Gilman offered Beauport marketing research coordinator position to reward Beauport’s contribution to recent increase in ice cream sales and market share because he thought that the position would broaden Beauport’s experience and boost her career at Hy Dairies. Beauport did not share the same idea: she thought that the position offered was a “backroom job” and not a route to top management. Beauport felt that she was sidelined because she was a visible minority and a woman. •Misunderstanding response:
When Beauport was given a job offer by Gilman, she took a long silence before thanking Gilman because she was shocked and felt too belittled to protest. Gilman recognized this response as a sign of positive surprise: Beauport was too thrilled to respond quickly. Q 2. What are the root causes that led to these symptoms? •False-Consensus Effect: Perception differs person by person because nobody in this world shares exactly the same belief system, past experiences and social influences as you. In this case, Gilman’s perception of the market research coordinator position was the opposite of Beauport’s perception of the position.
When Gilman was offered a position as a market research coordinator several years ago, he was delighted. He had a positive experience with the transfer because the coordinator position grew his career further. Gilman assumed that Beauport would share the same feeling about the coordinator position and that she would be very pleased with the offer just as he was. This is a false-consensus effect, a perceptual error which makes people assume that others share the same beliefs similar to their own.
•Beauport’s Social Identity and Stereotyping: Beauport has developed her social identity as a visible minority woman and associated this identity with a negativity experienced at her previous employer – she is not desired to be in top management regardless of her efforts and abilities. At the same time, assuming that her previous employer who rejected her from top management was a male dominant company, Beauport might have developed a stereotype about men in top management that all men in power did not want women and visible minorities like her to move up.
Since Gilman is a male figure in top management, Beauport assumed that he would be just like the other male executives she encountered during her previous employment and that he would not want her to climb up the corporate ladder. She jumped to her conclusion that she was being sidelined. •Emotional Dissonance and EVLN model: When Beauport received the job offer, she felt shocked and belittled. This is her true emotions. However, she hid her true emotion by thanking Gilman for the offer and not protesting because she realized that being appreciative and not voicing her concern was her required emotion.
The gap between the true and required emotions has created emotional dissonance in Beauport, which has led her to face choices between voicing her dissatisfaction by confronting Gilman and leaving the organization, two of the four consequences of job dissatisfaction outlined by exit-voice-loyalty-neglect (EVLN) model. Q 3. What actions should the organization take to correct these problems? This case illustrates poor understanding and management of perceptual biases of oneself and others.
It is not possible to completely eliminate biases but we can prevent them. Preventative measures the organization can take to prevent these problems: 1. Increase Awareness: First of all, the organization can offer training to enhance awareness of perceptual biases especially for leaders such as Gilman. This could be done by training or information session. 2. Involvement of others in decision making: Having diversity in the decision making process increases flexibility and prevents perceptual biases.
In this case Gilman should have involved a few more people such as a HR manager and Beauport’s immediate supervisor to be present at the annual performance review. Promotions and transfers should not be based on only one individual’s decision especially when the decision maker has little contact with the employer in workplace. Beauport’s response at her performance review – a “red flag” – could have been noticed correctly if there were more people at the discussion table. 3. Johari Window: Communicate!
Overall, there is poor communication between the two individuals in this case that is contributing to perceptual biases. According to Johari Window model, disclosure and feedback increases self-awareness and mutual understanding by enlarging the “open window”, information about yourself know to you and others by reducing the blind, hidden and unknown areas. If there was a disclosure about Beauport’s career path at the beginning of her employment, her desire to pursue a career in brand management could have been revealed and removed from the “hidden window.
” At the same time, if Gilman disclosed his past experience with coordinator position earlier, his intention might not have been misinterpreted by Beauport. 4. Contact Hypothesis: Interact! Other way to improve self-awareness and mutual understanding is done through meaningful interactions according to the contact hypothesis. Beauport felt that she could not express her concern at the performance review because she barely knew Gilman. The organization can improve this by giving opportunities to employees to interact such as socializing events and outdoor activities. 5. Diversity:
There is a possibility that the organization lacks in diversity as it says Beauport was one of the few visible minorities in marketing management at Hy Diaries. I can’t conclude this because workplace diversity depends on demographics of the location of company. However, if it is the case, increasing diversity would prevent employees of the designated groups such as Beauport from feeling threatened and insecure about their evaluations. If they feel accepted openly, they will communicate better with others. Furthermore, better communication would lead to an overall efficiency and effectiveness of operation. View as multi-pages