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The culture of General Motors: China

Company Review - Standard Motors

Problem Diagnosis

General Motors was diversifying rapidly and it opened its subsidiary in China. The culture of Basic Motors collided with Chinese language organizational culture which lead to the staff strike at the machine.

(Garry Dessler, 2004, Pg 465-479. )

There is staff resentment one of the employees of Standard Motors and the supervisors are highly de encouraged and never coach the employees. At this situation, the organizational framework needs to be altered and the supervisors must be advertised to an exec cadre and the whole organization structure has to be rephrased.

The Clear plan is to improve the organizational structure and also to develop an organizational culture at General Motors accepted by both management and the employees. The newspaper concludes by proposing a big change model for Basic Motors in China.

Redesign the organizational framework at Basic Motors

General Motors can adopt a variety of Matrix Structure and Team framework in its functions to resolve the staff problems. Using a Matrix structure, Basic Motors can have dual lines of specialist which ensures the reliable management of employees with proper work schedules and the supervisors can focus on training new employees and the employees can be supervised by creating self been able groups with team market leaders for each department. The expense of adopting this framework is the advantages of other set ups and weakness of these structures.

Cummings & Worley, (2005) illustrate these organizational constructions.

The Matrix framework is seen as a dual lines of power and combines product and efficient departmentalization. IBM adopts a changed version of the matrix structure in its overall procedures. The strength of this structure lies in its potential to accomplish coordination and productive allocation of specialists. The major disadvantage is based on the confusion it generates, its prosperity to foster electricity struggles, and the stress it places on individuals.

The Team structure uses groups as the central device to coordinate work activities. Companies like DaimlerChrysler, Saturn, Motorola and Xerox have made intensive use of self supervised teams to improve efficiency at the operational level while in smaller companies; the team structure can define the entire organization. For instance, Imedia, a 30 person marketing firm in New Jersey is completely structured around teams. This composition is highly unsuitable for large companies.

Develop an Organizational Culture at Standard Motors

When a culture is developed, almost all of the issues will be resolved among the list of employees.

The cultural factors that will impact team communication and connections are Employees themselves, Low Formalization, Empowerment, Good listening skills, Role clarity, Managerial Action, Selection, Training and Socialization, Structural design, Command, Performance Analysis and Compensation Systems.

Nature of the workforce: The labor force nowadays is highly diverse composing of culturally diverse employees. This is an era for professionals plus they make the change certain. There are various new entrants with limited skills to complement the traditional way of training the work. So, the task should be transformed to the changing labor force.

Technology: Technology is the essential requirement forcing change. Nowadays, technology has been growing in leaps and bounds and organizations must change rapidly to keep speed with the changing technology. The primary reasons for technological development are faster and cheaper computers, new mobile communication devices and deciphering of the individuals genetic code. It is becoming essential for companies to screen the breakthroughs in technology and update themselves with the recent technology.

Economic Shocks: A whole lot of monetary shocks like the climb and fall season of dot com securities, decline in the worthiness of Euro and the collapse of Enron Firm lead to change.

Competition: A wholesome competition ensures change to a huge degree. Companies change over the time period in which to stay the competition and keep maintaining their position in the market. Nowadays with the global competition, companies remain competitive globally and change to the prevailing conditions in the changing world.

Social styles: The changing public movements like internet boards, retirement of seniors and increased curiosity about urban living etc. has led to change in work culture and standard of work. Organizations change themselves and produce products and services catering to the sociable trends.

World Politics: The free trade contracts and nuclear deal between nations and other important world politics will lead to a great change in the businesses of the companies with a technology copy between companies and nations

In the truth of General Motors, the major individuals of change include Character of the task force and Community Trends. These issues need to be addressed generally to bring a big change.

Cummings & Worley (2005, webpage 490).

Individual resistance to change

Garry Dessler (2004) express individual sources of resistance to change reside in basic real human characteristics such as perceptions, personalities and needs. Individuals avoid change mainly due to the next reasons:

Human beings are creatures of behavior and heavily rely on habits or programmed replies for decision making. Whenever a change occurs, the behavior has to be changed that may act as a source of resistance and people with a higher dependence on security will probably resist change because it threatens their sense of safety. Whenever a new computerized machine enters the company, employees tend to lose their careers and resist the change. The matter that changes will lower one's income is another way to obtain individual resistance. For instance, the introduction of quality management makes it mandatory for each worker to learn statistical procedures. This may cause resistance because so many employees think they will be not able to achieve this. So folks are guilty of selectively control information in order to keep their perceptions intact and they dismiss information that challenges the world they have got created.

Strategies to manage Organizational culture

Change has turned into a way of life for some organizations. Pressure from increasing competition, globalization, technological advancements, and other forces has created an environment that rewards an organization that are capable of identifying movements and issues and responding quickly to them. Change is the only permanent thing in this world so when organizations change there a wide range of forces of level of resistance from the change and culture is one of quite forces of level of resistance. (Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, 2005, Pg. 225 - 239). HRM Techniques play a significant role in changing the organizational culture. The major Interventions found in bringing a change include Individual Processual, Techno structural, Socio complex systems and business transformation. The many HRM Techniques include Action research, Organizational development, Sensitivity Training, Review Feedback, Process Consultation, TEAM DEVELOPMENT, Inter group development, Appreciative enquiry.

Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, (2005) include the following interventions to bring an organizational culture change.

HR Interventions for Organizational culture change

Interventions are mainly focused on changing the culture through changing worker behavior, Organization structure, Infrastructure and change with the exterior environment.

Human Process Interventions (Group and Specific Human Relations)

These interventions are fond of enhancing inter personal, intra group, and inter group relations in a culturally merged labor force and bring a big change in the individual's values and attitude to match the organizational culture and they also give attention to helping people of the business to enhance themselves, each other and the ways in which they work together in order to enhance their overall group.

Techno structural Interventions (Structures, Technologies, Positions)

The purpose of techno structural interventions is to improve work content, work method, and connections among personnel and lower costs by swapping inefficient materials, methods, equipment, work stream designs and costly unnecessary labor with more productive technology and these interventions might also be useful in new organizations where inner functional systems must be developed and implemented.

Human Resource Management Interventions (Individual and Group Performance Management)

The following activities aim to enhance overall organizational performance by improving the performance of people and organizations within the business and Performance is in regards to setting goals, monitoring progress to the goals, sharing opinions, reinforcing activities to achieve goals and dissuading the ones that don't. A number of the techniques include Employee Performance Management, Staff Development, and Worker Wellness Programs.

Strategic Interventions (Business and Its Exterior Environment)

The following activities focus especially on the organization and its connections with its external environment, and often involve changes to many aspects of the business, including employees, groupings, technology, products and services, etc.

These are the various strategies and HRM techniques that can be implemented to bring an organizational change breaking the level of resistance to improve from culture.

Change Model Suggestion for General Motors

The following model (Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, 2005) serves as a construction for brining a change in the action of an individual at Standard Motors. According to the model of designed change, the first stage is selecting the change involvement. Organizational transformation and Organizational Development are the famous interventions involved with bringing a big change. Organizational transformation is targeted at bringing a change in the management, changing the eyesight, purpose and quest of an organization. Organizational Development is aimed at changing the work setting. Both the interventions finally try to change the behavior of a person.

The second part of the model shows the relationship between change interventions and organizational focus on variables. In this stage, various parameters to be modified are recognized.

The third part of the model focuses on the types of specific cognitive change. A cognitive change can occur at various levels:

  • Alpha Changes are possible when there is a change in the skill level of the employee.
  • Beta changes are possible when there's a change in the task setting.
  • Gamma (A) changes are possible when individuals perceive a change in the configuration of a preexisting paradigm, without the addition of new variables. Change from an expense made up of company to a total quality concern which is characterized by a change in the process of the task.
  • Gamma (B) changes are possible when individuals perceive a replacement of one paradigm with another. At this stage, the entire change has happened and has been accepted effectively.

The fourth and final part of the model focuses on how individual action changes can lead to two possible results - improved upon organizational performance and enhanced individual development. By applying this model, the habit of the employees can be altered at General Motors, contributing to the overall development of the organization.


  • Cummings & Worley, Company Culture and Change, 2005, site 490
  • Garry Dessler, Man Source of information Management, Eastern Overall economy release. Pg 465-479.
  • Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, Individual Source of information Development, Pearson education. Pg. 225 - 239
  • Stephen P. Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Tenth Edition, Prentice Hall of India. Pg. 425-446, Pg. 523-535.




Organization Change (OT)

Organization Development (OD)


  • Guiding believes and principles
  • Purpose
  • Mission


  • Organizing arrangements
  • Social factors
  • Technology
  • Physical setting

Improved Organizational Performance


Individual Development























Behavior change

Source: Randy L. Desimone, Jon M. Werner and David M. Harris, Man Learning resource Development, Pg. 573

Proposed change Model for Standard Motors.

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