Management Case Study Chapter 6 Question 3

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Q3) What changes is Mr. Whitacre making to the culture of GM?

Before Mr. Whitacre became CEO of GM, the culture of managing at GM is basically bureaucratic. This means every decision that has to be made must pass through the different departments to committee that causes a big mess and also delays for decision making. Mr. Whitacre mentioned in an interview the problems of managing in GM before he took over is that the company is too bureaucratic, not focused, matrix managed which means an employee has more than one bosses therefore no boss. GM’s decision making was slow and described as plodding. GM has either been slow to recognize the change of customer preferences or slow to adapting technological changes.

So when Mr. Whitacre became the CEO of GM, he makes a few changes to the culture of GM to save the company. It is said in an interview that Mr. Whiteacre managed to break through the intractability of that old culture in GM and yet preserve the best part of it (Scarlet Fu, 2010). The biggest changed Mr. Whitacre made to the culture of GM is getting rid of the bureaucratic culture. This is focusing on the decision making process of GM which he allows employees to make their own decisions without going through different departments or committees. This will then allow the company to operate more efficiently. Mr. Whitacre is also pushing authority and decision making down into GM’s multilayered organization. This way it builds and deepens trust among employees. This way staffs will feel empowered therefore an increase in performance and also productivity. Mr. Whitacre believes that by making managing simpler it will just work better.

Comparing the changes that Mr. Whitacre made to GM’s culture is he changed the culture from bureaucratic to a culture where employees are able to make decision without going through many layers of committee. This will enable the company to operate much more efficiently and also have trusts among employees compared to the...
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