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Question 1 : 1. Does Louie have a problem, or are the people who made the negative comments about him being too sensitive?
Question2: . What improvements might Louie Need to make to become a truly multicultural manager?
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-
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
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.
1. Does Louie have a problem, or are the people
who made the negative comments about him
being too sensitive?
What improvements might Louie need to make
to become a truly multicultural manager?
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