analyses the leadership of Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Corporation

Topics: Leadership, Nissan Motors, Carlos Ghosn Pages: 15 (3764 words) Published: April 21, 2014
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Module Title
Module 2- Organizational Behaviour
Assignment Questions
For an organisation that you know well (e.g., the organisation, where you are currently employed or for which you worked in the past), using the relevant concepts, theories and models introduced in the module, describe one person who could be called a leader and analyse how effective this person’s leadership is and why it is effective. Word Count


This paper analyses the leadership of Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Corporation. Carlos has been recognised as a successful leader whose leadership managed to rescue Nissan from its financial crisis in the late 90s. His contribution to the company, industry and society is significant.

I will start by giving an idea about the history of Nissan followed by introducing Carlos Ghosn as an individual and analysing his leadership style using various leadership theories and models. We will also assess the effectiveness and efficiency as well as the business value added to Nissan through his leadership.

The Company
Nissan company was established in Yokohama in the year 1933 to take over the manufacturing of Datsun Ltd. It was renamed as “Nissan” the following year. In 1935, the company started to produce sub-compact cars, named Datsun and started exporting to Australia. In the year 1936, Nissan bought a new production line which was intended for small passenger cars but because of the war, the company had to shift to military vehicles and ships (The Short History of Nissan Motor Company, 2013). The war had a huge impact on the company as half of the plant was taken by the occupation forces for a decade which delayed the company’s growth and by the time war ended; many customer had already switched to Toyota. To recover from that, Nissan collaborated with Austin Motors and launched a new car in the year 1958 which lead them to win The Deming prize in 1960. Nissan launched two manufacturing operations in the United States and in the United Kingdom in the years 1980, 1984 respectively. It also established new headquarters in North America and Europe with a vision to make the decisions of design, production and marketing locally. The company which had been under debts for the previous seven years signed an agreement with Renault in the year 1999 and both companies formed an alliance for mutual benefit and growth for both. Nissan Revival Plan (NRP) for restructuring which was announced in 1999 aimed to reaching sustainable and continuous global growth. The objectives of this plan were met by the end of 2001. The company currently manufactures cars in twenty locations globally. Worldwide number of sold units in 2011 exceeded 4.800 million. In addition to cars, Nissan develops and produces marine equipment as well (The Short History of Nissan Motor Company, 2013).

Carlos as a person
Carlos Ghosn was born in Brazil in 1954 to Lebanese-Brazilian parents. The family moved to Lebanon in 1960. He completed his secondary school in Lebanon before travelling to France for university study. He got his engineering degrees from the École Polytechnique in the year 1978. After graduation, Carlos worked for Michelin & Cie. for eighteen years. At the age of thirty, he became the Chief Operating Officer of Michelin’s South America’s operations which operated at a budget of $300 Million. He succeeded in turning over the South American operation from losses to profits. After that he became the Chief Executive Officer of Michelin in North America. Carlos joined Renault in 1996 as an Executive Vice President for advanced research. Renault purchased 36.3 of Nissan’s shares in 1999 and Carlos MOVED TO Japan and joined Nissan as a COO and was named CEO two years later (Millikin, J and Dean, Fu, 2004: 121-125).

Carlos and Nissan
When Carlos joined Nissan in 1999, the company was suffering from losses and it had large debts which...

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Burns, J.M
Fielder F.E. (1967), A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, New York: McGraw-Hill
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Ghosn, C. 2006, Shift Inside Nissan 's Historic Revival. Crown Business.
Hofstede, G. (1980/1992) ‘Motivation, leadership and organization; Do American theories apply abroad’, in Lane, H.W. and Stefano, J.J. (eds) International Management Behavior, Boston: PWS/Kent.
House R.J. (1971), A Path Goal Theory of Leadership, Administrative Science Quarterly, 16 (2), 321–338
Interview with Carlos Ghosn - MTV Lebanon, 2012
Kotter, J.P. (1990), What Leaders Really Do?, Harvard Business Review, May–June
Lewin, K., Liippit, R
Linstead, S, Management and Organization: A Critical Text ,Palgrave Macmillan Limited
Millikin, J., Dean, Fu
Nissan production way, 2013.Nissan production way. Available at:; accessed 29 April 2013.
Stephen Linstead, Liz Fulop and Simon Lilley, 2009. Management and Organisation: A Critical Text, Second Edition. Palgrave Macmillan.
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