Threat Management in a Corporate Case
The managing director of a medium-sized company received an anonymous threatening letter by regular postal mail. In the letter, the author implied that he had knowledge of wrongdoings in the company. The author (in "we-form") demanded the dismissal of a manager, otherwise the incriminating information would be leaked to the media. It also threatened to commit a high-profile act of violence against the company.
Approach by SmartRiskSolutions
The manager informed the police and then asked SmartRiskSolutions for assistance.
- Our crisis response consultant first started with an assessment of the threatening letter and spoke with the company management to get a clearer picture of the situation. The workers' council was also informed about the incident at an early stage, which supported further action.
- The response consultant concluded that the execution of the described violent act within the company was unrealistic in this context. Discreet security measures were nevertheless implemented for the manager who was targeted by the perpetrators in their letter.
- Even though the allegations were fabricated, a media monitoring was started as a precaution. A press release was prepared in case the media would pick up on the issue or the author of the threatening letter would contact clients.
- Several employees from Eastern Europe were suspected of being behind the threatening letter in broken German. A linguistic forensics expert analysed the text and found that the author(s) were not pretending, but were indeed from Eastern Europe.
- On the basis of handwriting samples, it was later possible to identify at least the direct author and his employment was terminated immediately.
- SmartRiskSolutions called in a qualified psychologist and conflict management consultant. She advised the management on how to improve the working climate that had been disturbed by the bullying against the manager.
Afterwards, there were no further threats and with the help of the conflict management counsellor, the company management was able to positively influence the working atmosphere.