Case 3.1 Hy Dairies

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Case Study 3.1 HY DAIRIES, INC.

Discussion Questions:

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

The case covers issues of how perceptions affect individual decision-making process. As an introduction, Syd Gilman, the vice marketing president at Hy Dairies perceived Rochelle Beauport as a potential marketing staff responsible to improve the sagging sales of Hy’s gourmet ice cream brand, thus decided to reward her with a new post of a marketing research coordinator that was taken by him as a valuable post in marketimg field. Rochelle Beauport, unfortunately had a different perceptions and expectations that leading her into a difficult decision making situation of whether to confront Gilman on perceived discrimination issue or to leave the company.

What went wrong in the case were the organizational conflicts that stemmed from merely misperceptions by Syd Gilman and Rochelle Beauport who had differing background, characteristics and work experiences, thus different social identity. These, therefore had shaped their differing social identity and engaged them in stereotyping. Gilman misperceived that Beauport would like his proposal because he had previously gone through the process which he adored very much without recognizing Beauport’s different self and social concepts as enlisted below.

Factors that developed Gilman’s and Beuport’s stereotypical perceptions:

|Gilman |Beauport | |Male & white |Woman & colored | |Longevity in Hy Dairies |Newness in Hy Dairies | |Hold a top management post |Hold a middle management post | |Career ladder boosted by the marketing research coordinator few |Recent experience with a company that denied women or colored | |years earlier |people in top management; women can’t take the heat in marketing | |Natural assumption that Beauport liked the idea as he too felt |management, thus placed them in technical support positions | |very delighted before when accepting the post |Thoughts- inferiority of the new post ( backroom job & not the | | |route for top management in most | | |organizations) | | |Incomplete information; did not know the boss, thus bewildered to| | |protest |

Stereotyping is an extension of social identity theory whereby people make sense of who they are based on their group membership(s) that follows three phases; social categorization, social identification ( homogenization) and social comparison ( diffierentiation). [pic]

The first is categorisation. We categorise objects in order to understand them and identify them. In a very similar way we categorise people (including ourselves) in order to understand the social environment. We use social categories like black, white, Australian, Christian, Muslim, student because they are useful. If we can assign people to a category, then that tells us things about those people. Similarly, we find out things about ourselves by knowing what categories we belong to. We define appropriate behavior by reference to the norms of groups we belong to. Gilman had categorized himself and Beauport as Hy Dairies’ workers who...
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