Management 320 Essay

Topics: New Zealand, Accident Compensation Corporation, Board of directors Pages: 10 (3627 words) Published: June 17, 2013
Management 320: Individual case study Assignment

Natasha Hill

Executive Summary
Recently, ACC has had to radically think about and change its current management practices following the worst privacy breach in New Zealand’s history. ACC was once successful at providing New Zealanders with personal accident and insurance cover, now the organisation is struggling to keep their reputation afloat and striving to gain the trust back from the public. Management issues, which have been important to the case, are corporate culture and privacy management. Recovering from these issues is critical for ACC. Major consequences of this company’s lack in corporate culture and systems and processes have damaged the brand and reliability of the organisation from both the perspective of the employee but also the New Zealand public. Lessons are gradually being learnt from this downfall, from the way in which ACC is conducted through to its reputation given any situation. The once integral personal accident and insurance government organisation now faces an uncertain future.

Current Issues at ACC
On August the 5th, 2011, a massive privacy breach saw the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) accidently send an email of details of at least 7000 claimants to an ACC client who had no business in receiving such details. It was a case of human error and ineffective management practices that contributed to the breach. It has also been reported that systemic weaknesses at ACC and an "almost cavalier" attitude towards claimants and their personal details led to one of New Zealand's biggest privacy breaches (Levy, 2012). Some of the details shared were those of the sensitivity unit including rape and incest victims (Kitchin, 2012). It was not until March 2012 that the public and claimants involved were aware of this breach. The scale of this privacy breach has dramatically tarnished the reputation and credibility of ACC. It is apparent after the privacy breach that the public organisation ACC is slowly losing its integrity and essentially all the aspects that made them great. Not only was ACC’s internal function breaking down, such as managerial leadership, corporate culture and its systems and processes, but so to was the customer satisfaction and belief that personal client information was not dealt with in a professional manner (Kitchin, 2012). Two key management issues arose from this as a consequence; a lack of corporate culture/direction and a lack of privacy management. These became factors that the company needed to heavily change and invest in if they were going to endure the environment. By focusing on privacy management the company will have the greatest chance of combating this large privacy breach as they will be primarily satisfying all the current needs of the business and exploring ways on how to better operate in the future. Achieving a corporate culture was also an important aspect of the current situation and by investing in this ACC would be able to manoeuvre and strategize the best way possible to handle the current situation most efficiently. In agencies such as ACC, whose interaction with people and personal information is critical and central to their function, effective privacy management and a culture of respecting personal information must be a clear priority and given appropriate strategic importance (Fairfax NZ News, 2012). The CEO and board members at the time of the privacy breach had not established a clear corporate culture where private information was addressed seriously enough; instead information at times was dealt carelessly. The management of information at ACC was ‘low level and defensive’; it focused on breaches and complaints rather than emphasising respect for claimants and their details (Basham, 2012). In today’s digital age, this is particularly not good enough, for an organisation not to treat client’s information with total professionalism and care. Analysis of the...

References: ACC. (2012). A brief history of ACC. Retrieved from:
Basham, L. (2012). Privacy breach a warning for others. Retrieved from:
Cumming, S., & Crompton, M. (2012). Independent Review of ACC’s Privacy and Security of Information. Retrieved from:
Fairfax NZ News. (2012). ACC privacy breach timeline. Retrieve from:
Kitchin, P. (2012). Culture of fear within ACC. Retrieved from:
Levy, D. (2012). Damning ACC report ‘heartening’ whistleblower. Retrieved from:
Shuttleworth, K. (2012). New ACC board gets mixed reception. Retrieved from:
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