Academic journal article Review of Business & Finance Studies

A Critical Needs Plan for General Motors: A Cultural Pluralism Approach

Academic journal article Review of Business & Finance Studies

A Critical Needs Plan for General Motors: A Cultural Pluralism Approach

Article excerpt


The purpose of this paper is to create a critical needs plan for General Motors Corporation in the 21st century. General Motors (GM), once the most dominant manufacturer in the automotive industry, finds itself in financial crisis with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a necessary government infusion of capital. The foundation of this paper applies the Supportive Model as an effective strategy for creating a new corporate culture and focusing GM as a competitive manufacturer in the global automotive industry. The basis of this critical needs plan focuses on more than managerial or financial influence, but a cultural change including corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility and a critical thought approach to operating in the 21st century.


KEYWORDS: Leadership, Cultural Pluralism, Organizational Behavior


With the increase in global competitive pressure, it is important for a business organization to understand the organizational behavior and dynamic changes to its cultural and ethical environment. Economic globalization has forced many U.S. companies to take a hard look at their competitive environments focusing on the steps necessary to remain competitive on the world-stage. Engle (2006) observed that many of the top industrial powerhouses within the past 10 years have realized that past success does not equate to future gains. Companies must replace complacency with an intense effort to optimize operational processes by examining the organizational behavioral. This is especially true for companies facing critical issues. This case study provides a critical needs plan for General Motors Corporation. The organization's culture and ethical behavior are two of the many possible subject areas examined as an overall plan to optimize operations. The recommendations will take a comprehensive approach by considering leadership, organizational culture, financial ramifications, crosscultural issues, and potential ethical conflicts.

A critical needs plan for a global company such as General Motors Corporation includes an assessment of global culture and global ethics. The structure of the organizational plan for General Motors is to be adaptive to the global environment and strategically support global markets competitive demands. According to Hannan and Freeman (1977), any plan focusing on a global company is complex and relies on a working strategy that supports a relationship between the structure and its environment. Gupta and Govindarajin (2004) believed that globalizing in today's business environment necessitates organizations recognize four key constructs to globalizing in the 21st century: (a) the organization's position in the market; (b) the availability of capital to expand the organization; (c) the availability of supplies for the organization and (d) a corporate outlook that considers the overall global picture.

The paper will present an exploration of General Motors' proposed critical needs plan in four specific areas. First, cultural behavior will examine the importance of cross-cultural diversity for a global corporation, as viewed through the application of a supportive leadership model. Second, ethics and leadership as it relates to responsibility to internal and external stakeholders will be evaluated in conjunction with the transformational leadership model. Third, corporate social responsibility will be evaluated by comparing market mentality versus social responsibility mentality, including an application of utilitarianism ethical theory. Last, several management approach issues will be considered, including a SWOT analysis, the critical thinking approach to decision making, and the importance of partnerships and alliances in the contemporary global marketplace.


Jung and Avolio (1999) believe that successful organizations that expand globally understand the differences in foreign cultures and that this understanding corresponds with the exponential growth of the global economy. …

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