Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Futuretech and Logoistics: An Affair to Remember *(Instructor's Note)

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Futuretech and Logoistics: An Affair to Remember *(Instructor's Note)

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary subject matter of this case concerns office romance and covert employee companies. Secondary issues examined include group cohesiveness, management controls, fraud, and conflict of interest. The case has a difficulty level of three, appropriate for the junior level. The case is designed to be taught in one and a half class hours and is expected to require 3 hours of outside preparation by students.

CASE SYNOPSIS

Logoistics, a high tech manufacturer in the Northeast, is a global leader in wireless security and surveillance equipment. In the Test Engineering Department of the Printed Circuits Board Division, three engineers and one technician started a secret company, called FutureTech. FutureTech member's were using Logoistics' resources and were even performing services for some of Logoistics' competitors. At the same time, an affair was occurring between one member of FutureTech (Harry) and another associate in the Test Engineering Department of Logoistics (Donna). This latter non-member of FutureTech was secretly conducting a second affair with another member of FutureTech (Matt). A violent outburst occurs between Harry and Donna resulting in Harry's arrest. Logoistics' management discovers both the affairs and the covert Company and is considering what to do. The reader is left with the decisions that upper management must make regarding the individuals in the affairs and those within FutureTech.

INSTRUCTORS' NOTES

Intended Instructional Audience and Placement in Course Instruction

This case was based on original field research and written for several different audiences and uses. The case was developed at a company in which one author was employed and the other was a consultant. It was primarily developed for undergraduates enrolled in an Organizational Behavior course, although it could also be used in a Principles of Management course. For the Organizational Behavior course, the case should be introduced after the students have read the chapters on values and group dynamics (in Robbins, 1998; Chapters 4, 7, 8,11, and 12). An extension of the case also could be used at a macro level covering human resources policies and organization culture (Robbins; Chapters 15 and 16). In the Principles course, the case should be used after a discussion on leadership and /or controlling.

Second, the case also has value for students taking a course in Business Ethics or Management and Society. Specifically, the case could be employed in conjunction with a discussion on moral judgment and personal ethics (Carroll and Buchholtz; Chapters 4 and 5).

Lastly, the case can be useful in management training and development programs. In such programs, two topics can benefit from using the case. First, the subject of office romance and how to handle such matters while maintaining team performance can be examined. Second, deviant behavior by stealing company resources for personal gain would likewise be an appropriate use.

Learning Objectives

The overall purpose of this case was to introduce students to the concepts of group dynamics and ethics in a high tech company. Students can obtain a realistic perspective for the temptations imposed upon employees from both internal and external forces. The concepts of character and integrity also should receive ample importance in the students' learning. Students should also realize the importance of management controls through the use of policies, procedures, and training in warding off such an unethical practice of using company resources for personal gain. Specific learning objectives are as follows:

1. To understand the problems office romances and hidden companies can cause for employers.

2. To develop a formal system of management controls, such as policies, procedures, and a viable code of ethics, for preventing such problems from arising in the future. …

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