Hy Dairies Case Study

Topics: Social psychology, Social identity, Identity Pages: 3 (677 words) Published: February 1, 2013
Sample Assignment 

Read Case Study 3.1, Hy Dairies, on pages 85 and 86 in your textbook, and answer Discussion Questions 1–3 on your own before checking the suggested answers below. 

Suggested Answers to Case 3.1 

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

It may seem that this case involves stereotyping—specifically, that Syd Gilman has stereotyped Rochelle Beauport. In fact, there is no apparent evidence of this stereotyping. From all accounts, Gilman is sincere in assigning Beauport to the marketing research coordinator job. He seems to be providing—or believes that he is providing—a good career opportunity for further advancement. If stereotyping exists in this case, it involves Rochelle Beauport’s stereotyping of Syd Gilman as a typical sexist and racist white male.

Social identity theory (McShane & Steen, 2012, pp. 68–69) applies to this case in that Rochelle Beauport has an explicit sense of her social identity as a woman and member of a visible minority in a management position. This likely occurs because these are distinctive features for someone in management, as indicated by her statement that she was “one of the top women and few visible minorities in brand management at Hy Dairies.” This strong social identity may have contributed to her perception of her boss, Syd Gilman—namely, that she grouped him in with other men in management positions. In other words, Beauport may have engaged in categorization, homogenization, and differentiation (McShane & Steen, 2012, p. 73).  

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

There is evidence of the false-consensus effect (McShane & Steen, 2012, p. 78). Syd Gilman overestimated the extent to which Beauport had beliefs and characteristics similar to his own. Specifically, he assumed Beauport would welcome a transfer to the position of marketing research coordinator and incorrectly interpreted...
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