close solutoin list

The toy industry is highly competitive and can be as cutthroat as any pirate adventure. Yo-ho-ho! Snooping, corporate espionage, and efforts to keep emerging ideas under wraps are all part of life in the toy industry. A certain level of managerial paranoia is expected. But when the private e-mail of an industry CEO was discovered and began making the rounds, it unleashed a firestorm and brought disastrous results on company morale, unwanted media attention, and public embarrassment. Howard Tannenbaum is the longtime CEO of a major toy company. Over the past few years, his company worked to develop a new product line, called Brainchild, that all concerned believed would be a blockbuster. The passion of Tannenbaum, this new line of toys was so top secret that portions of the line were created and produced piecemeal among the various divisions. In the beginning, it was all very hush-hush. But as the line moved closer to completion, With the expected Christmas season launch date more than a year away, press and industry rumors gained momentum. At 8:00 a.m. on a June morning, Barry Paine, Tannenbaum's attorney and longtime friend and confidante, arrived at his Office, opened his e-mail, and saw a flagged message from Howard: Barry: We have a disaster in the making here. Looks like I'm going to have to come down hard on all of my managers. Somebody will go—perhaps several people— before this situation is over. They're obviously getting EXTREMELY slack on design security. I won't say now how I discovered the breach or what was stolen with regard to the new product designs, but suffice it to say that at this point, EVERYONE is suspect. Needless to say, I am FURIOUS! When I find out Who it is—and it could be anyone—believe me, heads will roll!!! I'll call you later this morning. WE NEED TO MEET. Thanks for letting me vent. Now, I can compose the REAL e-mail to managers. Howard Later that same morning, managers throughout the company received the following: TO ALL MANAGERS: We have a situation here in which product design information on the new line, information that should have been under the HIGHEST SECURITY, has been breached. Let me make it clear that each of you is responsible for investigating your division and finding the source of the leak. Please be thorough in your investigation and be TOTALLY HONEST with me in presenting your findings in this matter. Someone will pay for this. THIS IS TOP PRIORITY! Howard Tannenbaum, CEO Many recipients of the e-mail felt personally attacked and threatened. Before day's end, e-mail, phone calls, and rumors were flying. By the following day, Tannenbaum felt pressured into trying to defuse the anger by issuing a second, apologetic e-mail. However, events were already spiraling out of hand, as somehow the contents of the original e-mail to Barry Paine began circulating throughout management and beyond—to employees and at least one member of the press, who dubbed the debacle "Toy-Gate." The perception of a CEO and a company out of control increased, and the stock price took a minor hit. "The first e-mail left me stunned," one longtime manager said. "But when I saw the e-mail to Paine about how Howard really felt and the level of contempt he showed for all of us, making us all appear incompetent and dishonest—that, for me, is the last straw. Even if I stay, it has destroyed my relationship with Howard forever." Now Tannenbaum sat, head in hands, in Paine's office. "Barry, I was simply trying to find the truth." Paine walked over to a bookshelf and pulled an old, well-used volume. "Do you remember your Sophocles from school, Howard? In one Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King and his persistent search for truth in the murder of his predecessor, King Laius, followed a path that abandoned reason and led to his own undoing. My friend, in your case, it's not the search for truth, but the path you take—what you say, how you say it, and to whom you say it—that is important." "OK—what do you think I should do next?" l. What is the underlying communication mistake in this case? Why do you think Howard Tannenbaum sent those e-mails?

BuyFind

Management, Loose-Leaf Version

13th Edition
Richard L. Daft
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
ISBN: 9781305969308
BuyFind

Management, Loose-Leaf Version

13th Edition
Richard L. Daft
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
ISBN: 9781305969308

Solutions

Chapter
Section
Chapter 17, Problem 1CFCA
Textbook Problem
1055 views

The toy industry is highly competitive and can be as cutthroat as any pirate adventure. Yo-ho-ho! Snooping, corporate espionage, and efforts to keep emerging ideas under wraps are all part of life in the toy industry. A certain level of managerial paranoia is expected. But when the private e-mail of an industry CEO was discovered and began making the rounds, it unleashed a firestorm and brought disastrous results on company morale, unwanted media attention, and public embarrassment.

Howard Tannenbaum is the longtime CEO of a major toy company. Over the past few years, his company worked to develop a new product line, called Brainchild, that all concerned believed would be a blockbuster. The passion of Tannenbaum, this new line of toys was so top secret that portions of the line were created and produced piecemeal among the various divisions. In the beginning, it was all very hush-hush. But as the line moved closer to completion, With the expected Christmas season launch date more than a year away, press and industry rumors gained momentum.

At 8:00 a.m. on a June morning, Barry Paine, Tannenbaum's attorney and longtime friend and confidante, arrived at his Office, opened his e-mail, and saw a flagged message from Howard:

Barry:

We have a disaster in the making here. Looks like I'm going to have to come down hard on all of my managers. Somebody will go—perhaps several people— before this situation is over. They're obviously getting EXTREMELY slack on design security. I won't say now how I discovered the breach or what was stolen with regard to the new product designs, but suffice it to say that at this point, EVERYONE is suspect. Needless to say, I am FURIOUS! When I find out Who it is—and it could be anyone—believe me, heads will roll!!! I'll call you later this morning. WE NEED TO MEET. Thanks for letting me vent. Now, I can compose the REAL e-mail to managers.

Howard

Later that same morning, managers throughout the company received the following:

TO ALL MANAGERS: We have a situation here in which product design information on the new line, information that should have been under the HIGHEST SECURITY, has been breached. Let me make it clear that each of you is responsible for investigating your division and finding the source of the leak. Please be thorough in your investigation and be TOTALLY HONEST with me in presenting your findings in this matter. Someone will pay for this. THIS IS TOP PRIORITY!

Howard Tannenbaum, CEO

Many recipients of the e-mail felt personally attacked and threatened. Before day's end, e-mail, phone calls, and rumors were flying. By the following day, Tannenbaum felt pressured into trying to defuse the anger by issuing a second, apologetic e-mail. However, events were already spiraling out of hand, as somehow the contents of the original e-mail to Barry Paine began circulating throughout management and beyond—to employees and at least one member of the press, who dubbed the debacle "Toy-Gate." The perception of a CEO and a company out of control increased, and the stock price took a minor hit.

"The first e-mail left me stunned," one longtime manager said. "But when I saw the e-mail to Paine about how Howard really felt and the level of contempt he showed for all of us, making us all appear incompetent and dishonest—that, for me, is the last straw. Even if I stay, it has destroyed my relationship with Howard forever." Now Tannenbaum sat, head in hands, in Paine's office. "Barry, I was simply trying to find the truth."

Paine walked over to a bookshelf and pulled an old, well-used volume. "Do you remember your Sophocles from school, Howard? In one Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King and his persistent search for truth in the murder of his predecessor, King Laius, followed a path that abandoned reason and led to his own undoing. My friend, in your case, it's not the search for truth, but the path you take—what you say, how you say it, and to whom you say it—that is important." "OK—what do you think I should do next?"

l. What is the underlying communication mistake in this case? Why do you think Howard Tannenbaum sent those e-mails?

Expert Solution
Summary Introduction

Case summary:

Howard Tannebaum sent strict electronic mails to all the managers in order to find out the reason behind the breach of information of their company's new product idea. This hurt the feelings of innocent employees that the company does not believe them.

Characters in the case:

The characters in the case include Howard Tannebaum, the CEO of the company, the employees, and the friend of CEO, Barry.

Adequate information:

In addition to the mail sent by Howard to the managers, the copy of an electronic mail sent by him to his friend was circulating in the office creating chaos. This mail showed the anger of Howard towards his employees for breaching the product idea.

To determine:

The communication mistakes and the reason for Howard Tannebaum to send those electronic mails.

Explanation of Solution

Given information:

Strict electronic mail sent by Howard shows that he was impolite in sending the mail without thinking of the innocent employees. The communication mistake has taken place.

According to the managers, communication is one of the toughest tasks and it is one of the critical skills. However, they also understand that it is one of the greatest responsibilities to communicate the information from the top management to the employees.

The underlying communication mistake is that Howard Tannenbaum was not polite in addressing his managers. He should not have hurt them in his communication...

Want to see this answer and more?

Bartleby provides explanations to thousands of textbook problems written by our experts, many with advanced degrees!

See solution

Chapter 17 Solutions

Management, Loose-Leaf Version
Show all chapter solutions
Ch. 17 - If you were asked to design a training program to...Ch. 17 - Suppose that you manage an employee who is...Ch. 17 - Describe specific ways that you might incorporate...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - The following questions are about your feelings...Ch. 17 - When Werner and Thompson, a Los Angeles business...Ch. 17 - When Werner and Thompson, a Los Angeles business...Ch. 17 - When Werner and Thompson, a Los Angeles business...Ch. 17 - The toy industry is highly competitive and can be...Ch. 17 - The toy industry is highly competitive and can be...Ch. 17 - The toy industry is highly competitive and can be...

Additional Business Textbook Solutions

Find more solutions based on key concepts
Show solutions
Identify and describe the stages of team development.

Foundations of Business (MindTap Course List)

Why do economists sometimes offer conflicting advice to policymakers?

Principles of Microeconomics (MindTap Course List)

CAPM AND REQUIRED RETURN Bradford Manufacturing Company has a beta of 1.45, while Farley Industries has a beta ...

Fundamentals of Financial Management, Concise Edition (with Thomson ONE - Business School Edition, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card) (MindTap Course List)