Founded in 1908, General Motors (GM) is an American multinational corporation centered in Detroit, Michigan that design and manufacture vehicles and their parts. They also market and distribute said parts and vehicles. Currently, GM possesses 7 active North American vehicle brands, and 5 active overseas vehicle brands. Building those brands is integral for following their mission statement which is “to earn customers for life by building brands that inspire passion and loyalty through not only breakthrough technologies but also by serving and improving the communities in which we live and work around the world” (“General Motors Mission”, 2019). This mission statement states that GM is trying to keep up with the tough competition in the vehicle market by using modern technology to create a sense of loyalty from a customer to a certain GM brand.
Throughout their history, GM has proved to follow four core values, “innovation, responsibility, teamwork, and continuous improvement” (“General Motors Mission”, 2019). Being an innovative company makes up two of the four core values. The idea of innovation reigns supreme in their vision statement as well, “to create a future of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion, and we have committed ourselves to leading the way toward this future” (“General Motors Mission”, 2019). The idea of innovation of their product to lead to future success is shown through when mentioning creating vehicles that will have technology to prevent crashes, emissions, and congestion. General Motors has been a company that has been driven by innovation and it that idea has led to success and pitfalls.
General Motors has proved to be diverse throughout the company. According to the 2018 General Motors Diversity & Inclusion Report, “women comprise 55% of GM’s board of directors making (them) a leader among the Fortune 100 for board diversity.” Also, per the 2018 GM Diversity and Inclusion Report, “38% of all U.S. hires were minorities and 33% of all global hires were women.” GM has proven to be a diversity, as they consistently hire minorities and women throughout their workforce. Externally, GM is partnered with KaBoom!, which “allows (GM) to invest in equitable play solutions for children in low-income communities nationwide, ensuring that all rising stars have the childhood they deserve, filled with safe, balanced and active play”.
General Motors also funds and is partners with Black Girls Code, “Through a partnership with Black Girls CODE, the organization has officially launched a Detroit chapter and is introducing the skill of coding to young girls of color to inspire a future career path as STEM professionals. This is particularly critical given that women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, especially in technology. Only 3 percent of African-American women and fewer than 1 percent of Latinas receive degrees in computer science” (GM Diversity and Inclusion Report, 16).
In late September of 2019, the United auto workers had a strike against General Motors. To prepare for this strike, GM “built up a stock of 77 days of inventory at their dealerships” (Noble, 2019). The strategy for General Motors has been different this year as it has been in years past, as they have had to deal with employees not working due to strike. But the strategy to combat this strike was to build up a greater inventory of GM vehicles. Preparing the amount of inventory to cover for the length of a strike is tricky, “’If it’s a day strike or a week strike, it’s not a big deal; they can always come back and make up the production’, said Michelle Krebs, an analyst at Cox Automotive. ‘If it’s more lengthy than that, then yes, they would have a problem’” (Noble, 2019). As previously mentioned, because of this strike, coming up with a strategy for future plans at General Motors is tougher than the past years.
Even though the workers at GM have been on a strike during this year, there are benefits to working for the automotive company out of Detroit. General Motors offers a benefits package that includes health benefits, a retirement plan, time-off, and additional benefits such as: life insurance, disability benefits, tuition assistance, adoption assistance, voluntary benefits, employee and family discounts on GM vehicles (Benefits-GM Careers, n.d.). It is a pretty standard benefits package but does encourage the idea of innovation in the fact that they are “looking out for your well-being – at work and at home – so you can focus on realizing your ambitions” (Benefits-GM Careers, n.d.). The employees realizing their ambitions can apply to the mission of innovation. If the employee wants to focus on the innovation of GM vehicles and vehicle parts, that is an innovative culture for that employee.
General Motors has had “an organizational culture of agility” (Kissinger, 2017). GM always has been quick in addressing issues such as recalls, and organizational issues, meaning they have been agile. According to Daniel Kissinger, General Motors’ ability to respond to issues quickly allows GM to develop its competitive advantage. But GM has saw a slight culture change as soon as Mary Barra has stepped into CEO. When Barra stepped in, she launched an initiative from a program, “GM 2020, which builds cross-functional ‘co-labs’ to address all kinds of problems; to a yearlong ‘transformational leadership’ course for senior execs; to a quarterly two-day off-site that Barra personally leads with her 16 top reports, focused not on strategy but on their own interaction” (Tetzeli, 2017). In short, Barra kept the idea of the organizational culture of agility but enhanced through initiatives and programs allowing the employees access to laboratories to address issues.
Once the employees’ strike against GM is concluded, there are not many changes that should be made to the company. Even during the strike, General Motors has prepared enough inventory to last through the strike thus far. Recently hired CEO Mary Barra’s initiatives and programs are furthering the idea of innovation and the organizational culture of responding to issues quickly and correctly. General Motors is doing the right thing as shown by the numbers over the last 24 months. They have increased sales from quarter to quarter, stayed near the top of a competitive automotive market, and managed to continue strong sales through a strike. General Motors has been a premier option in the automotive industry and has maintained to be a leading option throughout its long history.
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