Facebook: A Business Model Under Attack
(8 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
By 2019, Facebook Inc.’s (Facebook’s), popular social media and social networking service (known as Facebook) that launched in 2004, had emerged as one of the world’s largest market capitalizations. Over its 15 years, the company had experienced public relation incidents that led to controversies regarding its social media business model. Most criticism related to the unethical ways the company had handled its users’ personal data. By 2019, the level of mistrust from users had skyrocketed alarmingly. Many analysts questioned the company's willingness to deal with data privacy concerns, with some alleging that its business model was fundamentally unethical by design. Clearly Facebook's chief executive officer and his team needed to step back and reflect on the company’s next steps.
This case is intended for senior-level undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on business ethics, strategic management, or international business. Students will analyze this case through the conceptual lenses of business modelling, ethical decision-making, and crisis management. After working through the case and assignment questions students will be able to
understand the social media industry’s business model;
describe the role that ethics plays in corporate decision-making and corporate image; and
recommend a strategy for recovering the loss of trust from end-users, civil society, and policy-makers.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
International, Large, 2019
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