A Retrospective Study of Escalation and Problematic Approaches of Corporate Executives: An Analysis of One Fortune 50 Company

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Abstract

Six prominent historical studies have examined inappropriate communication and in-person confrontations (referred to in the threat assessment industry as approaches) directed toward public figures. These studies have suggested that the occurrence of an approach can be associated with certain behaviors. Generally, when nonthreatening communication increased in intensity and frequency, it often signaled an escalation. This escalation was determined to be closely correlated as an indicator of an incipient approach. Other indicator behaviors, such as solicitation for help from inappropriate communicators and/or threats, were also chronicled. Most of the literature is on celebrities, politicians, and judges. Less is known, however, about the experiences of business executives as a targeted group and whether the behaviors of those who communicate and/or approach them are consistent with other public figures. Thus, the protective intelligence team at a Fortune 50 company conducted a retrospective study of 15 persons in its records who approached or attempted to approach an executive to determine if their behavior histories were consistent with those in the cited studies.

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