Cooking Down a Storm: Changing Culture at Pasta Serafina (A)
Plant management at Pasta Serafina, a pasta producer in the south of Italy, is struggling to contain employee absenteeism. While the misbehavior is concentrated in a minority of the workers, its effects impact not only the plant's performance, but also the climate and work environment. Embedded in institutional and legal environment that allows very little room for corrective action, and already dealing with persistent low margins, management decides to address the issue by asking the employees themselves to find a solution to the problem. The case exposes students to managerial challenges associated with curbing moral hazard and changing the company culture in a setting where standard legal and contractual tools, such as firing workers for performance or using incentives to influence behaviors, are not available.