Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) China: Managing Diversity through Lessons "in the Dark"

Byron Y. Lee, Liman Zhao, Huirong Ju, Emily Michelle David

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case is designed to help students understand how to manage diverse employees with unique strengths and weaknesses. It features the Dialogue in the Dark (“DiD”) China organization, a social enterprise franchise that employs visually impaired people to guide visitors as they experience daily life tasks in pitch-black. After briefly introducing DiD’s origins in Germany and DiD China’s founding story, this case describes how its founder, Shiyin Cai, managed the organization with an emphasis on selecting the right employees, providing training for their personal development, and giving employees opportunities to build self-confidence. Furthermore, this case explores how Cai considers the diverse perspectives of her employees and establishes personal relationships with them to develop enabling conditions that can help them thrive in both this organization and society at large. On December 16, 2021, the tenth anniversary of DiD China, Cai reflected on her past experiences. A month prior, had falsely reported to authorities that DiD Shanghai's operation was in violation of the fire code, an accusation that intensified the existing financial struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the ups and downs, Cai reflected on the challenges and rewards she experienced with founding DiD China. More importantly, on a personal level, she acknowledged her ongoing journey of learning and growth as a leader.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024

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Case type

Field Case

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For more details, please visit www.chinacases.org

Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • employee training
  • employee values
  • interpersonal communication
  • leadership
  • diversity and inclusion
  • disabilities
  • entrepreneurs and founders
  • Employee Development

Case studies discipline

  • Ethics & Social Responsibility
  • Human Resource Management
  • Social Enterprise

Case studies industry

  • Other Services
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


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