Posted: February 10th, 2022

Culture is easy to sense but difficult to measure.


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Description of the assignment:
“Culture is easy to sense but difficult to measure. The workhorses of culture research – employees surveys and questionnaires are often unreliable”.
Corritore, M, Goldberg, A. and Sraristava, S. (2020) The New Analytics of Culture, Harvard Business Review, Jan. Feb. 2020, pg.5

Back in Feb. 2019, Donata Meirelles, Editor of Vogue Brazil celebrated her 50th anniversary in Salvador de Bahia. Although many of her pictures were shot and released to the press on that day, the one that stirred-up the most controversy depicted Ms. Meirelles sitting next to the black Baianas. Her attitude then was interpreted as one of looking down on the local African ladies who stood up in a subservient manner, wearing their typical costumes next to the big boss.

The pictures soon made it to the local media and generated a stiff reaction in the press which led to the resignation of Ms. Meirelles from the top position at Vogue Brazil. This fact somewhat echoed the previous story made popular by the 2006 movie “The Devil wears Prada”, also dealing with the America’s Vogue Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour in her raptures of ire and self-centeredness.

In returning to the issue of organizational culture which lies at the backdrop to the Brazilian controversy, we may assert that the Editor may have viewed cultural (racial) diversity prevalent in the Brazilian society in a derogatory manner. In the broad cross culture literature (Singh,D 2014, Beham,B.; Straub C. and Schlawbach, J 2012, House,R.; Hanges, P; Javidan, M; Dorfman, P and Gupta, V. 2004) , diversity may be viewed as a positive organizational value as it contributes greatly to most creative endeavours (Corritore et al 2020).

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The salient issue in the Vogue Brazil case relates to how does the Vogue dominant culture may be characterized in terms of both diversity and core values. Diversity may lead to increased innovation yet cultural fit, may lead to lower attrition and a stronger feeling of belonging on the part of employees.

Your assignment will consist of studying the dominant culture of Vogue in your home country, in the post-Covid era to gauge some of the relevant organizational culture issues we indicate before.
To do that, you will use the knowledge you acquired throughout the course to conduct your study and draw some practical recommendations from it.

Questions for the case “Vogue’s culture”.
After the recent scandals in Vogue at various parts of the world, your market research firm has been asked by Vogue’s global management to assess whether the drafter is well aligned with the printed/ online media trends and values of the fashion market in terms of diversity and cultural fit.
Your firm has decided that you and your team will proceed in the following manner….

Where does the need to know more about the culture of Vogue come from?
May organizational culture be an element that can contribute to an increase in competitive advantage on the part of Vogue over others of the specialized press and over other alternative fashion publications?
Please, quote extant literature on the subject of corporate culture and organization.

Desk research
1. After conducting thorough desk research, the consulting team will identify current fashion communication trends/values. In order to do that, you will make explicit use of extant organizational culture frameworks (see HBR article as well as other bibliographical sources), the Vogue magazine itself as well as those drafted by competitors to produce a critical assessment of the Vogue’s global and home division culture (Italy, US, Russia, etc.)
Research design

2. Develop a research design that should include Vogue’s addressed and unaddressed communications need, research need, research question, scope of questionnaire as well as that of more innovative data collection techniques (Glassdoor, blogs, vlogs, forums).

3. Design a questionnaire, identify research targets and forms of research deployment (online vs. offline).
a. Conduct the necessary interviews (quantitative vs. qualitative)
b. Collect data
c. Draw some conclusions from the questionnaire in terms of diversity and strategic fit and document it through a written report.
Social Media

4. Analyze social media sits such as Glassdoor, fashionista sites. By paying attention to language and issue dealt with, identify how Vogue employees view diversity and core beliefs in the fashion communication world

5. Draw some recommendations from your study and identify some possible Vogue communication and HR policies to bridge the gap between market trends/values and corporate values
Format of the Project
– The project should display a coherent structure: title page should include student name, module name, lecturer name, date and school name followed by contents page, introduction, executive summary, body , conclusion, , referencing and appendices.

– The project should be prepared as a neatly typed Word document (Times New Roman 12 points), with double spacing and page numbering.
– All sources must be referenced in the text and a full bibliography must be provided
(including visited websites) in the Harvard style referencing system.
– Students are reminded to use valid and peer-reviewed references to support their work. Websites should only be used if they represent an established source and only for facts and figures. Students should make the most of academic and practitioner books and articles.
2100 words excluding references bibliography and executive summary!!

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