Organizations are usually involved with many activities depending on the type of business they are involved with or rather the products and services they trade in. Holden General Motors is a well-known company in the motor industry. It is an automaker in Australia and has a long history and various changes have been experienced since it was started.
The main aim of this report is to give a critical evaluation of the Holden General Motors. Various aspects associated with this company will be brought out for instance the historical background, the management system, the social and ethical issues surrounding the company, the impact brought about by environmental aspect as well as its sustainability and future prospects.
There are various issues that surround an organization. Most of them are however related to management functions for instance planning, organization, staffing, coordination as well as controlling. Management is therefore a critical element in an organization and it greatly determines the success or failure level that an organization attains at any given time. For this reason, it should be upheld to the best standards possible. Holden General Motors is an automaker with its headquarters in Australia, Victoria.
The company has undergone a lot of changes, some of them bringing positive outcomes while others have got negative impacts to the company and the society at large. This piece of paper will give an in depth discussion of Holden General Motors including all the aspects that surrounds it from the time it originated as a manufacturer of saddles, to its venture into the automotives, its current state as well as the future prospects and what could be done to improve the situation.
Holden General Motors’ management
Before we get into the current management of Holden General Motors, it is advisable that we have a look at the historical background of the company and the path it has taken from the time it was started to present. Overall, it is evident that management practices in the company have played a great role in placing the company in the position it is now.
Background Information of Holden General Motors
Holden General Motors was neither formed in one day nor has it had a smooth path throughout. Holden General Motors was founded as a saddle making company in 1856 by James Alexander Holden after he moved from England to South Australia. Later, in the 20th century, it ventured into the field of automotive. Initially (1931), it operated as a subsidiary of the general motors (GM) based in the United States of America. It was later that the company was named General Motors-Holden’s Limited after taking over by GM. In 1998, it was known as Holden Ltd. The current name, Holden General Motors was adopted in 2005 (Bebbington 1998).
It was in the year 1885 that Henry Fredrick Frost joined J.A Holden & Company as a junior partner. This led to change of company name where it was now named as J.A. Holden & Frost limited.
In 1905, another partner by the name Edward Holden, James grandson, joined the company. He brought in the idea of automobiles into the company. It was from this time that the company entered into different partnerships aimed at strengthening it.
In 1908, Holden and Frost managed to start a business that dealt with minor automobiles repairs from where it was able to pick into a bigger firm (Darwin 2002). In 1913, the company was in a position to produce complete sidecar bodies that could be used for motorcycles. Fitting of bodies into different kinds of carriages was also tried out in an effort to expand the firm in the automobile industry. In 1917, the company was able to start full-scale production of vehicle body shells following the wartime trade restriction in the country.
Later in 1919, James Alexander Holden set up a new company by the name Holden’s Motor Body Builders Ltd (HMBB). This company was mainly involved with making of car bodies. There was a rapid growth in this company and by 1923 it was producing a total of 12,000 units in a year. However, there was a great depression around 1930 leading to a decline in the production level. Despite the challenges, the company later rose and was able to expand everywhere (Davis 1991).
Due to changes that have been experienced in the motor industry and the contemporary economic world, there have been considerable changes that have been seen in regard to the management of the Holden General Motors.
There was a decline in the company’s progress in the 2000s and in 2003, Holden General Motors was not in a position to secure the first position in terms of sales in Australia and the position was taken by Toyota. This had a negative impact on the company especially with respect to profits (Miller, Vandome, and McBrewster. 2009).
In 2007, Holden General Motors faired better but later declined in 2008 and 2009. However, in 2010, the company was able to achieve a profit of A $112 million. This clearly shows that the Holden General Motors has undergone many ups and down, which are attributed to various, factors most of which are related to management. Much about the company will be discussed in the following discussion sections (General Motors Corporation and Princeton Institute for Historic Research 1983).
Organization Chart/ Structure
An organization chart is a crucial tool in any given form of business enterprise irrespective of size. This is because it allows for better planning and implementation of different functions as every aspect is placed in an appropriate level. It also makes it easier to draw a relationship among different elements that are associated with a given organization. In order to gather a deeper understanding of the various units that make up Holden General Motors, here is the organization chart.
General motors’ organizational structure
Source: http://actionlearning.mit.edu/files/slab_files/Projects/2009/GM, report.pdf
List of Top Managers at Holden General Motors and Their Titles
Being a big company that operates in different parts of the world, Holden General Motors has a large pool of human resources in different levels, each being involved with various activities aimed at putting the company at a competitive advantage. This has been achieved through fostering of efficiency, effectiveness, and economy in all the practices and activities involved in the company. As of today, the following individuals form the management body and they are associated with the success level that is achieved in the company.
Daniel F. Akerson: the Holden General Motors chair and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen J. Girsky: the company’s vice chairperson, corporate strategy, business development, supply chain, global purchasing, and global product planning.
Thomas G. Stephens: Holden General Motors vice chairman, global chief technology officer (CTO).
Jaime Ardila: Holden General Motors vice president and president of South America.
Timothy E. Lee: Holden General Motors vice president and president on international operations.
Nick. D. Reilly: Holden General Motors vice president and president, Europe.
Mark L. Reuss: Holden General Motors Vice President and President, North America
Mary. T. Barra. Holden General Motors Senior Vice President, Global Product Development
Michael P. Millikin: Holden General Motors Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Daniel Ammann: Holden General Motors Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Cynthia J. Brinkley: Holden General Motors Vice President, Global Human Resources
Selim Bingoi: Holden General Motors Vice President, Global Communications
Nick S. Cyprus: Holden General Motors Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer and Controller
James A. Davlin: Holden General Motors Vice President Finance and Treasurer
Joel Ewanick: Holden General Motors Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer
Robert E. Ferguson: Holden General Motors Vice President, Global Public Policy
Terry S. Kline: Holden General Motors Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Anne T. Larin: Holden General Motors Corporate Secretary
Victoria McInnis: Holden General Motors Chief Tax Officer
Brian D. Thelen: Holden General Motors General Auditor and Chief Risk Officer.
The above named list shows the Holden General Motors corporate officers as per the General Motors website (2011).
In Holden General Motors, human resources are treated with a lot of concern bearing in mind that they are responsible for the manipulation of all other factors in the organization for instance the assets. Aspects such as motivation, rewards, and provision of incentive are emphasized to ensure that the employees are encouraged to even do better (Cohen and Royssel 2005).
Social and Ethical Responsibilities
Holden General Motors’ Social and Ethical Responsibilities
Corporate social responsibility is an essential aspect in the business world. It is an obligation for a business organization to pursue long-term goals that are good for the society. It can also be termed as the continuing commitment by business firms to behave in an ethical manner and contribute to economic development while at the same time enhancing the quality of life of the employees and their families. The business firm should also enhance the lives of the local community and the entire society around which it operates (Kotler, 2005).
Corporate social responsibility should not be taken as an extra activity but rather as a priority and a factor that helps greatly in achievement of high levels of a business’ profit through enhancing productivity. In regard to corporate social responsibility, Holden General Motors has been in the fore front.
It has tried to help the communities with which it is involved through provision of various activities, most of them being development-related. It is a company that have been recognized among those that take corporate social responsibility as a major function that it ought to fulfil as opposed to other organizations that consider it to be a burden or rather an extra task.
For this reason, Holden General Motors has received some awards in connection to corporate social responsibility. For instance, the General Motors in China received two corporate social responsibility awards during the corporate social responsibility in 2005. This is just an example and various branches of the Holden General Motors have been known for their efforts in perpetrating corporate social responsibility activities and processes (General Motors 2009).
Holden General Motors works under the principle that its actions play a significant role in shaping its reputation and hence the need to engage in activities that are aimed at helping communities they come across. Corporate social responsibility in Holden General Motors can also be seen in its diversity of operations.
The company has extended its activities wide (operates in six continents; 192 countries) in an effort to reach as many people as possible. In doing this, Holden General Motors aims at establishing a business culture that fosters responsibility, maximum inclusion, understanding as well as mutual respects. All these are aspects related to corporate social responsibility.
Holden General Motors has also engaged in educational programs as a sign of corporate social responsibility. The company perceives education to be essential in raising responsible citizens particularly in regard to technological development. It has therefore embarked on different educational initiates in an attempt to equip students in different parts of the world with relevant skills and knowledge that could be of help at present times as well as in the future (General motors 2011).
Holden General Motors recognizes the need to conserve the environment for sustainability. In carrying out its activities, the company makes sure that it does not affect the environment in a negative manner for instance causing degradation of any kind. To be specific, Holden General Motors operates its activities in a way that fosters environmental conservation and preservation so as not to be a negative contributor to the general society.
Renewable and recyclable materials have been preferred in operating the factories and offices of the Holden General Motors (Hawkins 2006). Pollution is another factor that has been put at a minimum in Holden General Motors’ operations. A good example is the manufacturing of tucks and cars that are environmental friendly, that is, they consume less fuel and produce relatively fewer greenhouse gases.
This is a positive action that ensures sustainability of the environment that in turn allows the community to benefit from their environment for a long period. In 2008 for example, Holden General Motors joined forces with the World Environment Center (WEC) in launching a program that was aimed at assisting the company along with suppliers to improve their performance in regard to maintaining the environment (World Environment Center 2008).
Through the General Motors foundations (GMF) founded in 1976, Holden General Motors has been able to stretch its practices that are aimed at giving back to the society. The foundation provides support to organizations and programs that are aimed at improving the quality of life among members of different communities.
The GMF assists in activities in different sectors for instance health and human services, community development, education as well as environment and energy among others. This has greatly improved the way of life of individuals. Holden General Motors has also been involved in disaster relief. This is through financial support to disaster management organizations such as the American Red Cross.
This is a crucial aspect that has helped communities who are faced with emergencies for instance floods and fires. Safety is also another concept that is emphasized in Holden General Motors. It commences on the driver where he or she is safeguarded from any form of danger. This has been achieved through control systems that avoid any form of accidents by helping the driver to maintain control even when it would seem impossible (Werther and Chandler 2010).
Holden General Motors Company Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
Ethics is a crucial element not only at an individual’s level but at also when it comes to undertaking business activities. Ethics has been deemed to contribute greatly towards shaping a company’s reputation. It as well makes business organizations conducive and great places to work with due to efficiency that comes along with it.
Over the recent past, there has been a tendency to list ethical companies (in order) an aspect that has changed companies in terms of reputation. Research has shown that business organizations that secure a position in the list usually go an extra mile in ensuring that procedures and practices are carried out in an ethical manner that does not in any way affect any party negatively (Burlock 2011).
Some of the issues that are generally covered in business organizations’ code of ethics include reporting and dealing with any aspect of conflict of interest, compliance with state and government rules and regulations, being in a position to speak up whenever anything wrong in an organization is identified in an attempt to make its rectification easier among other issues.
The Holden General Motors code of ethics have greatly helped in streamlining the practices involved in the company through provision of a guideline that ought to be followed. The code of ethics at Holden General Motors covers a variety of issues for instance conflict of interest for directors and corporate officers. It also covers improper individual benefits that could be derived from stocks for a member of an employee’s relations and any other dealings involving third parties and may affect the company in one way or the other.
Employees, including the senior ones, are not allowed either to receive gifts in the name of the company or use the company’s assets to achieve personal benefits. Openness is also an issue that is encouraged in Holden General Motors where the employees are encouraged to speak up any issue that affects their work environment negatively. This helps in making necessary adjustments (Singer 2008).
At Holden General Motors, a code of ethics that applies to every employee including the directors and corporate officers has been established to govern all practices. The code of ethics has been outlined in the text, “Winning with Integrity.” (GM 2011).
Some of the issues stipulated here include personal integrity. The code dictates that it is essential for every individual to take personal responsibility for his or her actions in an effort to uphold integrity. Every individual is expected to comply with the legal obligations and policies stipulated in the Holden General Motors’ code of conduct. Integrity in the workplace is also understood through fair treatment and respect irrespective of individual differences.
This could be seen through provision of equal employment opportunities based on qualification without any form of discrimination and maintenance of health and safety for all employees. In regard to conflicts of interest, all employees at Holden General Motors are obliged to act exclusively in the best interests of the company and be loyal. They are for instance expected to avoid any venture that in one way or the other impact negatively on Holden General Motors (Jawahir 2007).
Concisely, Holden General Motors strives to uphold personal and institutional integrity in its operations in an effort to compete and win through integrity. Although the issue of winning with integrity has been deemed to be faced with considerable challenges it has been successfully implemented in the company.
All in all, the code of ethics at Holden General Motors requires that an individual follow them, raise potential instances of misconduct to the responsible bodies, provide feedback on problem issues and give suggestions on how some issues could be improved, maintenance of the highest possible ethical standards in one’s undertakings and more so, being keen to listen to the concerns raised by the clients, the workmates, suppliers as well as dealers and consequently ensuring that the information is treated appropriately for satisfaction of the company and the majority.
There is also the issue of accuracy of the company’s information and use of its property. In regard to this, employees are expected to protect and safeguard the company’s assets and utilize them in the best way possible.
This could be achieved through using of the company’s assets for its business only and following the stipulated rules and regulations in regard to their usage. The company’s information, records, and communications ought to be handled with integrity where any unnecessary alterations should be avoided. This is because misleading information could result in poor decision making which could in turn affect the company negatively.
To allow for reinforcement of the code of ethics in the company, those individuals who in one way or the other violate the requirements stipulated in the code of ethics are subject to disciplinary action, for instance civil and criminal penalties where there are instances of violation of the law or termination of employment by the company’s management body (General Motors Management Corp 1930).
Sustainability is an incredibly important concept that allows an organization to not only excel at present time but also in future. Sustainability in a business organization such as Holden General Motors could be looked at in the angle of 3ps, which include the planet or physical environment and the people, where the aspect of social responsibility comes in.
This entails treating all the individuals involved with the business organization in an appropriate manner to allow for satisfaction for instance the employees, the suppliers and more so the customers.
The other P stands for profit. Although organizations should not only focus on attaining maximum profits, it is evident that profits play a great role in allowing for development and success of an organization, which is in itself a sustainability aspect and should therefore be looked at. All in all, the profits should be generated in an ethical manner rather than indulging in activities that violate the code of ethics (Dunphy 2000; Munier 2006).
In regard to the physical environment, Holden General Motors is committed to actions aimed at restoring and preserving the environment (General Motors 2009 b).
It for instance reduces wastes and pollutants, conserve resources and recycle materials in every phase of the product life cycle. Another aspect entails participating in educational and awareness programs to enlighten the public on the importance of conserving the environment. This is a positive sustainability move (Dobransky 2011).
With respect to people, Holden General Motors has been considered as one of the companies that fosters individual satisfaction through proper handling of the customers, the suppliers, the employees, and any other stakeholders. This has greatly enhanced its reputation and many investors feel encouraged to do business with it (Drucker 1999).
Profit in the Holden General Motors has also been an issue of concern. To allow for sustainability of the organization, the company’s code of ethics has clearly prohibited attainment of any form of benefits through unfair or corrupt means but instead engaging in activities that are genuine.
To generate profits, Holden General Motors has been engaged in various developmental projects and programs for instance opening of new branches. Overall, it is clear that Holden General Motors has tried as much as possible to foster sustainability especially with respect to the physical environment (Boone and Kurtz 2011; Chakravarthy and Lorange 2008).
External Environment Impact
Being an international company that operates beyond borders, Holden General Motors is faced with considerable external environment impact from the countries and branches it operates with as well as from the general public and competitors who may in one way or the other have some interests in the company.
Some of the factors that could have some external environment impact on Holden General Motors include customers, competition, shareholders, regional differences that could encompass cultural and political differences (Daft and Marcic 2010).
Customers involved in Holden General Motors are varied some of them being private individual buyers while others are major companies. The diversity of customers has enabled the company to perform well in its operations. The different kinds of customers are not without some influence on the success level or failure. This can be seen in their changes in preferences where they may turn back to other companies.
Just like any other business organization, Holden General Motors faces competition from different angles especially from other firms in the automobile industry (Pahl and Ritcher 2009). Among the competitors, include Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. Renault, Fiat S. P.A and Volkswagen AG. To deal with this issue, the company has tried to reinforce its strengths and maximize its opportunities while at the same time dealing with its weakness and threats (Chen and Yao 2006).
Shareholders, Investors and Governments
It is clear that under normal circumstances, the shareholders, investors as well as the different governments involved in the operations of Holden General Motors ought to have some form of influence in regard to the operations of the company. The shareholders for example would wish to see that their interests are considered fully.
For the investors, they have to be assured that their contribution is in safe hands free from any kind of losses. Different regional governments may have some influence on the company in terms of policies exerted on the business activities. This will necessitate that Holden General Motors takes into account all these issues and ensure that every party is appropriately represented.
Due to the fact that Holden General Motors operates across borders, it ought to face some differences in regard to cultural and political aspects as presented by people in different regions. For this reason, the company ought to come up with appropriate strategies to deal with these differences in a manner that will not affect either party negatively to an extent of having a negative impact on the business (Michealson 2003).
Having carried out research on Holden General Motors especially in regard to management, it is clear that the company has achieved much particularly in terms of expansion. All in all, here are some recommendation most of which focusing on sustainability (Crumm 2010). To achieve success, Holden General Motors should choose a minimum number of relevant standards that cover every aspect of car production activity.
It should educate the human resource on the chosen standards and look for implementation strategies, carry out systematic measurement to evaluate progress in order to carry out appropriate adjustments, use regular and short notice internal and external audit to complement measurement; and finally have a set of goals and metrics as per accepted third party or industry-wide practices (Dreher et al 2009).
From the above discussion, it is evident that much is associated with a business organization apart from mere buying and selling of products and services. Management is for instance an aspect that is very crucial in enhancing success of a business enterprise and therefore, it ought to be taken seriously.
It is also clear that the business world is characterized by a rapidly changing environment that necessitates being alert since failure to go by the changes renders a business organization less competitive, an issue that lowers its level of profits. It is for this reason that the concept of management of change has become of essence. Holden General Motors has experienced a considerable management change in an effort to makes its practices successful.
One way has been the revision of activities associated with corporate social responsibility as well as the code of ethics especially with respect to upholding integrity in all practices and activities. Change management that has taken place at Holden General Motors from time to time has been of great benefit to the company and it is attributed to the benefits enjoyed currently. However, it has not been a smooth move but a process that entails risk taking.
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