As organizations have grown more aware and focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues, it is important to consider how such initiatives translate in a global setting. Many DEI policies are considered and interpreted through a Western social and business lens. Though such policies strive to address undoubtedly important DEI issues, how do such policies and related practices influence business decisions in a non-Western business setting is an important consideration that often goes unnoticed.
In the case, Jarom Stuart, the CEO of Prime Toys Global (“Prime”), a listed toy company needs to make a hiring decision for a senior person that will lead Prime’s Asia business, which is strategically important to the company. He is picking between two very qualified candidates, Isabella Zhou and Caleb Young. On its face, hiring Isabella would seem to enhance Prime’s diversity, however, given Caleb’s background and the nature of the Asian business, Caleb could also be considered to contributing to diversity, albeit in a way that is not typically captured in DEI metrics. Given the above, the case focuses on Jarom’s hiring decision, which requires him to interpret and grapple with what diversity means in a more global, non-Western context.
The teaching objectives of the case are:
- Students will be able to explain that DEI initiatives that were considered for a Western business environment might have different interpretations or applications in a non-Western context.
- Students will be able to articulate their own working definition of diversity.
- Students will be able to identify how psychological biases can contribute to a lack of diversity.