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This report is formed in the manner of a business report. The main aim of this report is to gain access to specific business operations of a selected company. For that purpose Toyota Motors will be the target business. Toyota Motors is a Japanese automobile firm that specialises in designing, manufacturing, distributing and assembling automotive products on a global scale. The main objective will be to analyse whether Toyota Motors’ business operations are effective enough in light of defined key objectives.
Strategic planning helps determine the direction and general overlook of an organisation for over a long period in time, matching assets, to changing environments and in particular, customers, clients and shareholders’ expectations.
The company has been struggling with recovering its reputation after several reports of mechanical failures subsequent failures with public relations. Initially Toyota had a recall of some failed floor mats in 2007 and then they went on to have another recall of 3.4 million vehicles in three seperate recalls getting to a total 7 million. Several issues were reported, gas pedals that were said to be potentially sticky, pedal entrapment and some software issues that were said to affect braking.
Toyota’s current management planning efforts prevent the company’s ability to perform optimally function. As an effort to regain their market place, Toyota broke its common practice and shifted its operations in the US over to several states, contrary to concentrate in a single location for quality control. There is some issue with the communications barriers within the company’s executives being located in Japan and unable to attend to arising issues quickly. As a top ranking US executive, James E. Press played a major role in keeping operations running, but he was replaced with Japanese executives who could not respond to arising operations issues in the US as efficiently. The Japanese executives overconfidence lee them to employed tactics that kept the organisation “secretive and non-communicative”. The executives received a number of warnings about the deteriorating quality in the company’s productions but they did not attend to those warnings.
Akio Todoya, the Japanese CEO who took over the firm in 2009 was not ready for the role he occupied. His management style has been described as “management by walking around”. One of the other main issue was Toyota’s failure to value public relations efforts, for example when faulty safety flaps were reported, the CEO failed to mention it even after attending the gathering of world leaders in Davos, Switzerland which astonished American crisis response experts. Contrary to the company’s previous reputation of asking questions that gave way to fixing problems, here they greatly unsuccessful. There were other public relations issues after the mechanical failures that really hurt the company’s reputation. When Akio finally decided to hold a press conference, he was not remorseful, which is common in Japanese culture, however his solutions involved outside help which was a very unpopular option. He showed lack of understanding as to how the company had failed, much less have a solution to the company’s crisis. Dartmouth based, Professor Paul Argenti, who teaches at Turk school of Business said he would give Toyota an ‘F’ in his class. According to Prof Argenti Toyota did three things wrong: It did not articulate on what it was doing to fix the problems; it didn’t apologize in an appropriate manner; and it was not humble enough to address the public’s concerns which all contributed to the damage done to their reputation.
It seems Toyota did not take much of a hit from employee perspective mainly because of the company’s rigid employee culture. According to Wakastuki Toyota is totalitarian and what really goes on inside the company’s closed doors is hidden from the public, no one speaks out.
During the time of recalls several mistakes were made by Toyota. Overconfident leadership, whose, poor, ineffective decision making skills, negligence of principles of quality control that had proven effective in the past, incomprehensive failures to heed forewarnings, and poor public relations among other things have hurt the company’s reputation a lot and affected customer trust.
There are some fundamental principles of management that will help Toyota’s management process. One of the key aspects is communications in order to rebuild customer relations. The tightlips culture within the company, the public and investors does not inspire trust and confidence, transparency is of fundamental importance to an organisation of this magnitude. One other fundamental principles that would benefit the company’s reputation is creating an atmosphere that inspires humility within the company’s top management to undo the damage done by their overconfidence. Toyota should focus on corporate responsibility as well as engaging employees, management and the public in communications about the company’s activities.
Toyota should redefine its vision and mission to incorporate corporate responsibility tactics, transparency, duty delegation to assist top management, and a new structure that inspires employee cooperation in organisational goals and objectives. Since micromanagement might not work in this situation, employees should be given autonomy and be enlightened of their contribution to the company’s structure. The company should refocus on production quality and quality of parts and avoid recalls, which is part of the company’s foundation; cutting corners only hurt them.
Implementing a new vision and mission will make employees feel more valued, change the company’s culture for the better and restore customer’s trust. Toyota would then need to design a structure that will allow for employee growth, foster trustful, transparent autonomic work environment that would generally increase productivity. Employees understanding the importance of their contributions, who fully believe in what they are doing are more productive and will protect the company. Long-term success can be achieved if rational decision making is implemented throughout the company. We have established problems that are present, the company should develop, evaluate and implement solutions to these issues.
Toyota’s management is recommended to improve transparency in their communication, include employee input in decision making, utilise employee autonomy strategies, restructure corporate responsibility, and develop feedback and survey structures.
These changes will give room to better prospects for the organisation. There are other changes to be made for maintenance purposes and other things such as; planning ahead in terms of employee-centric organisational structure, improvement of production and parts quality, and raising the organisation’s social atmosphere. Other things include, improving on transparency in communications with employees and customers alike, delegation within leadership, using checks and balances to avoid overconfidence and improving on communication within the company.
With that said, Toyota has the option to salvage what is left of its reputation, implement the solutions above and keep focusing on communication and production quality.
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