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CASE STUDY 3.1 HY DAIRIES INC.Syd Gilman read the latest sales figures with a great deal ofsatisfaction. The vice president of marketing at Hy DairiesInc. a large Midwestern milk products manufacturer waspleased to see that the marketing campaign to improve sagging sales of Hy s gourmet ice cream brand was working.Sales volume and market share of the product had increased significantly over the past two quarters comparedwith the previous year.The improved sales of Hy s gourmet ice cream could becredited to Rochelle Beauport who was assigned to thegourmet ice cream brand last year. Beauport had joined Hyless than two years ago as an assistant brand manager afterleaving a similar job at a food products firm. She was one ofthe few women of color in marketing management at HyDairies and had a promising career with the company.Gilman was pleased with Beauport s work and tried to lether know this in annual performance reviews. He now hadan excellent opportunity to reward her by offering her therecently vacated position of market research coordinator.Although technically only a lateral transfer with a modestsalary increase the marketing research coordinator jobwould give Beauport broader experience in some high-profile work which would enhance her career with HyDairies. Few people were aware that Gilman s own careerhad been boosted by working as marketing research coordinator at Hy several years before.Rochelle Beauport had also seen the latest sales figureson Hy s gourmet ice cream and was expecting Gilman s callto meet with her that morning. Gilman began the conversation by briefly mentioning the favorable sales figures andthen explained that he wanted Beauport to take the marketing research coordinator job. Beauport was shocked bythe news. She enjoyed brand management and particularlythe challenge involved with controlling a product thatdirectly affected the company s profitability. Marketingresearch coordinator was a technical support position a backroom job far removed from the company s bottomline activities. Marketing research was not the route to topmanagement in most organizations Beauport thought. Shehad been sidelined.After a long silence Beauport managed a weak Thankyou Mr. Gilman. She was too bewildered to protest. Shewanted to collect her thoughts and reflect on what she haddone wrong. Also she did not know her boss well enoughto be openly critical.Gilman recognized Beauport s surprise which heassumed was her positive response to hearing of thiswonderful career opportunity. He too had been delighted several years earlier about his temporary transferto marketing research to round out his marketingexperience. This move will be good for both you andHy Dairies said Gilman as he escorted Beauport fromhis office.Beauport was preoccupied with several tasks thatafternoon but was able to consider the day s events thatevening. She was one of the top women and few minorities in brand management at Hy Dairies and feared thatshe was being sidelined because the company didn t wantwomen or people of color in top management. Her previous employer had made it quite clear that women couldn t take the heat in marketing management andtended to place women in technical support positionsafter a brief term in lower brand management jobs. Obviously Syd Gilman and Hy Dairies were following thesame game plan. Gilman s comments that the coordinator job would be good for her was just a nice way of saying that Beauport couldn t go any further in brandmanagement at Hy Dairies.Beauport now faced the difficult decision of whether toconfront Gilman and try to change Hy Dairies sexist andpossibly racist practices or to leave the company.Discussion Questions1. Apply your knowledge of stereotyping and social identity theory to explain what went wrong here.2. What other perceptual errors are apparent in this casestudy?3. What can organizations do to minimize misperceptionsin these types of situations?
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