Influence of organizational contexts on leadership in Ford in the US and Europe. Introduction
Nowadays organizational context is very important, because leaders have to make decisions relying on big amounts of information, which changes every day. Moreover depending on various situations leadership theories work different, it makes hard to predict the consequences of decisions relying only on theory. Depending on organizational context different leadership style can be used. Throughout the history of Ford, company distinguished itself by iron control of Henry Ford the first and the second. Their “great man” approach brought success to Ford, but eventually this approach became ineffective due to globalization and changing environment. This resulted in the need for followers of Henry Ford the second to introduce the big change for company, change in leadership approach and organizational culture. In addition Ford opened branches almost all over the world, so new approaches, vision and leadership is needed. This essay will cover questions about different styles of leadership in Ford in the US and Europe, key contextual issues that impact on strategic leadership in Ford and will consider main contextual challenges for Ford leaders. Depending on the context effective leader must be able to adopt his style to the demands and changing environment (Northouse, 2010).
The contextual issues significantly impact on strategic leadership. Two main contextual issues that impact on strategic leadership in Ford organizational culture and national culture. Organisational culture is a set of moral precepts, values, norms of behaviour in particular company accepted by members (Besanko et al, 2010). National culture is a set of values, rules, customs, traditions shared by people speaking the same language and having similar mindsets and moral principles (Northouse, 2010). Globalization has created many challenges for organizations including effective selection of leaders, adaptation to many cultures, creation of different approaches to nationally various employees (Northouse, 2010). It became necessary for top managers to take into consideration peculiarities, mentality, values and characteristics of different cultures to develop business abroad, because many problems in relationships between people can occur due to variations in norms, habits and values (Needle, 2004). Ford was not an exception and needed to turn the company around. As a company that was operating not only in US, but also in Europe and still doing it, Ford had to create unique strategy and organizational culture for both areas, which differ from each other. To build a successful strategy it is necessary to know national features of countries where organization is going to operate. According to GLOBE researchers who identified 10 clusters of countries (depending on cultural data), US were set into Anglo cluster and Europe was divided into four clusters: Eastern Europe, Latin Europe, Germanic Europe and Nordic Europe (House, et al, 2004). These clusters have their own characteristics affecting leadership in particular areas, so demands for leaders in these clusters are different. “Two describe how different cultures view leadership behaviors in others GLOBE researchers identified six global leadership behaviors”(House & Javidan, 2004 in Northouse, 2010, p. 348). First is charismatic/value-based leadership that includes being decisive, self-denying and performance oriented, being a motivator and inspirer (Northouse, 2010). Second is team-oriented leadership that includes team building, establishing common goals and such characteristics as diplomacy, collaboration (Northhouse, 2010). Third is participative leadership that means degree to which leader involves employees in decision-making ( Northouse, 2010). Next is “humane-oriented leadership that emphasizes being supportive, considerate, compassionate, and generous (Northouse, 2010, p. 348). Last is...
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