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Principles and Dynamics of Management March 23, 2019

GROUP CASE

CASE ANALYSIS “SUNSET PRAYER”

I. Facts of the case

Minnesota North Woods Appliance Corporation

North Woods
- Refrigerator plant manufacturer.
- Trying to survive intense price war in the industry.
- Pressured to keep production costs low.
Frank Piechowski
- Plant manager
- Was instructed by vice-president to employ 40 temporary workers
- Has a good working relationship with Halima Adan
- Authorized changes in cafeteria menu and work attire standards to accommodate Muslim tradition
and customs.
Twin City Staffing
- Local labor agency that North Woods uses to hire workers
Somali Workers
- 40 hired temporary workers
- Came from the Twin Cities Staffing Agency
- They are mostly Muslim Somalis refugees
- Employees are Responsible and hardworking
- Requires 5 short breaks within the day for prayer
- Have special diets and religious attire.
Halima Adan
- Somali Spokesperson
- Has a good working relationship with Frank
Maghrib sunset prayers
- Muslim prayer done during sunset
- Fourth of five obligatory daily prayers performed by practicing Muslims

Problem Statement

How will Frank adapt to the employees needs while improving workflow performance in the company?

II. Key Objectives:

- To gain high quality performance in the workforce

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- To keep production cost low


- To improve efficient workflow
- To establish a schedule that can accommodate Muslim customs and religious practices within the
workplace without compromising workflow

III. Diagnosis and Analysis of Case:

The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

- is applied for companies who has fifteen or more employees.


- An act that requires an employer to make way to accommodate the religious practices of an
employee or prospective employee.
- Prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sexor national
origin
- Damage under the Title VII will include
(1) Lost wages,
(2) compensatory damage,
(3) punitive damages for violations that are committed with the intent to deprive an employee
of his federally protected rights or reckless disregard for those rights,
(4) costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

Religious Muslim Practice – daily prayer

Their daily prayer is a universal practice being followed as it is one of the five requirements the Muslims
must observe, or also known as the Five Pillars.

Performing the prayer does not require to be done in a mosque or a private area. All is required is a clean
space to make way for a prayer rug.

- Morning – (Fajar)
- Mid-day – (Dhuhur)
- Pre-sunset – (Asr)
- Post-sunset – (Maghrib)
- Evening – (Isha)

In the case the time given for the workers to perform their prayer are erratic as it is decided based on the
position of the Sun. Making it difficult to align to the scheduled break times and quickly disseminate the
information to other Somali workers. This challenge in time has been disruptive to gain a smooth and
efficient workflow.

Step 5: Maintain momentum to change the culture

Managing Diversity

Management should focus on the following priorities:

1.Minimize or avoid disruption of work flow.

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2.Avoid racial discrimination towards Somali Muslims

3.Address ethical dilemma regarding ethnic workers and their religious necessities.

Diversity of perspectives

Management should understand the importance of having a supportive work environment, in this case it
should adopt a policy of scheduling time of prayers for the Somali Muslims. It should create a heterogenous
team made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.

Workplace Prejudice, Discrimination and Stereotypes

The cognitive component in our perceptions of group members is the stereotype—the positive or negative
beliefs that we hold about the characteristics of social group. We may decide that “French people are
romantic,” that “old people are incompetent,” or that “college professors are absent minded.” And we may
use those beliefs to guide our actions toward people from those groups. In addition to our stereotypes, we
may also develop prejudice—an unjustifiable negative attitude toward an outgroup or toward the
members of that outgroup. Prejudice can take the form of disliking, anger, fear, disgust, discomfort, and
even hatred—the kind of affective states that can lead to behavior such as the gay bashing you just read
about. Our stereotypes and our prejudices are problematic because they may create discrimination—
unjustified negative behaviors toward members of outgroups based on their group membership.

IV. Development of Alternatives

A. Maintain the current policy that leaves it up to the Muslim workers as to when they leave the
assembly line to perform tehir sunset rituals
Advantages:

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- Somali workers will be appreciative of management to let them work while also giving them
opportunity to practice their faith and custom
Diasadvatanges:
- Non Somali workers will get dissapointed since they will carry on the slack and task that are left
by the Somali workers during their allowed breaks
- Production rates per shift will not be consistent due to times that there will be less workforce to
perform the task at certain parts during mid-shift
- The production at the assembly line maybe affected if the company will hire more Somali workers
since majority of the workforce will be on regular breaks especially thos that will be on mid-shift
resulting to decrease output in the production line

B. Hire the fewest possible Muslim workers in the second shift


Advantages:
- Less disruption to workflow since majority of the workforce will be following the scheduled
breaks.
Disadvantages:
- Producton cost will increase since the wages are expected to be higher compared to the Somali
workers
- Does not promote equal opportunity for Somali workers
-
C. Ask the Muslim workers to delay their sunset prayers until a regulaly scheudled break occurs.

Option 1: Implement Policy “Sunset Dinner”


Policy would include flexible dinner breaks for the Somalis in order for them to practice their
customs including prayers. For example the second shift of work starts from 2:00PM and ends at 10PM,
then breaks will be set at 4-4:15PM and at 9-9:15 PM .Their 30 minute break for dinner will not be constant
and will be fluctuating depending on sunset.
Advantages:
- Second shift worker will be allowed to participate in sunset prayers
- Everyone in the office will be able to take their breaks all at the same time which will not leave the
assembly lines short of workers at any given time
- Hourly production rates per shift will be comparable to the other shifts
- Workers having the same break time will lead to a smooth workflow

Disadvantages:
- Non Somali workers may get dissapointed since their dinner breaks will be in a different time
everyday
- Due to the change in season their maybe nights that they will have their dinner as early as 5PM and
some maybe as late as 8PM
- Somali workers may get dissapointed that they will be asked to eat and pray during their half hour
break instead of having a dedicated time for each activity

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Option 2: Implement the policy “Set Dinner”


Policy would include 3 set breaks which would mean that the Somalis will not be able to have
regular sunset breaks.. Example if the second shift starts at 2PM and ends at 10PM. Break times will be set
at 4-4:15 PM, 6-6:30PM(Dinner) and 8:30-8:45PM.
Advantages:
- The shift will be consistent with three scheduled breaks
- The Somali workers will not leave the other workers in the assembly line to work by themselves
during the times that they will do their regular prayers
- Having the same schedule day in and day out whould keep all workers at schedule where they will
know exactly what to expect and targets in the production line will be consistent.
- This will be fair to all workers and would still give the opportunity for Somalis to pray, just not on
their preferred schedule during sunset.
Disadvantages:
- Some Somali workers who religiously practice their faith and customs may rather choose not to
work for the company
- Should the Somalis refuse to work due to the working arrangement, the company might find it
difficult to source workers who will work with the meager wage being offered by the ocmpany
- Those Somalis who will opt to stay may become unhappy with the working arrangements which
may lead to slower production results and eventually may also leave the company
V. Selection of Alternative:
“Sunset Dinner” Policy
- This will make the Somali workers happy since the lower production cost is due to them since thay
are willing to pay despite of the low wages
- This Somalis will not leave their workplace assembly area just to pray at sunset but they could
instead use the break time to fullfill their custom
- This will also not put the other non-Somali workers at a disadvantage since all of tehm will go on
breakl and no wokrer will be left to manage the slack left by the Somali workers during their tie of
prayer
- This will be fair for all workers since no preferential treatment is exibited
- With all workers having the same break tine,the second shift workflow will remain as smooth as
possible while accommodating at the same time the custom of the Somali wokrers on prayer

VI. Recommendations:
Frank will have to discuss with Halina that there will be a change in the scheduled dinner breaks in order
to accommodate the need of the Somali workers to have time for their Sunset prayers. He would have to
convice Halina that this is a fair way for all workers to have their allotted breaks while at the same time
allowing prodcution to have a steady flow at all times.

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Once Halina agrees to the new working condition, then the company can hire additional workers as
requested by their VP which will lead to an increase in production rates with low overhead cost. This will
make the company remain competitive with the other larger chains
Frank may also make use of online resources that estimate the daily prayer time ssuch as the one below to
estimate the breaks of the employees and to manage the production output

*The picture indicates a digital estimate in a weekly basis on the time of each prayer should be
performed during the day, also estimated with how the sun will be positioned in Minnesota United
States*
Reference: http://irusa.org/prayer-times/

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*This website can provide a digital estimate of the time the prayers should be done during the day.
They have also a countdown to when the next prayer will be. The times are estimated based on the
position of the sun in Minnesota, United States*
Reference: https://www.islamicfinder.org/world/united-states/5037698/minnesota-city-prayer-
times/#weekly

VII. Workplace Application:

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