Chapter 2 Leadership Case A (p. 63) What to do about Louie
The business cases are from relevant chapters of the text book. All the questions have equal weight and comprehensive/descriptive in nature in case analysis. Each answer is expected to be within 200 to 250 words. Up to a maximum of 70% of the allocated mark for each question will be assigned for the accuracy and completeness of the answer. Up to a maximum 30% of the mark will be allocated mainly but not limited on the demonstration of the following parameters: • Structure of the response including clear introductory and concluding remarks with body. • Showing of examples wherever applicable. • Drawing graphs wherever applicable. • Academic evidence supporting the argument. • Logical flow and smooth transitions between arguments. • Free of grammar and spelling errors along with appropriate writing style – clear and concise.
What to Do About Louie?
Louie is the manager of a Mighty Muffler Brake ser- vice center in the Great Lakes Regions of the United States. The centers offer a wide range of services for vehicles including muffler and exhaust system replacement, brake systems, oil change, lubrication, tune-ups, and state inspection. Louie’s branch is located close to a busy highway, yet stores and resi- dential neighborhoods are also close by. His store is among the chain’s highest-volume and most profit- able units. Management at Mighty Muffler is pleased with the financial management of Louie’s store, yet com- plaints have surfaced about aspects of his relation- ships with employees and customers. Emma, the human resources and customer services for the com- pany, was recently poring over the results from cus- tomer satisfaction cards mailed back to the company.She found that a few of the customer comments sug- gested that Louie might have made some inappropri- ate comments, as reflected in the following feedback: “You did a wonderful job replacing my brakes and fixing a rattle in my exhaust system. But the manager insulted me a little by suggesting that I talk over with my husband about whether to get a new exhaust system now.” “I have no complaints about the repairs you made or the price you charged. However, you better replace that manager of yours. He is definitely out of touch with the times. My partner and I are proud of our gayness, so we don’t attempt to hide occasional public dis- plays of affection. When your manager saw me giving my partner a light kiss on the cheek, he asked if we were from San Francisco.” “When I came back to pick up my car, I had to wait two hours even though I was told the car would be ready by 3 p.m. I also found some smudge marks on the beige leather seats. . When I complained to the manager, he said, ‘Granny, watch your blood pressure. It’s not good for a se- nior citizen to get too excited.’ I was never so insulted.”.Concerned about these comments, Emma sched- uled a trip to Louie’s store to investigate any possible problems he might be having in managing cultural diversity among customers and employees. Emma explained to Louie that the home office likes to make periodic trips to the stores to see now well em- ployee relations are going, and how well employees are working together. Louie responded, “Talk to any- body you want. I may joke a little with the boys and girls in the shop, but we all get along great.” In Emma’s mind, her informal chats with work- ers at Louie’s Mighty Muffler suggested that em- ployee relations were generally satisfactory, but she did find a few troublesome comments. A young Afri- can American noted that when he does something particularly well, or Louie agrees with him strongly, Louie gives him a high five. In contrast, Caucasian or Latino workers will receive a congratulatory handshake or a fist bump, respectively.A woman brake technician said that Louie is a kind-hearted boss but that he is sometimes patroniz- ing without realizing it. She volunteered this inci- dent: “During breaks I sometimes enter the waiting room area because we have a vending machine up front that sells small bags of nuts and raisins, which I particularly like. One day, I was about to enter the waiting room when Louie tells me to stay in the back. He said that there was a Hell’s Angels–type guy waiting for his truck to be repaired, and he probably wouldn’t appreciate it if he thought that a ‘girl’ was working on his truck. How could anybody be that sexist in today’s world?” Emma went back to the home office to discuss her findings with the CEO and the vice president of administration. Emma said that Louie is making a contribution to the firm, but that some changes needed to be made. The two other executives agreed that Louie should become a little more multicul- tural, but that they didn’t want to upset him too much because he could easily join a competitor. Emma concluded, “So I guess we need to figure out what to do about Louie.”
- Does Louie have a problem, or are the people who made the negative comments about him being too sensitive? (200 words)
- What improvements might Louie need to make to become a truly multicultural manager?(200 words)
- What activity or program would you recommend to help make Louie more culturally sensitive?(200 words)
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