Oliver Sparling and Bible Books, Inc.

Case Solution

Andrew C Wicks, Jonathan Neeley, Jenny Mead
Darden School of Business ()

What happens when personal values ​​and beliefs conflict with business decisions? Suitable for MBA, undergraduate, and executive students, this case stimulates an exciting discussion on this topic. Oliver Sparling was a very successful senior analyst at AFI International, a leading Chicago consulting firm with an open and tolerant workplace. He was also a gay man who had lived happily with his partner for over 10 years. Sparling gets into trouble, however, when one of the company’s clients, Bible Books, Inc., takes offense at her “inappropriate” bluntness about his sexuality (including the use of his tape). Sparling’s boss calls him into the office and asks him to tone down at Bible Books, Inc. “These are not easy times financially,” the boss said. “And this project is big for us. You’re basically doing the company a favor by holding back, and once the project is done, it will be as if it never happened. Plus, you know you have nothing to hide while at home here in Chicago. That’s only when you’re in Birmingham. ”Sparling has to decide what to do.

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