One of the leading multinational manufacturers of automobiles is the Ford Motor Company, commonly christened Ford. Its head office is in Michigan, USA. Henry Ford found, as well incorporated, Ford in mid-1903. Presently, Ford sells both commercial vehicles and automobiles under own brand. As well, it sells Lincoln-branded luxury cars. Besides, it owns Troller, a Brazilian manufacturer of SUVs and the Australian FPV. FPV produces performance cars. Previously, Ford as well produced vehicle components along with tractors (Williams, Haslam & Williams, 1992). Presently, Ford’s production operations are based in several countries: South Africa, China, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, and Germany. There is a structured cooperative agreement between GAZ, one of the leading Russian automakers, and Ford (Brinkley, 2003). This paper examines Ford’s strategic management along with strategic competitiveness.
Effects of Technology Changes and Globalization on Ford
Ford operates in an industry that presents unique views on globalization owing to its massive capacity for employment and the fact that automakers are usually large corporations. Most of the corporations are seen as representing particular national identities, with Ford seen as reflecting the US identity on the global stage. Globalization has over the years impacted markedly on every established automaker. The automakers that have over the years survived particular historical happenings like the two world wars and global financial meltdowns are considered to be the setters of the standards followed by the other companies that venture into the industry (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008; Hoffman, 2012). Despite the challenges that typify globalization, Ford has managed to remain highly competitive.
It has maintained its competitiveness through the innovation of novel technologies, adopting global quality standards, and focusing on its brand’s core values. Notably, the desire to maintain and where possible bolster the competitiveness has been fueled by globalization. As well, globalization has motivated Ford to engage in varied CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs to create remote societal value from its customers’ viewpoint (Brinkley, 2003).
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Globalization has allowed Ford to explore new business horizons internationally via value-creating strategies and value-capturing strategies. The company has always held that expanding its business to developing economies is essential in building own corporate profitability along with its shareholders’ returns. Besides, the expansion has seen the Ford provide lots of employment openings in the economies, helping build the economies. Globalization has assisted Ford to acquire several of its competitors over the years to remain competitive. Besides, globalization realities have seen Ford adopt safe production practices that support the greening of the environment according to Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2008) and Hoffman (2012).
Technological changes saw Ford adopt and further develop the assembly line production technique. Over the years, the company has continued to refine the method to increase the quality of its products, reduce worker effort, and reduce staff turnover. Ford has adopted the recently developed technologies for reducing pollution and waste production. The company is keen on employing the technologies to produce quality products, build goodwill towards it in the market, retain its extant clients, and attract additional clients. For instance, when the US government enacted a rule requiring automakers to use technologies that guarantee that their products are fuel-efficient in 2005, Ford committed itself to having at least 50% of the vehicles it would be selling by the end of 2015 would be based on the six-speed automatic transmission technology according to Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2008) and Hoffman (2012). The technology is well-liked by vehicle owners since it increases vehicle mileage.
Application of Resource-Based and Industrial Organization Models in Raising Returns
Ford can raise its returns to above-average levels through the adoption of either the RBM (Resource-Based Model) or the IOM (Industrial Organization Model). The RBM is founded on a company’s internal capabilities as well as resources. Based on the RBM, Ford can raise its returns to above-average levels by taking several actions. First, Ford should make out own internal resources together with relative weaknesses, as well as strengths, in the light of the resources held by competition. Second, Ford should make out the resources that can afford it particular unique capabilities relative to the extant competition. Third, Ford should establish its capability and resource potential for overcoming competition regarding returns and how the potential can be applied in gaining particular competitive advantages (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008; Hoffman, 2012). Fourth, Ford should locate and venture into industries or market segments with attractive returns given its resources, attributes as well as capabilities. Lastly, Ford should attain competitive advantages that are sustainable.
Based on the IOM, Ford can raise its returns to above-average levels by taking several actions. First, it should study its external environment in relation to its strategic alternatives. Second, it should locate and venture into industries or market segments with attractive returns given its structural attributes (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008; Hoffman, 2012). Third, Ford should select, as well as implement, strategies for building its returns paying due regard to the industry’s attributes. Fourth, Ford should develop or acquire the critical assets and competencies needed in the strategies’ implementation. Lastly, the company should implement the strategies in ways that help it to leverage own resources and skills to meet the industry’s constraints, pressures, and demands.
Ford’s Success Versus Its Vision Statement Along With Mission Statement
The vision of Ford is closely tied to its success. Its vision statement’s global leadership position indicates that the company is keen on becoming the leading player in the global automotive market (Bartkus, Glassman & McAfee, 2006). The major points in the statement are lean business, keenness on stakeholder demands and contributions, and global leadership (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008; Hoffman, 2012). Currently, Ford is among the leading players in the market but still should put in extra efforts to be the market’s leader as opined by the vision statement. The statement pushes the company’s stakeholders towards working harder and harder by suggesting that they should see to it that the company becomes the market’s leader (Ford Motor Company, 2015; Mullane, 2002).
The Ford’s mission statement encourages its stakeholders to work as a team to ensure stakeholder satisfaction. The statement urges the stakeholders to restructure their practices aggressively to ensure increased profits for the company at the extant model mix and demand. Besides, the statement calls on the stakeholders to work towards a highly profitable, excitable, and viable Ford (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2008; Hoffman, 2012).
Ford’s Success and the Impacts of Its Stakeholder Categories
Each of the Ford’s stakeholder categories plays critical roles in ensuring the company’s success. The Ford’s capital market stakeholder category comprises of its lenders and shareholders. The category impacts on the success immensely through affording the company the resources and capacities it requires in working towards the realization of the vision. Ford’s product market stakeholder category comprises of its customers, suppliers, host communities, and unions. The company’s profitability is primarily dependent on the purchases made by the customers. The suppliers ensure that the company has the wherewithal to manufacture its products. The host communities supply the company with markets for its products and labor. The unions ensure that the company’s employees are satisfied and work hard by looking into their welfare.
Lastly, the company’s organizational stakeholder category comprises of its employees. The employees affect the success via diverse ways. First, they work hard towards the delivery of shareholder value. Second, they help maintain the company’s positive culture and delivery of strong products, growth, and innovations. Third, they continuously improve the quality of the company’s products. As well, they build goodwill towards the company by developing, as well as implementing, innovations that ensure that the products are safe to use by the company’s customers along with their families according to Ford Motor Company (2015).
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