Case Detail

Case Summary

Disney Crisis Exercise

Case Number: 5-212-252, Year Published: 2012

HBS Number: KEL677

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Authors: Timothy Feddersen; Peter K. Lenardos

Key Concepts

Politics, Communication, Crisis Management, Customer Relationship Management, General Management, Leadership, Organizational Structure, Public Relations, Reputations, Society and Business Relations


The Disney Crisis Exercise is not revealed here because it is entirely an in-class experience; students should not have access to any details prior to the exercise. Complete information is available to instructors in the teaching note.

In this real-time exercise, student teams will advise Disney how to respond to a crisis precipitated by vocal and well-organized influence groups that threaten its brand as part of their advocacy on behalf of social causes. The crisis occurs against a backdrop of dynamic industry and company changes, many of which have important consequences for Disney.

Learning Objectives

After completing this exercise, students should be able to:
• Anticipate and prepare to respond to a reputational crisis
• Assess the vulnerability of a firm to activist action
• Identify likely institutional arenas and assess institutional risk
• Assess the likelihood and type of media coverage of a crisis
• Prepare for and handle press questions
• Confront difficult and time-sensitive values-laden situations

Number of Pages: 4

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Organization Name: Disney

Organization Size: Small