This case set is part of the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) curriculum. To see other material in the GVV curriculum, please visit http://store.darden.virginia.edu/giving-voice-to-values.
Tom Patton is the head of internal communication at a cybersecurity company, RothBabbitt Cyber (RothBabbitt), which was the victim of a significant cyberattack. After informing Patton about the situation, his supervisor, Chief Communication Officer Lucille Givens, tells him to develop a plan to communicate the bad news to employees. Because the cyberattack is being announced to the public in two days, Patton will have only 24 hours to complete his plan. Fearing additional legal exposure, Givens and the company’s general counsel instruct Patton not to share this news with anyone not already informed and to minimize the details that leadership will communicate to employees. Patton disagrees with this approach because he believes it is dishonest and unwise. He also thinks the company should be more transparent with the public. In his view, the right path is to provide full disclosure to employees who will already feel blindsided by the news.
This case set is intended for use at the MBA level in courses on Strategic Communication, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Tech Ethics, and Ethics. While it was written for an MBA curriculum, it can also be used by graduate and advanced undergraduate students in Communication, Journalism, or Computer Science who have experience employing the ideas in Mary Gentile’s Giving Voice to Values (GVV) book and curriculum.