It is an in-flight meals provider for the airline industry companies that operates in 29 countries and employs 22,000 people, making 534,000 meals per day (Profile: Gate Gourmet, 2005, n/p).
However, in August- September 2005 Gate Gourmet managed to get into the headings of almost every major business newspaper or magazine. The company has become a widely-cited example of airline industry outsourcing after some of the British Airlines employees joined the Gate Gourmet's workers for strike.
In this paper I will assess the actions of Gate Gourmet management prior to and during the time of the strike and negotiations with regard to aspects of communication, decision-making, organizational culture and inter-organisational politics.
Effective communication is of high importance to every organisation in every industry. Nevertheless, for the going through the hard times of restructuring and strategy rethinking airline industry companies it is a factor of extreme importance. ...
According to the theory of equity which provides a simple framework for understanding how people decide whether they are being treated fairly in their relationships the distributive, procedural, and interactive dimensions of justice are distinguished between Perceptions of people that constitute base for the judgments about equity differ significantly, especially in the multicultural workforce environment like one at Gate Gourmet.
If Gate Gourmet's management had properly addressed the notions of the distributive, procedural, and interactive justice, it would have lessen or prevent the escalation conflict that developed. Workers of Gate Gourmet, and British Airways employees that later joined them, went on strike not only because they perceived the job cuts to be unjust outcomes (distributive justice was not in place), but also because the procedures used and communication were not regarded as adequate for the situation.
The latter aspect is addressed in the organizational behaviour theory as procedural and interactional justice. It focuses not on the final outcomes, but rather on the means deployed to get them. If the methods and procedures used to arrive at and implement decisions that affect the employee negatively are seen as fair, the reaction is likely to be much more positive than otherwise (Wagner & Hollenbeck, 2005, p. 235). To minimise the accumulating tension and anger among the employees and referent groups the Gate Gourmet management should have focused on procedures used. Emphasis on their consistency across time and other people, bias suppression, accuracy, correctability, ethicality and representativeness would be extremely important. Moreover, the