case study 15

If you wanted something to show for spending 25 percent of your life working for Walmart, you might get some Walmart logo wear or maybe a license plate holder for your car. Jeff Atkins decided to have Walmarts company logo tattooed on his left arm.

Tattoos have become more common. Recent survey results indicate that up to 40 percent of US households include someone who has a tattoo. A study of 2,000 people in the US found that having a tattoo makes you no less employable and doesnt impact the amount of money you earn on the job. Still, a tattoo of a company logo is not something you see every day.

Some people have made an in-the-moment decision to get a company logo tattoo. Mahadeva Matt Mani was at a company retreat for the consulting firm Booz & Company when they were about to be purchased by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mahadeva sensed that the way to relieve employees concerns about their company being bought was to get a tattoo to show his loyalty. Dave Heath, cofounder of the sock company Bombas, joked that he would get a company logo tattoo after selling the millionth pair of socks. Since they hadnt sold any socks when he made that promise, he thought he was safe. But 2.5 years later, Heath was reminded of his promise when they had sold a million socks and he got the tattoo.

Paul Bosneag thought getting a company logo tattoo would prevent him from getting laid off. Paul remembered thinking, What kind of jerk would fire an employee that has the logo tattooed on him? Although he hasnt been laid off, his companyAnytime Fitness Gym chainhas fired seven people who had the company logo as tattoos.

Case Questions

1.Once an employee gets a company logo tattoo, how might his or her job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, absenteeism, and turnover be different from non-tattooed employees? What are the reasons for any differences?

2.Employees might get a company logo tattoo when their attitude toward their company is positive. How does cognitive dissonance apply if their attitude towards the company changes to a negative attitude?

3.How could the shortcuts used in judging others (e.g., selective perception, assumed similarity, stereotyping, etc.) apply to an employee with a company logo tattoo?

4.Sometimes family members of employees who get company logo tattoos dont think it was smart to make a sudden decision to get that tattoo. How does attribution theory apply to how a family member might try to interpret an employees decision to get a company logo tattoo?

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