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Coursera

Reputation Crisis? Facebook meets Cambridge Analytica

Erasmus University Rotterdam via Coursera

Overview

Do you remember when you first created your Facebook account? Do you know what happens to the data and stories you share on Facebook? Are you aware of the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica crisis and its ramifications?

In this course, you will take a deep dive into reputation management by tackling a case study on the crisis, the effects of which are still unravelling for Facebook, the tech industry, and society at large. You will explore the concept of corporate reputation, and touch upon topics such as data privacy implications for the big tech or the importance of leadership and culture, and how Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership might have affected Facebook in particular. In the final project, you will be asked to link theory and practice to provide an analysis of events and make recommendations for Facebook, going forward.

This 6-module course has a study time of about 20 hours. It is recommended for anyone studying communication or management, practitioners interested in crisis and reputation management, or anyone with an interest in case learning that explores real-life business challenges. Each week, you will be introduced to engaging content, such as videos, quizzes, discussion forum, and academic readings, and be encouraged to apply learned knowledge to the case. The final module – the capstone project – is assessed by peer review.

Broaden your knowledge of reputation and crisis management, and hone your critical decision-making skills. Are you ready to look beyond Facebook, and draw lessons from it that can be applied in many other situations? Register now!

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
• Analyse the challenges of reputation management in the digital age
• Examine the role of leadership and corporate culture in reputation management
• Understand the role and relevance of counter-institutional mechanisms, such as whistleblowing, to check corporate power and influence
• Examine the interaction and nexus of politics and business and their ethical and societal consequences
• Understand the wider scope of corporate responsibilities in business organisations
• Analyse how large tech companies manage or reconcile the paradox between commercial and societal interests

Syllabus

  • Introduction to the MOOC and the Case Study approach
    • This week, you will be introduced to the case of Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal: what happened, how the scandal evolved, and how the two companies were implicated. You will also get to know more about the case teaching method, and will learn how to best tackle this type of approach to learning.
      After you have viewed the two videos, we invite you to read the case and complete a short quiz to test your understanding of case facts.
  • Reputation Management
    • This week, we will take you through the basics of corporate reputation – what it is, and why it is so vital for organizations. Moreover, this week features a discussion with two experts about data privacy, and how critical it is for all organizations in the contemporary business climate, and for big tech in particular.
  • Leadership and Culture
    • This week, we will look into culture and leadership, and explore its relevance for corporate reputation. More specifically, we will look at the importance of leadership in today’s dynamic business environment and highlight the key challenges facing corporate leaders. This week we also have an expert to share his knowledge and understanding about the topic.
  • Governance and Whistleblowing
    • This week, our focus turns to the very reason we got to know about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. As the misconducts were brought to the daylight by the whistleblowers, Christopher Wylie and Brittany Kaiser, it highlights the critical yet contested role of whistleblowing in and for organizations and for the whistleblowers themselves.
  • Corporate Responsibilities and Purpose-driven Organisations
    • This week, we will tackle the final driver of reputation that is included in this course: Corporate responsibility (also known by other related terms such as citizenship, corporate social responsibility or business responsibility, etcetera). The video and readings for this week will prompt you to think about the purpose of business in society, as well as the impact of stakeholders on businesses.
  • Capstone Project
    • This final week brings all the previous weeks together by summarizing them and presenting learners with the assignment of the Capstone Project. In addition to the final assignment, we provide learners with additional information that they can use to inform their analysis: (a) Case Epilogue; and (b) additional perspective from the academic experts featured in earlier weeks. Please watch the videos and review this additional material before you start working on the capstone project.

      Upon completion of this Project, learners will have applied the relevant knowledge about reputation management from a number of different angles, and will have analyzed the particular situation of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal critically. This ensures the resources and the knowledge obtained throughout the course is brought together seamlessly and is actively used in a practical setting, ensuring that learners have gone through the materials and are able to apply it.

Taught by

Dr. Vidhi Chaudhri and Tao Yue

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