Free Essay

Hy Dairies

In: Business and Management

Submitted By karenglen21
Words 739
Pages 3
Karen Herridge
Student ID# 0186147

1. Apply your knowledge of stereotyping and social identity theory to explain what went wrong here.

Social Identity theory states that people define themselves by the groups to which they belong or have an emotional attachment. Rochelle easily identifies herself as a minority in the work place—a non-white female. In the case study, she says that she is one of the few non-white women in what is usually a male-dominated field: marketing management. Rochelle’s previous employer had made it clear that women could not handle the pressure in marketing management and for the most part place women in technical support positions after a brief term in lower band management. Because of this experience, Rochelle assumes that Syd Gilman and Hy Dairies are mirroring her last employer’s opinions and actions when in fact; Mr Gilman is trying to reward Rochelle’s hard work. Rochelle is stereotyping because she has organized Hy Dairies into a preconceived category that has been stored in her memory of her previous employer. This non-conscious, automatic process of thinking has led her to believe that she is being sidelined by the company.

2. What other perceptual error is apparent in this case study?

Perceptual errors are short cuts in making judgements of others. I think the other perceptual error in this case study is the false-consensus effect or “similar to me effect”. This occurs when people overestimate the extent to which others have similar beliefs or behaviours to our own. This perceptual error led Syd Gilman to believe that the recently vacated position of market research coordinator would be the best reward for Rochelle’s hard work and the company’s improved sales figures. He believed the position would broaden Rochelle’s experience and enhance her career at Hy Dairies, just as it had done his own several years before. Gilman assumed that Rochelle’s bewildered reaction was a positive response to his offer of a new opportunity. When he was offered the same position of market research coordinator, he had been delighted about his temporary transfer as he knew it would round out his marketing experience. In this case, it was wrong of Syd Gilman to assume Rochelle would be happy with the same career path as he was encouraged to follow in previous years.

3. What can organizations do to minimize misperceptions in these types of situations?

Perceptual errors can’t be bypassed but they can be minimized. A big step in minimizing perceptual biases is by being aware that they exist. By becoming more aware of our beliefs, values and attitudes, we gain a better understanding of biases in our own decisions and behaviour. We become more open-minded and non-judgemental toward others.

One way Hy Dairies can help employees reduce perceptual errors is through increased self-awareness. This can be done by applying the Johari Window. The Johari Window is a communication model that helps improve understanding between individuals by dividing information into four “windows”—open, blind, hidden and unknown. The open area is information about yourself that you and others already know. The blind area is information known to others but not to you. The hidden area contains information that is only known to you and the unknown area is information about your values, beliefs and experiences that neither you nor others are aware of. By sharing or disclosing more of your hidden area information to others, trust is built among you and your colleagues. This trust and knowledge can help employees work better as a team.

A more indirect way of increasing self awareness is through meaningful interaction. Meaningful interaction between staff and supervisors can break down stereotypes and reduce prejudice because knowledge is gained about individuals and their situation. It can improve empathy and thereby increase sensitivity and awareness as to why a person reacts or behaves the way they do. If Gilman and Beauport had a better, closer relationship and made the effort to get to know each other better, perhaps he could have better explained to his reasoning behind the offer of market Rochelle, then, may not have assumed the company was involved in possible sexist and racist behaviour. The organization could offer its employees more opportunities for meaningful reaction. The contact hypothesis states that the more individuals interact with each other the less chance there is of stereotyping or other perceptual errors.…...

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