Telescope: Squaring Purpose with Reality

2 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Jenny Mead

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Nicholas Stewart

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

The management of Telescope, a wildly popular online search engine, must deal with a security breach in which information from thousands of users has been compromised. Technically—thanks to its carefully worded terms of use—the company is not financially liable for any ensuing damage. But Telescope prides itself on its commitment to acting responsibly. CEO and Co-Founder Spencer Milo must reconcile what the company stands for and how his organization can square its sense of purpose and faith with the actions that might be necessary to keep Telescope a thriving business.

Excerpt

UVA-E-0368

Rev. Oct. 4, 2013

Telescope: Squaring Purpose with Reality

Spencer Milo, CEO of Telescope, Inc., an online search engine, had just convened a meeting of top management to address a growing crisis. The previous evening, there had been a security breach at the company, and information from thousands of its users had been compromised. The company's site reliability engineers were still trying to determine exactly what information, such as user names and passwords, had been damaged. News of the leak had spread immediately, and the spike in traffic from concerned users had crashed Telescope's website and clogged its phone lines. Milo knew that technically the company was free from liability for any resulting damages—thanks to the company's well-spelled-out terms of use, to which users were required to agree to when activating their accounts:

By submitting, posting, or displaying Content, you give Telescope a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, and distribute any Content that you submit, post, or display on or through the Services.

Telescope

. . .

Keywords: business ethics, ethics, ethical issues in the workplace, spirituality, faith-based, computers, online search engine companies, algorithm, leadership, crisis management, stakeholder management

Suggested Citation

Wicks, Andrew and Mead, Jenny and Stewart, Nicholas, Telescope: Squaring Purpose with Reality. Darden Case No. UVA-E-0368. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974172

Andrew Wicks (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/wicks.htm

Jenny Mead

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Nicholas Stewart

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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