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CASE INCIDENT 1 Increasing Age Diversity in the Workplace


Over the past century, the average age of the workforce has continually increased as medical science continues to
enhance longevity and vitality. The fastest-growing segment of the workforce is individuals over the age of 55.
Recent medical research is exploring techniques that could extend human life to 100 years or more. In addition,
the combination of laws prohibiting age discrimination and elimination of defined-benefit pension plans means
that many individuals continue to work well past the traditional age of retirement. Unfortunately, older workers
face a variety of discriminatory attitudes in the workplace. Researchers scanned more than 100 publications on
age discrimination to determine what types of age stereotypes were most prevalent across studies. They found
that stereotypes suggested job performance declined with age, counter to empirical evidence presented earlier in
this chapter that relationships between age and core task performance are essentially nil. Stereotypes also suggest
that older workers
are less adaptable, less flexible, and incapable of learning new concepts. Research, on the other hand, suggests
they are capable of learning and adapting to new situations when these are framed appropriately. Organizations
can take steps to limit age discrimination and ensure that employees are treated fairly regardless of age. Many of
the techniques to limit age discrimination come down to fundamentally sound management practices relevant for
all employees: set clear expectations for performance, deal with problems directly, communicate with workers
frequently, and follow clear policies and procedures consistently. In particular, management professionals note
that clarity and consistency can help ensure all employees are treated equally regardless of age.

Questions
1. What changes in employment relationships are likely to occur as the population ages?
2. Do you think increasing age diversity will create new challenges for managers? What types of challenges do you
expect will be most profound ?
3. How can organizations cope with differences related to age discrimination in the workplace?
4. What types of policies might lead to charges of age discrimination, and how can they be changed to
eliminate these problems?

CASE INCIDENT 2 Can You Read Emotions from Faces?


We mentioned previously that some researchers—the psychologist Paul Ekman is the best known—have studied
whether facial expressions reveal true emotions. These researchers have distinguished real smiles ( so-called
Duchenne smiles, named after French physician Guillaume Duchenne) from “fake” smiles. Duchenne found
genuine smiles raised not only the corners of the mouth (easily faked) but also cheek and eye muscles (much more
difficult to fake). So, one way to determine whether someone is genuinely happy or amused is to look at the
muscles around the upper cheeks and eyes—if the person’s eyes are smiling or twinkling, the smile is genuine.
Ekman and his associates have developed similar methods to detect other emotions, such as anger, disgust, and
distress. According to Ekman, the key to identifying real emotions is to focus on micro-expressions, or those facial
muscles we cannot easily manipulate. Dan Hill has used these techniques to study the facial expressions of CEOs
and found they vary dramatically not only in their Duchenne smiles but also in the
degree to which they display positive versus negative facial expressions. The accompanying table shows Hill’s
analysis of the facial expressions of some prominent male executives:
Jeff Bezos, Amazon 51% positive Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway 69% positive
Michael Dell, Dell Computers 47% positive Larry Ellison, Oracle 0% positive
Bill Gates, Microsoft 73% positive Steve Jobs, Apple 48% positive
Phil Knight, Nike 67% positive Donald Trump,The Trump Organization 16% positive

It’s interesting to note that these individuals, all of whom are successful in various ways, have such different levels
of positive facial expressions. It also raises the question: is a smile from Larry Ellison worth more than a smile from
Bill Gates?

Questions
1. Most research suggests we are not very good at detecting fake emotions, and we think we’re much better at it
than we are. Do you believe training would improve your ability to detect emotional displays in others?
2. Do you think the information in this case could help you tell whether someone’s smile is genuine?
3. Is your own impression of the facial expressions of the eight business leaders consistent with what the
researcher found? If not, why do you think your views might be at odds with his?
4. One research study found people’s ratings of the positive affect displayed in CEO’s faces had very little
correlation to their company’s profits. Does that suggest to you that Hill’s analysis is immaterial?
5. Assuming you could become better at detecting the real emotions in facial expressions, do you think it would
help your career? Why or why not?

CASE INCIDENT 3 Bullying Bosses


After a long weekend, Kara stared at her computer with a sick feeling in her stomach: her boss had added her as a
friend on Facebook. Kara did not feel particularly close to her boss, nor did she like the idea of mixing her social life
with her work. Still, it was her boss. Kara reluctantly accepted her boss as a Facebook friend. Little did she know
her troubles were only beginning. Kara’s boss soon began using her online information to manipulate her work
life. It began with inappropriate innuendos regarding Facebook photos. Eventually, Kara’s boss manipulated her
work hours, confronted her both on and off Facebook, and repeatedly called Kara’s cell phone questioning her
whereabouts. “My boss was a gossiping, domineering, contriving megalomaniac, and her behavior dramatically
intensified when she used Facebook to pry,” Kara said. Eventually, Kara was forced to quit. “I feel like I got my
freedom back and can breathe again,” she said. Although many individuals recall bullies from elementary school
days, some are realizing bullies can exist in the workplace, too. In a recent poll, 37 percent of employees report
being victims of a bullying boss. And these bullies don’t pick on just the weakest in the group; any subordinate may
fall prey. As Kara found, bullying is not limited to male bosses: 40 percent of bullies are women, and women are
their targets 70 percent of the time. How does bullying affect employee motivation and behavior?
Surprisingly, though victims may feel less motivated to go to work every day, they continue performing their
required job duties. However, some are less motivated to perform extra-role or citizenship behaviors. Helping
others, speaking positively about the organization, and going beyond the call of duty are reduced as a result of
bullying. According to Dr. Bennett Tepper, fear may be the reason many workers continue to perform. And not all
individuals reduce their citizenship behaviors. Some continue to engage in extra-role behaviors to make
themselves look better than their colleagues. Other victims of bullying may be motivated to actively retaliate
against their bullying supervisor, or engage in acts of workplace withdrawal. What should you do if your boss is
bullying you? Don’t necessarily expect help from co-workers. As EmeliseAleandri, an actress and producer from
New York who left her job after being bullied, stated, “Some people were afraid to do anything. But others didn’t
mind what was happening at all, because they wanted my job.” Moreover, according to Dr. Michelle Duffy of the
University of Kentucky, co-workers often blame victims of bullying in order to resolve their own guilt. “They do this
by wondering whether maybe the person deserved the treatment, that he or she has been annoying, or lazy, [or]
did something to earn it,” she says.

Questions
1. How does workplace bullying violate the rules of organizational justice?
2. What aspects of motivation might workplace bullying reduce? For example, are there likely to be effects on an
employee’s self-efficacy? If so, what might those effects be? Do you think bullying would motivate you to
retaliate?
3. If you were a victim of workplace bullying, what steps would you take to try to reduce its occurrence? What
strategies would be most effective? Least effective? What would you do if one of your colleagues were a victim?
4. What factors do you believe contribute to workplace bullying? Are bullies a product of the situation, or
do they have flawed personalities? What situations and what personality factors might contribute to the
presence of bullies?

CASE INCIDENT 2 Multicultural Multinational Teams at IBM


When many people think of a traditional, established company, they think of IBM. IBM has been famous for
itswritten and unwritten rules—such as its no-layoff policy,its focus on individual promotions and achievement,
theexpectation of lifetime service at the company, and its requirementof suits and white shirts at work. The firm
wasone of the mainstays of the “man in a gray flannel suit”corporate culture in the United States.Times have
certainly changed.IBM has clients in 170 countries and now doestwo-thirds of its business outside the United
States. As aresult, it has overturned virtually all aspects of its old culture.One relatively new focus is on teamwork.
While IBMuses work teams extensively, like almost all large organizations,the way it does so is unique.To foster
appreciation of a variety of cultures and openup emerging markets, IBM sends hundreds of its employeesto
month-long volunteer project teams in regions ofthe world where most big companies don’t do business.Al
Chakra, a software development manager located inRaleigh, North Carolina, was sent to join GreenForest,a
furniture manufacturing team in Timisoara, Romania.With Chakra were IBM employees from five other
countries.Together, the team helped GreenForest becomemore computer-savvy to increase its business. In
returnfor the IBM team’s assistance, GreenForest was chargednothing.This is hardly altruism at work. IBM firmly
believesthese multicultural, multinational teams are good investments.First, they help lay the groundwork for
uncoveringbusiness in emerging economies, many of which mightbe expected to enjoy greater future growth than
maturemarkets. Stanley Litow, the IBM VP who oversees theprogram, also thinks it helps IBMers develop
multiculturalteam skills and an appreciation of local markets. Henotes, “We want to build a leadership cadre that
learnsabout these places and also learns to exchange their diversebackgrounds and skills.” Among the countries
whereIBM has sent its multicultural teams are Turkey, Tanzania,Vietnam, Ghana, and the Philippines.As for Chakra,
he was thrilled to be selected for theteam. “I felt like I won the lottery,” he said. He advisedGreenForest on how to
become a paperless company in3 years and recommended computer systems to boost productivityand increase
exports to western Europe.Another team member, Bronwyn Grantham, anAustralian who works at IBM in London,
advisedGreenForest about sales strategies. Describing her teamexperience, Grantham said, “I’ve never worked so
closelywith a team of IBMers from such a wide range of competencies.”

Questions
1. If you calculate the person-hours devoted to IBM’steam projects, they amount to more than
180,000 hours of management time each year.Do you think this is a wise investment of IBM’s
human resources? Why or why not?
2. Why do you think IBM’s culture changed from formal,stable, and individualistic to informal, impermanent,and
team-oriented?
3. Would you like to work on one of IBM’s multicultural,multinational project teams? Why or why not?
4. Multicultural project teams often face problems withcommunication, expectations, and values. How do
you think some of these challenges can be overcome?

CASE INCIDENT 1 Using Social Media to Your Advantage


As you know, social media have transformed the way weinteract. The transparent, rapid-fire communication
theymake possible means people can spread informationabout companies more rapidly than ever. Do
organizations understand yet how to use social mediaeffectively? Perhaps not. As recently as 2010, only 19of the
top 50 chief executives in the world had Facebookaccounts, only 6 had LinkedIn pages, and only 2 regularlyused
Twitter or blogs to communicate. Many executives arewary of these new technologies because they cannot
alwayscontrol the outcomes of their communications. However,whether they are directly involved with social
media or not,companies should recognize that these messages are outthere, so it behooves them to make their
voices heard. Andsocial media can be an important way to learn about emergingtrends. André Schneider, chief
operating officer of theWorld Economic Forum, uses feedback from LinkedIndiscussion groups and Facebook
friends to discover emergingtrends and issues worldwide. Padmasree Warrior, chieftechnology officer of Cisco, has
used social media to refineher presentations before a “test” audience.The first step in developing a social media
strategy is establishinga brand for your communications—define whatyou want your social media presence to
express. Expertsrecommend that companies begin their social mediastrategy by leveraging their internal corporate
networksto test their strategy in a medium that’s easier to control.Most companies already have the technology to
use socialmedia through their corporate Web sites. Begin by usingthese platforms for communicating with
employees and facilitatingsocial networks for general information sharing.As social networking expert Soumitra
Dutta from Inseadnotes, “My advice is to build your audience slowly and beselective about your contacts.”Despite
the potential advantages, companies also need tobe aware of significant drawbacks to social media. First, it’s
verydifficult to control social media communications. Microsoftfound this out when the professional blogger it
hired spentmore time promoting himself than getting positive informationout about the company. Second,
important intellectual
capital might leak out. Companies need to establish very clearpolicies and procedures to ensure that sensitive
informationabout ongoing corporate strategies is not disseminated via socialmedia. Finally, managers should
maintain motivation andinterest beyond their initial forays into social media. A sitethat’s rarely updated can send a
very negative message aboutthe organization’s level of engagement with the world.
Questions
1. Do you think organizations need to have a social mediapresence today? Are the drawbacks sufficient to
makeyou think it’s better for them to avoid certain media?
2. What features would you look for in a social mediaoutlet? What types of information would you avoid
making part of your social media strategy?
3. Which social media sources do you think are mostuseful for organizations to send communications to
external stakeholders, like stockholders or customers?
Are different social media more appropriate forcommunicating with employees?
4. What do you think is the future direction of social media?How might emerging technologies change them?