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Many businesses seek favor among LGBT customers

by Tiffany Hsu and Ricardo Lopez
Publication: Los Angeles Times

August 4, 2012


In this Los Angeles Times article, Jim O’Rourke, Management Professor and the Arthur F. and Mary J. O'Neil Director of The Eugene D. Fanning Center for Business Communication, is quoted about companies stating separating personal feelings from company policy. To read the entire article visit: Many businesses seek favor among LGBT customers


While Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's public opposition to gay marriage has inflamed gay organizations and their supporters nationwide, many companies are going out of their way to court those groups.

Chick-fil-APresident Dan Cathy's public opposition to gay marriage has landed him in a lonely corner of corporate America.

While the fast-food chicken chain has inflamed gay organizations and their supporters nationwide, many companies are going out of their way to court those groups.

J.C. Penneythis year hired lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman and featured same-sex couples in its catalogs. Kraft Foods recently posted a photo of a rainbow-hued Oreo cookie to its Facebook page.

Bank of America and nearly 40 other companies now offer tax relief to gay employees — triple the number of firms with the same option last year. In Washington state, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife last month donated $2.5 million to back a gay marriage ballot initiative already endorsed by Microsoft, Starbucks and Nike.

Excerpt

Other companies have either stayed quiet or made a point to separate executives' personal feelings from official corporate policy.

"Ultimately, a company's behavior reflects its values, and what you want is consistency in that behavior," said James S. O'Rourke, a management professor at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. "You can't please everyone."