Principals of Management: The Toyota Way

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One product that has been a staple for my family as long as I can remember is Toyota cars and trucks. Every vehicle my parents have owned has been made by Toyota. My father, a structural engineer, has always voiced a sincere appreciation for the Japanese automaker. “It’s the Toyota Way”, he would stubbornly proclaim. My brothers and I never understood the reference. After all, it was not uncommon to hear my father quote obscure statistics from Car & Driver or Consumer Reports magazines. Though in his defense, Toyota has consistently ranked higher in customer satisfaction than other car manufacturers. By my father’s estimation, the company’s commitment to excellence had something to do with a central management philosophy known as “The Toyota Way”. It wasn’t until I enrolled in an undergraduate Organizational Psychology class that I learned he was actually referencing a series of highly acclaimed principles of management.

The Toyota Way is a collection of fourteen principles that drive the decision making process based on a philosophical sense of purpose. It is something that I was initially introduced to by my father, but have recently grown to appreciate as an adult (I drive a Toyota truck). Toyota Corporation teaches all of their employees that these principles of management are based exclusively on a long-term perspective. They also stress a systematic process for problem solving and an organic growth among company personnel. The company believes that organizational learning is based on an individual’s ability to solve problems systematically. Despite a recent public setback with product recall, Toyota Corporation has consistently stood for quality products, and quality management. In my opinion, the fourteen theories that comprise “The Toyota Way” most accurately depict the optimal principles of management.

Principle one describes that employees need personal focus to maximize their motivation and determine their goals. This philosophy maintains a...
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