managing the multicultural workforce by lindash

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									                  Managing the

 Organization Behavior, Organizational Psychology, Labor Unions, Conflict Resolution,
  Negotiations, Human Resource Management, Leadership, Young-Asian workforce in

      This case is based on complexities and problems faced by managers of growing
    multicultural workforce in UK. It requires a strong decision making insights and
strategies to make sure your most important people stay motivated, happy, and productive
                                  within your company.

  The case starts with a fight between two asian workers in a warehouse. One of them is
highly productive but a problematic worker, while the other one is regular, punctual, nice
  worker but low in productivity. Now management has to decide what to do with these
emotionally charged behavior of workers. It is also expected that one the workers will be
released from the services and management has to decided which one to retain and which
                                         one to fire?

Note: Kamran Siddiqui, Member Doctoral program, Manchester
Business School, Manchester, UK prepared this case for class
room discussion.
                                                      Managing the multi-cultural workforce

Stuart McKay in his office is seriously thinking about action to be taken against two
Asian workers who have accused each other for various gross misconduct charges for
which they may loose their jobs as well. One of the accused is Lala (who has a different
formal name but he is most popular with the name Lala which means elder brother and
which is used by a big majority of evening shift Asian shift workers as a respect for him)
who is a middle aged serious worker, and a labour union representative as well for
evening shifts. The other person is Anwar alias Dada (means Big Boss) who is a young
non-serious, but very productive afternoon-evening shift worker. Lala accused Dada for
allegedly throwing jewelry and other company valuables at himself and at floor as a part
of joke thus damaging company property which is a gross misconduct and if proved may
result in disrespectfully discharge of Dada from the company services. After listening to
these allegations Dada with the help of another labour union representative Sue
McDonald filed a counter reply accusing Lala being a homosexual unethically touching
Dada and inviting him for sex on the coming weekend and on getting a negative response
from Dada he filed a baseless allegation against him. On contrary to this Lala denied
clearly being homosexual and denied explicitly touching Dada's body parts and invitation
for sex. According to him this forbidden in his religion and he cant think of it.

On looking at the personal files and talking to other supervisors on the floor Stuart has
developed a personal profile for each of them. The personnel contacted during this
investigation include Shahbana Yousuf (a young very talented Asian girl), Johnny
Falconer (a long time company veteran and an ex-British army solider), Mandy Caddick
(a newly promoted supervisor), Alison Addinal (Duty Manager-Evening shifts, a very
caring and responsible middle aged lady), Riz (another young smart Asian team leader)
Chris Cowdry (Very energetic evening shift team leader)

Lala, 40, employed for less than 9 months with the company, having 100% attendance but
hardly touching 90% production level. While talking to him it seems that he has a couple
of years of managerial experience back in Pakistan. He is very popular among evening
shift, which is characterized as having predominantly Asian work force and a lenient
management style. Although he middle aged person but he is full of jokes and beautiful
words. Most of the times he is busy either in doing his work or helping other workers in
their jobs. But even during the work he used to share new or old Urdu poetry/songs for
Asian workers and instant translation in English for other listeners.

Rob another superior now the duty manager at another site disclosed to Stuart that Lala
was so popular among that evening shift workers that when he announced he is contesting
for Union Rep no body else has filed the election paper and he was elected un-opposed
for which management has to allow him to become the Union Rep with only three month
of service with company. As per company & union understanding to become a Union rep
one should have at least one year employment with company and one year membership
with union and having no disciplinary record against himself/herself. Normally he is
always available for any voluntary change of job. Under the new direction of
management, which emphasizes making the maximum workers with multi-skills to
perform multi-tasking. He is considered to have attended maximum training in nine

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                                                      Managing the multi-cultural workforce

months than anybody else in the history of the company, for which he has sacrificed some
monetary benefits. On certain occasions he helped the management while informing them
for the bad boys and their activities, which were proved true on the CCTV recordings.
Although on one occasion Mandy Chadwick, a newly promoted supervisor, disclosed to
bad boys about her information and informer which resulted a few tense situations for
Lala within the company as well outside the company. But still he is helping Mandy for
various jobs. On one occasion when there was a transport strike he made eight volunteers
to provide pick/drop facility to 3-4 other workers each without any financial burden to
company. He achieved this landmark on only two days notice through his own
relationships with other fellow workers at his own initiative being a responsible union
rep. While representing other employees during investigations and disciplinary
procedures it seems that he is a master of employee handbook covering rules, procedures
and responsibilities for employees. This was noticed by Shahbana Yousuf, Johny, Chris,
Mandy and others. From time to time Shahbana Yousuf and Mandy used to ask him for
the clarification of company rules.

Dada, 22, born-n-bred in Bradford, having parents of Pakistani origin with less than 85%
attendance but always attaining 125% production level. He is involved in at least three
disciplinary proceeding against him; like late comings, absence from the job without
information to supervisor and verbal abuse with other fellow members, use of mobile
phone on shop floor. On further investigation it was learnt that he was also caught in
possession of a lighter on the shop floor.

Mr. George Bennett has personally asked Stuart to take a strong decision as his reputation
was tarnished by the Bari’s activities which were revealed by Lala during investigations.
Stuart is thinking what decision he should take?

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                                                                Managing the multi-cultural workforce

Discussion Questions

1) Analyze the personality traits of Lala & Dada?

2) What leadership style(s) did Lala exhibit?

3) Would you like to elect a union rep like Dada or Sue McDonalds?

4) What management style(s) were exhibited in this case?

5) How would you evaluate the credibility of any investigation? How to make investigations free of
   personal biases?

6) How would you deal with multicultural workforce having persons like Lala or Dada?

7) What solutions are available to Mr. McKay?

8) Were there any constraints on the options for the company while dealing in this case?

9) How would you rate Lala, an asset to the company (based on his experience and participation at
   workplace or the threat to the company (being a Union member)?

10) Should the company sack both of them?

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                                                             Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                                                          Exhibit - 1

                                    Initial Investigation Report

Staff:          Lala

Supervisor:     Stuart McKay

Supervisor:                                        Staff:
Lala! You have been called in for an investigation
for incident occurred on Friday evening at Leeds
facility. I will be conducting this investigation
while Mr.Johny Falconer will be management
witness. Are you aware of company rules &
                                                   Yes!!! I do…..
As per company rules you have the right to be accompanied by your
co-worker or union representative. Do you need any body else to be
invited to this investigation?

                                                   Not at the moment.
Could you please tell us what happened on Friday
night in Leeds?
                                                   First of all I would like to give you the
                                                   background of the incident, if you will permit
Yes! Go ahead
                                                   I am working in this facility of Bradford
                                                   warehouse for last 9 months in afternoon-evening
                                                   shift. My primary job is opening returned goods
                                                   boxes from customers. But within only 9 month I
                                                   have leaned 5 other jobs as well in accordance
                                                   with company’s vision of making multitasking
                                                   workforce. During this period nobody has any
                                                   problem with me nor do I. With recent demands
                                                   of business we have been asked to work in Leeds
                                                   facility. For this we are commuting from
                                                   Bradford to Leeds facility and back on company
                                                   hired buses or coaches. Unfortunately only those
                                                   workers have been sent to Leeds, who works from
                                                   2:00pm to 10:00pm in the night. Any body
                                                   starting even at 2:30 is normally exempted from

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                                                              Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                    this compulsory job. As the nature of job at Leeds
                                                    is tough and nobody is getting the company’s
                                                    required work level i.e. 85% therefore they were
                                                    loosing their bonuses that is around £3.3 per
                                                    hour. For any body working for 37.5 hours a
                                                    week this will be around £125 per week making
                                                    it £500 per month.
But they were getting their wage rate that is £
5.66 per hour which is fairly high as compared to
market wage rate(£4.50 at that time) and
company reserves the right to place you at any of
it facility throughout the UK even without
giving them an explanation…….                       Yes! I do agree… they were getting their wage
                                                    rate and company reserves he right to use their
                                                    services wherever it requires. But some of my co-
                                                    workers started fining gaps in company’s
                                                    procedures. That’s why some of the employees
                                                    stop showing up at 2:00pm or hiding themselves
                                                    from supervisor’s sight. One of my colleague
                                                    deliberately exchanged hot words with his
                                                    supervisor at Leeds Mr. Paul who asked the
                                                    Bradford management not to send this man
Who is this fellow….is he the dada?
                                                    No!! I am talking about Bari (Ibrar Ahmed) who
                                                    managed to escape from Leeds work. Bari is very
                                                    proud of himself that he made him (George
                                                    Banete the general manager) fool. Now he is
                                                    enjoying working in Bradford again & Dada is
                                                    very good friend of Bari.
OK!!! I see…Now tell us what happened on
Friday evening?                                     This Friday evening we were working in Jewelry
                                                    area where we were supposed to pick and pack
                                                    400 items per hour. Dada & I were working very
                                                    closed to each other and as usual we were having
                                                    light jokes and giggling. During that he told me
                                                    that today he will manage to escape from this
                                                    work. I asked him how?? He said.. Just watch
Do you have any witness for this discussion?
                                                    No!! I don’t have anybody … This all discussion
                                                    was in mixed language of English and Urdu(Our
                                                    mother tongue).and rest of our colleagues were

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                                                          Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                 unable to understand this discussion….
                                                 Dada stop working at Leeds at 4:30pm while
                                                 giving excuse that he is not feeling well. His
                                                 supervisor Ms. Julie (Julie Greenwood) asked for
                                                 his supervisor at Bradford. Initially he said I
                                                 don’t know his name…. She asked for his
                                                 supervisor’s telephone number. He again said I
                                                 don’t know…She said as per company policy you
                                                 must keep your supervisor’s name and telephone
                                                 number card with you all the time. He said I
                                                 don’t have any… Then she turned to me and
                                                 asked his supervisors name. I said Johny….
                                                 Within seconds she was in contact with
                                                 Mr.Johny Falconer … Do you agree Mr.
Johny Falconer: Yes!!! I do… I told her about
his previous record which was full of absences
and late coming which made her really
                                                 After getting some feedback from Mr. Falconer
                                                 she asked Dada to start working otherwise she
                                                 will report this matter to management. You can
                                                 check this thing from Ms. Julie.
Yes!!! It’s true …. We have already checked
                                                 Any way he unwillingly started working but the
                                                 moment we were away from Ms.Julie sight he
                                                 started abusing me that why you have given her
                                                 my supervisors name…. I told him…she if going
                                                 to get this thing in a minute….that is not a big
                                                 deal for her….. & secondly she is our supervisor
                                                 at the moment….I can’t say NO to her….. on my
                                                 replies he started throwing expensive jewelry at
                                                 me …started abusing me….giving me threats for
                                                 severe consequences….. I got upset as we were
                                                 working in Jewelry area with very expensive
                                                 items in our hands and in our boxes to be
                                                 packed….. any “activity” from him may create
                                                 problem for me….. I immediately reported the
                                                 matter to issuing desk & Rachel was working
                                                 over there…..she called Dada and asked him
                                                 what’s the matter….He confessed in front of

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                                                            Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                  Rachel that he was joking with me…..On his
                                                  reply Rachel told him it’s a gross misconduct of
                                                  damaging the company property and you may
                                                  loose your job for this…. You can check this
                                                  thing with Rachel….
OK!!! We will…
                                                  But after sometime he started abusing me…..
                                                  then I have no other way except to report this
                                                  matter to duty manager Mr. Rob Robinson…
                                                  and that’s all from my side…..
Do you know you have been accused of
homosexuality and inviting others for it……

                                                  No!!! I don’t know…
Dada in his statement told us that you have
invited him for homosexual activities on this
weekend at your place.. He denied …. On his
denial you have fabricated a false case against
                                                  It’s false…absolutely false…..
But we have some witnesses in front of them you
have talked about homosexuality……..One is
Sue McDonalds other one is Bari..another one is
Ghazanfer…..                                      Yes!!!!! We always had light jokes and sometime
                                                  in my jokes we talked about homos but it does not
                                                  mean I have invited him for homosexual
What about witnesses….
                                                  Look at the witnesses ….. Bari is best friend of
                                                  Dada … Ghazanfer is to-be-brother-in-law of
                                                  Bari …
What about Sue McDonalds……
                                                  You know Ms.Sue is an old fashioned lady and I
                                                  can not say any thing like this in front of
                                                  her…The only thing I can say She is a Union
                                                  Representative….and she is looking after Dada’s
                                                  case being a Union Rep in this investigation…
                                                  Sometimes we have to save our members from
                                                  Investigations or disciplinary actions for that one
                                                  we use to make false counter attacks on the other
OK!!! Do you want to say anything….

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                                                            Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                   Yes!!! Thank you very much for giving me this
                                                   opportunity….. I want to say two things….
                                                   One… Please make a roaster for tough jobs so
                                                   that everybody will get a slice of hardship…..
                                                   Secondly….Please make your decisions in such a
                                                   way that nobody can should think of making
                                                   others fool…. Once again thank you…..
Thank you very much for your suggestions… You
will be notified for further investigations.. if

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                                                               Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                                                              Exhibit – 2
                                 Corrective Action Procedures
The company operates a corrective action procedure as outlined below and will seek advice from concerned
persons as appropriate during the process.

           Occasion                                 Action                           Period
First                                 Counseling                       In 12 rolling months
Second                                Counseling                       In 12 rolling months
Third                                 Verbal Warning                   Valid for 6 months
Fourth*                               Written Warning                  Valid for 12 months
Fifth*                                Final Warning                    Valid for 12 months
Sixth*                                Dismissal                        Valid for 12 months
* An appeal process is available at these stages only.

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                               Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                      Exhibit – 3
Disciplinary and Appeal process

     Establish the facts relating            No further action
     to performance / conduct

       Notice in writing of the
        Disciplinary hearing

        Disciplinary hearing                 No further action

         Disciplinary action
      Warning/demotion/ dismissal

           Appeal against                 Employee decides to take
      Disciplinary action within            no further action
               14 days

      Appeal hearing within 2

       Uphold the Disciplinary              Reduce the penalty

                                                       Page 11 of 13
                                                                                                    Exhibit – 4
                               Bradford Warehouse – Organizational Structure

                                                George Bennett
                                                General Manager

                                                  Alison Addinal                   Tracy McDonald
            Karen Cleworth
             Duty Manager                         Duty Manager                      Duty Manager
                                                    (Evenings)                         (Nights)

Johnny Falconer    Shahbana Yousuf       Stuart McKay       Mandy Caddick   Janet Cogan       Jenny Seymour
                                                                                  Managing the multi-cultural workforce

                                                                                                           Exhibit - 5
                                 Leeds Warehouse – Organizational Structure

                                              Shaun Williams
                                               General Manager

                                                 Rob Robinson                           Trevor Bleasby
              Nigel Hurst
             Duty Manager                        Duty Manager                           Duty Manager
                                                  (Evenings)                               (Nights)

Julie Greenwood       Phil Law           Paul Ford        Eileen Daibell      Michelle Moore           Jackie Wallis

                                                                                                         Page 13 of 13

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