Leadership And Organizational Behavior

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Leadership and Organizational Behavior - Cultivating Organizational Culture

Leadership and Organizational Behavior - Cultivating Organizational Culture

Coming into the auto industry after years of making airplanes, new Ford chief Alan Mulally has a lot to learn about cars and not much time to do it. Business really stinks at Ford, which recently announced that it is offering buyouts to all its 75,000 UAW members and cutting its North American salaried workforce by one-third. That's one of the reasons Mulally was hired to steer the company through a downsizing and restructuring, and to sell assets.

Ford has a peculiar culture that is all its own, growing out of its family control and long history as a rough-and-tumble industrial company. Office politics at Ford is a contact sport. Outsiders can have a particularly difficult time if they don't make friends and learn the landscape.

They control more than 40% of the shareholder votes. Many supposedly smart executives forget that. Henry Ford II fired President Lee Iacocca in 1978 after Iacocca tried to depose him by going to the board behind his back. CEO Don Petersen left abruptly in 1989 after stepping on the family's toes once too often. Bill Ford never felt comfortable with CEO Jac Nasser, and eased him out in 2001 (McCain, 2007). Ford is more kingdom than company. When the king is a Ford, the jousting that goes on beneath can be intense and occasionally fatal. Former GM exec Bunkie Knudsen was named president of Ford in 1968 and was gone in 18 months, done in by Iacocca and his loyal cronies. A Harvard Business School study called Knudsen's fall a "classic demonstration of what can happen when an outsider is placed at the helm of a vast, established organization with power centers jealously guarded by men who have ...
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