Breaking Bread: DEIB Challenges Impact a Peruvian Corporation's Potential

by: Karen Lynden, Miguel Córdova

Publication Date: September 14, 2023
Length: 14 pages
Product ID#: 5-915-152

Core Disciplines: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Social Impact, Strategy & Management

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Honorable Mention; 2023 DEI Global Case Writing Competition

This case combines a strategy issue (merger) encompassing the disciplines of organizational behavior and human resource management. Issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are intertwined in the case, ranging from gender discrimination to sociocultural and hierarchical social class discrimination. The case provides a glimpse into one context (Peru), using a realistic fictional situation, as an example relatable across cultures and a variety of industry and organizational settings.

In less than two years, Sweet Mountain Bakery (SMB) lost substantial market share in Peru’s cookie market. Top management was shocked to find the main reason was the high-growth performance of a relatively small firm in the country’s Andes Mountains area, All You Knead (AYK). The competition became so fierce that employees of SMB and AYK regarded each other as rivals to defeat. In late 2022, after several aggressive yet ineffective competitive moves, SMB solved the situation with a buyout of AYK.

Unanticipated in this merger was a set of serious DEIB challenges that emerged post-acquisition. Negativity between the two groups of employees undermined company efforts to attain synergy and efficiency and increase productivity. Students put themselves in the shoes of Victoria Huaman, SMB’s new human resources vice president. She is the only woman and the only previous AYK manager among the direct reports to the CEO. Her task is to prepare a report addressing not only DEI issues but also the issue of belonging.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Analyze how diversity within an organization can promote positive organizational outcomes but can also present challenges.
  • Identify the key issues in this case that created the organizational climate of social division and diminished product quality and productivity.
  • Compare and contrast how the DEIB issues in this business case relate to country social-class issues and inequities in other contexts (e.g., organizations, regional, or country contexts).
  • Interpret phenomena within a cultural context through identifying various elements inherent to one’s own culture and to other cultures (e.g., history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, beliefs, practices).
  • Propose recommendations to develop a human resource management strategy fulfilling DEIB initiatives.