Case Study

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The Peppercorn Dining case is the second of several cases at the end of Part 2 in the text. The Part 2 chapters have described the fundamental processes of organization development, including entry and contracting, data gathering, data feedback, intervention design, and evaluation. The Peppercorn case is rich in detail around how a small group of consultants began an IM process and collected a broad range of data. It is a very action oriented case in that it ends at a natural breakpoint in the IM process – a set of data has been gathered, needs to be analyzed, and a process for feeding back the date needs to be designed. It is a good case to give students a chance to think through these issues, propose some alternatives, and discuss the pros and cons of different approaches. (Note: If this type of case is appealing to the instructor, the BR Richardson Timber case in the Integrative Case section at the end of the text has a similar structure.)

Overview of the case:

Peppercorn Dining is a restaurant on the All American University campus and serves students who have purchased “meal plans” as well as cash-paying customers. A group of consultants from Square One Consulting was having lunch at Peppercorn when they bump into Drew, Peppercorn’s manager. One of the consultants, Erica, worked at Peppercorn as a student. Based on this chance meeting, Drew describes the situation at Peppercorn as he sees it and they eventually reach an agreement to do some operational auditing. After several days, the group of three consultants, Roger, Lynn, and Erica, collect data from managers at the restaurant, representatives from the parent dining organization for the university, and from various student, full time, and temporary employees. Their interviews cover various operations functions, including serving, the kitchen, cashiers, dishwashers, and supplies.

Toward the end of the first day of observations and interviews, Erica describes a new development, the announcement...
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