media release

Stanley Cup riot prompts student case study

September 20, 2011

Sam Thiara, (Bellevue Hyatt, 1.425.462.1234, checking messages);
Andrew McKinlay,
Derek Moscato, 778.782.5038;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


Five undergraduate students from Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business are using Vancouver's 2011 Stanley Cup riot as a case study to examine the growing role that social media plays in society and business.

The students -- Fahad Yasin, Christine Prasad, Sasha Vukovic, Moira van den Akker, and Andrew McKinlay -- are competing Sept. 21-22 in the Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) in Bellevue, Wash.

The SFU team is competing against a prestigious international field that includes Oxford University, University of Southern California, INSEAD and Boston College.

The team's chosen ethics case concerns the aftermath of June’s Vancouver riot. It involves a Lower Mainland construction company whose employee made favourable comments about the riot on his Facebook account.

After receiving upwards of 100 emails from an agitated public, the company's owner had to make a difficult decision of how to react to the public relations nightmare - and how to deal with his employee. The student team is examining the situation from the perspective of the employer on the day after the riots.

"What we're really looking at is social media and the role it plays in our society and business," said McKinlay. "This new phenomenon can be a useful tool, but if used incorrectly, can result in huge costs, both tangible and intangible.  How to use social media most effectively is still unknown, but we do know one thing for sure - social media is blurring the line between our public and private lives."

Sam Thiara, manager of student engagement and recruitment at the Beedie School of Business, and alumnus Pam Hernandez will coach the team.

The competition is jointly sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Business at Loyola Marymount University, the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas and the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA). The 2011 competition will be held at the ECOA’s annual business ethics conference in Bellevue.
Teams in the competition research a contemporary issue in business ethics of their own choosing and prepare a 20 to 30 minute presentation, which they present to a panel of judges. Teams explain the legal, financial and ethical dimensions of their problem and propose a solution that must pass on all three counts. Judges question the teams for another 30 minutes, and then give the teams feedback on their performance.


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