MGMT 530-D1A1 Organizational Behavior
Jeff Bailey, PhD, PMP
October 2, 2011
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Alan Mulally’s conflict management style is examined in this paper. I will explore the wisdom of William Clay Ford, Jr.’s decision to diversify Ford Motor Company’s executive management staff with an auto industry outsider in order to support financial, operational, and innovation excellence.
Alan Mulally’s Conflict Management Style
Alan Mulally was hired in September of 2006 by Ford Motor Company to be their President and CEO at a time when the company was struggling for its very survival. Mulally’s challenge to reinvent Ford would be great as the company was rife with dysfunctional conflict which was caused by ineffective fiefdoms, leaders who cared more about their careers and rank than the health of the company’s financial longevity, a changing competitive landscape, a culture of complacency and mediocrity, a lack of standardization and excessive duplication, and an environment that had become too comfortable losing money. William (Bill) Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of the board and great-grandson of Henry Ford, recognized that it would take an auto industry outsider to pull the company from the brink of going out of business. His brave choice to bring Mulally to Ford would pay off handsomely. “The revitalized company returned to profitability during the third quarter of 2009.” (McCluskey, 2010, p.45) It emerged once again as a leader in the auto industry by delivering innovative products that customers wanted. Under Mulally’s leadership, Ford was the only one of the big three Detroit automakers who did not receive a bailout from the US Government during the Automotive Industry crisis of 2008-2009. Mulally’s leadership at...