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Courtney Meeks and the Culture of Change at Milliken
Martin, Sean; Younge, Ayana; Yemen, Gerry; Kemp, Bianca Case OB-1456 / Published May 14, 2024 / 9 pages.
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Product Overview

This field-based case puts students in the role of Courtney Meeks, a young Black senior HR manager at Milliken & Company (Milliken) in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A self-described “yes-to-everything girl,” Meeks was promoted at Milliken three times in less than seven years. Prior to joining the global manufacturing company, she’d earned a BA and MBA at Clemson University; studied abroad in Argentina; completed classes at Oxford University; become fluent in Spanish; and worked at a national marketing firm. Once at Milliken, she took on special projects, supported her colleagues through various initiatives, and continued volunteering for her alma mater and other organizations. On top of her current obligations, Meeks must now decide—with guidance from her two mentors—whether to accept a request to lead the multicultural employee resource group (ERG), start an ERG to mentor and sponsor Black women at the historically White Milliken, or cut back on her commitments for her own well-being. This case has been taught at the Darden School of Business in the first- and second-year MBA elective “People, Purpose, and the Power of Relationships” as well as in the EMBA program. It’s ideal for courses centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); human resources (HR); organizational behavior; and talent management



Learning Objectives

- Evaluate the personal and professional trade-offs involved with performing work beyond the defined scope of one’s job - Identify and analyze actual or perceived obligations to various parties (e.g., colleagues, underrepresented groups, company culture, and so forth) and the costs associated with making decisions affecting oneself and said parties - Explore the concept of intersectionality - Examine trends in representation among higher-level positions within a company


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  • Overview

    This field-based case puts students in the role of Courtney Meeks, a young Black senior HR manager at Milliken & Company (Milliken) in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A self-described “yes-to-everything girl,” Meeks was promoted at Milliken three times in less than seven years. Prior to joining the global manufacturing company, she’d earned a BA and MBA at Clemson University; studied abroad in Argentina; completed classes at Oxford University; become fluent in Spanish; and worked at a national marketing firm. Once at Milliken, she took on special projects, supported her colleagues through various initiatives, and continued volunteering for her alma mater and other organizations. On top of her current obligations, Meeks must now decide—with guidance from her two mentors—whether to accept a request to lead the multicultural employee resource group (ERG), start an ERG to mentor and sponsor Black women at the historically White Milliken, or cut back on her commitments for her own well-being. This case has been taught at the Darden School of Business in the first- and second-year MBA elective “People, Purpose, and the Power of Relationships” as well as in the EMBA program. It’s ideal for courses centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); human resources (HR); organizational behavior; and talent management

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    - Evaluate the personal and professional trade-offs involved with performing work beyond the defined scope of one’s job - Identify and analyze actual or perceived obligations to various parties (e.g., colleagues, underrepresented groups, company culture, and so forth) and the costs associated with making decisions affecting oneself and said parties - Explore the concept of intersectionality - Examine trends in representation among higher-level positions within a company