Subject: History
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 1
1. Identify the ethical culture problem at Texaco in the mid-1990s. 2. Based on the facts in the case and what you have learned in this chapter, evaluate the culture change effort that is under way. What cultural systems have been targeted in the culture change effort? What systems are missing, if any? Does the culture appear to be in alignment? Misalignment? What else might management do that it hasn’t already done to make the culture change successful? 3. How long might such a culture change take?

Culture Change at Texaco

1.     The ethical culture problem at Texaco during the 1990s was intolerance towards race i.e. racial discrimination. In 1999, the company was taken to court on racial discrimination charges. It had to settle because there was insurmountable proof that the defendant was in the wrong when it came to malpractices within its business. According to the details of the case, racist language was the norm in the company and so was racist behavior. Documents showed that minorities were receiving lower pay sometimes even lower than the minimum salary for their job category.

A former African-American employee wrote in her book that she was once referred to as ‘little colored girl’ by one of her white co-workers. Disputes raised by the minorities were never settled for their benefit and they continued to languish in a racially hostile working environment. It is also plausible that the minorities who worked in the company at the time had little or no hope whatsoever of tangible promotions or better working conditions.

2.     Several cultural systems have been targeted in the culture change effort. One system that has been targeted in the culture change effort is the inclusion of women and people from racial minority groups in leadership positions. The culture change movement has also targeted the promotions’ system in the company whereby more promotions are being offered to women and members of minority groups. The cultural change effort is also looking beyond the company’s human resource by focusing on its suppliers. The management is consistently increasing the number of contracts it has with minority and women-owned vendors. This move is meant to ensure that the company’s new values are also being witnessed outside its offices through its suppliers.

The one system that may be lacking is one that targets the youth. The company needs to attract youth from racial and sex minority groups in order to establish a solid base for long-term diversity in the company. The culture is in alignment with all the laws of the land that dictates that racial discrimination in employment is illegal.  

The length of time that a culture change might take will depend solely on the responsiveness of the employees. If employees eagerly accept the culture change and its principles and change their mindsets and behaviors towards different cultures and races, then a culture change is possible within a very short time. However, if the employees are hard-headed and have values enshrined in racism, then the culture change might take a longer time. If they continue to believe that they are superior to other races then racial conflicts are probably going to ensue and continue for a long time. Efficient and quick cultural change requires a complete overhaul of the employees’ mindsets when it comes to matters pertaining race.