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Assignment 2: Diversity
One of the major changes affecting today’s organizations is diversity in the workforce. In the United States, perhaps more than in any other country, diversity has become the norm rather than the exception. This reality presents new challenges for contemporary managers. Learning new management techniques and how to apply them is paramount. The challenges become greater when organizations venture beyond their state or country’s borders. Transnational organizations work in a variety of countries and settings and produce a variety of products and services to meet the needs of their customers.
In this assignment, you will review the concluding case study: The New Frontier for Fresh Foods Supermarkets and prepare a case study analysis (approximately 3-4 pages). You will need to use additional resources in preparing your report.
Fresh Foods Supermarkets is a grocery store chain that was established in the Southeast 20 years ago. The company is now beginning to expand to other regions of the United States. First, the firm opened new stores along the eastern seaboard, gradually working its way up through Maryland and Washington, DC, then through New York and New Jersey, and on into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has yet to reach the northern New England states, but executives have decided to turn their attention to the Southwest, particularly because of the growth of population there.
Vivian Noble, the manager of one of the chain’s most successful stores in the Atlanta area, has been asked to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, to open and run a new Fresh Foods Supermarket. She has decided to accept the job, but she knows it will be a challenge. As an African American woman, she has faced some prejudice during her career, but she refuses to be stopped by a glass ceiling or any other barrier. She understands that she will be living and working in an area where several cultures combine and collide, and she will be hiring and managing a diverse workforce. Noble has the support of top management at Fresh Foods, which wants the store to reflect the surrounding community—in both staff makeup and product selection. So she will be looking to hire employees with Hispanic and Native American roots, as well as older workers who can relate to the many retired residents in the area. And she will be seeking their input on the selection of certain food products, including popular ethnic brands, so that customers know they can buy what they need and want at Fresh Foods.
In addition, Noble wants to make sure that Fresh Foods provides services above and beyond those of a standard supermarket to attract local consumers. For instance, she wants the store to offer free delivery of groceries to homebound customers who are either senior citizens or physically disabled. She wants to be sure that the store has enough bilingual employees to translate for and otherwise assist customers who speak little or no English. Noble believes that she is a pioneer of sorts, guiding Fresh Food Supermarkets into a new frontier. “The sky is almost always blue here,” she says of her new home state. “And there’s no glass ceiling between me and the sky.”
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