Here are synopses of two cases. Select one for your analysis. You will need to access HBR in order to read the full case. You will find the JSU Library maintains HBR in the stacks and electronic versions through the ‘Business Source Premier’ data base.
We Googled You
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2007
As the CEO of Hathaway Jones, an American luxury apparel retailer, Fred Westen has spent the past four years struggling to revamp his company's stodgy image and boost flagging sales. He's just announced an ambitious plan to elbow in on China's fast-growing luxury goods market when he gets a call from an old prep school friend. Fred agrees to meet his friend's daughter, Mimi Brewster, to see whether she might be able to head up the company's flagship store in Shanghai. ...view middle of the document...
He knows that nothing is secret anymore--especially among younger people, who brazenly post the most intimate details of their lives for the world to see. If he hires Mimi, and her past conduct becomes widely known, his company's expansion overseas could be set back. But rising stars like Mimi don't walk in the door every day. Should Fred hire her despite her online history?
Blogger in Their Midst
Publication Date: Sep 01, 2003
It was five minutes before show time, and only 15 people had wandered into the conference room to hear Lancaster-Webb CEO Will Somerset introduce the company's latest line of surgical gloves. More important, sales prospect Samuel Taylor, medical director of the Houston Clinic, had failed to show. Will walked out of the ballroom to steady his nerves and noticed a spillover crowd down the hall. He made a "What's up?" gesture to Judy Chen, Lancaster-Webb's communications chief. She came over to him. "It's Glove Girl. You know, the blogger," Judy said, as if this explained anything. "I think she may have stolen your crowd." "Who is she?" Will asked. Glove Girl was a factory worker at Lancaster-Webb, whose always outspoken, often informative postings on her web log had developed quite a following. Will was new to the world of blogging, but he quickly learned about its power in a briefing with his staff. After Glove Girl had raved about Lancaster-Webb's older SteriTouch disposable gloves, orders had surged. More recently, though, Glove Girl had questioned the Houston Clinic's business practices, posting damaging information at her site about its rate of cesarean deliveries--to Sam Taylor's consternation. This fictional case study considers the question of whether a highly credible, but sometimes inaccurate and often indiscreet, online diarist is more of a liability than an asset to her employer. What, if anything, should Will do about Glove Girl?