The Dynamics of International Business

My Reaction to the Arla Case

Since the Danish newspaper published the 12 caricature drawings of Prophet Mohammed, the global uproar from Muslims had a significant impact on Danish organizations’ operational performance across the world. With many Muslim consumers boycotting these organizations’ products and services, huge losses were incurred due to their country links with the Danish newspaper. However, many Danish corporations distanced themselves with the publication by demonstrating their allegiance with the people and the impact of their relationship with Muslim consumers on their business growth. Notably, Arla Foods demonstrated its understanding of Islam by using one of its Muslim managers to convey its position in the crisis. Arla Foods had employed more than 1000 Muslim employees suffering from the boycotts initiated by their religious counterparts. From this realization, the company’s position on the issue demonstrated its understanding of the consumer’s plight and initiated an opportunity that could be used to benefit from consumer loyalty. Crisis communication plays a vital role in mitigating potential consequences and providing a line of information that enhances the relationship between an organization and its stakeholders.

Alternative Solutions

Even though Arla’s approach enabled it to speak directly with the people, many critics believe the organization could have done more than prove its loyalty to the Muslim consumers. However, I believe that Arla Foods’s response to the issue was exemplary because it relied on the Muslim population. Importantly, crisis communication requires organizations to identify the cause of the problem before proposing a solution to mitigate the issue’s consequences. In this case, the organization highlighted its position regarding the Danish publication and criticized with facts the newspaper’s arrogance in portraying Prophet Mohammed in an obscene manner (Abuljadail & Ha, 2019). Tersely, the corporation indicated the impact of the revolt on its Muslim employees who were triggered by the Danish publication’s approach. By choosing a side that identified with its consumers, Arla Foods succeeded in creating a viable solution that demonstrated its commitment towards the smearing campaign targeting the Muslim population. On many occasions, organizations fail to use their influence in the community to address social issues affecting people’s lifestyles for fear of being misjudged. However, Arla Foods had no option other than adopting a position that met the consumer’s expectations to continue benefitting from their relationship.

Arla’s Implications on my Business/Career

The Arla Foods case study is a perfect opportunity for corporations to evaluate their relationship with the people and adopt a position on topical issues affecting individuals in their immediate environment. If the Arla Foods management had hesitated to respond to the Danish publication’s issues, it would have incurred problems because of the inability of individuals to understand its position on the issue. From this realization, company managers should hire crisis communicators who understand the process of engaging an irate consumer population without triggering their emotions. Notably, Arla Foods engaged one of their Muslim managers to engage the Muslim consumers because of his deep understanding of the religious tenets that had been breached by the Danish publication. Although Arla Foods could have used a non-Muslim communicator to respond to the issue, using a Muslim to convey the message would minimize the corporation’s consequences in mitigating the crisis. In this regard, I am aware of the approaches that should be taken when solving problems affecting the relationship between corporations and different stakeholders.

 

 

References

Abuljadail, M. H., & Ha, L. (2019). What do marketers post on brands’ Facebook pages in Islamic countries?. Journal of Islamic Marketing.

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