MITSUBISHI CASE ANALYSIS 6
TheMMMASexualHarassment Case Study
Sexualharassment is a problem that incorporates the aspects oforganizational policy, personal morality and general human decency.Therefore, it is a mismanagement problem that presents a complexchallenge in terms of understanding, handling and solving the case.To explore this topic, this paper will discuss and analyze the caseof sexual harassment at “Mitsubishi MotorManufacturingof America, Inc (MMMA).”The case of MMMA is discussed as the problem, analyzed andrecommendations that the company should adopt as presented.
Theproblem experienced was sexual harassment in the company that wasrespected in the motor industry. The sexual harassment case isprojected by the different reports that were established by thevictims of the management and eventually went public. The first casesof the unethical acts were reported in 1992 when many femaleemployees presented complaints to the representatives of their laborunion (MMMA Case, n.d). The sexual harassment, specific actsincluded, obscene pictures, naming female workers in wall sketches,sexual graffiti, forced sex play and male flashing. The same issuewas presented to the management in the same year after unsuccessfulhandling by the unions. Finally, the victims took a formal suitagainst the motor firm in December, 1994, which made the sexualharassment problem at the firm a concern of public scrutiny.
Sexualharassment at Mitsubishi presented a worldwide case since it is asuccessful global company that was expected to handle such casesinternally. Mitsubishi was established in 1870s and has grown to be areputable company in the motor vehicle industry. Therefore, thecompany is expected to have strong organizational policies andcontrols that can handle the case at the internal levels. Withseveral plants in different parts of the world, Mitsubishi has anextensive organizational structure that was supposed to handle thematter before extending to public scrutiny. The problem involved theactual sexual harassment and a subsequent problem of not handling theactual sexual harassment reports.
Oneof the biggest problems that the company faced was the element oflost reputation and public image. The company had established a goodreputation that is important for corporate environments. According toRobbins(2004) argues that thebetter the corporate of a company, the better the competitive edge acompany gains in the public domain. The problem of sexual harassmentwas reported despite the company plant located in a modest andmid-sized American community. The plant of the company thatexperienced the cases of sexual harassment is located in Illinois inBloomington. As the second largest employer in the locality, theMitsubishi plant held a lot of reputation in the locality, whichpresented a good corporate image.
Thesexual harassment cases present an underlying problem at thecompany’s plant in terms of understanding the issue and respondingto it. The cases of sexual harassment were first reported by victimsto the organizations that represented the interests of the workers.At this point, the sexual harassment issues should have been handledby the company with the input of the labor union officials thatreceived the cases. This shows that the company had no structuredorgans of presenting such claims that should be handled by themanagement of the company. According to Williamsand Kinicki(2006), an organizational structure of the company should accommodateissues presented by the workers. Therefore, the administration of theMMMA ought to have had a responsive management to address theconcerns of the victims of the acts.
Aftercomplaining, the women filed a suit of class-action against thecompany as a way of claiming their civil rights. The rights wereclearly violated as they alleged in the complaints presented to boththe management, the labor unions and during the case. Thisillustrates the status of the human rights observance at the motorfirm’s plant. The repeated sexual harassment cases that werecommitted on the women indicate the working conditions of theemployees at the company. Moreover, it indicates the responsivenessof the management in responding to concerns on the workingconditions. For instance, among the complaints are graffiti picturesand images that were painted at the plant, against general andspecific women workers.
First,the company should establish clearly set and established genderpolicies. The company needs to establish rules and regulations thatshould guide the interaction between the male gender and the womencounterparts. These regulations will prevent the happening of suchscenario that paints the company negatively. According to Robbins(2004), an organization should establish various policies that shouldguide the human interactions for the benefit of the management.Moreover, the company should constantly update the rules as well asthe policies that regulate such human interactions in a dynamicorganization.
Secondly,the company should take full responsibility of the sexual harassmentproblem at its plant and show this publicly. Taking responsibility ofthe faults that an organization commits is one of the most powerfulelements of managing conflicts and problems that become public. Thisis because the responsibility shows the commitment of the managementtowards implementation of the organizational rules as well as justiceto the victims (EEOC, 1998). According to Williams and Kinicki(2006), once a management leadership issue is discussed in the publicdomain, it ceases from being an internal problem to an externalproblem. The same way the problem went public from the internalorgans of the company, is the same way the company should showresponsibility publicly in solving an extended internal issue.
Finally,the management of the company should restructure two of its employeerelations departments in the internal organization. First, thecompany should restructure the leadership in the human resourcemanagement to ensure well organized and balanced human relations.Secondly the company should restructure the work allocationdepartment in order to ensure a gender balance in the organization.This will help allocate tasks and work with teams and groups of womenseparate from the teams and groups of men, especially those that areperceived to be chauvinistic against women.
Thebest alternative or the management of the company is to showresponsibility as an option of solution. This is because this optionis a solution-oriented other than preventive. The fact remains thesexual harassment has occurred and has cost the company itsreputation in the public domain. Therefore, the company needs to takemeasures that will correct its image and reputation. The main reasonfor recommending this option is because it is a corrective measure,of a problem that is active. Taking responsibility will meanaddressing complaints of the women, paying them if ordered by thearbitrator and accept the conditions of the women (EEOC, 1998).Moreover, the company should take disciplinary measures against theculprits of the sexual harassment. This will show the commitment thatthe company’s management has towards observing the rights of thewomen.
EEOC,1998. MitsubishiMotor Manufacturing And EEOCReach Voluntary Agreement To Settle Harassment Suit. RetrievedFrom, <http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-11-98.cfm?>June 15, 2014
MMMACase, n.d. How Normal is Normal? The Mitsubishi Motors SexualHarrassment Case. Dardenbusiness publishing: university of Virginia, UV, 0592
Robbins,S. P. (2004) OrganizationalBehavior – Concepts, Controversies, Applications.4th Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Williams,B., & Kinicki, A. (2006). Management:A practical introduction. (2nd ed.).New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin