Case Detail

Case Summary

Trend Micro: Responding to a Service Failure (B)

Case Number: 5-107-015(B), Year Published: 2007

HBS Number: KEL275

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Authors: Alice Tybout

Key Concepts

Service Recovery, Crisis Management, Corporate Culture


In the (A) case, Trend Micro, an antivirus and Internet content security software provider, accidentally releases a flawed pattern file update that disables users’ computers. The primary impact is on users in Japan where 150,000 customers are affected. As the media press for answers and the stock price plummets, Eva Chen (CEO) and Akihiko Omikawa, president of Trend Micro Japan, must decide how to respond. In the (B) case, the company’s response and subsequent recovery are described. The (A) case allows students to consider a range of crisis management options, including apologizing, sharing information, and compensating harmed customers. Typically, students recommend a less comprehensive and aggressive response than the one Trend Micro actually took (described in the (B) case). The case allows the instructor to illustrate the role of corporate culture in determining a company’s response to a crisis. Trend Micro’s strong customer-orientation and collaborative culture guided its response and led to a full recovery in a short period of time.

Number of Pages: 3

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Marketing, Technology

Geographic: Japan

Industry: Information Technology/Computer Software

Organization Name: Trend Micro

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Medium

Year of Case: 2005