Research on Ford Manufacturing – Research Paper Example

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However, the Ford Motor Co functions in a manner where ownership and control are separated. This company has multiple divisions and decentralized operations that are market oriented; all functions and operations are controlled by central board of members that are involved in strategic planning. It employs skilled and unskilled manpower at all levels; at the manufacturing unit, engineers, technicians, and general labors work together in an assembly plan. The unskilled employees and technical employees report to the engineer who is also their assembly line supervisor and first line manager (Griffin, 2010).

By following this business model, Ford has reported high productivity and profits through several years. Although teamwork yielded higher productivity at Ford Motor Co, research indicated that employee relations were strained due to hierarchal structures and definite communication channels that were controlled and scrutinized before information was passed on to destined individuals, both upward and downwards (Sibanda, 2011). 2. Issues identified: 2.1 Role conflicts within groups: Ford Motor Co. was able to achieve such enormous success because of tough controls and measures and high competition for performance that was infused into its employees through stringent goals and objectives (Griffin, 2010).

Moreover, it adopted some new concepts such as TQM, which required workers to be organized into teams for effective TQM in order to meet customer demands and remain competitive like others in the market. Employees that were used to working in one manner had to confront new and ambiguous situations. This change to team working concept must have given rise to much ambiguity in terms of their roles. In a team-working setup, group dynamics also hold back productivity, performance and create stress as well as conflicts.

For instance, managers at Ford pushed for greater productivity, which instilled sense of competition among team members. In a team setup, employees are influenced by each other and their work and success are interdependent. Although such situations promote cooperation between the team members, it also promotes competition and thus conflicts. Increased expectations from managers and organization also create work-related stress as well as conflicting demands on team members. 2.2 Communication problems among group members: The fact that a group consists of members with different attitudes, behavior, understanding, and skills is sufficient to give way to numerous misunderstandings among themselves.

References

Cruz, M and Pinedo, M. (2008). Total Quality Management and Operational Risk in the Service

Industries. Chen, Z-L and Raghavan, S. 2008 Tutorials in Operations Research: State-of-the-Art Decision-Making Tools in the Information-Intensive Age. (pp: 154-169). MD, USA: INFORMS.

Ford Motor Company. (n.d) About Ford, Retrieved November 12, 2011 from:

http://www.ford.com/about-ford/heritage/people/henryfordii/654-henry-ford-ii

Griffin, R.W. (2010). Management. 10th ed. Ohio, USA: Western Cengage Learning.

Hellriegel, D and Slocum, J.W. (2009). Managing Conflict and Negotiating Effectively.

Organizational Behavior. (pp: 356-387). Ohio,USA: Southwest Cengage Learning.

Jessop, B and Sum, N-L. (2006). Beyond the Regulation Approach: Putting Capitalist

Economies in their place. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing

Kaptan, S.S. (2002). Team Building. New Delhi, India: Sarup & Sons.

Sibanda, T. Conflict Issues Across Disciplines. USA: Xlibris Corporation.

Schermerhorn, J.R. (2011). Conflict and Negotiation. Organizational Behavior. (12th ed;

pp:219-240). New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

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