Ivey Publishing

Impact: A Guide to Business Communication

Northey, M., McKibbin, J.,8/e (Canada, Pearson, 2012)
Prepared By Eunika Sot,
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
Thinking about Communication

Anne Snowdon, Alexander Smith, Andrew Scarffe

Product Number: 9B15M022
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Revision Date: 3/31/2015
Length: 11 pages

This case chronicles three major challenges faced by the Niagara Health System, a seven-hospital network in the Niagara region in the province of Ontario, Canada. An interim chief communications officer has joined the Niagara Health System team on secondment to help with communications issues during a C. difficile outbreak. He soon realizes that the public communication issues were not isolated to this outbreak, but rather continued a trend of poor relationships with local media and the public. The case examines the field of hospital communications in Ontario, including trends and best practices, a history of communications struggles at the Niagara Health System, strategy options and considerations to manage the C. difficile outbreak and strategies to improve trust and reputation. See supplement 9B15M023.

Teaching Note: 8B15M022 (11 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Crisis communication; reputation; stakeholder; health care; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Charles Dhanaraj, Monidipa Mukherjee, Hima Bindu

Product Number: 9B10M064
Publication Date: 2/16/2011
Length: 11 pages

This case addresses the theme of crisis leadership in a multinational enterprise in order to help students internalize the critical challenges of a multinational company in an emerging market. In August 2007, a routine product feedback and defect analysis process identified a defective batch of batteries supplied by a Japanese vendor. India happened to be the recipient of the largest proportion of the defective batch. Nokia’s corporate communications team, based in Finland, in cooperation with the Indian team, responded with a customary global product advisory. Instructions were made available on the Internet for customers to diagnose a defective battery and get a free replacement. Nokia was shocked to see the antagonistic response from the Indian press to the product advisory and the ensuing mayhem that spread quickly through the country. The head of Nokia India and his team had to act swiftly to preserve the company’s hard-earned reputation and market share. Case (A) is set as a midnight strategy session at Nokia’s Indian headquarters to chart out the way forward. A Bomb in Your Pocket? Crisis Leadership at Nokia India (B) is a short version of what actually happened: how Nokia and the team responded to the crisis and and used the situation to create new organizational capabilities.

Teaching Note: 8B10M64 (15 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Multinational; Global Strategy; Crisis Leadership; Communications; Telecommunications; Finland; India; Ivey/ISB
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Henry W. Lane, Mikael Sondergaard, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B08M005
Publication Date: 1/31/2008
Revision Date: 2/26/2010
Length: 12 pages

After a Danish newspaper publishes cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, consumers across the Middle East decide to boycott Danish goods. Arla Foods (Arla) is one of Europe's largest dairy companies. Suddenly, it finds itself caught in the middle of a crisis that appears to be beyond its control. Prior to the boycott, the Middle East was Arla's fastest growing region and represented an important component of the company's long-term growth strategy. As the largest Danish company in the region, it stands to lose up to $550 million in annual revenues. Students are asked to take the role of the communication director for Arla, who, along with other members of the newly formed Crisis and Communication Group, must decide on a course of action to deal with the crisis. The case addresses a variety of topics, including culture and religion, international management, risk management, crisis communications, and managing in a boycott situation. It also creates an opportunity to discuss doing business in the Middle East and management in an Islamic context.

Teaching Note: 8B08M05 (16 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Intercultural Relations; Boycott; Crisis Management; Women in Management; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Henry W. Lane

Product Number: 9B05C019
Publication Date: 8/12/2005
Revision Date: 9/28/2009
Length: 5 pages

After the U.S. sales manager of a large multinational company emails his supervisor regarding the supply of a new product, the message is forwarded to two others. The final recipient, the president of the Franco-Japanese joint venture partner that is manufacturing the new product, is offended by what he perceives as unfair criticism. The supplemental case, Charles Foster Sends an Email (B), product number 9B05C020, includes the sales manager's response to the president, and the ensuing correspondence from the joint venture. Together, the (A) and (B) cases present a setting for discussing three issues; the relationship between a communication situation and the medium chosen to deliver it, the effects on business relationships when an inappropriate communications medium is chosen and the processes needed to communicate effectively in multicultural business relationships.

Teaching Note: 8B05C19 (6 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Interpersonal Relations; International Business; Management Communication; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Strategies in Planning for Writing and Speaking

Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9B15M029
Publication Date: 3/5/2015
Revision Date: 3/5/2015
Length: 6 pages

A North America-based representative of a major European airline has just received a letter from an unhappy customer detailing a very large number of service problems. A quick check had revealed that this premium-paying customer's complaints were all valid. A meeting is planned with the customer. Before this, the airline representative must decide (A) what to say in response, and (B) what, if any, compensation should be offered. Internally, there was a need (C) to resolve what their organization should learn from this experience, both from a subsidiary and parent company perspective, and the implications on their participation in the Crown Alliance. This case raises many important questions regarding service recovery, communications, and non-equity alliances.

Teaching Note: 8B15M029 (12 pages)
Industry: Transportation and Warehousing
Issues: Alliances; Service Quality; Compensation; Communications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Ron Mulholland, Cameron Brooks, Benoit Roy, Katarina Schwabe, Cassidy Stewart

Product Number: 9B15A004
Publication Date: 5/21/2015
Revision Date: 5/21/2015
Length: 9 pages

Stack Brewing, a start-up craft brewery, has a capacity of approximately 5,600 litres per month based on twelve 117-litre batches per week. A government grant based on growth and job creation potential will help boost production capacity by five times, necessitating the development of additional distribution and marketing communication strategies. The owner cannot afford a listing in the Beer Store, the distribution monopoly owned by Labatt Breweries of Canada and Molson-Coors Canada Inc., and his budget for communications is small. While this case provides an opportunity for students to perform quantitative analysis based on revenues and market size, the focus of the case, however, is on an improved distribution and communication plan.

Teaching Note: 8B15A004 (10 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: Communications; segmentation; management of growth
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Bhagyalakshmi Venkatesh, Mehernosh Pithawalla, Suruchi Trivedi

Product Number: 9B15A013
Publication Date: 4/27/2015
Revision Date: 4/27/2015
Length: 11 pages

Godrej Security Solutions (GSS) offered both physical security products (such as safes, lockers, etc.) and electronic security products (such as cameras with analytics, closed circuit television, biometric and access control systems, burglar alarms, etc.). Although homeowners were evidently worried about their security, they were typically passive and reactive — as opposed to proactive — in addressing the problem. GSS had launched two effective advertising campaigns; however, continuing to communicate the importance of security solutions and converting this buyer inertia to action was fundamental to its ongoing success. What should the company’s communication strategy be?

Teaching Note: 8B15A013 (10 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Communication strategy; integrated marketing communication; category development; brand building; India
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Chapter 3:
Writing with Impact

Julia Cutt, Mary Weil

Product Number: 9B14A038
Publication Date: 8/22/2014
Revision Date: 8/11/2014
Length: 5 pages

In April 2014, the co-founder of lifestyle brand dpms., situated in London, Ontario, has a dilemma. Started as an opportunity to showcase her partner’s graphic designs, dpms. first produced silk-screened t-shirts, then branched into jewelry and other locally produced products as the company succeeded. They maintain a booth at a weekly farmers’ and artisans’ market and travel to other festivals around the province but rely mainly on word-of-mouth promotion and their social media presence to advertise their wares. She was excited about an article that was to appear in a local newspaper, but when the article was published, it contained several inaccuracies. She is deciding how she should handle the situation and how the options to confront or not confront the reporter will reflect on her fledgling company.

Teaching Note: 8B14A038 (6 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Media; public relations; communications strategy; Canada
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Jana Seijts, Paul Bigus

Product Number: 9B11M077
Publication Date: 8/29/2011
Revision Date: 12/8/2011
Length: 3 pages

In January 2010, global automotive manufacturer Toyota faced the task of notifying customers of a recall that involved a faulty accelerator pedal on 1.7 million vehicles. Toyota had already come under intense public scrutiny the previous year over a floor mat recall that affected 4.2 million vehicles. In an attempt to reach the masses for the current recall, Toyota created a letter to customers that was featured in major newspapers and on its website. The letter caused outrage as Toyota did not apologize to consumers. Instead, it talked about the company’s 50-year heritage and how Toyota was halting production to focus on fixing the vehicles that were on the road. The president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. needed to identify the problems with the letter before drafting a new one.

Teaching Note: 8B11M077 (8 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Crisis Management; Communications; Customer Relations; Letter Writing; Automotive; Japan; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Jana Seijts, Paul Bigus

Product Number: 9B11M098
Publication Date: 10/17/2011
Revision Date: 3/30/2016
Length: 8 pages

On July 6, 2011, the communication director for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in Toronto, Ontario, was faced with a challenging situation. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) had just released an online article that focused on the 2011 CCS budget and how the CCS allocated millions of dollars each year. The article provided details on how the proportion of donation money that the CCS spent on cancer research each year had decreased from 40 per cent in 2000 to under 22 per cent in 2011. With the CBC report circulating in both television and online media, public speculation into the CCS’s financial management of public donations was starting to grow. It was clear that the CCS communication team would need to respond. A communication strategy would need to be developed for the CCS to follow, along with a press release to be posted the next day on the CCS website.

Teaching Note: 8B11M098 (8 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Non-profit Organization; Communications; Media Relations; Crisis Management; Fundraising; Research; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 4:
Routine and Good-News Correspondence

Chetan Joshi, Hari Bapuji, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B13C044
Publication Date: 12/10/2013
Revision Date: 12/9/2013
Length: 7 pages

In the hotel industry, the reuse of towels is considered a main step toward reducing hotels’ high carbon footprint. Windermere Manor, a private, high-end hotel, has established a routine to encourage its guests to reuse towels; however, the hotel’s towel-replacement rate exceeds its towel-reuse rate. The intended routine for identifying towels for reuse is not being followed, even by the hotels’ own housekeeping staff. The hotel's general manager examines the reasons for the breakdown of routine and considers ways of correcting the situation.

Teaching Note: 8B13C044 (9 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: Organization design; communication to stakeholders; sustainability; research methods; operations; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michael Sider, Daniel Samosh

Product Number: 9B12A002
Publication Date: 4/13/2012
Revision Date: 4/13/2012
Length: 8 pages

The director of new business development and strategy at Redmas Digital, an enterprising start-up, needs to write two sales e-mail templates for Redmas’s newest pet project, YouPostIt! One of the e-mails is for leads that the company has not done business with before (cold leads) and the other is for leads that the company has done business with before (warm leads). The director has to write concise e-mails with high “skim value.” He must distill a large amount of information regarding the company value proposition and company history in an engaging way.

YouPostIt! is an experimental marketing company owned by Redmas Digital. The concept is simple: consumers get a chance to send physical postcards for free. Consumers log in at YouPostIt.com, upload a photo and write a short note, and then choose a border to go around the picture on the postcard (the border is a corporate logo). The business that occupies the border of the postcard assumes the cost of the postcard. Businesses have the opportunity to include coupons on the physical postcard and via an e-mail notification message after sending. How can the director write these sales e-mails to businesses he believes will want to pay for consumers’ postcards?

Teaching Note: 8B12A002 (3 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Sales Pitch; E-mail; Technology; Advertising; Tourism; Entrepreneurship; Canada
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Chapter 5:
Bad News Correspondence

Luisa Mazinter, Nicola Kleyn, Michael Goldman, Jennifer Lindsey-Renton

Product Number: 9B14A070
Publication Date: 2/13/2015
Revision Date: 1/28/2015
Length: 11 pages

First National Bank (FNB), one of South Africa’s “Big Four” banks, has, under the stewardship of its CEO, invested in a strategy of innovation to grow its market presence in South Africa, other emerging-market African countries and India. In line with its strategy to lead digital banking in South Africa, FNB has invested in building a social media strategy to enable the brand to strengthen its relationships with customers, through building customer knowledge and stickiness and humanizing its brand.

In 2012, FNB’s head of digital marketing and media sees a tweet from Standard Bank stating that it has instructed its attorneys to lodge a complaint against what it alleges to be FNB’s misleading advertising. She wonders whether Standard Bank’s use of Twitter to communicate this competitive action is related to FNB’s extensive and well-publicized use of the micro-blogging service. She knows that the debate on Twitter will be a significant indicator of whether her social media strategy has been successful. How can FNB continue to differentiate itself and alleviate the pressure on non-interest revenues?

Banking on Social Media (B), 9B14A071, is a supplement to this case.

Teaching Note: 8B14A070 (12 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Social media; brand; engagement; banking; South Africa
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Jana Seijts, Paul Bigus

Product Number: 9B13M047
Publication Date: 4/9/2013
Revision Date: 4/9/2013
Length: 11 pages

The public editor of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national newspaper, faces a significant ethical situation. An advocate of media standards has released a blog post outlining allegations of plagiarism against a prominent newspaper columnist. Following the release of the blog post, numerous members of the public and the journalism community began commenting on the situation. The public editor is responsible for upholding journalistic ethics and for investigating and responding to public concerns. She needs to respond to the allegations of plagiarism and ensure the public that the national newspaper upholds strong ethical standards.

Teaching Note: 8B13M047 (7 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Communications; Plagiarism; Media, Accountability; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Jana Seijts, Paul Bigus

Product Number: 9B12C020
Publication Date: 4/24/2012
Revision Date: 5/3/2012
Length: 14 pages

On June 30, 2011, Research in Motion (RIM) co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis unexpectedly found themselves facing serious public scrutiny, not from competitors, market analysts, or consumers, but from one of their own senior executives. In an attempt to have their voice heard, an anonymous senior-level RIM employee addressed an open letter to both Balsillie and Lazaridis; however, the letter was sent to the online technology news provider Boy Genius Report (BGR). In a year during which RIM already faced pressures from a dwindling market share, failed product attempts, and a sinking stock price, Balsillie and Lazaridis needed to figure out how to respond to the claims of the letter publicly, but more importantly how to communicate to RIM employees internally.

Teaching Note: 8B12C020 (8 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Communications; Leadership; Corporate Culture; Employee Attitude; Organizational Behaviour; Uncertainty; Smartphones; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 6:
Persuasive Writing

Mary Weil, Chitra P. Reddin

Product Number: 9B15C002
Publication Date: 2/3/2015
Revision Date: 1/20/2017
Length: 13 pages

AWARD WINNING CASE – This case won the Responsible Leadership category at the 2015 EFMD Case Writing Competition. The president and CEO of Providence Healthcare needs to devise a plan to sustain positive change at the health care company. In just four years, she has led the organization through massive change and turnaround, from potential crisis to financial health and innovation. She now needs to consider how to integrate and embed the values that helped her drive change and foster collaboration, both at Providence and with its key partners. What more can she do to sustain positive change at Providence Healthcare through her values-based leadership and to win the support of key stakeholders well into the future? Much of the success thus far has depended on her values and character as a leader.

Teaching Note: 8B15C002 (8 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Change management; leadership character; values; communications; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Zahra Ladha Jiwani

Product Number: 9B14A050
Publication Date: 8/15/2014
Revision Date: 12/22/2014
Length: 3 pages

In November 2013, GoldieBlox was accused of copyright infringement. It used the Beastie Boys song “Girls” in one of its advertisements promoting new toys for girls without permission. The company’s reaction to file a lawsuit against the band was not well received and perhaps a little hasty.

In the wake of the crisis, the chief executive officer of GoldieBlox Toy Company and her team had some decisions to make regarding how to handle the lawsuit they filed against the Beastie Boys that then backfired. The hostile environment was not conducive to the image of the company and the negative media was of concern to GoldieBox and its employees.

Teaching Note: 8B14A050 (6 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Communications; conflict; copyright; United States
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Shailja Agarwal

Product Number: 9B14M081
Publication Date: 7/31/2014
Revision Date: 7/31/2014
Length: 9 pages

A managing editor is attempting to navigate a communications and leadership disaster after receiving an email from one of her colleagues at Tehelka Magazine (Tehelka), alleging that the founder/proprietor/editor-in-chief of the magazine had sexually assaulted her. Although the managing editor felt that she handled the situation appropriately via her communications with the victim, the perpetrator and other Tehelka staff, the crisis worsened when those communications were leaked to the media and the general public. In addition, the victim resigned, asserting that the managing editor, a renowned crusader of women’s rights, had been dismissive and overly tolerant regarding the complaint. When both the victim’s resignation email and the editor’s acceptance of that email were also leaked to the media, it generated a fresh round of controversy and debate on the manner in which Tehelka had handled the entire issue and forced the managing editor to announce her decision to step down from her position with Tehelka as well. As she prepared to face the press regarding her resignation, the managing editor could not help but wonder what she could have done differently in handling this difficult situation.

Teaching Note: 8B14M081 (10 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Crisis communication; corporate communication; media; stakeholders; India
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Mary Weil, Julia Cutt

Product Number: 9B14A036
Publication Date: 7/30/2014
Revision Date: 9/13/2016
Length: 8 pages

On March 27, 2014, the new chief executive officer of Lululemon Athletica Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has just announced the previous year’s flat fourth quarter results. These unimpressive financial figures have amplified the need to address the company’s damaged reputation. In 2013, the apparel brand faced a product recall and a public relations backlash after a controversial interview and botched apology by its founder, as well as the resignation of several key executive employees. A communications strategy must be devised to repair the company’s reputation and regain the trust of both investors and customers.

Teaching Note: 8B14A036 (7 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Reputation management; stakeholder; public relations; communication strategy; Canada; United States
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Chapter 7:
Informal Reports

Mary Weil, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B12C013
Publication Date: 2/29/2012
Revision Date: 2/29/2012
Length: 9 pages

Yara Branco has just joined Tarbes S.A., one of Brazil’s best-known technology firms, as its new CEO. She sees a crisis on the horizon and needs to find a way to communicate that change is necessary at the company. She must overcome several issues, including the fact that she is an outsider and that many insiders will not support the change effort. Branco needs to develop an appropriate communications strategy to begin her term as CEO. This requires determining Tarbes’s predicament, devising a list of stakeholders and barriers to change, and identifying the stakeholders’ interests and what might be necessary to change their positions.

Teaching Note: 8B12C013 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Change Management; Culture; Communications; Electronics; Brazil; Latin America
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Dante Pirouz, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B12A005
Publication Date: 2/21/2012
Revision Date: 2/17/2012
Length: 12 pages

In May 2010, the “chief pain officer” of SalesBrain, a neuroscience-based marketing research and coaching company located in California, has been approached for advice by the marketing head of Digital Technology International (DTI), a Utah-based provider of technology solutions for the global publishing industry. DTI has been struggling with communicating the core value proposition of its offerings to customers, including leading newspaper publishers. Its frontline people are delivering messages that are technical, jargon-filled, and complex. Publisher-customers are unable to understand quickly how the technology solutions being offered by DTI can help them become competitive. The sales messages are also not consistent.

SalesBrain is suggesting a three-step process wherein it will identify the “pain points” being experienced by the publisher-customers of DTI; create a compelling set of claims that DTI could offer about its technology products; and guide its frontline salespersons towards developing appropriate sales scripts that they could use with prospective clients. SalesBrain is deploying the cutting-edge tools of neuroscience marketing in each of the three processes. The chief pain officer must choose between Layered Voice Analysis and Facial Action Coding System as a medium to serve the needs of DTI.

Teaching Note: 8B12A005 (4 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: Business to Business Marketing; Marketing Research; Sales Management; Newspapers; Consumer Neuroscience; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michael Sider, Jenni Denniston

Product Number: 9B04C028
Publication Date: 9/20/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 10 pages

The director of communications at a large university has reviewed results of a communication survey completed by employees. He is pleased that the overall results were favourable, but is concerned with comments in a recent employee newsletter that provided negative feedback of the survey. It is the director's responsibility to take the results of the research and develop a formal communications plan, but as he compares the study findings to the article is confused as to how he should tackle the problem.

Teaching Note: 8B04C28 (3 pages)
Industry: Educational Services
Issues: Human Resources Management; Human Behaviour; Communications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 8:
Formal Reports and Proposals

Atanu Adhikari, Arna Das

Product Number: 9B14A047
Publication Date: 1/28/2015
Revision Date: 12/12/2014
Length: 13 pages

The director of Edible Agro Products Limited (EAPL) was reviewing the production figures for Gujarat Til-2, a variety of white sesame that EAPL had introduced to West Bengal in 2008. He had hoped to bring about a revolution in sesame production with this superior new variety and to create higher value for West Bengal farmers and for EAPL. However, his plan had yet to achieve the outcomes he had anticipated. The year 2010 was the third consecutive year in which EAPL had received less than 20 per cent of the expected quantity of harvested produce. Should he quit sesame production and focus only on the oil trading business? Should EAPL change its communications policy/strategy for promoting the value of white sesame to farmers who are not formally educated? How should he address the growing concerns of the farmers? How can he prevent malpractice among vendors and farmers, such as selling the harvested produce to other traders at a higher price? Should he change the pricing policy?

Teaching Note: 8B14A047 (11 pages)
Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Issues: Technology adoption; economic value; agriculture; emerging economy; India
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Vesela Veleva

Product Number: 9B11M004
Publication Date: 3/23/2011
Length: 19 pages

This case focuses on Solutions Care Association (SCA) — a nonprofit health care organization established in 2000 that quickly became a leader in environmental stewardship and social responsibility. With headquarters in Nevada, United States, the company had a strong mission and socially responsible culture, which helped attract talent and launch social and environmental initiatives. Despite its numerous achievements and awards, however, there was limited awareness internally and externally about these initiatives and their impact on business and society. In addition, the company did not have a comprehensive way to track and report these achievements. As an emerging leader of the integrated health care plan in the United States, Solutions Care Association had both the responsibility and the opportunity to be a model of what American health care should look like. With growing concerns over and scrutiny of the health care industry, there was no better time for Solutions Care Association to continue to strengthen its leadership position in addressing key social and environmental problems, such as providing affordable health care, reducing climate change impacts, phasing out toxic chemicals and creating a safe, culturally sensitive, and supportive environment for employees, patients, and suppliers.

Teaching Note: 8B11M004 (8 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Strategy Development; Communications; Health Care; Corporate Social Responsibility; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Hari Bapuji, Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9B08M010
Publication Date: 2/21/2008
Revision Date: 5/18/2017
Length: 14 pages

On July 30, 2007 the senior executive team of Mattel under the leadership of Bob Eckert, chief executive officer, received reports that the surface paint on the Sarge Cars, made in China, contained lead in excess of U.S. federal regulations. It was certainly not good news for Mattel, which was about to recall 967,000 other Chinese-made children's character toys because of excess lead in the paint. Not surprisingly, the decision ahead was not only about whether to recall the Sarge Cars and other toys that might be unsafe, but also how to deal with the recall situation. The (A) case details the events leading up to the recall and highlights the difficulties a multinational enterprise faces in managing global operations. Use with Ivey case 9B08M011, Mattel and the Toy Recalls (B).

Teaching Note: 8B08M10 (28 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Supply Chain Management; Offshoring; Outsourcing; Product Quality; Product Recall; Multinational Enterprise Stakeholders; the United States and China
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
Presentations and Meetings

Michael Sider, Mary Weil, Brian Dunphy

Product Number: 9B14M040
Publication Date: 4/16/2014
Revision Date: 4/15/2014
Length: 8 pages

In July 2013, the chairman of Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway is facing a public outcry as well as possible bankruptcy and the revocation of his operating licence. When one of the company’s trains derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, several of its cars carrying crude oil exploded. The explosions and subsequent fires destroyed the downtown core and killed several dozen people. The oil spill also contaminated the local lake and river, leading to an environmental disaster for the community. The company was slow in issuing a press release, which pointed the finger of blame on the train’s engineer and the fire department that had responded to an earlier engine fire on the train. Someone had powered down the train and that had released the brakes. Since the train was parked on an incline, without brakes it had rolled into town, gathering speed until it hit a crossroads and derailed. Five days after the derailment, the chairman finally visited the town where he spoke off the cuff and without French translation, further angering the grieving citizens. Now he faces the kind of public and professional censure that might end his career.

Teaching Note: 8B14M040 (4 pages)
Industry: Transportation and Warehousing
Issues: Communications; crisis communication; issues management; media relations; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Gerard Seijts, William T. Watson

Product Number: 9B12C039
Publication Date: 10/24/2012
Revision Date: 10/11/2013
Length: 10 pages

In 2010, approximately 20,000 barrels of oil being shipped south by Enbridge spilled into Michigan’s Talmadge Creek, contaminating wetlands around Battle Creek and the nearby county seat of Marshall, including a stretch of the Kalamazoo River. The timing of the incident could not have been worse. The pipeline had been carrying controversial tar sands oil at a time when Enbridge and its competitors were seeking to greatly expand their pipeline networks across North America. Moreover, the pipeline failure came on the heels of BP's much larger oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, amid a period of heightened public intolerance toward oil spills. As a result, Enbridge faced massive public relations (PR) and regulatory challenges. Enbridge's reputation was clearly at risk since the company had promoted itself as a true believer in corporate social responsibility, which had raised the stakes when dealing with the industrial accident. The CEO of Enbridge faced an almost impossible challenge. He needed to prove to American citizens — and to industry regulators, market watchers, company shareholders and Enbridge employees — that his company deserved to be judged on its own merits, not as a Canadian version of BP. To meet this challenge, he needed to demonstrate that Enbridge was run by people who not only wanted to make amends but could be trusted to do so.

Teaching Note: 8B12C039 (9 pages)
Industry: Utilities
Issues: Leadership; Crisis; Communication; Leadership Character; United States
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Jana Seijts, Paul Bigus

Product Number: 9B10M102
Publication Date: 4/8/2011
Revision Date: 5/3/2011
Length: 8 pages

Over the past four years the chief administrative officer (CAO) had worked hard to bring change to the city of Havenstock, Canada. Prior to his arrival at Havenstock in 2004, City Hall was awash in media scandal, secrecy, and suspicion. Moreover, the work environment at City Hall was plagued with closed-channel communication and a lack of trust between employees and management. Staff morale was low and the relationship with the press was tense. The CAO had had a clear vision of what he wanted to bring to the city. At the centre of his vision was an embracing of collective accountability. He had worked hard to instill a sense of purpose, priorities, and direction. Slowly, the CAO had begun to rebuild the corporate culture into a supportive workplace.

Despite his best intentions, the improvements made over the past few years were threatened, following a Council Oversight Committee meeting. During the meeting, city employee absenteeism numbers had been questioned. Unsatisfied with the explanation of what management was doing to address the problem, a city councillor leaked the absenteeism numbers to the media. After working so hard to improve both internal and external perceptions of City Hall, the CAO now found himself and his team on the headlines of the local newspapers. In order to save his reputation, the CAO needed to prepare a presentation to go before city council and address the employee absenteeism issue head on. He knew that what he said and how he said it would be a defining moment in his career.

Teaching Note: 8B10M102 (4 pages)
Industry: Public Administration
Issues: Crisis Management; Communications; Public Relations; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Joerg Dietz, Chetan Joshi

Product Number: 9B07C004
Publication Date: 1/30/2007
Revision Date: 3/25/2008
Length: 15 pages

This case describes the measurement and evaluation of high performance principles of people management in a retail bank by a consulting company. This case serves as a platform for students to deliberate on what is involved in an organization's quest to achieve competitive success through its workforce. A unique strength of the case is that students are asked to quantitatively test their arguments with data provided in an Excel spreadsheet that accompanies the case (Ivey product #7B07C004). The case is intended as an integrated case across organizational behavior, management science and communication. The organizational behavior teaching approach is included to demonstrate that effective people management is associated with competitive advantages. For management science, the case serves to practice correlation and regression analyses. For communication, the case allows students to prepare a presentation that effectively communicates the complex and comprehensive results of their analyses.

Teaching Note: 8B07C04 (18 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Communications; Regression Analysis; Human Resources Management; Consulting
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 10:
Job Search

Alison Konrad, Nundini Krishnan

Product Number: 9B11C045
Publication Date: 12/15/2011
Length: 4 pages

Anjali Kumar receives her first job offer after graduation at an organization she admires, with interesting work and good benefits, but the salary is low. Also, she is unsure whether the position offers any advancement opportunities. At the end of the (A) case, Anjali has to decide whether to accept the offer, decline it, or try to negotiate a better offer, even though she has received no other offers at the time.

Teaching Note: 8B11C045 (6 pages)
Industry: Educational Services
Issues: Women in Management; Human Resources Management; Negotiations; Job Offer; Hiring; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Meredith Bacal

Product Number: 9B11D007
Publication Date: 6/30/2011
Length: 14 pages

Sam Silver, a law student, was near the end of a second visit to Mason & Klump LLP, a Bay Street law firm in Toronto, Canada. He was meeting Chuck Clayton, director of professional development. Silver was mentally exhausted from the interview process that had consumed much of his past three months, during which he had been seeking a position as a summer student at Bay Street firms. He had narrowed his selection to two leading national firms, Andrews, Mantle & Smithers LLP and Mason & Klump. On November 1 and 2, Silver had had interviews at six Bay Street firms, including his top two choices. Although he believed his first choice, Andrews, Mantle & Smithers, would offer him a position on November 3, when formal offers would be made, he was not certain that the firm would do so. As the meeting drew to a close, Clayton left the room for a minute, giving Silver a short time to decide if he should ask any more questions and to begin to reflect on the interview process.

Teaching Note: 8B11D007 (10 pages)
Issues: Employee Selection; Professional Firms; Job Choice; Ethics; Law
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Jennifer Xu, Nicole Maisonville

Product Number: 9B10D007
Publication Date: 9/24/2010
Length: 17 pages

In February 2009,the human resources associate at the Toronto office of advertising agency Ambrose & Bisaro (A&B) had just finished interviewing a candidate for one of eight summer internship positions. Due to the economic downturn, A&B anticipated a larger number of qualified applicants for these positions, especially notable in 2009 as many of their direct competitors had scaled back their internship programs. Throughout the interview, the candidate impressed the human resources associate with their demeanor, enthusiasm and extra-curricular activities; however, the candidate had no previous marketing experience. At the end of the interview the candidate revealed she had secured interviews at five competing advertising agencies and had three firm offers. Somewhat taken aback, the human resources associate realized she had to make a very quick decision: extend an offer to the candidate, or wait and interview the remaining applicants and risk losing this one?

Teaching Note: 8B10D007 (7 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Employee Selection; Hiring; Professional Firms; Management of Professionals
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA