Turnaround Plan for Toyotas Quality Control Department - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Turnaround Plan for Toyota’s Quality Control Department” the author examines motivational problems in the company. He believes that these problems can be overcome through more visible interaction in the management environment and by allowing decentralized decision-making…
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Turnaround Plan for Toyotas Quality Control Department
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Turnaround Plan for Toyota’s Quality Control Department

The Quality Control Department is suffering from low morale, which requires taking a psycho-social approach to gaining commitment, performance, and change. There is no evidence that there are performance problems with the directors, only an inability to coordinate knowledge and resources in a way that is effective when the climate is de-motivated. The one year plan is to develop a unified organizational culture under transformational leadership philosophy. According to Fairholm (2009), the transformational model involves constant reiteration of mission and vision, using open lines of communication to build human capital advantages. The leader will act as a mentor, coach, and teacher to gain support for meeting productive outcomes and performance targets. “Authentic relationships evolve over time” (Starnes, Truhon & McCarthy, 2010, p.5). Motivational problems can be overcome through more visible interaction in the management environment and by allowing decentralized decision-making to occur where solutions are provided horizontally rather than top-down. This will improve a sense of social belonging and remove layers of power distance that can de-motivate and also improve the self-esteem that leads to better enthusiasm for job role function.
The long-term plan hinges on success in using transformational leadership design to gain commitment and improve motivation. Once establishing the foundation of a positive corporate culture built on knowledge-sharing and team function, as well as an emphasis on human resources development, the Quality Control department will undergo sweeping changes related to total quality management. Each director will utilize a balanced scorecard to measure individual performance and the performance of production as well as research and development, which will be reported to the VP. The total quality management approach will consist of the Delphi Method, a qualitative forecasting tool involving multiple stakeholders in which solutions are brainstormed recurrently until new processes or systems needed for improvement are identified (Rowe & Wright, 1999). The Delphi Method will improve relationship development among colleagues, promote knowledge transfer, and open the doors for innovation by providing multitudes of solutions to improve quality and performance in each director’s division. This will further emphasize cultural development and enhance competitive advantage in human capital among competing firms in this industry.
A reorganization is required only in the factory line, which must be aligned with the strategic imperatives identified in the Delphi Method of quality improvement. The business has too many motivational issues to address to attempt adopting a new procurement model, such as the lean system for cost improvements, and therefore the primary focus must be on creating cross-functional teams focused on improving performance and production efficiency. Operational changes to the manufacturing line will involve consultations with procurement agents, sales and marketing teams, and executive leadership in order to improve the business’ position in this industry. Toyota, on the market, should be positioning the company as a quality leader sustained by a dedicated culture of improvement and quality. This can only be accomplished by aligning production timelines and outputs with marketing, thus positioning the business efficiently in the minds of buyer markets and creating a better plan of manufacture to meet fluctuating consumer demand.
Training will involve a series of in-service training sessions, developed with supplementary assistance from human resources. To facilitate more effective cultural development necessary to sustain competitive advantage, experiential learning in the form of role-playing will be vital for team development and establishment of colleague empathy. According to Poorman (2002), role playing provides better engagement in the learning curriculum and improves the quality of relationships between peer groups in the organizational network. Human resources managers, those most well-versed in psychology and sociology, will arbitrate the experiential training exercises. This will consist of various scenarios that occur internally and externally with multiple stakeholders along the value chain, which responses will be assessed based on a pre-established list of performance criteria to improve stakeholder relationship development. The role-playing portion of training, recurrent throughout the turnaround plan, will provide practical application of behavior to a multitude of business scenarios to improve director competency.
The significant challenge for improving the psycho-social characteristics of the organizational culture will be resistance to change. Values and principles inherent in each director will differ from the new strategic imperative to improve quality and relationship quality among colleague groups. Some directors are mostly individualistic, demanding acknowledgment for individual performance rather than establishing group-based reward systems. Human resources will need to work regularly with the VP to establish appropriate rewards systems that are transactional based on meeting specific performance targets. The VP may be required to assign a change champion to gain additional commitment to the new strategic direction that can facilitate more effective group networking and address individual concerns that are predictable toward change resistance.
Desired leadership traits achieved with this plan include role modeling desired behaviors for employees, maintaining an ethical climate, and coaching of lower-level employees. Because culture is the primary goal of this short- and long-term plan, the directors must exhibit attitudes and behaviors conducive to team development which infuses trust into the organizational model in the long-term. By coaching employees, it will build more connectivity between director and employee groups, allowing for an organization-wide development of a continuous improvement culture. Through experiential training, directors will gain the required skills needed to foster communities of practice and better knowledge transfer using models of psychology and sociology to gain commitment.


Fairholm, M. (2009). Leadership and Organizational Strategy, The Public Sector Innovation
Journal, 14(1), pp.26-27.
Poorman, P.B. (2002). Biography and Role-playing: Fostering empathy in abnormal psychology,
Teaching of Psychology, 29(1), pp.32-36.
Rowe, G. & Wright, G. (1999). The Delphi Technique as a Forecasting Tool: Issues and
Analysis, International Journal of Forecasting, 15(4).
Starnes, B.J., Truhon, S.A. & McCarthy, V. (2010). A Primer on Organizational Trust, ASQ
Human Development and Leadership, p.5. Retrieved December 19, 2012 from Read More
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