MGT 522 – Leadership & Communication
Individual Business Case
Due by 13th July 2016
Student Name : ___________________________________________
Student ID : ___________________________________________
Read the following case and answer the questions given below. Your responses must in total
account for 1200 – 1500 words (400 – 500 for each question). This must be emailed by 13th July
2016 to email@example.com .
You need to rely on the lecture slides, textbook reading and your own professional practice
while answering these questions. Please in case if you use any outside source, make sure to use
APA referencing because the work will be checked for plagiarism. The accepted percentage of
similarity for this work is 7% or less.
Be Fit or Be Out of Favor at Etihad1
Recently, employees at Etihad have an incentive to get healthy. If they join in the companywide
weight-loss contest and succeed in reaching their goals, they could win cash prizes or a luxury
vacation. Inspiration for the contest came from the new corporate leader Salem AlNuaimi, who
himself lost more than 10 kilo’s a few years ago. “He really put it on the radar,” says Sheikha
AlShamsi, chief operating office at Etihad, “in the contest\’s first year, some employees lost up
to 30 kilo’s”.
Etihad was also one of the first UAE companies to take a hard line on smoking. Mohammed
Mansouri, director of the Center for Human Resources, was asked to comment on the
antismoking campaign. He said that “It has become socially acceptable to attack smoking and
smokers. Will we see the same thing concerning obesity? The time is probably ripe for that.”
In 2015, director AlNuaimi announced that all Etihad employees would have one year to quit
smoking completely or else face termination. The company offered smoking cessation classes,
nicotine patches, and other support, according to Mohammed Mansouri, who said director
AlNuaimi decided on the policy after a close friend died of lung cancer—and after he learned
that UAE state law does not protect smokers. Another concern was the fact that smokers drive
up health care premiums, thus increasing the expenditure on health costs for the company.
“If someone wants to smoke, that is their choice, but when their choices impact their employer
and fellow employees, then, frankly, we\’re not going to accept it,” says Mansouri.
AlNuaimi found himself at the center of controversy when he told on Al Jazeera that Etihad
would take every legal step to insist on healthy employees. “If you are an alcoholic, and we
1 * case not based on facts, but only for training / academic purposes
have the right to fire you, we will do that, too,” he said. Bloggers and online commentators
attacked AlNuaimi for discriminating unfairly against overweight people and stepping too far
into employees\’ private lives. A pregnant woman said, “Last time I was pregnant, I gained 20
kilos. In how much time would I have to lose that weight before getting fired?”
According to AlNuaimi, however, it does not go that far: “Weight [he means being overweight]
is complicated—it can be caused by disease—so before we go down the path of penalizing
employees who are overweight, we need to understand and build a consensus around it.” He
says the company does not currently penalize overweight or obese workers.
1. Which influence tactics does Salem AlNuaimi appear to be using in his attempt to combat
employee smoking and obesity?
2. What suggestions might you offer director AlNuaimi to help him be more successful in his
attempts at influencing employee weight control?
3. What is your evaluation of the ethics of a corporate leader attempting to influence employees
to avoid obesity? (do you think it’s OK or not, and why)
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