1) Does Louie have a problem, or are the people who made the negative comments about Louie just being too sensitive?
According to the article, the manager named Louie does have problem. The people who made the negative comments are not being too sensitive since the comments about him are true although he may not realize that. Louie has discrimination problem against female (para.3 and 8), homosexual (para. 4), older people (para. 5) and other races of people were judged by him with his own perception which might be wrong. (para. 7)
As we saw from study case, Louie insulted a female customer to discuss with her husband in order to get new exhaust system instead of making decision by her. (para. 3) Evidence that result in the discrimination against female by Louie was again be proved when a female subordinate noticed that Louie treated her differently compare to male subordinate. Transparent discrimination between female and male subordinates was existed when Louie tried to hide that particular female subordinate from publishing to other due to the opinion that customers do not like female to provide them services. (para 8)
A homosexual customer was dissatisfied and complained about Louie’s behavior when Louie insulted his partner with a peck on cheek and suspend them came from San Francisco. (para. 4) Louie was out of touch with the times as the customer said since he cannot and unable to accept other’s sexual orientated as well as today’s society.
Other than that, Louie might make customers feel they are not being respected. From the study case, a senior citizen was feeling hurt and angry when Louie said that it was not good for senior citizen to get too excited when he made a complaint. (para. 5) Louie’s message may distort as the senior citizen will get themselves into trouble such as problem of health when they were angry. It was bad impressions of customer toward company while the Louie had said something sound like cruel.
In additional, Louie treated subordinates differently will create unpleasant working environment. An African American cannot understand when Louie gives him “high-five” and other such as Caucasian and Hispanic workers a congratulatory handshake if both of them done good job. (para.7) The African American may feel offensive that result from Louie behaves like Caucasian and Hispanic workers were have higher educated than African American and they deserved rule and informal treatment.
Hence, the negative comments about Louie against discrimination of female, senior citizen, homosexual and worker from different countries were true.
2) If you were the CEO of Mighty Muffler Brake, would the profitability of Louie’s store influence your decision about approaching him or his ability to relate to culturally diverse people?
Honestly, as a leader of company, we have responsibility to focus on company’s profitability. We have to make sure that we are seeking the best for company. Company will definitely appreciate employees’ efforts who try their best to make profit for company especially those are being specialized, marketable, efficient and with experience and potential as Louie. In additional, a company may be threatened when smart employees try to leave for competitors. If Louie resigns and join a competitor company, the security of company trade secrets will be compromised. There is virtually pressure for the company to not to make him upset.
However, Louie’s behavior can cause serious problems for the business. His ethnocentric attitude make customer feel offensive, hurt and uncomfortable. (para. 3, 4, and 5). At the same time, customers are essential parties which need a lot of consideration of company to fulfill their satisfaction. As we know, once the customers have negative impression of the business, it will quickly be spread in the market. As a result, reputation of company will be ruined while company's reputation is an asset that gives company competitive advantage. In the long run business, the ability of company to generate profit will be affected since customers’ confidence decrease. Then, the company faces the problem of losing customers.
Therefore, company has to take Louie’s problem seriously. Company has to be careful when take correct approach to solve the problem. The approach should be effective and simultaneously will not upset Louie.
3) What improvement might Louie need to make to become a truly multicultural manager?
There are some improvements that Louie can make in order for him to be a more efficient manager in a diverse workplace.
First of all, Louie can be more open-minded and down to the earth in today’s modern world. Louie can learn to value the differences of other people and respect their opinions. Louie had to respect customers by accepting and adopting their value and believes. Louie should be humble and ask for other people ideas or opinions when making decision due to the differences of ideas that shared among each others will help Louie to learn others culture. At the same time, listening to others’ ideas and experiences is a way to understand other from different situations and different perspectives.
Besides that, Louie should enhance himself with personal ethnic and soft skills. Louie should not have the idea of genders, homosexual and senior citizens discrimination. It is essential for Louie to leave those outdate opinion behind. Therefore, Louie is encouraged to go for training and workshop as this can improve his personal’s views. For instance, Louie should attend for some multicultural talk and camp in order to help him to enrich his knowledge of other’s culture. With the clear and correct picture of history of others’ culture, Louie may know how to respect and reflect when he faces problems in the future. At the same time, Louie can improve his soft skills which are important for daily interaction such as leadership and how to deal with people through training work and activities.
Third ways that Louie can improve himself is by building up his teamwork skills. Teamwork is very important in build up reputations of company in order to achieve company’s objective. Customers would not have confidence on a company which is lack of teamwork. Louie should be encouraged to work in groups without ethnocentrism. Through working in a group with conversation, Louie can learn and understand others’ feelings.
4) Workforce diversity has been a great challenge for manager. Do you agree with this statement? Justify.
For us, we agree with the statement which workforce diversity has been a great challenge for manager. It makes manager’s life difficult. Employees may have problems among themselves which need attention from managers and managers also have problems that need advice from other. We are going to discuss about the problems of both of them.
Managers find difficulties to solve the problems come from workforce diversity especially for the managers who are lack of experience. What is diversity? The definition of diversity is differences among people in age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and capabilities or disabilities. People who come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds possess different attitudes, values, and norms. When the immigrants represent the largest share of the increase, it means that there is increasing of cultural diversity in environment of workplace regardless in public or private company.
Many companies are concerning the negative impact of greater diversity in organization. 21st century’s companies, with complex diversity in the workplace, the employees are focus on the distinction of various cultures.
From the article, we can see that diversity in the workplace bring a lot of problem such as gender discrimination (para. 3 and 8), ethnocentrism (para. 7), stereotyping (para. 4) and other as well since employees have different points of view. It is difficult for managers to solve the problem if the managers are lack of experience as Louie. He may not have much knowledge about others culture, value and beliefs, and customs. He does not know the way to treat them properly. Employees feel that Louie does not treat them respectfully. Therefore, evidence shows that interpersonal and intergroup conflicts arising when diversity issue are either ignored or mismanaged.
Some employees in the company have the problem of ethnocentrism. What is ethnocentrism? It is the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own ethnic group or culture. Some people have the tendency to view alien group or cultures from the perspective of one’s own culture.
According to the article, a young African American feels uncomfortable since he noticed that Louie gives Caucasian and Hispanic congratulation handshake when they done good job whereas he will received “high-five”. (para. 7) The unequal treatment makes the young African American feel his is offended. He may think that Caucasian and Hispanic are ethnocentric. For him, even Louie also is ethnocentrism since he treats him ruder than other employees.
Employees are ethnocentric. They tend to use their cultural norms to take a broad view about other employees' cultures and customs. They believe that their cultures and belief are superior to other. Without conscious awareness, employees have look upon their culture as a universal measurement. They will easily make preconceived judgment and wrong assumptions against others cultures and customs. In fact, it seems like perception rather than judgments. In other words, discrimination and stereotyping problems happened. Therefore, ethnocentrism can lead to cultural misinterpretation and misunderstanding since it always distorts communication between employees.
However, we cannot find the absolute standard of right and wrong which can use to compare and judge against conflicting of cultural and values differences. Hence, no one employee has the right to say that his own system of beliefs and values is in any way superior to other system of beliefs and values.
Different nationalities means employees would speak different languages. Not everybody can speak one common language. Managers need to deal with employees that speak wide range of languages in order to have an effective communication within the organization. Their communication also can differ from the manager’s, thus can lead to misunderstandings which is the most common problem in diverse workforce. Moreover, the inability to understand the employee’s opinions makes it challenging for the managers to run the company smoothly. To let the employees understand the company’s objective, managers might even need to speak several times to let them understand or pay extra attention to those whose language is not so fluent. In case if they misunderstand something, it can not only make them feel offended, upset, or raise conflict but also can affect the company's performance by resulting confusion, lack of teamwork, inaccuracies, slowness, and low morale.
Absence of social or concrete rewards also can make the diverse workforce challenging for managers. It has become an vital part of workforce diversity as companies are becoming more diverse. For instance, when you want to hire an employee from overseas, you are to promise certain rewards for them. Such as, providing an accomodation, transportation, higher salary or something that can attract them to work for your company. By giving them concrete rewards, they’ll be motivated, thus improving their performance. But if there are no rewards to attract them, they could easily join a competitor company. Attracting the employees to make them join or continue work for your company without any concrete rewards is quite challenging. In addition, diverse workforce wants different rewards from the job. It is also hard for the managers to satisfy all the employees with same common rewards as some rewards could even make them feel offended.