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Kareem’s Cultural Needs Versus ABC Corporation’s Culture

Kareem’s case is a classic example of a situation when personal culture or religion clashes with workplace expectations and corporate culture. This essay will assess the situation, describe the matches or gap and make recommendations on strategies that can be applied in these situations, most of which have become common in the diverse work environments.

Assessment of the Case Study

It is evident that the environment at the ABC call centre is highly competitive and demanding. It has continuously performed as the best among the entire corporation’s call centers under the leadership of Thomas who has individually been recognized as a top performing employee. Notably, after Kareem sues the company for termination of work on grounds of religious discrimination, all the employees and participants interviewed give information that contains similarly or closely related statements. This goes a long way in reducing the idea of malice and deceit in this particular situation. However, the interviews also portray a common theme of ignorance since except for Kathy, all the employees indicated that they were not aware of Kareem’s religious rituals.

Thomas portrays himself as dismissive and arrogant during the interview. Despite the fact that he fired Kareem less than a month ago, he does not recognize the name when it is mentioned to him. He then rushes through the interview and dismisses all the allegations made as ridiculous and a waste of time. Finally, he concludes that Kareem was taking too many jobs and underperforming and fires him without much observation or consultation. Kareem is left in surprise since he has not gotten any negative evaluation on performance in the eight months he has worked at the call centre. Other employees like Michael and Janet are very cautious with their jobs and do not want to risk them by offending Thomas. In particular, Janet is of the opinion that the situation could have been handled differently but quickly counters it with a qualifier, indicating that Thomas is in charge and so, he is the sole decision maker.

Description of Organizational Matches and Gaps

In this context, ABC Corporation has been able to attain high productivity levels by recruiting like-minded people who share characteristics of self-motivation, performance and high energy. This type workforce is much needed here to deal with the excess expectations and call loads that the centre receives daily. On the other hand, there are obvious gaps in communication, leadership and recognition of employee culture (Riccucci, 2002; Robinson, Franklin & Hamilton, 2011). All the interviewed employees are quite able to express their opinions, but are not able to convey them to Thomas, who has created a hostile environment that prioritizes the job at hand at the expense of the needs of the workforce. He makes minimal efforts to know his employees’ names, but monitors their progress over a long period of time. As a result, they are intimidated and are constantly in fear over their job security. Finally, Thomas demonstrates that the work station is not tolerant of anything that derails performance by taking up employees’ time such as prayer rituals.

Recommendation of Strategies

Firstly, employers must not dehumanize employees simply because the nature of the work is demanding and requires constant performance (Cross, 2000). In this case, the call center seems to only be identifiable with Thomas even though the agents carry out the actual daily work. Secondly, companies must implement adequate legislation that protects the employees from the management team and other discriminatory acts. This is a long process that requires the identification of different factor that make up a diverse workforce and develop a set of regulations that integrate all people.


            Creating balance between work requirements, productivity and respecting the rights of all employees is a difficult undertaking (Kotkin, 2009). It is even more difficult in instances where cultural practices do indeed negatively affect performance in the organization. To resolve this challenge both managers and individual employees must work towards attaining suitable working conditions for everyone’s benefit. Most importantly, two-way communication and respect for employees by management and supervisors is basic right that must be fully respected at all times (Lambert, 2009).


Cross, E. (2000). Managing Diversity-The Courage to Lead. Westport: Quorum Books.

Kotkin, M. (2009). Diversity and Discrimination:Alook at Complex Bias. William and Mary Law Review, 50(5), 12-17.

Lambert, L. (2009). Spirituality,Inc: Religion in the American Workplace. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Riccucci, N. (2002). Managing Diversity in Public Sector Workforces. Boulder: Westview Press.

Robinson, R., Franklin, G. & Hamilton, R. (2011). Workplace Religious Accommodation Issues for Adherents of Islam. Business Studies Journal, 3(2), 42-50.

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