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Culture of Ford Motor
Presentation by: Steve Guertin
• CEO Alan Mulally took over a culture that needed massive changes.
• Mulally implemented the “One Ford” plan.
• One team, One plan, One goal.
• Foster Functional and Technical Excellence.
• Own Working Together.
• Role Model Ford Values.
• Deliver Results.
Article Overview Continued: “One Ford”
• Teamwork is a new key component within the Ford Motor Company
culture. (Getting to know fellow employees is a major emphasis.)
• Leadership positions need to have the same goals and expectations
as line level employees. (Communication from the top down is
• Mulally is very well known for his impeccable memory. (Something
as simple as remembering somebodys name can go a long way).
What is Organizational Culture?
• According to The Business Dictionary, Organizational Culture is “The
values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and
psychological environment of an organization”.
• Every successful company is able to mold its own unique environment
which leads to maximum productivity for that company.
• What works for one company may not work for another company.
Cultures can vary drastically even within the same industry.
Culture Fueling Ford:
• Within any organization Culture is the most important aspect of the
business. A company needs to have a well laid out plan for success
and this generally occurs when teamwork is occurring within the
• At Ford Motor Company, the culture has changed dramatically.
What used to be a bunch of individual efforts has been changed to
much more of a team effort.
• New leadership under CEO Alan Mulally is taking Ford in a new
direction. Leadership within the company has a trickle down effect.
A positive culture starts at the top of the organization.
Different Approaches to a Successful Culture:
Deal and Kennedys “strong cultures”:
• Enhancing and development of a “strong culture” is imperative to
Peters and Waterman’s “Excellent Cultures”:
• This approach points out common “themes” of highly successful
Deal and Kennedy “Strong Cultures”
1. A common vision within the company with shared values and
beliefs throughout. At Ford, when everyone is able to come
together as one that is where productivity will occur.
2. An organizational “hero”. At Ford, Mulally has taken over the CEO
role and has become a hero within the organization.
3. Rites and Rituals are an integral part of a “strong” culture. Team
bonding experiences occur at Ford as it is a very open culture where
everyone must participate.
4. Cultural network. At Ford Mulally has created a formal yet laid back
Values and Beliefs at Ford Motor Company:
• Team oriented company. The team, the team, the team!
• With teamwork comes productivity. Productivity=profit.
• The belief that leadership can and should interact with all employees.
All employees must be on the same page.
• A more formal atmosphere (especially for higher up executives) can
actually influence fellow employees in a positive fashion.
Hero of Ford Motor Company:
• CEO Alan Mulally is the undisputed hero at Ford today.
• Mulally took over a struggling company and completely rebuilt the
internal parts to create a team of like minded individuals.
• Mulally has been known to be very passionate and is available to his
employees. A hero should not be afraid to “get in there” when work
needs to be done.
Rites and Rituals at Ford:
• Business meetings occur virtually every day.
• Mulally has created a more formal atmosphere for his meetings.
Casual dress is not allowed.
• Many people believe that what you wear can actually influence mood
Cultural Network at Ford:
• Top down communication is key. Everyone has their role and in order
for the team to function effectively they must communicate
• In order for the network to function properly, Mulally hires like
• A mix of formal and informal meetings create the cultural network at
Ford. (Sometimes meetings occur in a room with a formal
atmosphere, other times meetings may occur via skype or email).
Peters and Waterman’s “Excellent Cultures”:
• A bias for action: Ford is a very fast paced company, no time is
• Close relations to the customer: The customer must come first.
Suiting the customer needs is very important for Ford. Appealing to
every market segment is a daily struggle that is embraced by the
company. Finding out what people want and delivering a quality
affordable product keeps the customers happy.
• Autonomy and entrepreneurship: Within the company there is not
always a right or wrong answer. Employees do have the opportunity
to provide the team with new ideas. Most of the risk taking occurs
with upper level employees decisions based on a group consensus.
“Excellent Cultures” continued:
• Productivity through people: Ford is highly productive and this only
occurs because of the quality staff put in place. A team atmosphere
has led to increased productivity.
• Hands on, value driven: Mulally is not afraid to put in work when it is
needed. Aside from making sure the team is performing well he is
willing to put in the work any time it is needed. Productivity is highly
valued at Ford Motor Company.
Resistance to Change:
• When Mulally took over as CEO at Ford many things needed to be
changed and it needed to happen quickly.
• Mulally was able to completely revamp the organization with minimal
resistance from employees. (Mulally is a likeable and well respected
• Typically within an organization there will be much more resistance to
change. People are generally not easily adaptable to new and
• Ford utilizes the Hierarchical approach. Power flows from the top
• Often times this approach can lead to problems if people at the top
are on a “power trip”.
• At Ford, there appears to be a nice balance where people know who
has power yet everyone is able to get along as a team.
• A strong culture such as Ford is imperative to organization success.
• Everyone must be on the same page for this “team” culture to work.
If one member of the team is not pulling their weight they will be
• The culture at Ford is highly correlated to both Deal and Kennedy’s
idea of a “strong culture”.
• Peters and Waterman’s idea of different themes also relates to Ford
but certainly not with the same power as Deal and Kennedy’s idea of
what makes a strong culture.
• Combining these two schools of thought, Ford has built a winner that
will continue to grow far into the future.
1. With such a high paced productivity based company, how is Mulally
able to keep employee morale at a high level?
2. Are individuals who work at Ford Motor Company truly happy?
What could be changed to increase happiness amongst employees?
• 3. Are there any changes on the horizon that could potentially
strengthen the team?
• 4. Are customers satisfied with the current product? What changes
need to occur to compete with top end luxury brands?
• Miller, Katherine. Organizational Communication Approaches and
Processes. 7th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015. Print.
• LaRocco, Lori A. "For Mulally, Fords Culture is Job One."
culture-is-job-one.html. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.