Bill Baldwin, president and founder of Baldwin Scientific Instruments, had just finished meeting with Daniel, a Baldwin assembler of Vietnamese descent. Daniel was very upset about the treatment that he and his Vietnamese co-workers had been receiving from their first-line Latino supervisors, a brother and sister who were originally from Peru. Daniel had reported that the two supervisors did not respect any of the 10 Vietnamese assemblers, that they were intentionally mean and rude to them, and that they spoke negatively about them in Spanish behind their backs. He pointed out that the assemblers are the key to the firm’s success and asked the president to take immediate action to restore the respect they deserved.

Baldwin was aware that distrust and friction existed between the Latinos and the Vietnamese. Fortunately, there had never been any fights or even loud arguments. However, he noticed that during lunch both groups sat apart and spoke in their own native languages. At the annual company summer picnic and Christmas party, both groups also sat separately, and while cordial, they were never friendly toward one another. Baldwin realised that part of the problem might be that the Latinos were often in supervisory positions whereas the Vietnamese were mostly assemblers. This structure reflected the fact that Latino supervisors had far more experience and length of service than the new Vietnamese employees did. Bill also realised that another part of the problem might be that the head of the assembly department, a non-migrant Californian who supervised the brother and sister, was not an effective leader because he refused to address employee relations problems. He knew a lot about assembling instruments but allowed problems to fester among the diverse workforce rather than solve them.

As Baldwin was pondering what should be done, the sales manager walked into the office and gleefully announced that another large order had just come in. Baldwin knew this would necessitate the hiring of five more skilled assemblers, and that advertisements in the southern California area newspapers would result in mostly Latino and Vietnamese applicants. He wondered what the firm’s Hiring policy should be, given that he did not want to create more problems.



1. Discuss diversity characteristics observed at Baldwin Scientific Instruments corporation.

2. Discuss business reasons for managing diversity, pros and cons. Which reason was most important to Baldwin?

3. Discuss why organisations may consider personality an important construct.

4. What hiring policy should Baldwin Scientific Instruments firm follow?

5. How would you position diversity and individual differences on the HR value chain?

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