The strategy of Paula Deen Enterprise was primarily focused on the growth which was well explained by her plans to endorse a diabetic drug to develop new enterprise backed by Najafi Cos (Gillette, 2014). She was continuously expanding her food business into different dimensions without effective control and management.. This strategy of growth dispossesses the control and management required in the business. This lack of control raised ethical issues about the management and damaged the brand name of Paula Deen Enterprise. The performance and image of the company was profoundly injured because of lack of control and management. Inflexibility and lack of empowerment at lower levels of management was another contributing factor which smashed the brand image of Paula Deen Enterprise. The organizational culture was not effectively managed and indoctrinated among the employees. All these issues of management proved to be the root causes of the crisis. After the controversies were raised about her racial statements and type two diabetes, its business partners including Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Sears, JC Penney and Caesars suspended their partnerships with the company (Johnson, 2013). Hence the restaurant-media-and-branding of Ms. Deen was in workplace crisis and ethical crisis. This crisis was the outcome of her relaxed management style and high family influence on the business. To recover the damages from current disclosures about racist statements, she has devised a crisis management team, hired legal team to defend the case and employed crisis media management expert. Her efforts to recover the brand image by restructuring her business and media strategy were pointing towards her focus on the current needs of the crisis. She changed her business strategy of growth and devised an effective crisis management plan to revoke the damages of controversy.
The organizational structure of Paula Deen Enterprise was highly centralized, and decision making process lacks the involvement of employees. The culture of the company was highly formalized and authoritative. Ms. Deen and her family had the control on strategic decisions and on the operational decisions. This lack of employee contribution at all the levels of decision making process made them realize as not part of a reputed organization. Continuous enlargement and centralized decision making process were one of the driving forces which positioned the company into ethical crisis. Expansion of Paula Deen Enterprise and robust changes in the work environment demanded flexibility and autonomy within the organization. Employee involvement programs enhance the productivity, motivation and satisfaction of a workforce. Participation of employees improves the quality of products and services offered by organizations and hence boost the performance of company (Sesil 1999). Authoritative organizational structure and power delineated at the higher levels of management demotivated the employees. The performance and reputation of the company were suffering because of lack of employee involvement programs. Discouraged and alienated employees were leaving the company in crisis. The employees of the company were not motivated and influenced by the strategic expansions and highly centralized organizational structure of the food network. Public relations and media marketing manager Nancy Assuncao left the company because of disagreement on strategic decision of endorsing diabetes drug. (Carlyle, 2012). Ms. Deen was in immediate need to have crisis communication to motivate and encourage her employees to stand with her in this perilous situation. The situation required effective communication with the public, fans and employees to overcome the offensive statements about ethical delinquency.
Human resource management and retention of qualified workforce translate into organizational abilities to achieve its long term goals and objectives. Human resource is most treasured asset of the organization and its management require building effective relationships among human capital. The credibility of organization will be at stake if employees are not considered as important asset to organizational asset and involved in managing public relations. (Strandberg, 2009). Ms. Deen did not recognize the value of human capital and there was no human resources department to address the needs of employees. She did not value employee as an important tool in the success of an organization. Ineffective management and utilization of workforce lead to a lawsuit filed by her former employee Lisa Jackson. She reported pattern of suspected discrimination, emotional agony and assault during her employment at Paula Deen Enterprises as General Manager. (Goodhand, 2012). Lack of human resource management and control dragged the company into a serious crisis and destroyed the brand name and well established repute of Ms. Deen. Racial remarks and sexual harassments were the issues raised by the workforce of Paula Deen Enterprise because of unequal treatment and employee un-satisfaction. There was a need to manage the human capital of the company and to communicate the roles, duties, appraisals and performance management to the employees. To embrace employees in business strategy and face this uncertain situation, she should recognize the employee power by supporting, rewarding, communicating and motivating them. Effective communication and motivational tactics with the personnel enhance the value and satisfaction of employees. They will be inspired in their work and focus their efforts in the success of an organization. Proper communication is a tool to capitalize on the intellectual resources and recognize the value of human capital. (Ashfaq, Rehman, Safwan, & Humayoun, 2012)
Paula Deen Enterprise was facing serious crisis because of poor management of the organization. Highly centralized and authoritative organizational structure, lack of proper communication channels exaggerated the fragile condition of the company. Absence of human resource management and effective utilization of human capital demotivated the employees. All these management issues placed the company in a controversy which shake the whole business and reputation of Ms. Deen. She is constantly trying to rehabilitate her business through crisis management team and by hiring experts of particular subject areas.
Ashfaq, M., Rehman, K. U., Safwan, N., & Humayoun, A. A. (2012). Role of Effective Communication in Retention. International Conference on Arts, Behavioral Sciences and Economics Issues.
Carlyle, E. (2012). Paula Deen: Diabetes Diagnosis Hasn't Dented Her Earnings. Forbes. [online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2012/07/18/paula-deen-diabetes-diagnosis-hasnt-dented-her-earnings/ >[Accessed 16 February 2014]
Gillette, F. (2014, February). Paula Deen Gets a Private Equity Revival. Will It Be Another Family Act? Bloomberg Business week [online] Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-12/paula-deen-gets-a-private-equity-revival-dot-will-it-be-another-family-act>[Accessed 16 February 2014]
Goodhand, A. (2012). Former Employees To Come Forward As Witnesses In Paula Deen ‘N Word’ Lawsuit. Radar. [Online] Available at: http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/03/paula-deen-lawsuit-former-employees-come-forward-witnesses-n-word-harassment/ >[Accessed 16 February 2014]
Johnson, A. (2013, June). Paula Deen's business partners vow to support her. CNNMoney. [online] Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/28/news/companies/paula-deen-business-support/>[Accessed 16 February 2014]
Strandberg, C. (2009). THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT . Strandberg Consulting.
Sesil, J. C. (1999). The Impact of Employee Involvement and Group Incentives on Performance in UK High Technology Establishments. The State of University of New Jersey Rutgers. Pg. 207-307