DEI at Dynamo Relations: The Challenges of Remaining an Inclusive Company

by: Alfonso Rodriguez Gomez, Jaslie Denault, David Iacono, Kriti Pradhan

Publication Date: August 24, 2022
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-884-372

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

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Description

Honorable Mention; 2022 DEI Global Case Writing Competition.

It is March 2022, and Imani Furaha, founder and CEO of Dynamo Relations, is at a key point with respect to the next step of her company’s growth. After growing her public relations and brand management firm in both 2018 and 2019, the company had been hit by hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing her to make some tough adjustments. As the pandemic waned, Furaha was ready for lucrative new projects. But what had at first looked like the project that could give Dynamo a huge lift, turns out to be possibly detrimental to a star employee—Nathaniel de Guzman—who was born with cerebral palsy.

Dynamo just received a proposal from one of its biggest clients, the mayor of Chicago, who is running for governor of Illinois. The mayor wants de Guzman as her key PR representative on her campaign and he clearly has the required skills and experience, but Furaha has many concerns. Are there increased physical risks for de Guzman due to the many on-site appearances required with a statewide campaign? Will Dynamo have to bear additional costs associated with his travel and work accommodations for this assignment? Might he become tokenized as a “voted-getting” element?

 

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Evaluate the organizational change process and leadership role associated with integrating inclusion and diversity within company culture.
  • Explore the strategic role of job design in creating a sustainable competitive advantage with DEI.
  • Understand the concept of an employer’s duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship.
  • Determine the boundary between considering every employee’s personal situation when assigning a particular job vs. discriminating due to that personal situation.
  • Assess the impact of tokenizing a disabled person to benefit a person or a company.
  • Recognize the impact of intersectionality when considering biases and discrimination.