Rochelle Beauport an assistant brand manager for HY Dairies and is one of the few women of color in brand marketing management. She played a prominent role in increasing the organization’s sales volume, and market share by improving sagging sales of their popular gourmet ice cream. This achievement did not go by un-noticed; Rochelle’s boss, Syd Gilman the vice president of marketing promptly offered Rochelle a promotion to a lateral position of market research coordinator. Syd justified assigning the role of market research coordinator to Rochelle because it gives her broader experience, and access to high profile work, which would enhance her career. Syd took the same path to the office of vice president of marketing; Rochelle thought this promotion was a demotion in “job status” and not a route to top management, and an implied assumption of racial inequality. Syd obviously overestimated Rochelle’s belief of moving to market research coordinator would be the same as his, and now Syd’s false “consensus effect” has threatened Rochelle’s values and dedication to HY Dairies. Concept
Complexity is the distinct role or identity that people perceive about themselves; to this point Syd did not see himself as stereotyping Rochelle because he did not view the promotion as a negative but rather a preparation for her future with the company. The lack of communication in this case study shows everyone has their perception of things and if you do not open the lines to effective communication you can cause issues within the organization.
Self-concept has a more varied effect on behavior and performance; Rochelle defined herself as a person who overcomes challenges, specifically her role controlling a product that directly affected HY Dairies’ profitability. This “opportunity” resonated as a restriction in career growth and not an advance in her career in brand management. Ms. Beauport views this new job that could hurt her career. Without clarity on the position from Syd, Rochelle now examines her self-concept and defines herself as a “black woman with no future in brand management.” Recommendations
Syd and HY Dairies must be aware of perceptual biases, and to do that, HY Dairies must know that it exists. In Syd’s and Rochelle’s situation, it is obvious that diversity awareness a necessary requirement. This process if implemented, attempts to minimize discrimination, this makes employees aware of systemic discrimination. Awareness of perceptual biases reduces biases by making employees more mindful of their thoughts and actions. HY Dairies should also minimize perceptual biases by increasing self-awareness; from this insight, employers have an enhanced understanding of biases in their decisions and behavior. If Syd used self-awareness when considering offering the promotion to Rochelle, he would have displayed authentic leadership and able to explain to Rochelle his vision of her in the role of market research coordinator.
Apply your knowledge of stereotyping and social identity: Within this case study both stereotyping and social identity came into play. The employee identified herself as a minority, feeling as if the job offer was a negative due to her skin color and gender. The employee further felt she was being stereotyped for being a woman due to the lack of communication from the vice president. If the vice president took the time to explain the reasons for the new job offer and where he saw his employee’s future, it could have eliminated the feelings his employee felt. What other perceptual errors are apparent in this case study: Perceptual errors that are apparent in this case study is the employee felt she was being discriminated against due to an experience at her previous employer. She made the assumption that the job offer was a negative when in fact it was a positive.
Another perceptual error was the vice president felt he communicated the promotion well to the employee, when in fact he was very vague in the job offer. He could have explained the reasons behind the promotion, further explaining his previous position and his future goals for her within the organization. What can organizations do to minimize misperception in these types of situations: In order to minimize misperception in stereotyping situations an organization must implement effective communication throughout the organization. Implementing programs such as diversity training for all employees, with additional training for supervisors to learn ways to maintain fair employment practices where employees feel comfortable. It is important that all employees are held accountable and if anyone, regardless of position, violates a policy that there are consequences to ensure employees have faith in the organization and its leadership.