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The roots of racial discrimination: CASE STUDY OF ASDA

 Executive Summary

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This report examines the roots of racial discrimination for ASDA a reputed store operating in the UK market. This store was formed in the year 1949 and has been selling food and non-food items to the clients in the targeted market. The issue of racial discrimination and its impact on the overall productivity of the retail store is conducted in this work. ASDA has a history of facing serious racial discrimination and this had been not completely resolved by the management. The issue exists in the form of gender inequality, improper pay structure, and others that are directly related to the racial discrimination process. An analysis of the situation is done in the “introduction” part of the research work, and the literature review analyses the issues in a detailed manner. The facts and other relevant information are planned to be collected in an accurate manner in the research methodology. Here the procedure of collecting the facts, like the questionnaire and survey processes are included in the analysis techniques. The recommendation has been developed based on the issue in order to improve the existing issues of the gender pay gap.


I want to thank my professor, guide and mentor for giving me this opportunity to research the topic “The roots of racial discrimination- A Case of ASDA”. I got the needed support from my supervisor who guided me to find appropriate resources and conclude the works. I am very much grateful to the employees of the organization BBC news for their continuous support at the time of the survey. I want to thank my family, friends for their endless care and support.

1. The roots of racial discrimination: CASE STUDY OF ASDA


This project aims at finding the causes of racial discrimination in ASDA and its impact on the overall productivity and growth developmental strategies for the store.

1.2. Introduction

Racial discrimination at a smaller or bigger workplace has always being a major concern for effective business conduct. Such discrimination directly affects the capability of the employees to improve their productivity for the company and acquire the objective goals that are decided by the manager. Racial discrimination is against business ethics and practices, and thus needs immediate attention and problem-solving strategies that would mitigate the issue and improve the internal work structure for the organization.

A detailed evaluation of the reasons for the occurrences of racial discrimination in established work culture and the procedure that can be followed for resolving the same is carried out in this analysis part. The facts and other information are collected through the research methodology procedure, where strategic method and procedure is defined for collecting the facts and in evaluating its relevance for the research work. This research aims to find how racial discrimination has a negative impact on the overall work culture and the morality of the workforce associated with ASDA.

1.3. History of the problem

Racial discrimination has been one of the oldest and most serious issues that had directly impacted the internal work culture of the company. The issue couldn’t be controlled and resolved despite of the fact that were different policies and strategies that were introduced for providing equal work opportunities and fair chance to protect the rights of the people. Employees belonging to different cultural backgrounds are highly differentiated and not provided the needed work support and growth opportunities in reputed and smaller sized business houses. This creates a rift in the workplace culture where productivity and team motivation is highly impacted.

The Equality Act 2010 has been developed in order to reduce the practice of gender pay gaps and to control the impact of the racial discrimination that prevails at the workplace. This act actually states the exact procedure and methods that could be followed for supporting the people with the capability to work in a positive manner. The purpose is to create a favourable work culture that would recognise talent and help the management to upgrade the eleven services provided to the clients.

1.4. Overview of the organization

ASDA is one of the reputed retails stores that operate in the UK. The headquarters of the store is located in Leeds, and the store is well-known for selling food, non-food, and other services that are needed by the clients. The store highly focuses on selling the best quality products and ensures to meet the needs of the customers in the UK and other nations. ASDA has supercentres and superstores that specialises in selling different types of customer-based products at an affordable price to potential buyers. There are approximately 631 stores that operate in different parts of the UK and has been successfully meeting the client needs. The store has 165,000 employees working in different positions on various stores of ASDA. Racial discrimination and its impact on the workplace culture have to be a serious issue, despite the fact that there were different strategies that were undertaken for dealing with the issue.

2 Literature review

2.1 Concept of Organizational Development

Organizational development is a stand-alone effort of individual stakeholders of an organization to increase the effectiveness through planned interventions and using the behaviour-science knowledge of the employees. In the opinion of Sarvaiya and Eweje (2016), organizational development is the main attempt to influence the different processes of an organization for better growth and productivity. This is a system-wide application to develop the behavioural and science knowledge of the individual employees and this helps to reinforce the different organizational strategies.

The concept of OD defines how the internal work culture would be organized and the related issues in introducing the changes would be acquired by the management. It forms an important part of the strategies planning activity, where the relevant changes in terms of people management and staff encouragement are defined and accurately implemented.

Figure 1: Organizational Development

(Source: Sarvaiya and Eweje, 2016)

This helps to enhance the individual development of the employees and also the organization itself. Organizational performance is important to enhance the relationship of the key personnel and evaluate different functional and non-functional requirements in a detailed manner. As commented by Ng and Rumens (2017), the development helps to plan and forecast different issues which may be an obstacle to the growth of the organization. An OD process helps in evaluating different issues like racial discrimination, impact on the people, and lower productivity.

2.2 Concept of racial discrimination

Racial discrimination has to be one of the serious people management issues, where the leaders have not completely been successful in handling the negative aspects associated with the same. This issue is quite serious especially with the stores where there is a higher number of workforce belonging to different cultural backgrounds Ghosh (2020). People want to be equally treated and respected for their efficiency, and in case this is not done then it leads to lower productivity that highly affects the earning capacity of the company. Discriminations are based on the colour of the skin, the way people talk, and others.

Figure 2: Racial Discrimination in the UK

(Source: Ghosh, 2020)

Racial discrimination is done in the form of gender, family status, religious belief, age, disabilities, and others are always quite serious and need an immediate and accurate resolution of the issues. This needs the management to decide how the gap between the management and the workforce due to racial discrimination can be mitigated or controlled to a greater extend. An accurate policy implementation, and communicating the same are quite essential factors as this helps in getting the expected results of motivating the people and getting the expected results. The above diagram states that the issues related to racial discrimination have constantly increased over the years, despite introducing new policies and methods for controlling the negative impact of the same on the people.

2.3 Theories and Model

2.3.1 Conflict Theory

Conflict theory mainly states the social conflict between the male and female in the workplace which enhances organizational productivity. This theory also examines how the racial discrimination process exists at the workplace, and determines the exact procedure and methods to deal with the same.  As argued by Saad (2019), the theory mainly depicts the competition amongst people from different cultural backgrounds and religious practices. Diversity is the major factor that creates differences between the workforces and affects the productivity of the staff. The theory concerns the economic instability that arises due to the unequal work conditions for the workforce.

Figure 3: Conflict Theory

(Source: Saad, 2019)

On the other hand, this theory mainly explains the social issues of the organization such as gender discrimination and racism in the workplace. In the views of Özyer and Akyüz (2018), the theory mainly clarifies the issues and challenges of the organization and mainly depicts the disagreement between the male and female employees of the organization. The theory mainly helps to understand the opinions of the individual gender of the workplace and identifies their demands.

2.3.2 Lewin’s Model of Organizational Development

Lewin’s model is based on the changes needed by the organization to enrich performance and organizational growth. As opined by Channar et al, (2019), the model is based on the three key aspects of an organization including unfreezing, changes and refreezing. Unfreezing refers to the changes needed in the attitude and behaviour of the individual employees of the organization for better growth and productivity. This helps to discard the outdated behaviour of the employees and shaken up them with creative and innovative ideas and methods. Changing refers to the changing environment of the organization for better growth and productivity.

Figure 4: Lewin’s Model of Organizational Development

(Source: Channar et al, 2019)

Changes are required for reducing the traditional working system of the organization and updating new business practices and policies for growth and empowerment. This is the transition state to change the old attitude and accomplish a recent and updated attitude. As mentioned by Rattan et al, (2019), in the refreezing state, new values, attitudes are established for operating the organization in a positive direction. Reinforcement of innovative behaviours and values has been added to the employees of the organization for better productivity and growth of the business.

2.4 Impact of Racial Discrimination on Organizational Development

There are several negative impacts of racial discrimination on the improvement of the organizational development strategies and policies that are developed and implemented by the management. Some of the aspects that are-

  • Imbalance Working Environment:

    Racial discrimination creates conflict in the opinion and decisions of individual employees of the organization, hence, these results in an imbalance in the working environment. As commented by Imran et al, (2019), the imbalance within the working environment can create less productivity to the organization and reduce the overall annual growth.

  • Increase Bias attitude among the Employees:

    The racial discrimination gap in the organization can arise bias attitudes between the staff belonging to different religious practices. As per the views of Cavalcanti and Tavares (2016), the prejudiced attitude of the individual employees also creates conflict and enhances disagreement in the opinions of the individuals. Due to the rising disagreement, organizational productivity gets decreased in the upcoming times.

  • Lower the Equality and Diversity:

    Racial discrimination lower the diversity and equality in the organization which reduces organizational performance and overall productivity. In the opinion of Cavalcanti and Tavares (2016), diversity in the opinion of the male and female violate the team spirit and reduce productivity. This may disrupt the target goal of the organization for achieving broader future aspects.

3. Methodology

3.1 Research Methods

In this study, both the primary and secondary research method is considered to get accurate and authenticated results. As commented by Radhakrishnan (2019), the primary data collection technique is more accurate compared to the secondary data collection. In the primary research, there is a need for direct interaction with the participants of the ASDA to gather information about racial discrimination and how it influences the growth and productivity of the organization. The primary data collection provides more accuracy because the data can be collected without any bias. According to the author Pietiläinen et al, (2020), the participants are asked survey questions and based on those questions, the data are collected which depicts different issues of racial discrimination in the organization itself.

The positivism research philosophy is chosen here to make a proper relationship between the aim and objective and the concept and variables of the research. In the opinion of Opoku and Williams (2018), secondary data collection is based on gathering data from existing books or articles about the racial discrimination issues and challenges and their influences on the organizational development of BBC. The quantitative data analysis method is considered here for understanding the statistical views of the research result. Moreover, the graph and the numerical values of primary research can be explained with the help of quantitative analysis. According to the author’s Dharma wardhane and Navaratne, (2019), on other hand, quantitative analysis has been done on the existing data and gathers information about the gender pay gap. Random sampling technique is chosen for primary research and 51 employees of the ASDA are selected randomly.


The objectives of the report are stated below:

  • To critically evaluate the concept of racial discrimination in ASDA
  • To investigate the roots of racial discrimination in ASDA
  • To properly analyze the impact of racial discrimination on ASDA
  • To find out the best and suitable recommendations for overcoming the issue of racial

Discrimination within ASDA


The research questions are discussed below:

  • What is the current picture of racial discrimination in ASDA?

What are the roots of racial discrimination in ASDA?

What is the impact of racial discrimination on ASDA?

What are the possible best recommendations for overcoming the racial discrimination

an issue in ASDA?


H0: There is a major impact of racial discrimination on the work culture and internal work strategies developed by ASDA

H1: There is no major impact of the racial discrimination on the work culture and internal work strategies developed by ASDA

3.2 Ethical consideration

At the time of doing primary research, there is a need to maintain proper integrity and authenticity so that it can enhance the performance of the research as well as the report. The participants of the primary research must not be harmed in anyways at the time of collecting the data. In the opinion of Feng and Zhou (2018), the dignity of the individual participants needs to be maintained properly. Before starting the survey, the full consent of the participants is very much needed for getting accurate results of the research. The privacy protections of the participants need to be prioritized. In addition to this, the confidentiality of the research data needs to be ensured for doing effective research.

The anonymity of the organization is also required to be ensured for researching in an integrated way. Any kind of deception about the aim and objective of the research is not entertained. Before organizing the survey process, the source of funding, affiliation has to be mentioned to reduce any kinds of conflicts. As commented by Melki and Mallat (2016), the communication related to the research needs to be done with proper transparency and honesty. The misleading information about the primary data and findings of the research also must be avoided.

3.3 Timeline

week 1 week2 week 3 week 4 WEEK 5 week 6 week 7 week 8 week 9 week 10 week 11 week 12
Topic selection
Aims and objectives
Outline of the project
Ethical issues
research methodology
research questionnaire
research technique
research method
formation of research question
Literature review

Figure 5: Action Plan

(Source: Created by author)

3.4 Budget Plan

Activities Budget
Survey $1500
Secondary Data Collection $500
Preparation of Report $250
Total $2250

Table 1: Budget Plan

4. Analysis of Primary and Secondary Research

4.1 Data analysis and findings

The main theme of the research is finding the impact of racial discrimination on the ASDA and the ways to control the same. In the views of Jaga et al, (2018), the research has been based on the primary survey process and secondary research for collecting information about racial discrimination in the organization. There are five closed-ended survey questions based on the research that has been performed. Among the five survey questions, two are demographic and three are close-ended questions. The main agenda of the report is to analyze the racial discrimination issues analyze their influence on organizational development.

Primary data analysis

In the primary data collection, the questionnaire survey has been done based on the close-ended questions which are answered by the employees of ASDA. The detailed analysis of the question and findings are discussed below:

Question 1: What is the age of the participants?

Options Respondents Total respondents Percentage
Male 20 51 39.22
Female 31 51 60.78

Table 2: Age Distribution of the Participants

Figure 6: Age Distribution of the Participants

From the above figure, it can be found that 61% of participants are female in the survey process that would help in finding the issues related to racial discrimination in the company. In the opinion of Lewis et al, (2017), most of the participants belong to different cultural backgrounds and have faced challenges in executing the works and in getting better growth prosperity. On the other hand, 39% of participants are male who also describes their views and opinions regarding the issues related to racial discrimination.

Question 2: What is the age of the participants?

Options Respondents Total Respondents Percentage
Below 21 6 51 11.76
21-25 10 51 19.61
26-30 20 51 39.22
31-35 5 51 9.80
Above 35 10 51 19.61

Table 3: Age Distribution of the Participants

Figure 7: Age Distribution of the Participants

From the above figure, it can be stated that 39% of the total participants are in the age group of 26-30 which has strong knowledge about racial discrimination based issues. In the views of Ohunakin et al, (2019), the young generation has more knowledge about the problem as they are overexcited to grow and prosper at their workplace. They believe that such factors directly affect the growth and development of the company and thus needs to be handled in a required manner. Only 10% of the employees belong from the old age group who has less knowledge the racial discrimination and are highly used to the existing work culture.

Question 3: How far do you think racial discrimination raises the issues of diversity and inequality in the organization?

Options Respondents Total respondents Percentage
Strongly agree 21 51 41.18
Agree 15 51 29.41
Neutral 5 51 9.80
Disagree 5 51 9.80
Strongly disagree 5 51 16.67

From the above figure, it can be stated that 41% of the participants have agreed with the fact that racial discrimination is directly related to the issues like diversity and inequality in the organization. This creates conflict between the opinion of the younger and the older groups of the employees who are directly associated with the company and are responsible to increase productivity.

As mentioned by Parken and Ashworth (2019), there are different cultures of employees who work in the same organization hence, diversity in cultural thought and decision-making process is a very common aspect found in the organization. These cross-cultural differences can be increased with the existence of the racial discrimination based factors in the UK. As per the Equality Act (2018), in the same job role, the employees need to be provided with the same amount of remuneration which is violated in ASDA.

Question 4: Do you think that racial discrimination reduces organizational productivity and performance?


Options Respondents Total respondents Percentage
Strongly agree 12 51 23.53
Agree 25 51 49.02
Neutral 2 51 3.92
Disagree 6 51 11.76
Strongly disagree 6 51 11.76

From the above figure, it can be stated 49% of the total participants have agreed with the fact that the existence of racial discrimination affects the overall productivity of the company and reduces its profile earning margin.

As per the views of Hamilton and Richmond (2017), the team working spirit of the individual employees gets decreased and their motivation towards achieving the goal of the organization has also been disrupted due to racial discrimination. If the employees can not focus on the target goals of the organization, then the overall performance and productivity of the organization get decreased day by day (Equalityhumanrights, 2020).

Question 5: Do you think the proper strategic approach helps to mitigate the issues of racial discrimination in ASDA?

Options Respondents Total respondents Percentage
Strongly agree 10 51 19.61
Agree 25 51 49.02
Neutral 1 51 1.96
Disagree 7 51 13.73
Strongly disagree 8 51 15.69


From the above figure it can be stated that a proper strategic approach and recommendations help to mitigate the issues related to racial discrimination is needed for ASDA. in the opinion of Amado et al, (2018), the organization needs to maintain the Equality Act (2018) and provide equal rights to the people from different cultural backgrounds to work positively is implemented.

Secondary data analysis

The secondary research mainly states data collected from the given news article or existing book about racial discrimination in ASDA. As per the annual report of the store, the top seven earners of the channels are people who don’t have to face issues with racial discrimination at the workplace. It is necessary for the company to create a fair work condition that would be useful in providing a good and fair workplace culture and atmosphere. From the point of gender inequality which is one of the important parts of racial discrimination, it is found that male employees in the organization earn more than 9.3% compared to female employees (, 2020).


As per the annual report of the organization (, 2020)

The stores have observed that there are different reasons for which the management needs to find a proper and accurate solution to handle the same. Racial discrimination exists due to the inability of the management to provide the best place culture and to handle the needs of the people. A failure to create and provide a fair workplace creates a huge issue and needs to be resolved instantly.

5. Communication outcomes

5.1 Conclusion

It can be concluded from the report that the main focus is on racial discrimination with the aim and objective of the study and how the objectives mitigate with primary and secondary research. The primary research helps to collect confidential and important data regarding racial discrimination in the organization and the secondary research helps to analyses the existing data of ASDA organization regarding the racial discrimination issues and challenges. The key implication of the research is to analyse the rising diversity and equality issues in an organization. The report also highlights the review of the literature regarding this issue and the different theories and models that help to demonstrate the concept of racial discrimination

5.2 Recommendation

Programs for women to reconcile racial discrimination: In order to reduce the practices of racial discrimination in the organisations, a motivational program for the staff needs to be introduced. As influenced by Verniers and Vala, (2018), reconcile programs for reducing pay gaps can greatly contribute to the development and evaluation of providing a better workplace system that will motivate the existing staff to improve their performances. However, this process can help the organisation to manage their human capital without any gender discrimination for enhancing their marketing and business performances.

Promotion and increment of employees based on their performances: Organisations must promote and provide increment to their employees based on their capability and work contribution rather than gender.  As influenced by Verniers and Vala, (2018), promotion and increment of employees based on their performance can contribute to the process of managing employee engagement and motivation towards their job effectively. On the other hand, this process will help the staff to develop their self-esteem and working skills for development and growth. The promotion and increments of the employees based on their capabilities can also help the organisation to establish an ethical work culture and good working environment.

Development of effective organisation structure: The development of an effective and authentic organisational structure based on racial discrimination in the workplace is necessary to reduce discrimination and practices that impact performance. This process can help the organisation to improve its existing employee management policy and payment policy in an authentic way. In addition, the establishment of a potential organisational structure based on gender equality can greatly encourage all the employees to give the based performances for organisational growth and development. As influenced by Cavaletto et al, (2019), the development of potential and effective organisational structure can also contribute to the process of managing customer relationships and organisational relationships with internal and external stakeholders in a potential manner.

Focus on the prohibition of racial discrimination in the employee retention process: the organisation must follow the government policy of equality in the workplace based on the Equality Act 2010. As per influence by Parker and Funk, (2017), focusing on the prohibition approaches of gender discrimination in employee retention and payment process is necessary to establish transparency and an authentic work environment. This process can help to give justice to the women employees in the organisation to get their rights in a proper way. In addition, the prohibition of gender discrimination and the pay gap in the organization can help the establishment of ethical work culture.

6. Reflection on the application of research concepts and methodologies

Both the primary and the secondary methods are very effective to meet the aim and objective of the research for gaining accurate results regarding the gender pay gap in the organization BBC. In the opinion of Maume et al, (2019), quantitative data analysis helps to understand the mathematical values and graph of the result. The descriptive research approach helps to elaborate on the concept of dependent and independent variables of the report for analyzing the key challenges of gender discrimination issues. The recommendation helps to improve the issues of racial discrimination in the organization and also degrades the performance of the organization. The survey helps to explain the views and opinions of the individual employees of the organization and portrays the internal workplace environment. The study also focuses on the detailed review of literature which helps to emphasize the concept of organizational development and racial discrimination issues (Equalityhumanrights, 2020). This research also helps future readers for gaining more.

This work helped me a lot in understanding how the HRM procedure and processes are necessary for dealing with business-based issues. At first, I evaluated how racial discrimination at the workplace, directly and indirectly, impacted the businesses and thus the leaders had to develop better strategies to increase the performances. I collected the relevant facts about racial discrimination and the procedure to control the same, from various reliable resources. This helped me to exactly improve the apprehension of the human resource planning activities and establish its relationship with the strategic goal accomplishment.

Racial discrimination has always being a serious issue with many companies that operates in different markets. The issue is not being controlled despite making the required policy changes that are designed to deal with the issues. The reason for not properly implementing these changes and in getting the expected results is associated with the ineffectiveness of the system and explaining the relevance of the change process to the staff. I believe that racial discrimination and gender inequality could be positively resolved by adopting better strategies and methods that would majorly help the management to keep the staff motivated. For this, the issues associated with racial discrimination and in adopting the better method and needs to be examined, as this would help in dealing with the issues arising from the same.

As an HR leader, I believe that the interest of the workforce needs to be identified and corrective measures have to be introduced after analyzing the long and short term goals. For this, the leader has to examine the prevailing situation and then recommend the required changes. This would certainly help in getting the better results that would be used for improving the performances. The strategic changes are properly defined and the relevant changes are implemented to ensure that the interest of the workforce is taken care of.

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  1. Research objective

The research objective is to –

  • To analyze how the racial discrimination in ASDA affect the business activities
  • To find how the gap between the staffs could be reduced that arises due to the racial discrimination
  • To develop plans for mitigating the gender inequality that prevails between the staffs belonging to different cultural background
  • To evaluate how a universal human resource management process could be adopted to increase the business conduct

Research objective

The objective of this research work is to find how racial discrimination in ASDA can be controlled and positive work culture can be created. This is the most essential part of the HRM planning process that would help in dealing with business based issues. By creating a favourable work culture, the staff are recognized for their works, and corrective measures are undertaken to deal with the operational issues.


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