Case Analysis

Case Analysis



Case Analysis


The situation present at Oaktree Mills irrefutably presents a delicate issue to the management. Over the years, Oaktree Mills has exhibited a fair relationship with its employees, customers and the environment. As a large regional organization, the firm has focused its efforts on achieving an environment that caters to the needs and preferences of its clients and workers. Regardless of its social responsibility efforts, the organization was unable to avert the negative impact caused by its products on the customers. Accordingly, the meat-processing firm supplied meat products that allegedly caused food poisoning. Evidently, 13 individuals living in rural Saskatchewan underwent hospitalization after gaining infection from salmonella poisoning. After thorough inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Authority (CFIA) based on notification from the Canadian Public Health Authority, the inspectors were able to determine the cause of the poisoning among consumers.

Consequently, the CFIA investigators discovered that the Oaktree sandwich meats, which underwent processing and packaging at the firm’s Winnipeg plant, were responsible for the poisoning. Based on this discovery, the inspectors recommended that the plant suspend its operations since the poisoning originated from the pair of industrial meat grinders. In addition, the CFIA recommended that the organization recall more than 1.2 million kilograms of produced meat commodities. Regardless of these problems, the management dealt with the prevalent situation amicably by cooperating fully with the inspectors’ directives. However, the implications that the poisoning posed on the customers represented another disparate issue for Oaktree Mills. Even though the firm exuded active response in corporate social responsibility, the food poisoning scandal was a considerable issue that could damage the image of the organization among the public.

Usually, an organization’s public reputation plays a significant role in its financial success. Individuals such as investors typically consider the firm’s image as a measure for investment consideration. Therefore, if a company possesses a fair reputation within its external environment, then it is able to have a competitive edge over other firms based on the high level of investments implied in the organization. Additionally, the reputation of a company also affects the purchasing power of consumers in terms of the products it offers. Based on this, a firm’s products may undergo considerable purchase if it possesses a just image among the public. Moreover, large corporations are able to gain significant economic synergies apart from the economies of scale they receive based on the reputation they illustrate within the business milieu.

In this respect, Oaktree Mills attempted to avoid negative publicity by utilizing the influence of social media such as television and newspapers. The exploitation of networking technology was also a significant strategy based on the local and global predisposition towards it by people and organizations correspondingly. With the assistance of the Twitter media site, the organization was able to monitor the public’s reactions concerning the food poisoning scandal. In addition, the organization was able to monitor and engage in social interaction with its employees further sustaining good relations among them. However, in its monitoring efforts, the organization was able to view the actions of disgruntled employees. Allyson McMahon, one of the disgruntled employees, utilized Twitter to sabotage the organization’s products and efforts in curbing the recent crisis. Based on this occurrence, it was imperative for the manager to consider possible resolutions.

Analysis and Evaluation

Regardless of the issues facing Oaktree Mills, it is impossible to ignore the performance the organization has exuded over the four decades it has provided quality meat products to its customers. Accordingly, Oaktree Mills is one of the largest meat-processing corporations in Canada. Based in Calgary, the organization takes pride in its regional presence. This is according to the processing plants based in Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. Based on such data, it is clear that the firm also boasts of high financial revenue. This is because the organization requires factoring in extraneous costs involved in maintaining the plants and reimbursing the employees situated there. Moreover, the organization also mitigates the significant expenses that arise from environmental regulations. Usually, new environmental regulations require new and conventional organizations to implement new mechanisms that adhere to environmental protection and conservation.

This usually presents a problem for established corporations since most of them require replacing their conventional technologies with novel paraphernalia that supports environmental longevity. Additionally, Oaktree Mills also possesses a broad and established customer base based on its long-term going-concern. Evidently, Oaktree Mills has over millions of customers who consume its products on a daily basis. Moreover, its engagement in corporate social responsibility restricts consumers from accessing other alternatives other than the meat products it offers to them. In addition, the organization also maintains a low turnover rate. This is in accordance to the efforts it applies in retaining employees satisfactorily. By maintaining good relations with its workers through factors such as social interaction, it is evident that Oaktree Mills views its workforce as an important asset to its financial success. In addition, the corporation’s positive reputation illustrates the regional dominance it possesses within the country of Canada and the meat-processing market. However, the organization is currently facing internal issues based on the views of disgruntled employees.

In order to quell the problems arising from the poisoning instance, Oaktree Mills Company employed certain strategies. Such approaches were necessary in order to avoid long-term negative implications on the firm. In this respect, it is certain that the plans employed by the firm illustrate part of the stratagems it uses in order to achieve a market leadership position. One of the main strategies employed by the organization involved the utilization of social media. Due to its status as an established corporation, it was correct to assert that the firm would receive extensive media attention based on the poisoning occurrence. However, the firm’s management illustrated a positive physical presence by appearing in communication media such as the television. Moreover, the corporation was able to protect its publicity by asserting its main objective as the provision of safety and health for millions of its customers who have enjoyed its products for 40 years.

Discussion of the Alternatives

Conclusively, the management at Oaktree Mills requires generating alternatives that will resolve the discontent expressed among certain employees. Accordingly, employees such as Allyson McMahon, convey their exasperations against the organization. Such exasperations, aside from the hospitalization incident, consistently damage the public reputation of the organization. In addition, the use of social media by the displeased worker further presents a significant issue based on the negative implications it poses on other employees. In this respect, Allyson McMahon has focused her attention on the organization’s Twitter handle by conveying her problems with the firm and extending as far as inciting customers to desist from consuming Oaktree Mills’ meat products. Based on the impacts that may arise from such negative sentiments, it is critical for the management to consider strategies that will benefit the organization and the employee in general.

One of the first alternatives involves reiteration of the work’s importance. According to Morris (2008), it is significant for management to emphasize on the significance of the respective employee’s obligations. This is because every job apportioned among the workers affects the overall corporation culture and performance. In this case, the Director of Communications and the Head of Human Resources may reiterate the importance of the employee’s obligations to the organization’s success. Additionally, the respective management may advise Allyson McMahon on the negative effects that may arise from her actions if she does not concentrate on her contractual obligations. In conjunction with this, the management may consider explaining the impacts of her actions, which may comprise negative departmental morale as well as inadequate personal performance.

Another alternative that the management may consider involves the utilization of complaint advisories. According to Morris (2008), it is important for organizations to consider the suggestions, complaints and proposals of employees within the workplace. Based on this assertion, firms can endorse such suggestions by utilizing complaint and suggestion boxes in order to enable employees to voice out their complaints and suggestions without disclosing their identity. In addition, Morris (2008) also provides that the management should instruct the disgruntled employees on appropriate ways of submitting and filing complaints without contravening organizational processes. The management can also encourage workers to share the problems they face with the manager or a person in the Human Resource department. According to Morris (2008), the faster the employee shares his or her issues, the sooner they will be capable of refocusing their attention on their obligations.


Based on the alternatives provided, there are specific recommendations that will provide the capability of mitigating the disgruntled employee’s actions. One of these recommendations involves the utilization of complaint boxes. The complaint boxes will be an appropriate way of allowing Allyson McMahon to express her concerns without daunting the publicity of the entire organization. Additionally, the utilization of the complaint box by the disgruntled employee will influence other workers to share their problems and avoid them from engaging in negative ways that may affect the operation of the organization. Another recommendation that the management may utilize involves educating McMahon on the proper way to voice her dissatisfaction. One of these ways may involve the implementation of a hearing in which the employee will receive audience from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in order to exhibit her complaints. This private audience will allow Allyson McMahon to express her dissent at the manner in which the organization reduced her labor hours and shifted her from the day shift to the night shift without informing her.

Consequently, the complaint hearing will allow the worker to feel as if she bears significant importance to the organization. An audience with the organization’s CEO will allow her to negotiate on terms of agreement that will benefit her and the organization. Even though this is the best possible strategy for the disgruntled employee, it still poses certain demerits. One such demerit may involve the CEO’s busy schedule. Postponing the meeting will only increase the employee’s probability of lashing out against the organization. This is in accordance to her view that the CEO may actually consider her inferior to her organizational issues. Based on this, it will be important to arrange three-day hearing. This hearing will ensure that the CEO shares half of his daytime towards McMahon’s complaints for each day.


Morris, P. (2008). The disgruntled employee: Manage challenging staff without losing your mind: understanding the strategy and psychology of business. Avon, MA: Adams Business.

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