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Ford Motors and Its Leadership - Term Paper Example

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This term paper talks about the Fords Motors’ leadership style which has enabled it to stand through thick and thin. The Fords Motors’ organizational integrity prevented the company from crumbling under the economic pressures circling the auto industry…
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Ford Motors and Its Leadership
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Download file to see previous pages The term paper "Ford Motors and Its Leadership" talks about the productive efficiency that makes an organization successful and also the leadership style that directs the organization towards a unified organization goal. Henry Ford introduced a structure whereby employees and workers were only responsible for the tasks in their job description and the decision making was highly centralized: only the top management could do that. Though Ford’s production line was perfect, it only made sales in the USA and Canada in1999.
Jacques Nasser, Ford’s CEO in 1999 believed that there was an urgent need to relax the rigid and slow structure and he recommended ‘nimble leaders at all levels’, in order to speed up decision making. Only when lower level employees were allowed to make decisions, they could feel confident and trusted. This improves efficiency and performance of the overall workforce. Ford’s present ideology is that to start a revolution, one has to train revolutionaries. This was not the case back in 1999. To develop leaders, Ford sent around 2500 of its managers to Leadership Development Center. These programs were not only aimed at defining good leaders but they also taught the skills and strategies to become good leaders. At Ford’s New Business Leader Program, Janine Bay retorted: "How many of you feel comfortable being here? About half. Okay. Well, I hope to change that this week. I want all of you to be uncomfortable. Because if you're comfortable, you can't really be a revolutionary, can you?" (Hammonds, 2000). Only when managers work outside their comfort zones, they can learn different new tasks and bring about innovations and revolutions. Leadership at grass root level made Ford a more nimble entity. It instills risk taking ability at lower levels of the hierarchy. If employees at grass root wait for instructions from the top management, there can be hold ups in the whole production process. Ford encourages leaders to be teachers because it makes them stronger and insightful leaders. Teaching transforms managers into leaders who can strike a balance between work and family (Hammonds, 2000). In 2009, General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and agreed to government bailout. The year 2008 was the worst period for Ford as it incurred a loss of $14.6 billion in sales. It had made $24 billion which was less than the $25.8 billion debt. In spite of this blow, Ford turned down government help because it wanted to save it for times when the economy worsened to the greatest extent. Ford also experienced declining sales the following year: and its sales in February 2009 were 48% lower than its sales in February of 2008. But Fords did not follow the footsteps of General Motors or Chrysler. The crisis that it faced did not shake its integrity as an organization. It stood strong in times of economic trouble and refused government loans in order to bounce back. The reason why Ford survived even after refusing a government bailout was that in 2007, Ford had raised $23.6 billion by getting loans against its North American assets (that served as collateral). The idea as per the then chief executive Alan R. Mulally was that this loaned money will protect Ford’s in times of recession. Unlike Chrysler and General Motors, Ford’s was protected in recession by this loaned money. Planning for contingencies by its top management gave Ford the security and stability it needed in recessionary period. In 2009, Ford turned out to be the only automaker survivor, when most automakers filed for bankrup ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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