Is this the right time to come out? Case study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In this fictional case study, Adam Lawson is a promising young associate at Kirkham McDowell Securities, a St. Louis underwriting and financial advisory firm. Recently, Adam helped to bring in an extremely lucrative deal, and soon he and a few other associates will be honored for their efforts at the firm's silver anniversary dinner. George Campbell, vice president in mergers and acquisitions, is caught unprepared when Adam tells him that, after serious reflection, he has decided to bring his partner, Robert Collins, to the banquet. George is one of Adam's biggest supporters at the firm, and he personally has no problem with Adam being gay. But it is one thing for Adam to come out of the closet at the office. It is quite another to do so at a public company-client event. After all, Kirkham McDowell's client roster includes some very conservative companies--one of the country's largest defense contractors, for example. George is concerned with how Adam's openness about his sexual orientation will play with their clients and, as a result, how senior management will react. Adam has not come to George for permission to bring Robert to the dinner. But clearly Adam wants some sort of response. George has never faced sexual diversity issues in the workplace before, and there is no company policy to guide him. Just how negative an effect could Robert have on Adam's career with the firm and the firm's relationship with its clients? Isn't it possible that even the firm's most conservative clients will simply decide that Adam's choice of guest is a personal matter--not a business one?(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williamson, AD; Woods, JD; Conley, JM; O'Barr, WM; Losey, MR; Colbert, C; Wofford, J; McNamara, E

Published Date

  • July 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 18 - passim

PubMed ID

  • 10127038

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0017-8012


  • eng