Name: Iqbal Alhmed
BUS- 207- 004
ID: 200918438
Case study Answers case chapter 2
Q1: How do changes in the demographic makeup of Sundown Bakeries reflect
transformation of the larger workforce ? Consider the following dimensions of
culture as you describe the impact of culture on communication within the
company: high and low context styles, individualism and collectivism, and
power distance.
The diversified cultural background of the Sundown Bakeries employees as
they deal with issues relating to their demographic makeup should be
evaluated with care and sensitivity by the upper management since people
communication, feminism, family and social values differently. For example,
Jose confessed of feeling uneasy for taking orders from a female manager
because of his cultural background (Brazil) and makes him feel degraded for
taking orders from a female; this is where direct and carefully thought and
expressed communication is most needed to make Jose understand that in
this culture managerial positions are gained by hard work and higher levels of
education, regardless of gender. Moreover, a larger workforce consisting of
people from a different cultural background is bound to negatively impact
employees moral and motivation because of communication breakdowns,
misunderstandings and misconceptions, unless management deals with the
mentioned differences by encouraging employees to frankly communicate
their thoughts and by insuring that the communication channels are open
between all levels in order to spot and deal with potential misunderstandings
and misconceptions early on.
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Name: Iqbal Alhmed
BUS- 207- 004
ID: 200918438
Q2:How would you describe the early organizational culture of Sundown ?
How has the culture changed as the company grew ? Consider issues listed
on pages 64 – 65 as you answer this question.
The early organizational culture of Sundown can be described as a "one big
family" culture where communication channels were open between the
owners and the employees in the form of physical context. In the early stages
of the business, there were no formal methods of communication and the
business was conducted more on a personal level; the organizational
structure was fairly simple and uncomplicated. Since both owners did not
have any prior experience in running a large business, they were focusing
more on what they know best; baking and providing good customer service,
while making sure to buy the best possible ingredients for their customers. As
the business grew and the owners had to hire someone with experience in
running a large business ( Hans ), the organizational culture became formal
and the communication channels became more complicated and the
employees began to feel that the organizational culture became an
authoritarian one; therefore, employees had less autonomy than before and
had to abide by the rules of a manual passed on by the management.
Moreover, the cultural diversification among the employees of Sundown had
widened and the decoding of messages sent to employees by the
management were conceived as impersonal and not attending to their
personal and emotional concerns. Early employees felt that they were not
properly rewarded for their seniority since they had to abide by the same
manual and wear the same uniform just like everyone else.
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Name: Iqbal Alhmed
BUS- 207- 004
ID: 200918438
Q3:What advice would you give to Sundown's management team about how
to maintain the most effective culture in the face of the company's growth ?
In order to maintain an effective culture, I would advise the Sundown's
management to pay close attention to the employees' emotional needs by
maintaining a direct and proper communication channel and by encouraging
them to communicate their concerns. I would also advice them to conduct on
a regular basis, an informal setting where management and employees can
socialize and feel more at ease in communicating their thoughts. I would also
suggest the implementation of a reward system by which employees are
rewarded for their hard work, seniority and genuine ideas of improving the
quality of service to customers. Therefore, providing opportunities and
motivations for growth to well deserving employees. Most importantly, I
would advise them to use as minimum as possible, the formal method of
communication with their employees.
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Name: Iqbal Alhmed BUS- 207- 004 ID: 200918438 Case study