The dean of a prominent business school has learned that the system that his—and many other—business schools use to help select and notify MBA students has been hacked. The hacker posted instructions for applicants to gain access to schools’ decisions ahead of time. During the 10 hours MyMBA’s system was compromised, several hundred applicants viewed their admission status at multiple top-tier schools. MyMBA now has offered the names of the applicants who took advantage of the hack, and the dean’s phone is ringing off the hook with media queries. How should he handle this breach, and what public statement should he make?
The case is designed to surface and explore students’ instinctive decision-making tendencies around a complicated problem. Thus it is short enough to be read and responded to in class. Students are assigned readings and assignments related to the case after class discussion in which they are encouraged to reflect on their initial responses.
The case is quite flexible and would work in any course that deals with leadership, ethics, difficult conversations, decision-making, organizational behavior, moral disengagement, and related topics. It is appropriate for a range of levels and audiences, including undergraduate, MBA, and executive education.