The objective of this document is to assess the multiculturalism level in Coca Cola Corporation with the utilization of the Multicultural Organizational Development (MCOD) Model, developed by Holvino et al. (2004). Multicultural organization, according to the authors illustrates several major characteristics: values and contributions of diverse employee background, employees reflect social and cultural diversity, organization acts to eliminate all types of oppression and discrimination, promotes inclusion and attempts to bring forward Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.
Q1: Placing the Organization in the Continuum of Mono and Multiculturalism
Based on the analysis of the cultural background and evaluation of the strategic direction of the Coca Cola Company it is possible to argue that the organization is located in the middle term between the fifth and the sixth stages of multiculturalism. This argument is based on the fact that the company operates in 150 geographies and employs over 150,000 employees globally. Management team of the organization outlines cultural diversity, and local hiring is done with the concern of the concern about CSR-driven policies (Coca Cola, 2014). Coca Cola promotes equal employment opportunities aligned with legislator and regulatory base of the locations, where the company operates (Coca Cola, 2013). There is still a little concern about the need for further cultural diversification of top and middle management team, and this makes me believe that the organization is yet to make one step forward to reach the sixth level.
Q2: Structural Changes and Multiculturalism
Coca Cola has a commitment, outlined in the Sustainability Report (2013), where it places people and cultural diversity in the core of its business strategy and highlights the role of individuals in bringing innovation and creativity to the company. It is possible to observe that there are certain CSR-related issues, which are evidenced in the supply chain of the company and related to the challenges in transforming internal Sustainability Principles into Integrated Policies across the entire supply chain. This lack of structural control results in questioning of Coca Cola equal opportunity employment practices, when it comes to suppliers´ sourcing relationships, such as the recent case in Liberia (PAO, 2013). It is important that the company pursues further structural changes with regards to the integration of control and audit system in their relationships with suppliers and partners to ensure that these stakeholders are committed to building on multiculturalism agenda along with Coca Cola.
Coca Cola built its corporate culture and organizational structure in a manner to promote Code of Ethical Conduct, which, among other elements, includes the guidance on Ethical standards of internal communications. The company preaches that the communication between the employees should be based on the belief that “we should treat each other the way we would like to be treated by the others”. This approach to the communication process contributes towards the development of multiculturalism in the company. Additionally, the company is trying to promote multicultural virtual working group environment that educates and coaches individuals on all levels to work together and reach another stage in diversity awareness. With these considerations in mind, it is possible to argue that the employee communication about diversity does not limit policies´ impact.
Q4: behavioral Changes to Promote Inter-group relationships
Coca Cola is an exemplary organization in promoting inter-group communication, and it is difficult to outline major downsides in the company´s current diversity management strategy (Coca Cola, 2014). There are some constructs of the multiculturalism that can bring further improvement into inter-group processes and effectiveness in cross-cultural communication. These constructs involve inclusion of conflict management and emotional management training for middle and junior management and promotion of employee empowerment and rotation across functions and geographies. Training of the employees with management responsibilities will enable knowledge transfer about group diversity in the company, while rotation within the organization will promote self-awareness and cross-cultural expertise. While, in the short-run, this may increase the costs, in a long-run, the company will benefit from increased efficiency and productivity due to alignment and wider expertise, gained through diverse employee workforce.
Gerald W. Driskill A. and Brenton L. (2009). Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook. Sage Publications. Print.
Coca Cola (2013). Coca Cola Annual Report 2013 Form 10-K. Coca Cola Official Website. Retrieved 19 March 2014, http://assets.coca-colacompany.com/d0/c1/7afc6e6949c8adf1168a3328b2ad/2013-annual-report-on-form-10-k.pdf
PAO (2013). US$1M Scandal Hits Coca-Cola Factory. Public Agenda Online. Retrieved 19 March 2014, http://www.publicagendanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2663:us1m-scandal-hits-coca-cola-factory-&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=2
Coca Cola (2014). Our Diversity. Coca Cola Official Website. Retrieved 19 March 2014, http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/diversity/our-progress