker’s Mark may be part of a premium spirits portfolio but maintaining its authentic history is still important to the brand. When faced with the challenge of growing demand and an insufficient supply of whiskey, the Maker’s Mark management team needs to decide if diluting their whiskey is the best way to meet demand. (A) Case: 7 pp.; (B) Case: 2 pp. Case #13-10 (2013)

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Best Buy: Addressing Customer Concerns and Privacy Issues
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Ethics, Privacy, Reputation Management, Retail, Technology

Authors: O’Connor, B.; Owens, C.; Richards, P.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

This case study focuses on Raelyn Campbell, a former Best Buy customer, who is suing the company for $54 million. Campbell states Best Buy lost her laptop - while being serviced for repairs - and tried to cover up its disappearance for more than five months. Additionally, Best Buy failed to address her concerns about identity theft when she acknowledged that years worth of tax returns were still on the missing laptop. The company must now decide how it will manage its image in response to this allegation and devise a communication strategy to further address customer concerns and privacy issues. 14 pp. Case #09-01. (2009)

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Blurred Vision for Bausch & Lomb
Categories: Crisis Management, Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Curry, J.; Ratliff, J; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On March 3, 2006, Bausch & Lomb received a phone call from New Jersey ophthalmologist Dr. David S. Chu regarding three patients afflicted with a serious fungal condition known as fusarium keratitus. These patients all were contact-lens wearers, and had used Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc lens solution. This telephone call started a chain of events, accusations, and CDC investigations that eventually led to a recall by Bausch & Lomb in the U.S. and overseas, but not before the crisis had threatened to damage not only sales of its popular lens solution, but also Bausch & Lomb’s reputation. 18 pp. Case #06-16. (2006)

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BMW: The Development of Social Media Policy
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Media Relations, Social Media, Transportation

Authors: Grodecki,M.; Kearney,J.;Sikes,C.;and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Luxury automaker BMW monitors criticism on a popular electro-vehicle blog, following public comments made by its CEO. The company must decide how best to respond to the situation at hand as well as continuously evaluate the structure and effectiveness of its social media policy. 8 pp. Case #11-08 (2011)

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BP America, Inc.: The Prudhoe Bay Oil Spill and a Commitment to “Being Green”
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Energy, Environment

Authors: Hermo, J. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On March 2, 2006, as work crews shoveled through the heavy snow blanketing the Prudhoe Bay oil fields of northern Alaska, they spotted a small hole of no more than a quarter of an inch along the pipeline. As BP America, the company in charge of the oil fields, quickly learned, this tiny hole would prove to be the source of the worst oil spill ever – some 270,000 gallons of crude oil – on the North Slope of Alaska. BP America and its parent company, BP, soon discovered that their enormous re-branding efforts and carefully cultivated image for being environmentally friendly would be challenged by the reality of extracting petroleum in Alaska’s harsh northern environment. 8 pp. Case #06-14. (2006)

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BP and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Energy, International, Investor Relations, Reputation Management

Authors: Marques, D.; Kim, J.; Mickols, J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

– An April 20, 2010 explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil-drilling platform killed 11 workers, injured 17 and triggered a leak that spilled more than 206 million gallons of oil over 665 miles of coastline and 4,000 square miles of fishing waters. This case discusses the events that led to the disaster and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It also outlines key figures within BP’s organization and how they factored into the long and difficult corporate communications process. (A) case, 13 pp. (B) case, 2 pp. Case # 11-04 (2011)

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BP Colombia: Accusations of Human Rights Violations
Categories: Energy, Ethics, Intercultural, International, Reputation Management

Authors: Delgado, R.; Garcia, A.; Villalobos, T.; Steedley, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

British Petroleum’s investment in Colombia’s crude oil resources become threatened as allegations of human rights violations and collusion with the Colombian government for protection emerge. BP is faced with answering the charges while maintaining not only its image, but also its interests in Colombia. (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #00-10. (2000)

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BP: Responding to Public Pressure
Categories: Crisis Management, Energy, Environment, Reputation Management

Authors: Couchman, K.; Johnson, H.; Miller, M.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

British Petroleum (BP) applied for a permit in 2006 to expand its Indiana refinery and increase its discharge of ammonia and suspended solids into Lake Michigan. The permit was approved by the state and federal regulatory authorities. What followed was an outcry of public opinion against this decision culminating in an article in the national media and speeches by presidential candidate Barak Obama. Though BP had full regulatory approval to proceed with the expansion, and the scientific consensus was that the increased discharge would not harm the Lake Michigan ecosystem, BP decided not to use the new discharge permit in the face of intense public scrutiny. However, this did not quell the negative media coverage regarding its discharge application. 13 pp. Case #08-02. (2008)

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Bridgestone, Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company: Crisis Management and a Product Recall
Categories: Crisis Management, Transportation

Authors: Preis, J.; Lagueux, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The number one truck maker in the world, Ford Motor Company, and tire maker Bridgestone/Firestone are involved in a massive recall of faulty Firestone tires used mostly on the Ford Explorer vehicle. Reports of numerous deaths and serious injuries indicated that the tires’ treads had separated from their bases, causing vehicles to roll over. Congressional hearings began while consumers were left to replace tires. 10 pp. Case #00-28. (2000)

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Bristol-Myers Squibb
Categories: Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical

Authors: Carter, M.; McHale, M.; Triscari, T., and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In September 2006, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that it had fired CEO Jim Dolan, who had led the company since 2001. Dolan’s termination was the result of a failed patent protection agreement with Canadian generic pharmaceutical company, Apotex. The agreement was designed to prevent Apotex from releasing a generic version of Plavix, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster blood thinner medication that had revenues of $5.9 billion and accounted for 30% of Bristol-Myers’ total sales. Federal regulators refused to sign off on the deal and started an investigation into the agreement. Meanwhile, Apotex released its generic Plavix and quickly gained 75% market share of new prescriptions. The failed agreement was the second major problem that occurred during the tenure of Dolan: due to an accounting scandal, Bristol-Myers was forced to restate earnings for 2001, 2000 and 1999, which caused the company to pay fines of over $800 million. During Dolan’s time as CEO, Bristol-Myers’ stock price declined by 60%. After the failed patent agreement and accounting scandals, Bristol-Myers was faced with an upcoming Plavix patent protection trial. The company must find a way to regain stockholder trust. 10 pp. Case #06-17. (2006)

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Buon Giorno Italian Foods, Inc
Categories: Crisis Management, Food and Beverage, Media Relations, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A regional manufacturer of canned food products faces the nightmare of a product recall involving lethal botulism bacteria. Issues include media relationships, producer responsibilities, and crisis communication. 3 pp. Case #91-02. (1991)

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Cable News Network: CNN Apologizes to the Chinese People
Categories: Ethics, Intercultural, International, News, Reputation Management

Authors: Doi, T.; Morley, P.; Munkel, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On April 9, 2008, Jack Cafferty made comments concerning the United States’ relationship with China. These comments included calling the Chinese “goons and thugs” and labeling Chinese products “junk.” Over the next month and a half, thousands of Chinese Americans organized outside of CNN studios across the U.S. demanding an apology from Cafferty and CNN. CNN responded with silence, clarifying statements, and thin apologies, all of which served to fuel negative opinion and ultimately elevate the story to international headlines. 9 pp. Case #09-06. (2009)

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Carat USA: An E-mail Gaffe and Reputational Furor
Categories: Crisis Management, Employee Relations, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Husack, D.; Knoblauch, K.; Schwarber, C.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

As Carat USA was in the process of implementing a restructuring plan, a top HR executive accidentally forwarded the communication plan to the entire company via e-mail. The confidential document included the firm’s messages to employees, clients, vendors and other stakeholders. How can Carat USA recover from the mistake and restore its reputation? (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #09-07. (2009)

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Carnival Cruise Lines: Fire Aboard a Stranded Cruise Ship
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Cramer, R.; De Lamos, S.; Divel, L.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

In the early morning hours of November 8, 2010, fire broke out in the aft engine room of Carnival Splendor, a 113,300 ton passenger cruise ship carrying over 3,000 guests. Although the fire was quickly suppressed, Cruise Director John Heald and the ship’s crew found themselves stranded in the Pacific Ocean, 200 miles south of San Diego. With no electricity, poor sanitation, and spoiling food supplies, Carnival Cruise Lines must determine how best to manage this unforeseen event and ensure the safety of those onboard. This crisis management case exposes the reader to the decision-making and communication challenges faced by senior leaders in the tumultuous environment following such a crisis. Case, 8 pp. (2011)

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Carnival Cruise Lines: Wreck of the Costa Concordia
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Environment, Ethics, International, Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Foster, J.; Sorrentino, M.J.; Florance, C. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On Friday, January 13th, 2012, around 9:40 p.m. local time, the Costa Concordia, a luxury cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers, punctured its hull off the coast of Italy. What followed the collision was a chaotic evacuation, irresponsible actions from the ship’s captain, and a lack of communication from the parent company, Carnival, all leading to a public relations disaster. 14 pp. Case # 12-05

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Caterpillar Inc.: Is the Corporation Responsible for End-User Actions?
Categories: Ethics, International, Manufacturing, Reputation Management

Authors: Bradna, T.; Clark, A.; Sponsel, A.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Since 1967, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have used modified Caterpillar bulldozers to destroy thousands of Palestinian homes, injuring and even killing scores of individuals in the process, including American peace activist Rachel Corrie. Rights groups have sent over 50,000 letters to Caterpillar executives, decrying the use of Caterpillar bulldozers to carry out human rights abuses, and an activist group of shareholders has proposed an investigation into the company’s military sales operation. Given the negative publicity and accusations, how should Caterpillar respond to decrease the threats of activist divestiture and rebuild its damaged brand reputation? 6 pp. Case #09-08. (2009)

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CBS News: Challenging the Authenticity of a News Source
Categories: Ethics, News

Authors: Stevenson, C.; Suhanic, K.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Just weeks before the tightly contested 2004 presidential election, the CBS television network aired a feature story alleging that President George W. Bush received preferential treatment while in service to the Texas Air National Guard. At the center of the story are photocopies of memos supporting the allegations. Almost immediately following the broadcast, bloggers and news sites begin to question the authenticity of these memos. The maelstrom that ensues questions CBS’ and Dan Rather’s motives, and both the credibility and the role of broadcast media in the internet age. 9 pp. Case #05-05. (2005)

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CD Universe and Internet Security
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Privacy, Technology

Authors: Delahanty, M.; Scott, B.; Simms, B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A computer hacker threatens CD Universe with selling customers’ credit card information. CD Universe takes immediate action to counter the intimidations of the hacker, but the customers’ security is breached. Now the company must try to allay the fears customers have about the security of the CD Universe website. 8 pp. Case #00-12. (2000)

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Cerner Corporation; A Stinging Office Memo Boomerangs
Categories: Crisis Management, Employee Relations, Investor Relations, Technology

Authors: J.S. O'Rourke

An email message berating the work habits of employees is leaked and posted on Yahoo!. Its belligerent tone surprises thousands of readers and leads to a 22 percent decline in the company's valuation on the stock market.

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Chicago Sun-Times: When Truth-Tellers Lie
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Employee Relations, Ethics, News

Authors: Morales, S. M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

While conducting an internal audit, David Cruickshank, the newly-hired publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, was faced with a chilling reality about how his newspaper was operating. Cruickshank uncovered data proving that the Sun-Times circulation figures – the lifeline of the paper’s advertising revenues – had been inflated for nine years. The credibility of one of the nation’s top publications was on the line, and Cruickshank needed to decide how to communicate this to his staff and, more importantly, to the world. 7 pp. Case #05-07. (2005)

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Chicago Transit Authority
Categories: Customer Relations, Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Northcut, J.; Tucker, K.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Facing a large budget deficit, the CTA discontinues service on some of its least profitable routes. Unfortunately, many of those routes are in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The CTA, already under pressure for its lack of efficiency and convenience for the riders of the system, must try to maintain the public’s trust and confidence. 4 pp. Case #00-27. (2000)

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Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art: Biting the Hand That Feeds It
Categories: Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Non-Profit

Authors: Wallen, R. J.; Riveiro, G.; Ledbetter, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A small but well-known art museum in Chicago offers a Board of Trustees seat to a donor who pledges $5 million to underwrite expansion of the museum’s collection. Following a disagreement about management of the museum’s assets, the donor repudiates the pledge. The museum responds by suing the donor in circuit court. Everyone from art collectors to the mayor to the local press develop an intense interest in the feud and the outcome. 22 pp. Case #99-02. (1999)

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Chick-fil-A: A Corporate Position on Same-Sex Marriage
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage

Authors: Prouty,K.; Spencer, D.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

In the summer of 2012, Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy sparked controversy by sharing his biblical views on family and marriage with the Ken Coleman radio show and the Baptist Press. At one point, he asked for God's mercy on a generation that holds "such a prideful, arrogant attitude" with "the audacity to define what marriage is all about." Advocates of same-sex marriage responded with a boycott, which then drew reactions from supporters of Cathy and traditional marriage. This case study explores the fallout after a corporate leader publicly speakes his mind on a contentious social issue.

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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.: Managing an Undocumented Workforce
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Food and Beverage, Intercultural, International

Authors: McMackin,J.; Park,B.; Parrish,B.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Following Chipotle’s meteoric rise to prominence in the Quick Service Restaurant sector, management now faces a threat to their longstanding brand of “food with integrity.” Executives must decide how to respond to government probes into their hiring of undocumented workers as well as customer protests of those workers being fired. 9 pp. Case # 12-04 (2012)

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Chobani: Managing Explosive Growth, Aggressive Competition and Threats to Product Quality
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Xie, Y.; Truesdell, K.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

A product recall in the fall of 2013 sends Chobani, Inc. scrambling to fix the manufacturing problem, and address a flood of customer concerns. While the company successfully identifies the problem, recalls the product, and fields customers’ concerns within weeks, the adverse incident calls Chobani’s foundational strategy into question. The company must decide if product quality and word-of-mouth marketing are enough to spur continued growth, combat increased competition and manage future threats associated with product quality. 14 pp. Case #13-11. (2013)

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ChoicePoint: Personal Data and a Loss of Privacy
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Media Relations, Privacy, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Bailey, Q.; Gilfillan, B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On September 27, 2004, ChoicePoint, a company that stores and sells critical personal information, discovered possible fraudulent activity within its network of databases. On further investigation, ChoicePoint security officials realized that they may have allowed identity thieves in Los Angeles, who acted as legitimate business clients, to access more than 110.000 people’s personal information. CEO Derek Smith and Communications Chief James Lee are faced with explaining the loss to clients, the press, the public, and those who may have been compromised. They also face the daunting task of restoring confidence in the company. (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 6 pp. Case #06-07. (2006)

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Christie’s and Sotheby’s: The Art World’s Price Fixing Scandal
Categories: Ethics, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Reputation Management

Authors: Griffin, J.; Nemeth, S.; Flemming, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The world’s two high-end, venerable auction houses face serious allegations of cooperative price-fixing. The U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation into the companies in 1997 and Christie’s offered information in exchange for immunity. Both companies face a serious blow to their reputation while they wade through the profound charges of violating anti-trust laws. (A) Case, 5 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #00-14. (2000)

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Citigroup: Restoring Ethics and Image Before Growth
Categories: Employee Relations, Ethics, Financial

Authors: Lee, D.; Ratliff, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The new CEO of Citigroup, Charles Prince, proposes a Five Point Ethics Plan in an attempt to change the ethics, culture and operations of the company. The plan is a response to significant regulatory scrutiny, paying out massive legal settlements and a Federal Reserve announcement requiring the company to refrain from mergers and acquisitions until it has cleaned up internal controls. His plan includes expanded training, enhanced focus on talent, balanced performance appraisals, improved communications and strengthened compliance controls. As current key executives leave the company and experts in ethics are skeptical, many wonder if Citigroup will be able to successfully communicate this program while it holds back on growth to implement this new culture. 11 pp. Case #06-04. (2006)

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Coca-Cola and the European Contamination Crisis
Categories: Crisis Management, Food and Beverage, Intercultural, International

Authors: Smith, H.; Feighan, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The world-leader in soft drinks confronts accusations of contamination in Coca-Cola products in Belgium during the spring and summer of 1999. By failing to respond quickly and directly, CEO Douglas Ivester risks consumer and investor confidence in his products and his company. Worse, by failing to address cultural and political issues, Ivester calls into question his own leadership. 10 pp. Case #00-01. (2000)

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Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
Categories: Investor Relations, Roleplay

Authors: Pollock, E. J. and O’Rourke, J. S.

A corporate CEO and a Catholic nun exchange letters about the composition of the corporation's board of directors. The nun, speaking on behalf of a small group of shareholders, encourages a CEO to appoint more qualified women and minorities to the board. The CEO drafts an emotional reply which students are asked to edit. Issues include corporate board composition, public relations, shareholder relations, correspondence composition, tone and style. 12 pp. Case #96-01. (1996)

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Daimler-Benz Corporation and the Mercedes A-Class
Categories: Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Guerin, B.; Verot, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Trying to capture a younger market, Daimler-Benz spent $1.65 billion creating the compact, practical A-Class model. The A-Class was hotly anticipated, but in October of 1997, the car failed during the “moose avoidance test.” Daimler-Benz is faced with a direct threat to the stellar reputation of its Mercedes-Benz auto brand. 5 pp. Case #00-20. (2000)

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De Beers Ltd.: Polishing Up Its Brand For the U.S. Market
Categories: International, Reputation Management

Authors: Davgun, A.; McDaniel, H.; Thomas, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In order to be permitted to enter the United States retail market, De Beers Ltd. is expected to plead guilty to a lawsuit accusing them of price fixing. While trying to present itself as the conscientious leader of an otherwise sordid, often dangerous diamond business, the company finds itself facing the daunting task of balancing an admission of guilt and the negative media attention it may draw with an unpredictable American diamond consumer. 20 pp. Case #04-07. (2004)

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Dean Kamen and Segway LLC: The Man, the Machine, and the Market
Categories: Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship

Authors: Bucolo, D. M.; Kelly, R. M.; Inglesby, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Dean Kamen, a self-made entrepreneur and America’s most famous inventor, reveals to the world his latest invention, the Segway Human Transporter. While the Segway has many commercial uses, Kamen’s vision is that his invention will become the preferred mode of transportation in American cities. In order for that to happen, Kamen must convince the public and Wall Street that the Segway HT is the way of the future. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #02-13. (2002)

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Deerfield Hospital Supply, Inc.
Categories: Conflict Management, Ethics, Healthcare

Authors: Wigton, K. and O’Rourke, J. S.

A mid-size, non-union healthcare company confronts a racial incident on the loading dock. Issues include leadership, cultural diversity, management structure, and conflict resolution. An alternative version of issues discussed in Hayward Healthcare Systems, Inc. (94-05-2) 3 pp. Case #94-05-1. (1994)

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Dell Inc.: An Evolving Reputational Crisis
Categories: Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Bueso, P.; Falgiani, J. and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Over the past six quarters, it has not been business as usual at Dell Inc., the world’s largest computer manufacturer. Growth rates at Dell have slowed tremendously, the company’s earnings and stock price have plummeted, customer satisfaction levels have declined, and the relevancy of its Direct Business Model – the driver of the company’s success for the past 20 years – has come into question, given changing market conditions and increasing competition in the computing industry. If Dell Inc. is to maintain its position as a leader in the computing industry, founder Michael Dell and his senior management team must find a way to overcome these problems and adapt to the changing market conditions. 8 pp. Case #06-18. (2006)

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Dell Inc.: Managing Reputation in the Blogosphere
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Provenzano, N.; Pulscher, S.; Rand, C.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

After deeming Dell’s customer service unsatisfactory, Jeff Jarvis, a well-known blogger, posted an extremely critical open letter to the company’s CEO. Within a matter of days, Dell had a full-blown crisis on its hands and was forced to reconsider how to deal with emerging technological platforms used by customers to communicate information and opinions. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #09-02. (2009)

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Deloitte & Touche Consulting: Should Accountants Be Allowed to Consult Their Audit Clients?
Categories: Ethics, Financial

Authors: Kornmann, B.; Nolan, W.; Van Tiem, J. R.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The collapse of the energy trading giant Enron has put the focus on accounting firms, and especially on the amount of consulting being performed for large audit clients. Deloitte & Touche CEO Jim Copeland convinced the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2001 to allow accounting firms to continue to provide consulting services. With the possibility of increased regulations and governmental interference following Enron, Copeland must decide if this is still a viable option for his firm. (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #02-14. (2002)

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Denny’s Restaurants: Creating a Diverse Corporate Culture
Categories: Ethics, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Abes, M. J.; Chism, W. B.; Sheeran, T. F.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The newly appointed CEO, Jim Adamson, had his work cut out for him as he tried to salvage the tarnished image of Denny’s Restaurants. Denny’s was riddled with accusations of racial discrimination at its restaurants. Lawsuits were pending and press coverage was increasing as Adamson was faced with changing the fundamental corporate culture. (A) Case, 5 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case # 00-31. (2000)

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DHL: Closing Operations in the United States
Categories: Customer Communication, International

Authors: Herrman, R.; Nowak, J.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On November 10, 2008, DHL announced that it would shut down the operations of its domestic shipping services in the United States. DHL must now communicate to its U.S. and international customers the implications of this business decision and how DHL will be able to continue to serve the needs of its customers. 7 pp. Case #09-05. (2009)

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Dixie Industries, Inc.
Categories: Conflict Management, Employee Relations, Manufacturing, Reputation Management

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A mid-size textile manufacturer in the American South is faced with accusations of gender bias in corporate promotions and the threat of unionization from an informally-organized women’s group. Issues include employee communication, information flow, and community and public relations. 6 pp. Case #94-02. (1994)

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Domino’s “Special” Delivery: Going Viral Through Social Media
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Peeples, A.; Vaughn, C.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On April 13, 2009, Tim McIntyre, VP of Corporate Communications at Domino’s Pizza, received notification of the existence of a number of damaging videos that had been posted online. The videos showed Domino’s employees taking inappropriate and illegal actions while preparing food that was allegedly being served to customers. McIntyre knew that amateur videos filmed in one store could seriously damage the entire Domino’s brand, not to mention put the company at legal risk. The question for McIntyre is how to ensure that Domino’s responds in the best way possible to mitigate the negative impact of this social media crisis. (A) Case, 9 pp. (B) Case, 11 pp. Case #09-13. (2009)

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DoubleClick, Inc.
Categories: Customer Relations, Privacy, Technology

Authors: Ho, W.; Misquitta, A.; Williamson, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

DoubleClick, an online advertising solutions company, purchased Abacus Direct, a marketer of consumer purchase data, with the intent of combining the companies’ databases. DoubleClick came under fire when privacy rights groups and the public feared their privacy would be compromised by combining the databases and the technology itself. DoubleClick was forced to implement a privacy plan to demonstrate its commitment to its customers’ satisfaction. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 1 p. Case #00-30. (2000)

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Earl’s Family Restaurants
Categories: Food and Beverage, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A role-play case study in listening involving conflicting perceptions of a supplier-client relationship in the retail food industry. Students are asked to observe verbal as well as non-verbal interaction, interpersonal conversational style, and communication strategy in an exchange between a food service manufacturer’s regional sales manager and the chief buyer for a 54-store chain of mid-theme family restaurants. (A) Case, 3 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #92-05. (1992)

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Emulex, Incorporated: A Crash Course in Crisis Management
Categories: Crisis Management, Financial, Investor Relations

Authors: Berlo, J.; Worrell, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The world’s largest producers of fiber channel host adapters is the victim of a stock price manipulation hoax. In the course of just a few hours, share price falls from $113 to less than $50, as more than $2 billion in market valuation evaporates. A fictitious press release to Internet Wire, quickly re-transmitted by Bloomberg News, CNBC, and others, claims that key executives have resigned and that fourth-quarter earnings will be drastically revised and restated. CEO Paul Folino must act quickly to prevent the total collapse of his stock on the NASDAQ. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #02-01. (2002)

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Excel Industries, Inc.
Categories: Employee Relations, Manufacturing, Media Relations

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A Midwestern U.S. manufacturer of window systems for the automotive industry decides to close a company-operated, on-site daycare and learning center. Issues include strategic decision making, corporate community and press relations, and ethical obligations to employees. (A) Case, 5 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #94-03. (1994)

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F. Hoffman-LaRoche Ltd.: Avastin and a Crisis in Patient Blindness
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical

Authors: Biswas,S.; Gedjeyan,M.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

In spite of similar formulation, Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche has always positioned its two products Avastin and Lucentis separately, as treatments for cancer and for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) respectively. However, doctors have been prescribing Avastin for AMD treatments because of the huge price differential between the two drugs. With contamination of Avastin due to repackaging by a Florida pharmacy leading to 21 cases of patient blindness in Q3 2011, Roche faces a serious threat to its reputation and finances. 11 pp. Case # 11-09 (2011)

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F. W. Woolworth Company: A New Image and a New Workforce
Categories: Brand Management, Employee Relations, Retail

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A venerable American firm finds the retail landscape changing and tries to adapt to a new set of constraints and opportunities in the global economy. Along the way, a number of loyal, older workers are summarily dismissed. Worse, many of them are asked to help recruit their much younger, lower-paid replacements. 3 pp. Case #00-04. (2000)

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Facebook Beacon: Cool Feature or an Invasion of Privacy?
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Privacy, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Borchers, B.; Lilley, B.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

In November 2007, Facebook introduced Beacon, a feature designed to share a user’s online activities with friends. With concerns for their privacy, outraged Facebook users began expressing their negative feelings about Beacon. The feature soon become a privacy nightmare for the public, instead of the beneficial addition Facebook envisioned it to be. Now the company is left wondering how to handle its mistakes while maintaining a delicate balance between revenue growth and user privacy. 8 pp. Case #08-07. (2008)

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Facebook: the Evolution of Privacy?
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Investor Relations, Media Relations, Reputation Management, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Desharnais, Y.; Jagadeesh, N.; and J.S. O'Rourke (editor)

On December 1st, 2009, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced sweeping changes to the site’s privacy controls. The result was strong criticism from advocacy groups, but general ambivalence from end users. The question for Facebook is how to manage these different stakeholders and remain at the forefront of society’s privacy norms.

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Farberware Products of America
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Retail

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A dissatisfied customer returns a defective product to a retailer but is told to deal directly with the manufacturer. The product's producer is faced with questions of how to handle the issues of manufacturing defects, retailer relationships, customer relations, and product-package communications. 2 pp. Case #92-01. (1992)

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First Act, Inc. & Brook Mays Music
Categories: Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Freeman, J. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

First Act, Inc. & Brook Mays Music are two very different competitors fighting for a piece of the school band instrument market. Brook Mays, in business for over 100 years, is a specialty musical instrument retailer with over 60 locations, while upstart First Act designs and manufactures instruments for sale in “big-box” retailers. First Act’s Concert Series instruments have been built to provide a low-cost alternative to higher-priced band instruments commonly found in stores like Brook Mays. In response to brisk sales of the Concert Series instruments, Brook Mays has issued a letter to 8,000 music educators across the country, instructing them to advise parents and students to avoid purchasing these instruments. Just months after the letter’s issue, Concert Series sales have fallen, customers returns have skyrocketed, and First Act must now decide how to respond and recover its lost business. 11 pp. Case #07-08. (2007)

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Food Lion
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Food and Beverage, Investor Relations, Reputation Management

Authors: Crowley, B.; Keefe, S.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A rapidly-expanding retail grocery chain in North Carolina is the subject of an undercover investigation by ABC Television’s PrimeTime Live. While company executives are shocked at what they see on videotape, they are outraged by the deceptive tactics used to gain access to their stores, and the selective, misleading way in which the tape is edited. Corporate reputation, share price, and the company’s expansion strategy are all at stake as CEO Tom Smith and his corporate communication team decide how to respond. (A) Case, 3 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #99-05. (1999)

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FutureGen: The Case for Environmentally Friendly Coal
Categories: Energy, Environment, Investor Relations

Authors: Hinckley, Jennifer E.; Gallo, Suzanne M.; Buflod, John G.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The FutureGen Alliance was formed to develop an environmentally-friendly coal plant as a joint venture with the Department of Energy. As costs rose, the Department of Energy decided to withdraw participation from the FutureGen project. This withdrawal happened quickly and without prior knowledge from the FutureGen Alliance. The DOE also withheld the official “Record of Decision,” which would have allowed FutureGen to begin construction. In the end, what message should FutureGen CEO Michael Mudd take back to his consortium of investors? 10 pp. Case #08-13. (2008)

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General Motors Corporation and the Death of the Oldsmobile
Categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Transportation

Authors: Berent, J.; Meier, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Even with sleek, new designs made to compete with less expensive cars, new advertising campaigns, and a new brand management system, the Oldsmobile is no longer profitable for General Motors. General Motors must break the news and compensate Oldsmobile dealers and owners. The company must consider which steps to take as it phases out the Oldsmobile brand, as well as how it will communicate with dealers and consumers in a fair manner, even as sales of the brand begin surging. 20 pp. Case #01-02. (2001)

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General Motors Corporation: Communicating a New Vision for Survival
Categories: Transportation

Authors: Sorenson, L.; Whitehead, T.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On November 19, 2008, General Motors Corporation presented an argument in the U.S. House of Representatives to receive bridge loan funding. If the company could not convince the legislators to assist the company through the economic downturn, then the company would soon be bankrupt. The case explores the various causes of the General Motors predicament, the communications strategy employed leading into the congressional hearings, as well as the outcome. (A) Case, 13 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #09-09. (2009)

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General Motors' Return to Public Markets
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Investor Relations, Reputation Management

Authors: Guttler, S.; Ragos, P.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Rebuilding an Icon: GM’s Return to the Public Markets Guttler, S.; Ragos, P.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor) General Motors Corporation, once the largest car manufacturer in the world, is now a cautionary tale for corporate complacency. After requesting government assistance during the Great Recession and subsequently, filing for bankruptcy, the company must rebuild its reputation and address stakeholder concerns as it prepares to return to the public markets. 18 pp. 10-12 (2010)

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GlaxoSmithKline: Executive Compensation and a Shareholder Revolt
Categories: Ethics, Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical

Authors: Eklund, J.; Frymoyer, S.; Yamabayashi, K.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A series of controversies and market reversals begin to affect one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. As share price tumbles and market share erodes, CEO J.P. Garnier is awarded a very large compensation package early in 2003. Shareholders revolt, voting down the executive compensation package, and threaten to take down the management team. GSK Chairman Lord Christopher Hogg and Communications VP Jennie Younger must decide how to proceed in the face of mounting criticism and public outrage. 13 pp. Case #04-02. (2004)

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Google Street View: Overstepping the Boundaries of Privacy and Security
Categories: Customer Relations, Privacy, Technology

Authors: Faillo, M.; Hughes, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Street View is a new Google application giving 360 degree panoramic views of select U.S. cities. The media and Google users have voiced concerns about the images displayed on Street View. Google must continue to develop new and innovative products to increase its user base without over stepping the boundaries of individual privacy and security. 8 pp. Case #08-03. (2008). Revised: 2009.

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Google, Inc.: Entrance Into the Chinese Market and Government Censorship
Categories: Investor Relations, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Harris, B.; Ogilvy, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On January 25, 2006, the leading U.S. internet search engine Google, Inc. announced that it would be locating a new server inside China in order to provide Chinese citizens with their own portal, Google.cn. Locating the server inside China would allow for faster service than the Chinese version of the U.S. site was able to provide, and would give Google a greater chance at capturing China’s estimated 111 million regular internet users. Locating the server in China also meant that the company had agreed to censor its search results in compliance with the laws of the Chinese government. The U.S. media and several human rights groups brought the issue to the public’s attention, and Google’s reputation and share price were severely damaged. The company now faces the challenge of rebuilding its reputation and balancing its idyllic corporate philosophy with the need to grow and capture market share. 19 pp. Case #06-10. (2006)

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Google, Inc.: Responding to Scrutiny Surrounding its Initial Public Offering
Categories: Financial, Investor Relations, Technology

Authors: Ellescas, S. D.; Gonzales, J. C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Since deciding to go public, Google’s once lauded unique and innovative culture has become problematic for the former internet start-up. Unorthodox management practices, lack of corporate governance, increased competition, and regulatory issues hobbled Google’s IPO and continue to plague the company. Additionally, Google’s policy of secrecy leaves its stakeholders with no guidance as to future plans to confront their concerns. Despite its rising stock price since going public, these problems cast doubt on Google’s future business viability. CEO Dr. Eric E. Schmidt and Corporate Marketing VP Cindy McCaffrey must decide how to proceed in the face of mounting criticism and lurking competition. 10 pp. Case #05-03. (2005)

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Google's New Strategy in China: Principled Philosophy or Business Savvy?
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Intercultural, International, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Hayes, R; Trezise, G.; Walther, N and O'Rourke, J.S.

On January 12, 2010, Google posted a message on its Official Blog announcing that the company would no longer cooperate with the Chinese government’s demands for limited censorship of Internet searches on its Google.cn portal and that it may withdraw from the Chinese market entirely. Has Google reversed its corporate position following its controversial 2006 entry into the country? How do Google’s actions reconcile with its corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil?” What are the implications for Google’s future profitability?

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Great Lakes Garments, Inc.
Categories: Apparel and Textile, Employee Relations, Media Relations

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A mid-size manufacturer of ladies’ and children’s ready-to-wear is faced with short-term cash-flow problems and elects to downsize the company. Issues include communication of employee layoffs, maintenance of high productivity and morale among employees retained, and community and media relations. 4 pp. Case #92-02. (1992)

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Great West Casualty vs. Estate of G. Witherspoon
Categories: Financial, Reputation Management

Authors: Gebbie, E.; Nemeth, J.; White, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

An 81-year old woman is killed by a grain truck as she tries to cross a busy highway on her way to work. In response, the trucking company’s insurer sues the woman’s estate for damages to the truck. The greater damage is to the company’s corporate reputation. This cases focuses on the role of corporate communication in legal decisions. (A) Case, 4 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #99-03. (1999)

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Groupon Goes Public: Communiation Strategy and Challenges
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Investor Relations, Social Media

Authors: Jun, F.; Sauerhoff, E.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Three-year old daily deals company Groupon filed for an IPO on June 2, 2011 seeking a valuation of $20 billion. However, the offbeat, local e-commerce firm has come under intense media and investor scrutiny during the IPO process over its business model, financial viability, and accounting practices. After postponing its IPO amidst market uncertainty, Groupon must work to restore credibility with the investor community. 24 pp. Case # 11-11 (2011)

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Guidant Corporation: Heart Implants and Patient Trust
Categories: Healthcare, Reputation Management

Authors: Anderson, J.; Eggleton, L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On June 17, 2005, medical device maker Guidant Corporation announced a recall of 50,000 implantable cardioverter defibrillators due to flaws in the devices. These devices are designed to correct a chaotic and deadly type of heart rhythm. This recall was expanded to include 109,000 ICDs and another recall affected Guidant’s pacemaker products. These problems brought an impending acquisition by Johnson & Johnson into question, and created patient concerns about the integrity and honesty of the company. 8 pp. Case #06-08. (2006)

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Hayward Healthcare Systems, Inc.
Categories: Conflict Management, Ethics, Healthcare

Authors: Wigton, K. and O’Rourke, J.S.

A mid-size, non-union healthcare company confronts a racial incident on the loading dock. Issues include leadership, cultural diversity, management structure, and conflict resolution. An alternative version of issues discussed in Deerfield Hospital Supply, Inc. (94-05-1) 3 pp. Case #94-05-2. (1994)

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HCA Holdings, Inc.: For-Profit Medicine and Unnecessary Surgery
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Healthcare

Authors: Nielsen, Sr. P. (Catherine); Spellane, P.; Wang, W.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On August 6, 2012, HCA Holdings, Inc., one of the largest for-profit hospital management companies in America, revealed to investors that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami had requested documents related to unnecessary cardiac procedures at ten of its hospitals. HCA’s announcement coincided with an article published by The New York Times on the investigation. HCA is the largest hospital management company in America and has had a history of legal issues ranging from Medicare fraud to unnecessary heart procedures. 12 pp.

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Hershey Foods: It’s Time to Kiss and Make Up
Categories: Food and Beverage, Mergers/Acquisitions

Authors: McCoy, M. M.; Castrillo, L. A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

No firm is more closely identified with a single product than Hershey Foods is with chocolate. Founded in 1905, and located in rural Hershey, Pennsylvania, the legendary confectioner found itself for sale in the summer of 2002. The Hershey Trust Company, which owns nearly a third of all Hershey Foods stock and controls three-quarters of the voting stock, elected to re-balance its portfolio and sell the firm to either a Nestle / Cadbury / Schweppes consortium or The Wm Wrigley Company. Caught in the middle are The Milton S. Hershey School, employees, and generations of Hershey residents and retirees. A classic struggle for control of the company plays out in public. 13 pp. Case #03-03. (2003)

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Hewlett-Packard: Departure of Mark Hurd
Categories: Conflict Management, Employee Relations, Ethics, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Martin, K.; Zheng, W. (Peter) and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

(A) Case For five years Mark Hurd has enjoyed dramatic success as the CEO of Hewlett Packard, turning the company’s PC division around and getting the company back in the black through aggressive cost-cutting, including the elimination of 14,500 jobs. However, employee morale is through the floor and there may be high turnover costs down the road. When Hurd is accused of sexual harassment by a female contractor, and her attorney is the high-profile feminist Gloria Allred, H-P’s Board of Directors has a very difficult decision to make. Should the board use the sexual harassment accusation as an excuse to oust the wildly successful – but unpopular – CEO? (A) Case: 9 pp.; (B) Case: 4 pp. Case #10-13 (B) Case After Mark Hurd steps down as CEO at Hewlett-Packard, Oracle hires him as co-president, as well as a member of their Board of Directors. A day later, Hewlett-Packard files a lawsuit against Hurd alleging he will not be able to do his new job without violating his confidentiality agreement. Tension arises between the two companies, which have been strategic business partners for 25 years. H-P also endures severe criticism from Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison. 4 pp. 10-13 (2010)

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Hewlett-Packard: Corporate Spy Games
Categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Ethics, Privacy, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Vander Griend, R. L.; Morelli, J. T.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In September of 2006, Hewlett-Packard Company submitted a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission revealing boardroom intrigue and a corporate spy scandal. Responding to information leaks from within the board of directors, board chairwoman Patricia Dunn had authorized an internal investigation using illegal investigation techniques to gain access to the confidential phone records of board members and several news media reporters. Hewlett-Packard, once a well-respected technology corporation, now faces chaos in its boardroom, challenges to its ethical values, and various government investigations. As the company picks up the pieces, it must find a way to restore customer and employee confidence in its commitment to security and the right to privacy. 12 pp. Case #06-19. (2006)

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Home Depot
Categories: Customer Relations, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Bravo, E.; Cavitch-Grimes, L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The world’s largest home improvement retailer is under fire. A number of fatalities at Home Depot stores across the nation since 1992 have finally come to the public’s attention. The parents of a 3-year-old girl refuse to sell their silence about what they consider to be poor safety rules in the stores. The family stops negotiations with the company on the issue, and Home Depot management must decide how to react to the allegations of poor safety standards while under intense public scrutiny. 8 pp. Case #01-12. (2001)

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HP-Compaq: A Merger of Technology Giants
Categories: Investor Relations, Mergers/Acquisitions, Technology

Authors: Chaiyadhiroj, K.; Rampton, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is fighting the families of the founding members of HP regarding a proposed merger between HP and Compaq. Fiorina sees the merger as the only way to stay competitive in the technology market and compete with IBM. Walter Hewlett, board member and son of founder William Hewlett, believes the merger is risky and further exposes the company to the highly commoditized personal computer market. Fiorina must convince shareholders about her vision for HP in order to win the proxy vote. (A) Case, 11 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #02-10. (2002) )

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Intel Corporation: The Pentium III Chip
Categories: Customer Relations, Privacy, Technology

Authors: Crawford, C.; McCullough, P.; Schlatterbach, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The world’s computer chip technology leader is faced with the dilemma of consumer privacy versus the rapidly changing technology the company has developed. The Pentium III chip has the capability of releasing a PSN which will provide information on users who access Internet web sites. Intel proposes that the technology provides increased consumer security while privacy advocacy groups claim there will be a loss of privacy and worse consumer information could be shared with other companies. 5 pp. Case #00-09. (2000)

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JCPenney Search Engine Optimization
Categories: Brand Management, Ethics, Media Relations, Reputation Management, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Costello,S.;Ryan,P.;and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

A New York Times author unearths evidence of deceptive search engine optimization tactics linked to JCPenney.com. Google reacts by burying JCPenney’s search ranking as JCPenney denied any knowledge of foul play. Millions will read the The New York Times article detailing the controversy as JCPenney must determine how to protect its reputation and minimize any impact on internet sales. 7 pp. Case #11-10 (2011)

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Jefferies Investment Bank: Responding with Transparency (A) and (B)
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Financial, Investor Relations, Reputation Management

Authors: Baumann, J; Canner,J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Jefferies & Company, the most rapidly growing medium sized investment bank, quickly became the focus of many ratings agencies upon the collapse of MF Global. While many of the ratings agencies found no need for concern, Egan-Jones concluded the contrary. The little known rating agency published a report downgrading Jefferies’s outlook, sending Jefferies’s stock plummeting downward with no end in sight. (A) case, 7 pp. (B) case, 8 pp. Case #12-06, (2012).

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JetBlue: Balancing Passenger Privacy and Airline Security
Categories: Customer Relations, Privacy, Transportation

Authors: Morales, S. M.; Somerville, N. R.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, security on the nation’s commercial airlines becomes a significant issue for the government, carriers, and passengers who fly each day. In response to a request from a U.S. Defense Department contractor, JetBlue turns over detailed information about passengers traveling on the discount carrier, including travel dates, destinations, home addresses and credit card numbers. After initially denying the charge, JetBlue officials later defend their actions. Privacy advocates, homeland security officials, and other commercial airlines wait for public reaction to JetBlue’s actions and statements. 9 pp. Case #04-06. (2004)

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JetBlue: Competing for Marketshare in a Turbulent Industry
Categories: Brand Management, Transportation

Authors: Kellman, J.; Archer, T.; Beal, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In the face of declining revenues throughout the airline industry, a struggling economy, and an overcrowded marketplace, David Neeleman decided in early 2000 to launch an entirely new airline. With $130 million in venture funding, JetBlue began daily operations from JFK in New York to Florida, California, Colorado, and Las Vegas. After September 11, 2001, industry analysts were asking whether a discounter who promised first-class service could sustain the brand promise. 12 pp. Case #03-01. (2003)

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Johnson & Johnson vs. the American Red Cross
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Investor Relations, Non-Profit, Retail

Authors: Galano, J., Schlax, C., Wang, A.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

For over 100 years, J&J and the ARC had had a working agreement that gave J&J the right to use the Red Cross symbol for commercial and for-profit products, while the ARC was allowed to use the symbol in any way it wanted so long as it promoted its humanitarian and non-profit mission given to the ARC by Congress. This all changed in 2004 when the ARC began licensing the symbol out to manufactures to produce for-profit goods to be sold in big box retailers and other stores. After attempts at mediation failed, J&J was left with no choice but to sue. The case will promote discussion of how companies and organizations should react to lawsuits and what communication channels need to be addressed by these groups under such circumstances. 7 pp. Case #08-04. (2008)

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Johnson & Johnson's Recall Headaches: Facing Familiar Challenges in a New Era
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Ethics, Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Fonseca, M.; Kelly, M.; Sweet, B.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On September 16, 2010, amidst a congressional inquiry into numerous product recalls over the past 15 months, Johnson & Johnson’s Chairman of the Consumer Group, Colleen Goggins, announced her retirement. With the bulk of the recall focused on their flagship product, Tylenol, the tendency was to compare these with the famous recall in 1982, which cemented the public’s trust in the company. Unfortunately, that trust has eroded because of their reaction to the numerous current product issues. When it was revealed that subcontractors had secretly bought back Motrin off the shelves without notifying the public that something was wrong with it, J&J found itself with a much larger issue than just public dismay. This phantom recall had compelled FDA regulators to call upon its crime unit to investigate whether or not these actions by Johnson & Johnson constitute criminal behavior. 15 pp. Case #10-11

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Johnson & Johnson's Strategy with Motrin: The Growing Pains of Social Media
Categories: Brand Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Healthcare, Reputation Management, Social Media

Authors: Eisele, K.; Fishburne, P.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Johnson & Johnson experienced the rapid spread of negative backlash through social media channels in response to an online Motrin advertisement. The incident raises a discussion on the opportunities and risks of using social media in marketing and communications outreach, as well as how social media efforts should align with the company’s overall business objectives. 9 pp.

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Kaplan University: The Business of Education
Categories: Customer Communication, Ethics, Reputation Management

Authors: Groppa, C.; Turley, C.; and O'Rourke, J.S.

Groppa, C.; Turley, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor) Kaplan University, a Washington Post Company subsidiary, is a network of for-profit colleges that faced scrutiny for educational rigor and admissions practices. The school educates an underserved demographic but was challenged with media attacks and whistleblower lawsuits. The Washington Post was accused of compromising its ethics in defending Kaplan University. 9 pp. Case No. 11-05 (2011)

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Kickstarter: Igniting Innovation and Sparking Controversy
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Non-Profit, Reputation Management, Social Media

Authors: Arroyo, M.C.; Sawyer, J.; Torfin, J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Kickstarter, a brand leader in the crowdfunding market, is facing certain challenges as it negotiates the uncertain waters of competition. To date, Kickstarter has experienced stellar growth, despite offering no formal protection to its community of project backers. The key issue is whether this policy is sustainable going forward. 14 pp. (Case #13-06)

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Kmart Corporation: Saving an American Icon
Categories: Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Brown, J.; Lesser, D.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Jim Adamson, the man responsible for turning around Burger King and Advantica Restaurants, the parent company of Denny’s Restaurants, has a new challenge. He has been hired to save Kmart, who in recent years has failed to remain competitive with the likes of Target and Wal-Mart. Despite three CEOs in as many years, the downward trend has continued for the big-box retailer. Investors are counting on Adamson to find a way to convince the market that Kmart can recover. (A) Case, 10 pp. (B) Case, 4 pp. Case #02-12. (2002)

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KPMG: Running for Shelter
Categories: Financial, Reputation Management

Authors: Ragsdale, M.; Bucholz, E.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Beginning in the late 1990’s, public accounting firm KPMG marketed and sold tax shelters specifically designed to help clients evade taxes. When the IRS challenged these tax shelters, KPMG resisted its investigation. In the face of mounting evidence against the firm, KPMG eventually realized it had no choice but to cooperate with the Justice Department and try to save itself from criminal indictment. Late in the summer of 2005, KPMG reached a settlement with the Department of Justice, which required KPMG to make a public admission of wrongdoing. This admission paved the way for the Justice Department to file suit against former KPMG employees involved with the tax shelters. Some argue that KPMG betrayed its former employees. With the risk of criminal indictment abated, now KPMG must turn its attention to rebuilding the trust of its partners and its clients. 12 pp. Case #06-06. (2006)

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Kraft Foods, Inc.: The Cost of Advertising on Children’s Waistlines
Categories: Customer Communication, Food and Beverage, Investor Relations

Authors: Hwa, P.; Housman, T.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Kraft is known for providing quality in food and beverage products to more than 99% of U.S. households, but today, with health conscious consumers who blame the rise in children’s obesity on food marketing, Kraft is under fire for making less healthy foods and promoting them to children. The challenge for Kraft is to communicate a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and to stricter marketing standards for children while maintaining profitability. 6 pp. Case #06-13. (2006)

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Kraft Foods: Krafting the Case for Cadbury
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Employee Relations, Food and Beverage, Intercultural, International, Investor Relations, Media Relations, Mergers/Acquisitions, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Hsia, S.; Coyle, A.; Brummett, D. and O'Rourke, J.S. (editor)

In 2009, Perry Yeatman of Kraft Foods led her corporate communication team through two multi-billion dollar deals, including a takeover of iconic British confectioner, Cadbury. The complexities of managing two cross-cultural deals while the world’s best-known investor, Warren Buffett, releases personal statements against a possible merger, could water down your message and take focus away from the main audience, the shareholders.

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L’Oreal USA: Do Looks Really Matter in the Cosmetics Industry?
Categories: Ethics, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Petty, A. A.; Reimer, C. G.; Swanes, R. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

When a L’Oreal executive walks through a West Coast department store and demands that a sales representative be dismissed solely because of her appearance, lower-ranking managers resist. After the dismissal of a manager who defended the productive, but apparently unglamorous sales clerk, L’Oreal executives face charges of improper termination and employment discrimination. Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act comes into play as Communications EVP Rebecca Caruso works to defend the image of the world’s largest cosmetics retailer. 7 pp. Case #04-01. (2004)

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LaJolla Software, Inc.
Categories: Intercultural, Technology

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A rapidly-growing and profitable west coast firm lands an attractive business partner in Japan to help market its logistics and supply-chain management software. A senior marketing manager is faced with the challenge of introducing the Japanese transition team to American business and social customs. 4 pp. Case #00-02. (2000)

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Lake Edna VA Medical Center: The Case of the MRSA Outbreak
Categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Healthcare, Media Relations, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

Careless staff nursing practices facilitate the spread of a fatal disease. Issues include employee communication, media relations, and patient-family relations. This case is designed to help students prepare for a press conference. 6 pp. Case #94-12. (1994)

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Lake Edna VA Medical Center: The Case of the Weekend Kitchen Fire
Categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Healthcare, Media Relations, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An unsupervised patient causes a fire in a Veterans Administration Hospital, forcing the evacuation of the facility in mid-winter. Issues include patient-staff communication, community relations, and media relations. The case is designed to help students prepare for a press conference. 6 pp. Case #94-11. (1994)

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Long Term Capital Management
Categories: Financial, Investor Relations

Authors: Fee, F.J.; Meyer, M.C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In June 1998, secretive hedge fund LTC suffered incredible losses when its value dropped 10.1%. The fund’s prior success had been too good to be true, and now the sudden loss in value sent serious warning signs to Wall Street and financial markets around the world. Derivative instruments used by LTC, in combination with Russian loan defaults and troubled Asian markets, brought the fund into a crisis mode. The question of who would bail out the fund and at what expense became a burning controversy for LTC and its investors. 8 pp. Case #00-15. (2000)

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Lucent Technologies: Sustaining the Brand Identity of a Blue Chip Spinoff
Categories: Brand Management, Employee Relations, Investor Relations, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Clark, C.; DiCicco, S.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Lucent Technologies, introduced to the market in 1996 as a spinoff of AT&T, was faced with restructuring problems of its own by the autumn of 2000. As a major player in optical, data, and wireless networking, along with operations in web-based enterprise solutions, communications software, and network design and consulting services, Lucent Technologies executives viewed their Enterprise Network Group as a candidate for divestiture. How could they spin off the business and sustain the brand identity already established for the unit? What communication alliances would they need? Would Wall Street punish or praise such a move? How would their primary business partners react? How could they prepare for such a move and still retain confidentiality? 5 pp. Case # 01-01. (2001)

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Macy’s Inc.: Redrafting the Brand Architecture
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Relations, Retail

Authors: Lamb, Amanda M.; Elston, Lauren P.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Macy’s controversial conversion of Chicago’s State Street Marshall Field’s store is just one of many branding and customer loyalty challenges facing Macy’s Inc. today. After converting over 800 stores nationwide, Macy’s focus is to remain relevant and competitive by managing customer perception of quality as well as reinvigorating the department store experience. 12 pp. Case #08-08. (2008)

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Major League Baseball: Dealing With Contraction
Categories: Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports

Authors: Boulger, M.; Muskett, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig proposes that Major League Baseball should contract or eliminate two teams for the 2002 season. Selig claims that 25 out of 30 teams in the league are losing money and contraction is the only way to stop the bleeding. Forbes magazine found that discrepancies in reporting by the teams meant only 10 teams lost money in 2001. The fight over contraction has put owners against the players’ union with both sides forgetting about a bigger factor: baseball fans. Selig must decide if baseball and its fans can survive contraction and the transition from a game to a business. 8 pp. Case #02-09. (2002)

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Management Communication and Communication Strategy
Categories: Other

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An instructional essay in bullet-point form on the elements and objectives of communication strategy. Focuses on issues such as communication style, communicator credibility, audience analysis, message construction, channel selection, and cultural complications. 6 pp. Teaching Note #98-03. (1998)

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.: An Accusation of Insider Trading
Categories: Ethics, Financial, Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Westby, A.; Moulton, M. P.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Domestic advice and home products maven Martha Stewart is accused of selling nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems, Inc. stock shares, just ahead of a public announcement that the company’s promising new drug, Erbitux, has failed FDA clinical testing. Accusations of insider trading, based on her special relationships with ImClone CEO Samuel Waksal and Merrill Lynch broker Peter Bacanovic, threaten her own company’s reputation, share price, and market position. Can Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia survive accusations of misconduct or the downfall of its namesake? (A) Case, 16 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #02-15. (2002 & 2004)

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Mattel, Inc.: Lead Contamination in Chinese-Manufactured Toys
Categories: Crisis Management, Intercultural, International, Retail

Authors: Vahrenwald, J. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In July 2007, a European toy retailer discovered lead paint on a Mattel toy manufactured in China. The incident forced Mattel to shut down production at the plant responsible for making the toy and issue a recall of nearly 1.5 million toys contaminated with lead paint. Just weeks later, Mattel was forced to issue a second recall of Chinese-manufactured toys, this time involving over 18 million toys. The Chinese contractors that manufactured the recalled toys were among Mattel’s most trusted. Both manufacturers, however, used paint from suppliers that Mattel had not certified as safe. In addressing the backlash that the recalls caused, Mattel was faced with the task of informing customers and notifying the media about the recalls. Now Mattel must weigh the costs and benefits of manufacturing in China. 11 pp. Case #08-09. (2008)

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McDonald’s Corporation and Mad Cow Disease in Europe
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, International, Investor Relations, Media Relations

Authors: Formwalt, R.; Sackley, P.; Mackenzie, J. B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Mad Cow Disease, and related headlines create a hostile environment for meat in Europe. The first case appears in 1996, with others following in late 2000 and early 2001. While McDonald’s has impeccable quality and safety standards, a blow from the publicity of these catastrophes is inevitable. Crisis management teams must try to alleviate public fears about eating at McDonald’s in order to offset the financial impact on their European division. To manage the situation effectively they must prepare to face the press, consumers, shareholders and anti-meat activists. 13 pp. Case #01-11. (2001)

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McDonald’s Corporation: Regilding the Golden Arches
Categories: Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Kays, C.; Kimmet, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Faced with its first quarterly loss in company history, McDonald’s corporation enacted a strategy to improve its declining profitability. Unfortunately, McDonald’s profitability problems were multi-layered and required the company to reevaluate both its current business model and strategy. Links to obesity, negative customer perceptions, and decreased same-store sales were all to blame for the current situation. For a successful turnaround, McDonald’s must recognize its inefficiencies and devise an integrated operational and communication plan to reverse its slide. 11 pp. Case #06-03. (2006)

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McDonald’s Corporation: Who Is Responsible for America’s Obesity?
Categories: Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Wysocki, J.; Denhardt, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

McDonald’s Corporation, the leader among U.S. franchise quick-service restaurants, found in 2002 that its reputation for steady growth and strong profitability were slipping. At the same time, much of the market for fast food in North America began migrating to lower-calorie, healthier alternatives. Fast food and social trend critics began blaming quick service restaurants for a wide range of health problems, including obesity and weight-related illnesses. New York attorney Samuel Hirsch filed a class action suit on behalf of obese and overweight children against McDonald’s, alleging that the fast-food chain “negligently, recklessly and/or intentionally” marketed food products that are “high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol” while failing to warn of those ingredients’ links to “obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, elevated cholesterol intake, related cancers,” and other conditions. McDonald’s reputation, profitability, and future are at stake as it prepares in 2003 to defend itself, its products, and its business. 10 pp. Case #03-06. (2003)

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McDonald's Corporation Social Media: McDonald's Is Lovin' It
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management, Social Media

Authors: Idzik, K.; Shaban, O.; Pletcher, L. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

McDonald’s is preparing for a nationwide launch of oatmeal and simultaneously ramping up its use of social media to promote the product. The company continues to face criticism for contributing to America’s obesity problem. How can McDonald’s position itself, through social media and healthy products, to counteract this belief? 9 pp.

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Mead Johnson Nutrition Company: A Controversy Over Enfamil
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Food and Beverage, Healthcare

Authors: Broderick,J.; Bussa, J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Infant formula producer Mead Johnson Nutrition Company needs to determine what its response should be when its flagship product, Enfamil, is linked to an infant’s death from Cronobacter sakazakii. Despite no hard evidence of contamination, retailers voluntarily pulled the item off the shelves as a precaution. Case # 12-07 (2012)

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Merck & Co., Inc.: A Recall of Vioxx®
Categories: Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Bartucci, G.; Gust, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Influenced by the preliminary results of an internal clinical trial, Raymond Gilmartin, CEO of Merck, announced that the company was pulling its blockbuster arthritis drug Vioxx® from the worldwide market on September 30, 2004. Merck & Company, Inc., once the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, saw its stock price plummet 27% after the recall announcement. Facing recent sales declines, a barrage of lawsuits, and two separate government investigations, Merck is losing its once-stellar reputation in the pharmaceutical industry. (A) Case, 10 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #05-01. (2005)

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Mitsubishi Corporation and the Environment
Categories: Environment, International, Transportation

Authors: Bonner, E.; Schaefer, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Mitsubishi Corporation is a 49% owner of a joint venture with the Mexican government called Exportadora de Sal S.A. de C.V. (ESSA). ESSA produces and exports solar-produced salt. The ESSA production facility is located in an environmentally sound area of Mexico with various species of animals living in the habitat. In December of 1997, ninety-four endangered black sea turtles were found dead near the salt facility as a result of the salt production. Mitsubishi and ESSA are under intense criticism by environmentalists and the public because of the sea turtle incident and ESSA’s plans to expand its production capabilities. 4 pp. Case #00-25. (2000)

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Morgan Stanley and the Events of September 11, 2001
Categories: Crisis Management, Financial

Authors: Ulto, S.; Strmiska, D.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

When two airplanes struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, more than 3,000 Morgan Stanley employees sprang into action. Following an earlier terrorist attack on the Center in 1993, the company developed an emergency evacuation plan to ensure employees could safely and quickly exit the building. With all the chaos following the attacks, CEO Phil Purcell had difficulty in determining if all of the company’s employees had made it out. News was also traveling around the world that Morgan Stanley was completely destroyed from the bombing. Purcell must quickly determine how many employees survived and how to inform the world that Morgan Stanley was still in business. (A) Case, 4 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #02-04. (2002)

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Mothers Work, Inc.: Brand Image and Accusations of Employment Discrimination
Categories: Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Billick, C.; Wong, L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The nation’s largest retailer of maternity wear is accused of employment discrimination over the dismissal of a manager attempting to return from maternity leave. President and COO Rebecca Matthias and Communications Chief Mona Liss find themselves confronted with charges of discriminating against a young mother and press reaction ranging from shock to disbelief. A thorough review of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 are included. 7 pp. Case #04-04. (2004)

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Motorola, Inc.: Smartphones and the Android OS
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Mergers/Acquisitions, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Anderson, S.; Gilardi, J.; Sennett, M.; Westerhaus, J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (editor)

Motorola, producer of some of the most popular phones, has recently fallen in public estimation. The company’s future may hinge on its newest product, the Android smartphone. With the right outlook and communication, could it be the company’s savior?

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Napster: Intellectual Property Rights vs. Music for Free
Categories: Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Technology

Authors: Indart, R.; Brust, J.; Korth, H.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) insists that Napster, computer software that allows users to download music for free, is an opportunity for large-scale piracy of its members’ music. As Napster faces charges of copyright violations, clients face losing the benefit of free music. The U. S. government is trying to keep pace with new technology, and the results of the Napster case may set several important legal precedents. Napster must decide where to form alliances, how to maximize the support of consumers, and how to continue to develop strategies for long-term success above and beyond this ruling. 20 pp. Case #01-05. (2001)

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Nestlé Purina PetCare: Your Pet, Our Poison
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Reputation Management

Authors: Exten, L.; Gimenez, P.; Steinberg, J.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

The pet food poisoning scare of 2007, in which numerous pet food products were contaminated with melamine sourced from China, seriously damaged many of the afflicted firms’ reputations for safety and customer concern. Pet food industry leader Nestlé Purina released two unapologetic statements revealing limited information about the source of the problem and its impact on consumers. Purina must recover its customers’ collective faith; a difficult task after causing thousands of “deaths in the family.” It is also essential that Purina restructure its supply chain to ensure that history does not repeat itself. 8 pp. Case #09-11. (2009)

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Netflix, Inc.: Risks of a New Business Model
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Reputation Management

Authors: Allen, D.; Vicente,J.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

After ten years of meteoric rises in revenue and subscription customers, a series of communication blunders has put Netflix in a perilous position. Netflix has mishandled key communications regarding account and fee changes affecting its customers. In three months, Netflix has since seen its company’s stock price plummet more than 60 percent. Case # 12-08 (2012).

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News Corporation: Allegations of Phone Hacking
Categories: Conflict Management, Ethics, International, News, Reputation Management

Authors: Griffiths, B.; Murphy, P.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

By July 2011, News Corporation and one of its UK newspapers, News of the World, faced mounting pressure over revelations that it hacked into cellphone voicemails of crime victims, war widows, celebrities, government officials, and even members of the Royal Family. This case examines the events leading up to the peak of the crisis, as well as the communications that News Corporation undertook to address stakeholder concerns throughout the emergence and escalation of the scandal. Case # 12-09 (2012)

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Northwest Airlines and the Blizzard of ‘99
Categories: Customer Relations, Transportation

Authors: Dutmers, A.; Littlejohn, L.; Lorch, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

During a New Year’s weekend blizzard that produced 60-below zero wind chills and foot-deep snowdrifts, Northwest Airlines left 34 planes on the tarmac at Detroit Metro Airport. Hundreds of passengers were trapped without food, water, working toilets, or a way off the plane for as long as eight hours. Northwest executives are confronted with angry customers, class action lawsuits, and politicians pushing a “Passengers Bill of Rights” through Congress. (A) Case, 12 pp. (B) Case, 6 pp. Case #99-04. (1999)

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Northwest Airlines: Labor Relations a Turbulent Industry
Categories: Employee Relations, Financial, Transportation

Authors: Durkalski, D.; Peer, C.; Sawyer, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On September 14, 2005, Northwest Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. During the weeks leading up to the decision, Northwest was burning through $4 million in cash a day, carried $8.1 billion in long-term debt, and had pension plans underfunded by $3.8 billion. With fuel prices increasing at record rates, a shortage for demand in the airline industry, and a mechanics strike leaving unfruitful negotiations, something had to be done. Under the protection of bankruptcy, CEO Douglas Steenland, believes that Northwest can settle labor issues and reorganize the firm’s cost structure to compete with discount airlines. Steenland hopes Northwest can emerge from the bankruptcy stronger than ever. Critics wonder what tactics Northwest might employ to survive this turbulent industry. 8 pp. Case #06-02. (2006)

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O’Brien Paint Company
Categories: Crisis Management, Manufacturing, Media Relations, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A national paint and protective-coatings manufacturer experiences a plant fire in the Midwest. Issues include community relations, media relations, and crisis communication. 3 pp. Case #91-01. (1991)

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Oak Brook Medical Systems, Inc.
Categories: Conflict Management, Healthcare

Authors: Wigton, K. and O’Rourke, J. S.

Interpersonal communication style differences develop among managers in a mid-sized regional medical supply firm. Intercultural differences based on gender, ethnicity, and age are involved. Issues include managerial counseling for a highly-productive employee, as well as information-gathering and decision-making styles. 3 pp. Case #94-01. (1994)

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Odwalla, Inc.
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Food and Beverage, Investor Relations, Reputation Management

Authors: Halverson, S.; Rake, K. L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A successful west coast producer of all-natural juice drinks confronts disaster when customers are poisoned by E. coli bacteria in its unpasteurized products. CEO Greg Steltenpohl must decide not only what to say to customers, shareholders, suppliers, and business partners, but whether to change his company’s fundamental business practices. (A) Case, 11 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #99-01. (1999)

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Old Dominion Trust Company
Categories: Financial, Roleplay

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An assistant broker in the mortgage banking division of a mid-Atlantic regional bank is faced with the prospect of substituting for a more senior manager on short notice in a public speaking situation. The case asks students to examine the issues related to the broker’s preparation for the speaking opportunity, focusing on audience, purpose, and occasion. 2 pp. Case #96-02. (1996)

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Olive Garden Restaurants Division, General Mills Corporation
Categories: Customer Relations, Food and Beverage

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A diner in a national restaurant chain has a terrible customer-service experience and writes to the CEO describing an evening in his restaurant. Issues include customer perceptions regarding time, cheerfulness of service, and appropriate dialogue. 3 pp. Case #94-10. (1994)

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Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation: Energy De-Regulation in California
Categories: Customer Relations, Energy

Authors: Coons, N.; Daniels, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is one of the largest electric and gas utilities in the United States. Higher oil prices, interest rates, and the Clean Air Act of 1970 caused slowing growth for the industry, but federal legislation is passed to stimulate competition. By 1997, however, California legislation begins to restructure the electric industry to protect consumers from high costs, forcing PG&E into financial ruin. As California residents begin to experience rolling blackouts, PG&E must withstand the disaster that deregulation is causing the company, as well as draft a plan to maintain relations with consumers, regulators, legislators, and others. 10 pp. Case #01-03. (2001)

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Persuasion: The Elements of Human Belief
Categories: Other

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An instructional essay that examines how humans come to believe as they do, the underlying attitudinal system that motivates behavior, and the ways in which people are susceptible to influence. The paper examines the work of Milton Rokeach and Robert Cialdini. Reviews key principles governing human belief systems, outcomes of the attitudinal formation process, the objectives of persuasion, the conditions under which attitudes may be influenced, and the principles of influence. Also reviews the four steps in a successful attempt at influence, as well as the value of one-sided and two-sided arguments. 5 pp. Teaching Note #99-06. (1999)

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Pfizer Inc.: The Torcetrapib Failure and the Future of the World’s Largest Drug Manufacturer
Categories: Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical

Authors: Du, Y.; Mitchell, J.; Simpson, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In December 2006, Pfizer announced the halt of the Torcetrapib clinical trial, a once very promising drug in the fight against coronary artery and heart disease. At the same time, Pfizer announced its initial plans of layoffs and cost reductions would be expedited as a result of the trials. With the loss of patent protections for a series of drugs including Lipitor, the cancellation of Bextra, and the black label warning on Celebrex tablets, how does Pfizer seek continued success while appeasing shareholders? 9 pp. Case #07-01. (2007)

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Pittsburgh International Airport: Battling Turbulence in the Airline Industry
Categories: Transportation

Authors: Land, Hunter M..; Wentz, Matthew L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Opened in 1992, the Pittsburgh International Airport midfield terminal complex was designed and built for the hub operations of USAir. Fifteen years and two bankruptcies later, US Airways has reduced what was its largest hub to a focus city with only 68 daily flights. As the airport sits half abandoned, the Allegheny Country Airport Authority is working against an industry in turmoil to rebuild service at the airport. 20 pp. Case #08-10. (2008)

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Procter & Gamble: Confrontation with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Categories: Ethics, Non-Profit, Reputation Management

Authors: Dillon, P.; Paxton, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On March 25, 2003, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) revealed an undercover investigation of alleged abuses in Procter & Gamble subsidiary The Iams Company’s independent research facilities. Iams, a company of self-described animal lovers, responded quickly to evolve testing procedures to better conditions for study animals. Intense media coverage of PETA’s aggressive protests, however, has generated many questions about whether Iams is concerned about profits to the detriment of its customers’ pets. 8 pp. Case #05-04. (2005)

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Progressive Insurance: Paying a Lawyer to Defend Your Sister's Killer
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Ethics, Social Media

Authors: Heatherman, R.; Swanepoel, I.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Progressive Insurance faced a widespread public relations crisis when Matt Fisher took to his personal Tumblr site to post a scathing account of his family’s experience with the company who insured his deceased sister. The blog entry went “viral” overnight, panning Progressive’s use of their attorney to seemingly assist in the defense of the driver who collided into his sister’s automobile, taking her life. This case examines the moral, economic, and legal views of business decision-making, as well as the social media consequences of a perceived imbalance between the three approaches. The question for Progressive Insurance is how to best mitigate the negative consequences of the current social media crisis and to avoid any recurrence. 13 pp. (Case # 13-05)

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Quality Dining and Bruegger’s Bagels
Categories: Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Mager, T.; Pedone, V.; O’Connor, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The expanding Quality Dining decided to merge with the popular bagel chain Bruegger’s Bagels. While bagels seemed lucrative, the merger proved that popularity does not always breed success. Many industry insiders believed Quality Dining had too much on its plate. The acquisition proved a failure and even threatened the viability of the company itself. Quality Dining tries to salvage its reputation. (A) Case, 5 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #00-13. (2000)

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RadioShack Corporation: You’ve Got Mail!
Categories: Employee Relations, Retail

Authors: Frankart, A. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Following a period of instability in the executive leadership of RadioShack Corporation, Julian Day was brought on board as chief executive in July of 2006 to turn the electronics retailing giant around and restore profitability. Day quickly announced a turnaround plan designed to increase average unit volume, lower overhead costs and grow profitable square footage. As a part of that plan, RadioShack reduced its support staff in the headquarters by 450 positions. What bothered employees and critics alike was not the force reduction, but the fact that those who lost their jobs were notified by e-mail. 5 pp. Case #07-02. (2007)

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Salesforce.com: The Dark Side of Cloud Computing
Categories: Customer Communication, Technology

Authors: Delaney, B.; Lechova, M.; Zhang, O.; O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Salesforce.com is the leading company in the Software-as-a-Service Customer Relationship Management industry. On January 6, 2009, the company faced its most significant disruption in its history: more than 177 million business transactions were suspended. In addition, Salesforce’s service status dashboard was down, leaving its users completely in the dark. While the company remained silent regarding the cause of the outage, customers became increasingly frustrated. (A) Case, 8 pp. (B) Case, 1 p. Case #09-10. (2009)

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Sara Lee Corporation: The Listeriosis Crisis
Categories: Crisis Management, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Sabine, B.; Burciaga, F.; Fuller, K.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Sara Lee Corporation’s Bil Mar Food Plant was already under intense scrutiny for health violations when an outbreak of listeriosis, an infection caused by eating food contaminated by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, was linked to the plant. How should Sara Lee handle the crisis? 7 pp. Case #00-16. (2000)

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Satyam Computer Services Ltd.: Accounting Fraud in India
Categories: Ethics, Intercultural, International, Reputation Management, Technology

Authors: Barton, M.; Bhutta, P.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On January 7, 2009, Ramalinga Raju resigned as chairman of Satyam Computer Services. This resignation came as a result of the largest corporate fraud in India’s history. Questions remain for Satyam executives about the company’s survival, as well as the reputational effect on PriceWaterhouseCoopers offices in India. 12 pp. Case #09-12. (2009)

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Schering-Plough and Concerns about Vytorin®
Categories: Investor Relations, Pharmaceutical

Authors: Bhagwangar Dhanishtha Kika; Smith, Matthew R.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Clinical tests showed cholesterol drug Vytorin® was not living up to the claims of the producers, Schering-Plough and Merck. Consumers could receive a virtually equivalent drug for one-third of the cost. The problem facing Schering-Plough was to find the best methods to reach its stakeholders and ensure them that their concerns will be addressed in a timely and effective manner. This case has health, financial, and legal ramifications for stakeholders. 11 pp. Case #08-11. (2008)

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Scotts Miracle-Gro: Mandatory Employee Wellness Programs
Categories: Employee Relations, Healthcare, Reputation Management

Authors: Berry, K. and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Executives at Scotts Miracle-Gro, a Massachusetts lawn and garden products manufacturer, had a passion for employee wellness, and all employees, from the CEO to front-line workers were required to participate. In September of 2006, one month ahead of a transition to a smoke-free environment in all Scotts’ facilities, employee Scott Rodrigues was fired. His offense? Smoking on his own time, at home. Even though the company violated no labor laws, the move jeopardized both employee morale and the company’s hard-earned reputation as a great place to work. Communication officials must determine how to deal with the resulting damage. 7 pp. Case #07-03. (2007)

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Sears, Roebuck, and Co. and The United Colors of Benetton
Categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Intercultural, Retail

Authors: Hellwig, A. K.; Loughney, E. E.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The leading U.S. retailer, Sears, partnered with the Italian fashion house of Benetton to bring the edgy, casual label into the Sears stores. In February of 2000, the strategic alliance became strained when Benetton put out a controversial ad campaign which featured inmates on death row. The “We on Death Row” campaign was met with protest by Sears’ employees and the public alike. (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 4 pp. Case #00-17. (2000)

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Shell Oil Company UK and The Brent Spar
Categories: Energy, Environment, International

Authors: Hales, M.; Nikolov, N.; Parker, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Shell Oil Company UK faced a major controversy just prior to the proposed deep-sea disposal of the Brent Spar, a large decommissioned platform. Special interest environmental groups along with other European communities protested the disposal. Surprised by the intense protest, Shell cancels the sinking and abandons the disposal of the Brent Spar until it is able to resolve the issue. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #00-29. (2000)

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Sony BMG Corporation: Digital Rights Management
Categories: Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Technology

Authors: Butcher, K.; Curry, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On October 31, 2005, computer programmer Mark Russinovich wrote in his online blog that listening to his new Sony BMG CD on his computer had turned into more of a trick than treat. Russinovich discovered that the anti-piracy software on his Sony CD had installed a hidden program that made his computer vulnerable to potential viruses. Within hours, Russinovich’s article became a hot topic across the web. Hundreds of other sites linked to his blog and the security hole created by Sony’s software became a headline in major U.S. and British newspapers. Sony BMG initially rejected the uproar against the software as technobabble, and the digital rights management issue quickly turned into a public relations and legal nightmare. Since CD copy protection is still an experiment in progress, Sony must balance its desire to protect its intellectual property with consumer rights concerns. 10 pp. Case #06-12. (2006)

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Sony Corporation: The PlayStation Network Crash (A) and (B)
Categories: Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, International, Technology

Authors: Chuong Do, S.; Hsu, X.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

The date was April 30, 2011 and Sony shares had just fallen by more than 5% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The corporation was suffering through a chaotic time period in its gaming division. Hackers had invaded the PlayStation Network roughly two weeks earlier. They crippled the network and gained access to personal information, including credit card data, for roughly 77 million users. How can Sony resolve this dire situation and patch up the damage that has been done? (A) 16 pp. (B) 6 pp. Case #11-12. (2011)

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Southwest Airlines and the Succession of Herb Kelleher
Categories: Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Carr, G.; Gay, D.; Lutterbach, R.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

After Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines, is diagnosed with cancer, speculation begins about the future viability of the company. Kelleher has been a dynamic and innovative leader of the company, employing unique management techniques. The question on everyone’s mind is: Can Southwest survive without its leader? 4 pp. Case #00-18. (2000)

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Spartan Industries, Inc.
Categories: Employee Relations, Manufacturing

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A Midwest manufacturer of specialty metal products for the automotive industry is faced with decisions about how to communicate employee promotions. Issues include notification of employees selected for promotion, as well as those who are not, along with timing, publicity, and confidentiality. 4 pp. Case #94-06. (1994)

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Staples Inc.: Preparing the CEO for a Press Conference
Categories: Media Relations, Retail

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

Tom Stemberg, CEO of a discount office supply chain, prepares to address the press and public at a media conference in California. Stemberg’s aim is to show why a Boston-based firm should put its name on a new sports arena in Los Angeles. 3 pp. Case #00-03. (2000)

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Starbucks Coffee Company: A New Logo for New Markets
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, International, Investor Relations

Authors: Locasto, M.; Triplette, G.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Following a period of slow sales and rapid company change, Starbucks Coffee Company designed and launched a new logo created to reflect the new direction of the company. While some companies have been successful with their logo redesigns, several have failed and experienced lost revenues in the process. Additionally, Starbucks faces more intense competition and possible negative reactions from the public. Management must first decide if it will go forward with its new logo and if so, how to plan the roll out and sell it to the market and its customers. 13 pp. Case # 11-01 (2011)

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Starbucks Coffee Company: Can Customers Breastfeed in a Coffee Shop?
Categories: Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Bailey, J.; McHale, C.; Rainer, S.; and O’Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

A customer complaint prompts an increasingly powerful special interest group to target Starbucks as its next corporate victim. Led by Lorig Charkoudian, a “nurse-in” staged outside of a Maryland Starbucks forces the company to address the complex issue of public breastfeeding. Varying constituent views and changing state legislation regarding breastfeeding complicates the situation even further. As a corporation that prides itself on diversity, Starbucks must decide how to satisfy its most profitable customer segments without discriminating against others or violating the law. 9 pp. Case #05-02. (2005)

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State Farm Insurance Company
Categories: Ethics, Financial

Authors: Davis, F.; McLemore, K.; Orloski, S.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

One of the country’s largest insurers and financial institutions faces a lawsuit by some policyholders for the use of non-Original Equipment Manufacturer parts in the repair of damaged vehicles. The lawsuit claims State Farm breached its contract by specifying non-OEM parts (which are known to be inferior to OEM parts) on repair estimates without the consent of the policyholder. 5 pp. Case #00-08. (2000)

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Taco Bell Corporation: Where's The Beef?
Categories: Conflict Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Roper,C.; Samikkannu, D.; and O'Rourke, J.S.

Taco Bell was served with a lawsuit on January 19, 2011, alleging the restaurant chain’s taco mixture did not contain enough beef to meet USDA requirements to be called “ground beef.” The company’s initial reaction was to include full-page newspaper ads in local and national newspapers headlined, “Thank you for suing us.” However, this is just the beginning of Taco Bell’s efforts to communicate the truth and repair its damaged reputation. 8 pp. Case #11-02 (2011)

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Taco Bell Corporation: Public Perception and Brand Protection
Categories: Environment, Food and Beverage, Non-Profit, Reputation Management

Authors: Hall, J.; Viola, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Fears regarding the introduction of genetically modified foods into the commercial food market have grown steadily since the mid-1990s. In the autumn of 2000, Taco Bell Corporation found itself caught between Friends of the Earth, a not-for-profit environmental advocacy group, and Kraft Foods Corporation, a business partner that manufactured and marketed grocery store products under the Taco Bell brand name. When environmental advocates claimed that genetically modified corn had somehow found its way into Taco Bell corn tortillas manufactured by Kraft, both companies were faced with important accusations about food safety and threats to brand image. (A) Case, 10 pp. (B) Case, 5 pp. Case #03-07. (2003)

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Taco Bell: How Do We Know It’s Safe To Eat?
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Fromm, K.; Howenstein, S.; Johnson, A.; VanDerWerff, D; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On November 30, 2006, Taco Bell closed one of its restaurants in South Plainfield, New Jersey, in response to nine individuals who allegedly contracted the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria from the Taco Bell restaurant. As time went on, more and more cases of E. coli related to Taco Bell were unveiled. Taco Bell continued to lose revenue as consumer confidence in its food quality and safety was significantly affected as a result of the E. coli outbreak. Ultimately, the source of the E. coli was linked to Taco Bell’s lettuce and was determined to be infected with the bacteria prior to its distribution to Taco Bell’s some 5,800 restaurants nationwide. Thus, the crux of the business problem is imbedded within Taco Bell’s supply chain. Now Taco Bell must deal with restoring its image, rebuilding trust with its consumers, and preventing future outbreaks. 13 pp. Case #07-04. (2007)

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Target Corporation: Predictive Analytics and Customer Privacy
Categories: Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Privacy, Retail, Technology

Authors: Belock, B.; Fasheh, F.; McKeever, A.; and O;Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

A father complains about pregnancy related coupons addressed to his teenage daughter. Target’s predictive analytics had determined his daughter was pregnant and targeted her as a customer before she broke the news to her father. Target must react in the face of a largely publicized article about the incident. 12 pp. (Case # 13-02)

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Target Corporation: Pharmacists’ Acts of Conscience and the “Plan B” Pill
Categories: Customer Communication, Employee Relations, Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Cox, J. L.; Berry, K. M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In September 2005, Rachel Pourchot entered a Target store in Fenton, Missouri, intending to fill prescriptions for Ortho TriCyclen, a common hormonal contraceptive, and for Levonorgestrel, an emergency contraceptive known as the “Plan B” pill. Target’s pharmacist, however, told her that he would not fill the prescription for Levonorgestrel on moral and religious grounds. As competitors Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart made their positions clear on the issue of pharmacists’ acts of conscience, Target Corporation struggled with an appropriate response that would satisfy the needs of its customers and its employees, while protecting the reputation of the firm at the same time. 6 pp. Case #06-11. (2006)

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TD Waterhouse Investor and Equity Trading on the Internet
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Financial, Investor Relations, Technology

Authors: Hudson, J.; Kehoe, W.; Waddell, B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

The New York Stock Exchange investigates and fines financial services firm TD Waterhouse for the inappropriate operation of its online trading system. Waterhouse’s WebBroker system experienced a number of outages that prevented clients from having trades executed. Since online trading has grown dramatically in recent years and is expected to continue growing, this could be a critical juncture for TD Waterhouse if it wants to continue to compete in this market segment. The company must develop a well-crafted communication strategy to address this setback with its customers, the public, and other constituencies. 5 pp. Case #01-08. (2001)

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Team Building in the Workplace: Sharing the Responsibility for Success
Categories: Other

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An instructional essay in bullet-point form on the nature of groups and teams, how to identify differences between groups and teams, and how to transform work groups into functional and cross-functional teams. Focuses on the characteristics of successful teams, common reasons teams fail, and how to maximize opportunities for success as a team member. 5 pp. Teaching Note #98-02. (1998)

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Texaco, Inc. : A Racial Discrimination Suit
Categories: Energy, Ethics, Reputation Management

Authors: Goria, T.; Reed, D.; Skendzel, D.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Texaco gained public attention when The New York Times reported on an audio tape with Texaco senior managers making “disparaging comments about minorities.” Texaco was already in the midst of a little-known discrimination suit when the report about the tape became public. The company, now under fire for racial discrimination problems within the corporate culture, faces the task of answering the allegations. (A) Case, 7 pp. (B) Case, 24 pp. Case #00-11. (2000)

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The Art of Listening: Becoming a Better Communicator by Becoming a Better Listener
Categories: Other

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

An instructional essay in bullet-point form on the skills and strategies involved in human listening. Focuses on motivations for becoming a better listener, ineffective listening habits, developing good listening habits, the nature of active listening, and ideas for improving the various dimensions of listening. 4 pp. Teaching Note #98-04. (1998)

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The Boeing Company: The Grounding of the 787 Dreamliner
Categories: Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Manufacturing, Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Carillo, A.; Harville, L.; Portilla, D.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

On January 16, 2013, Boeing had its newest and most advanced aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, grounded worldwide due to fires that started in the airplane's batteries. The Lithium-Ion technology used in the 787 aircraft was a new feature used in commercial aircraft as a solution to save weight. Several prior delays had already affected the introduction of the Dreamliner 787, one of the most revolutionary planes to date. Boeing is faced with high demand, costs, and pressure to respond quickly, while responding to both safety concerns and general industry concerns and loss of revenue. (Case #13-01)

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The Boeing Company: The WTO Dispute with Airbus
Categories: International, Transportation

Authors: Adhikary, A.; Englehart, B.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

This case study examines a long-standing dispute regarding fair competition and government subsidies between The Boeing Company and Airbus Industries. Boeing claims that it is being subjected to an unfair competitive disadvantage because the European Union provided Airbus soft loans in the form of launch aid. This case reviews communication strategy, the potential impact on suppliers and communities, and the upcoming WTO dispute and possible outcomes. 10 pp. Case #06-20. (2006)

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The Boeing Company: A Branding Campaign Meets Terrorism
Categories: Brand Management, Reputation Management

Authors: Stewart, D.; Dominguez, M.; Odicino, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, was in the midst of a successful branding campaign when disaster struck. Four Boeing jets were hijacked in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The attacks provided shocking views of Boeing planes striking the World Trade Center, and created contrasting images with the Boeing advertisements. CEO Phil Condit must determine whether continuing with the branding campaign would cause more harm than good to the Boeing image. 9 pp. Case #02-06. (2002)

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The Boeing Company: Take Off Delays for the 787 Dreamliner
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Manufacturing, Transportation

Authors: Adair, Justin F.; Tipton, Rory M.; Marshall, John P.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

This case will examine the complex challenges of a global business which must maintain healthy communications with customers, investors, and suppliers. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is by most accounts a success story of modern innovation, yet its production delays present a unique challenge for a corporate communication officer. 7pp. Case #08-06. (2008)

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The Coca-Cola Company: Allegations of Pesticides in Soft Drinks in India
Categories: Crisis Management, Environment, Ethics, Food and Beverage, International

Authors: Erdman, M.; Kelly, S.; Lerum, E.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

This case highlights the history of the development of the carbonated beverage industry in India by the Coca-Cola Company and recent allegations made by a non-governmental organization, The Center for Science and Environment, of pesticides found in Coca-Cola’s soft drinks. The case is intended to encourage discussion on how the key players in this event used communication and the media to further their interests on the local and international levels and to examine what Coca-Cola might do to protect its reputation and brand image. 21 pp. Case #06-21. (2006)

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The Ethics of Resumes and Recommendations: When Do Filler and Fluff Become Deception and Lies?
Categories: Ethics

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

This case study describes the task of selecting a customer service manager from a stack of resumes that range in disclosure and honesty from complete to partial, at best. Issues addressed in the case include the categories and completeness of resume contents, obligations of a resume writer, and the question of full disclosure vs. honesty composing professional resumes. 3 pp. Case #94-07. (1994) (Revised 2013)

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The New York Stock Exchange: An Identity in Jeopardy
Categories: Brand Management, Ethics, Financial

Authors: Abdalla, S. A.; Sanderson, S. J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A crisis of leadership and brand image is precipitated by the revelation of a compensation package for NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso. Critics and insiders alike regard the level of compensation as exorbitant and call for Grasso’s resignation. Far more serious than the loss of a capable chief executive, however, is the growing sentiment that the exchange chairman may be unfit to regulate the board members who vote on his compensation. Aggressive competition from electronic trading systems such as the NASDAQ threaten the very existence of the NYSE market-maker model and the system which governs it. 33 pp. Case #04-03. (2004)

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The New York Times and Jayson Blair: All the News That’s Fit to Print?
Categories: Employee Relations, Ethics, News

Authors: Smeraglinolo, M.; Wehmer, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

A promising young reporter is given an unprecedented opportunity to move up quickly through the ranks of The New York Times. Questions about the accuracy of his reporting and the source of his material, however, soon turn his case into a referendum on the leadership of Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd. Reporters soon begin taking sides as a credibility crisis and loyalty rift develop among the Times staff. (A) Case, 9 pp. (B) Case, 2 pp. Case #04-05. (2004)

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The San Francisco Zoo: When Exhibits Attack
Categories: Crisis Management, Non-Profit

Authors: Pinnick, S.; Pisani, L.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On December 25, 2007, a tiger managed to escape its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo and attack zoo visitors, killing one and injuring two others, before it was shot and killed by police officers. Management must decide how to address the public after the crisis. Beyond this, they must ensure that they meet proper safety requirements and have effective controls in place to handle crises. Also, they must deal with the injured persons. (A) Case, 6 pp. (B) Case, 3 pp. Case #09-03. (2009)

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The Soul of Dell: The Value of Corporate Philosophy Statements
Categories: Employee Relations, Technology

Authors: Escamilla, E.; Celada, C.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Few companies have come to dominate a market segment the way Dell Computer Corporation has made its imprint on desktop and notebook computers. While growing revenues from $6 in 1985 to $33.7 billion in 2002, Michael Dell could never completely shake the sensation that he and his business partners had yet to “define their soul.” What he wanted, more than growth or innovation, was a statement of corporate philosophy that would define for the world who Dell Computers was and would hope to become. This case explores the process by which Michael Dell and Kevin Rollins, his president and COO, would draft and communicate their values. 7 pp. Case #03-04. (2003)

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The Tiger Woods Foundation: When Values and Behavior Collide
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Media Relations, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Non-Profit, Reputation Management

Authors: Van Dyk, D.; Rayball, B.; and O'Rourke, J.S.

In 2009, professional golfer Tiger Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade outside his Florida home. The incident led to an admission that Woods had been carrying on extramarital affairs for years. As a result, Woods’s reputation was severely damaged and now stands in direct contrast to the values of the Tiger Woods Foundation, a charitable organization that he founded. How can the Foundation now manage to carry out its mission?

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The Travel Industry and the Events of September 11, 2001
Categories: Hospitality, Transportation

Authors: Adams, M..; Eckerle, C.; Howard, G.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

No industry was hit harder than the travel industry following the 9/11 attacks. While big companies like the airlines received government support, small businesses like Anthony Travel, a local travel agent, suffered greatly from the tragedy. Families were also affected as vacations were postponed or canceled due to fears of flying. The Travel Industry Association of America has to convince Americans why they need to travel again. (A) Case, 8 pp. (B) Case, 4 pp. Case #02-11. (2002)

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The Walt Disney Company: Launch of a Hong Kong Theme Park
Categories: Environment, Intercultural, International, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports

Authors: Baldwin, J. L.; Liu, A.; Suzuki, H.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In September 2005, the Walt Disney Company announced the opening of its third theme park outside of the United States, and the second in Asia. Hong Kong Disneyland would become one of the most ambitious, expensive, and difficult ventures in the company’s history, and – if the company’s experience in Europe were any guide – it would have just one chance to get it right. Unlike the Disney experience in Tokyo, a theme park in Hong Kong would prove culturally challenging for a number of reasons, including language, food, souvenirs, entertainment, environmental concerns, contract relationships, local employees, cultural sensitivities, and the Chinese central government. Public Affairs VP Irene Chan is faced with enormous challenges as the company prepares for the park’s opening day. 17 pp. Case #05-06. (2005)

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Tiffany & Co.: Protecting Brand Image from Tarnish
Categories: Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: LeBel, M.; Hoelscher, K.; Starita, L.; Teboek, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

In 2004, Mike Kowalski, chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co., faced a major decision for the future of the Tiffany brand and franchise. After three rounds of price hikes, the highly profitable silver jewelry line, “Return to Tiffany,” witnessed price increases of 200% , which finally resulted in a reduction in the demand for Tiffany silver by the upper-middle-class consumer. The popular silver line had increased sales as well as equity for the shareholders, but at the same time, it was eroding the brand in the eyes of the core luxury consumer. Tiffany is left with the juxtaposition between increased profits and a tarnished brand image. 10 pp. Case #07-05. (2007)

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Turner Broadcasting: A Cartoon Promotion Brings Boston to a Standstill
Categories: Crisis Management, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports

Authors: Schank, E.; McCullough, K.; O’Brien, P.; Vahrenwald, J.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On January 31, 2007, several unknown, electronic “bomb-like” devices were discovered in Boston, Massachusetts, causing chaos and posing a threat to national security. These devices were later found to be part of a guerrilla marketing campaign gone awry. The campaign was endorsing a cartoon, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which airs on Turner Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network. This incident has questioned the ethics and boundaries of guerrilla marketing as well as the need for companies to complete their due diligence when hiring outside contractors. Turner is now faced with significant fines and needs to communicate its apologies to both a terror-struck Boston and to the nation as a whole. 10 pp. Case #07-06. (2007)

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United Airlines Customer Service in the Summer of 2000
Categories: Customer Relations, Reputation Management, Transportation

Authors: Gallagher, J.; O’Neill, K.; Putney, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

United Airlines struggles to meet basic customer expectations in the summer of 2000. Labor disputes, weather problems, and the basic airline infrastructure create problems that are beginning to defile the airline’s name. Airline Quality Ratings are down, revenues are down, and the media are taking advantage of United’s embarrassing situation. United enacts a 12-point customer service plan. It improves technology for customers and customer service representatives. Finally, United launches an advertising campaign to regain customer trust and loyalty. 12 pp. Case #01-06. (2001)

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United Way Of America
Categories: Ethics, Non-Profit

Authors: Heath, K.; Porter, K.; Welch, S.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

William Aramony, CEO of United Way of America, was accused of serious misconduct. A reporter with the Washington Post investigated allegations and found that employees complained of indiscretion and that Aramony grossly misused the organization financially. As the story breaks, United Way reels from the scandal. 5 pp. Case #00-22. (2000)

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ValuJet: Disaster in the Everglades
Categories: Crisis Management, Transportation

Authors: Moore, N.; Ritter, A.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

ValuJet, targeting cost-conscious consumers, was growing, proving that value can mean profits. Tragically, the success ValuJet was enjoying was stripped away when a DC-9 jet crashed in Florida killing 110 people. ValuJet, while seemingly sabotaged by its maintenance contractor SabreTech, denied culpability in the accident. 8 pp. Case #00-26. (2000)

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Vitruvius Sportswear, Inc.: A Question of Online Privacy
Categories: Apparel and Textile, Privacy

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A rapidly-growing west coast sportswear company confronts the conflicting values of corporate data security and employee privacy. As a senior supervisor begins looking through a trusted employee’s personal exchanges on the company’s e-mail server, a friend alerts the employee to the supervisor’s activities. Just how private is e-mail and who should get to look at it? Where should management balance individual desires for privacy with the need for organizational security? 3 pp. Case #00-07. (2000)

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Volvo of North America, Inc.
Categories: Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Employee Relations, Transportation

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A valued customer is at odds with a manufacturer’s product warranty policies. Issues include warranty expiration, franchisee responsibilities, customer service and communication. 2 pp. Case #93-01. (1993)

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W Hotels: Comfortable, Stylish, and Wired for Today’s Savvy Business Traveler
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Relations, Hospitality, Investor Relations

Authors: Bonifas, M.; Van Neuren, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Barry Sternlicht is leading the launch of a new, upscale lodging brand: W Hotels. The brand will combine the reliability of large hotel chains with the unique style of independent boutique hotels. The W brand targets young business travelers, but brand managers recognize many other audiences they must reach for the new venture to succeed. Sternlicht understands that he needs to do more than sell hotel rooms; he must send a message to consumers and financial analysts alike. 9 pp. Case #01-09. (2001)

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: Image Issues for the World’s Largest Retailer
Categories: Employee Relations, Ethics, Retail

Authors: Katcherian, A. L.; Blazek, M. F.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Federal immigration agents’ raids on Wal-Mart stores, referred to simply as “Operation Rollback,” raises some concerns for the world’s largest retailer, especially in light of the negative media exposure the company receives largely due to its massive size and expansionist efforts throughout the globe. Criticisms of Wal-Mart’s non-union stance and its controlling relationship with suppliers continue to surround the publicity of “Operation Rollback,” transforming the raids into a symbol of the effects of the company’s low cost business model and unbeatable low prices. 12 pp. Case #04-08. (2004)

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Walt Disney Company: Disney's California Adventure
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Investor Relations, Music_ Arts_ Entertainment_ and Sports, Reputation Management

Authors: Arellano, F.; Felder, M.; Watt, M. and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Disney's California Adventure was part of an effort to increase traffic to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, and entice visitors to extend their vacations. With a goal of at least seven million annual visitors, the park underperformed and was widely criticized. California Adventure threatened to erode Disney’s brand equity. 10 pp. Case #11-06 (2011)

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Waukegan Materials, Inc.
Categories: Employee Relations, Media Relations

Authors: O’Rourke, J. S.

A regional building materials supply firm wants to establish a recurring recognition program for outstanding employees. Issues include reward systems, employee communication, and media relations. 2 pp. Case #92-03. (1992)

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Wendy’s International: Pointing a Finger at Fraud
Categories: Crisis Management, Food and Beverage, Reputation Management

Authors: Gaumond, C.; Kim, H.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

On March 22, 2005, a woman discovers a human finger in her chili while dining at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose, California. As widespread and strongly negative media coverage surrounds the event, sales figures begin to plummet. Wendy’s executives are under intense pressure to discover what really happened in their restaurant while they try to repair the damage done to their once well-respected brand. 6 pp. Case #06-01. (2006)

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Whole Foods Market: A CEO's Public Opinion at Odds With a Key Demographic
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Crisis Management, Customer Communication, Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Investor Relations, Media Relations, Reputation Management, Retail

Authors: Imtiaz, T.; Ji, J.; Mitchell, A. and O'Rourke, J.S. (editor)

In August of 2009, the founder and CEO of the successful natural and organic food company Whole Foods Market published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal espousing a position on the highly contested national health care debate that many perceived to be at odds with the company’s core customers. In the midst of a slow news month, the media seized on the apparent contradiction, and many diverse interests used the ensuing attention to further their own agendas.

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Whole Foods Market: Being Green as a Way of Life
Categories: Environment, Food and Beverage, Investor Relations

Authors: Cluver, M.; Arender, A.; Stacey, M.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

This case explores the tension that can arise when a company tries to balance the competing interests of all stakeholders. Questions arise regarding how the company communicates its willingness to sacrifice short-term profits for a long-time growth strategy. And, in the case of Whole Foods Market, is Corporate Social Responsibility a sustainable business model? 10 pp. Case #07-07. (2007)

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Wyeth Pharmaceuticals: Premarin®, Prempro® and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Categories: Pharmaceutical, Reputation Management

Authors: Huang, K. I. C.; Vanaelstyn, M; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Millions of women worldwide between the ages of 45 and 55 experience the effects of menopause and have sought both treatment and relief in the form of hormone replacement therapy. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, Inc., is the market leader in prescription drug treatment for menopause with Premarin®, a blend of natural estrogens (for women who have had a hysterectomy), and Prempro®, a one-tablet hormone replacement therapy consisting of natural estrogens plus progestin. A stunning set of results from the Women’s Health Initiative, released in the summer of 2002, however, challenges conventional approaches to treatment and poses a significant threat to Wyeth share price and market leadership. (A) Case, 12 pp. (B) Case, 4 pp. Case #03-05. (2003)

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Xerox Corporation and International Accounting Practices
Categories: International, Reputation Management

Authors: McGuire, M.; Shaw, R.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

Xerox faces problems on a number of fronts because of accounting irregularities uncovered by a former assistant treasurer. Following his dismissal, he files a wrongful termination suit, and the story is published in The Wall Street Journal. The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission begins an investigation of Xerox’s financial troubles. Relations with investors, creditors, and employees are strained due to poor financial performance, large debts, and management restructuring. Once a market giant, Xerox must now salvage its reputation to survive. 6 pp. Case #01-07. (2001)

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Xerox Corporation: Developing a New Image
Categories: Brand Management, Customer Relations, Technology

Authors: Cooper, Sharita L.; Curry, Mary G.; Riemersma, Katherine E.; and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)

After an extensive study, Xerox decided to undergo a rebranding. After unveiling a new logo, the challenge is to A) roll out the new logo, B) change perception that Xerox only makes copiers, and C) demonstrate that the rebranding was worth the multimillion dollar investment. 8 pp. Case #08-12. (2008)

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Yahoo!: Online Company Prefers Brick-and-Mortar Model
Categories: Brand Management, Conflict Management, Employee Relations, Reputation Management, Social Media, Technology

Authors: Heatherman, R.H.; and O'Rourke, J.S. (Editor)

Marissa Mayer’s decision to end Yahoo’s work from home program sparks a firestorm of media scrutiny. Yahoo, whose business it is to connect people over the Internet, finds itself at the center of a nationwide debate on workplace flexibility – even though Mayer never intended to make a broad industry statement about working from home. This case examines communication efforts to contain the conflict, and it may spark lively debate over where and when worker productivity and creativity are most likely to occur. (12 pp.) Case #13-07.

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