Cognitive Dissonance And Mattel Case Study

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¶ … Barbie Lost Her Groove Mattel- why managers changed their decision-making over time, and the kinds of cognitive errors therein

A formidable business intelligence gathering program identifies threats in good time. However, according to George Day, intelligence is only one aspect of the whole. Day has studied numerous business giants that failed to pick cues from the market and paid dearly for such flips. Day is a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. There is need to have both human and technological systems to deal with and interpret data. You also need the know-how to deal with the information. Mattel stumbled at this point. Several ex Mattel managers such as Bruce; a Bruce Stain; the chief officer in charge of operations and the head of Mattel globally from 1997 to 1999, and consultants such as Day confirm this fact. According to expert analysis, two factors weakened Mattel's reaction. One of them is the internal set of challenges that preoccupied management and distracted them. Secondly, it seems that the company was...


Bob Eckert, the CEO, was not evolutionary enough to help the company to change Barbie in resonance with the tastes of the young clientele. The success of Barbie could have made the leadership conceited and blinded them, or it may just be that they failed to pay attention to the changing trends and times. Mattel enjoyed tremendous success in selling its dolls for over 50 years. Their hesitation to change when something had worked for so many decades is understandable. They thought that if the company changed their manner of dress and looks, clients would stop buying. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Their conservative stance flew in their face and sent the company trying to play catch up. They tried to match Bratz in vain. Mattel failed to change with the trends and times when other companies were busy evolving to reflect the times. Indeed, many companies reached from the stubbornness to change by Mattel (Kim & Duvall, n.d).
Further, it is noted that there are numerous cognitive errors that Mattel made in the course of time. These are believed to have contributed to their making the wrong choices that cost them their company. Ego-defensiveness, cognitive dissonance and illusion of control are some of the highlights. They wrongly thought that their market dominance over the years was a license to stay complacent…

Sources Used in Documents:


Duvall, M. (2005, August 4). Roadblock: The Chief Executive Officer. Retrieved from Baseline Magazine:

Kim, S. N., & Duvall, M. (n.d.). How Barbie lost her groove.

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