If you are a business leader today there is one thing that constantly runs through your mind, “How can we continue to succeed and grow.” In today’s society it has become harder and harder to accomplish such a task. The world is ever changing and it does so in a pace that is far more rapid than that of 20 years ago. Business leaders know that change is inevitable, but where the problem lies is how to manage the change in a way that will allow for continued growth and success, but at the same time they want to be able to do so with as little stress as possible to the employees. There are hundreds of ways to make changes in an organization, and plenty of people out there pitching their ideas as the best. It is up to the business leaders to find a technique that will best suite their needs as an organization, a technique that will give them the results they are looking for, this is the case with General Motors. General Motors is made up of four different auto makers (Buick, GM, Pontiac and Chevrolet) and each one runs independently from the others. GM decided that having four independently ran divisions, which competed against one another was more costly than beneficial and they searched to find a way to change this for the better. Organizational Change 3
Change Implementation describes the “actions taken by organizational leaders in order to support strategic renewal and maintain outstanding performance in a dynamic environment.” In GM’s case they needed to find a way to bring all their independent divisions together and put everyone on the same page. GM executives knew the task of bringing everyone together into a more centralized organization would require everyone, including management to learn a new set of skills that centered around the GM corporation as a whole, rather than four separate entities. They also realized that by doing this they would need to develop some type of support system that would ensure the successful implementation of the proposed change. Two areas which were first affected by the change involved computer software and engineering designs. Each automaker used a different computer software for their day to day operations, which made communication between the groups difficult. To fix this problem everyone went to a centralized computer software. Getting it implemented and and everyone trained was a difficult task, but in the long run made communication easier. Engineer designs were affected because the GM executives wanted their engineers to learn each others design Other changes included things like discontinuing certain vehicle lines and closing some factories to streamline production. The effects from these changes were felt both internally and externally. Internally people were losing their jobs, and GM began losing some customers because of these changes, and externally communities were being affected. When a large corporation like GM closes a factory the community is often times hit hard. Organizational Change 4
People lose jobs, which not only affected them, but it also affects other businesses like grocery stores, movie theaters and restaurants. These types of affects are hard to deal with, but are a necessary evil in business survival. Once the changes were made and implementation was successful GM began seeing the positives they were looking for. General Motors became one corporation working together, operational costs decreased due to streamlining functions and operations, and effective communication methods were established. GM has succeeded in implementing their change and still operates at a high level even in this downed economy. GM as do most auto manufacturers operated using a functional structure. They are ran by a CEO, and rely on the marketplace for ideas, which are then engineered and made a reality, and then the finished product is sold via the dealerships. But unlike many functional structures GM has developed a support staff...
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