Managing the Virus Hunters

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Case: Managing the Virus Hunters
Symantec Corp. is a security software company, best known for its Norton antivirus. Founded in 1982 by Gary Hendrix, it is the market leader in security software. Its headquarters are located in Mountain View, California, U.S. and the company operates worldwide. Symantec hires over 18,000 employees and customers all around the globe. Their Response Lab, in Santa Monica, California, is called the “dirtiest network at Symantec” and is the place where the virus-hunters hunt for new computer viruses. Discussion Questions:

1. Keeping Professionals excited about work that is routine and standardized and chaotic is a major challenge for Vincent Weafer. How could he use technical, human, and conceptual skills to maintain an environment that encourages innovation and professionalism among the virus hunters? The job of the virus hunters is, round-the-clock, a hectic and chaotic job. With professionals facing new challenges every day, which just keep on getting tougher and tougher, it could be a cause to demotivate the professionals, and demote innovation. Vincent Weafer is in a position, where he has to encourage his team to remain professional, and work with as much innovation as possible; and for this purpose, he will have to utilize his managerial skills. In a job where all the work rotates around technical elements, it is an essential requirement for Mr. Weafer to be knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the work his team does. He should give priority to the learning and understanding how the world of computer viruses work; how they are made, how they function, and how they are cured and get rid of. Without these technical skills, he will not be able to keep a good watch on the work his team does, and not understand or figure out what quality of the work is being done. This will ultimately become the cause of demotivation among the virus-hunters; when they see the person in charge has no idea of what work his team...
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