Peppercorn Dining Case Study

Peppercorn Dining is a college dining facility where Roger, Lynn and Erica, who happen to be partners from Square One, a consulting firm, are having lunch one afternoon when Drew Randall, Peppercorn’s manager recognizes Erica who had worked there a few years earlier. The consultants have a brief conversation with Drew, from whom they learn about some of the challenges facing Peppercorn Dining. Drew mainly focused on the problem of staffing, which had forced several students to stop working at the diner and even though he was cognizant of the symptoms, he could not single out the root cause of the problem that was affecting Peppercorn’s workforce. As such, Drew sought professional advice from the consultants.

The entry and contracting process went on very smoothly, Drew expressed his concerns about the performance of the diner and clearly stated his main goal which was to “increase productivity and to improve the morale of the workers” (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Because Erica was a former employee at Peppercorn Dining, she had personal relationships with most of the current employees at the diner. This contributed a great deal to the ease and speed with which the consultants managed to negotiate a contract with Peppercorn. For the same reason, the process of identifying the organization’s culture, sources of power, and informal practices was a walk in the park. Erica was also well versed with the language of the organization and was therefore in a position to get to the root of most of the problems facing the organization. Finally, the contract that was presented to the organization outlined the consultants’ fees and the proposed schedule of the times and dates that they intended to gather information from the facility.

The consultants’ data gathering entailed collecting information on various organizational characteristics, based on the feedback obtained from personal interviews and general observations that were made at the facility. They also made deliberate efforts to examine the organizations records, policies, mission statements, rules and regulations in order to gain further insights about the unit’s organizational structure. Erica was obviously the best consultant to carry out the interviews because of the nature of her relationship with the employees. There was however a higher likelihood that her findings would be biased because of her former experience at the diner. So while her relationship with employees made them at ease with her, it proved to be great hindrance to her ability to remain neutral and collect the data objectively. Other than that, the interviews were not well structured, because each employee was asked a different set of questions (Yaeger & Sorensen, 2009; Anderson, 2012). The consultants were therefore not in a position to make any comparisons whatsoever between the employees responses. Additionally, the consultants only asked open ended questions and hence the employee’s responses did not have any analytical significance. It can therefore be concluded that the data gathering was inefficient.






Anderson, D. L. (2012). Cases and exercises in organization development & change. Los Angeles: Sage.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2009). Organizational development and Change. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.

Yaeger, T. F., & Sorensen, P. F. (2009). Strategic organization development : managing change for success. Charlotte, N.C. : Information Age Publishers.

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