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The love-smitten director: workplace romance or sexual harassment?

June M.L. Poon (Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia)

Publication date: 26 November 2014


Subject area

Human resource management

Study level/applicability

This case is suitable for use for advanced-level undergraduate students (e.g. in their third or fourth year of study) and graduate-level students enrolled in human resource management, industrial relations, organizational behavior and legal courses (e.g. business law and ethics, employment law). It can be used also in training courses and sexual harassment workshops for employees, particularly those with supervisory responsibilities or who are involved in personnel, training, or industrial relations activities. The case has been class tested with MBA students enrolled in a course on organizational behavior.

Case overview

In March 2014, William Wong, the CEO of Zejaya Corporation faced a dilemma. He had just been told some disturbing news about Larry Pang, his executive director, which may or may not have legal implications for the company in relation to sexual harassment. Two of his managers had confided in him that Linda Tan, one of his managers who had recently resigned, had asked them to tell him about Pang's repeated attempts to court her in the past several months. He was undecided on how he should handle the problem.

Expected learning outcomes

This case was developed for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case provides students the opportunity to learn about the potential ethical and legal issues surrounding workplace romance and sexual harassment at work.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Work on this paper was supported by a research grant from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (Grant ERGS/1/2011/SS/UKM/02/18). An earlier version of this case was presented at the 2014 Western Case writers Association Conference in Napa, USA on 20 March 2014.


Poon, J.M.L. (2014), "The love-smitten director: workplace romance or sexual harassment?", , Vol. 4 No. 7.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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