Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Futuretech and Logoistics: An Affair to Remember *

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Futuretech and Logoistics: An Affair to Remember *

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.

INTRODUCTION

"What a bunch of idiots," commented Fred Black, Logoistics' Senior Vice President of Human Resources. "Don't they realize they could ruin their careers, not just here but in the entire industry," he continued. "And the personal lawsuits ..." responded Robert Stein, Logoistics' Director of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). "But remember Fred, we have two problems here ...", Stein nervously stressed. Thinking aloud, Black stated, "what should we do?"

BACKGROUND ON LOGOISTICS

Logoistics, a high tech manufacturer in the Northeast, was a global leader in wireless security and surveillance equipment. Logoistics produced wireless audio and video surveillance recording devices. Logoistics wireless large-scale products were installed at more than 600,000 customer locations and its miniaturized ones (more commonly known as "bugs") in more than 10 million locations worldwide. Logoistics' global network of business partners provided products and services to both manufacturing and service type organizations, including retailers, transportation, banks, healthcare, and education.

Logoistics Inc. was co-founded in 1970 by Joseph Sergi who was its CEO and President. After obtaining his doctorate in optical physics and with financial support from family and friends, he was able to develop a miniature camera and audio recorder. In 1975, the Company introduced the "LaserTron", a laser security device capable of invisibly detecting intruders. In 1984, Logoistics launched the "LaserBase" which not only identified intruders, but also stored the information in a database for future analysis. In 1992, Logoistics introduced the first commercially available wireless miniature detection devices, making surveillance portability and information storage complete. Since 1992, other products emerged to continue Logistics dominance in the field.

All of Logoistics products required extensive use of highly complex and sophisticated technology supplied from a large pool of vendors. These supply companies were carefully screened for component reliability and quality, adhering to all Logoistics specifications. Some of these components were microchips, printed circuit boards, lenses, and various microelectronics. Logoistics' financial information for 1999 and 2000 is contained in Appendix A.

THE TEST ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

The following incidents happened in the Test Engineering Department of the Printed Circuit Boards Division (PCB) of Logoistics during 1999-2000. …

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