Ford Motors Limited and General Motors: Organizational Behavior of International Businesses


Ford Motors Limited and General Motors dominate the American car industry by selling cars and trucks. General Motors (GM), a pioneer and a leader in the automobile industry, has maintained strong automobile sales competition. Tracing its origin back to 1908, GM has become a large producer both domestically and internationally. The industrial sales mark these records every year. GM is a multinational company with around 280 million employees in 55 countries. Ford motors limited. Under the management of Henry Ford, this firm managed to implement an assembly line method which has lead to mass production of vehicles sold at an affordable price. It comes in as the second biggest producer of vehicles after GM and has approximately 198,000 employees globally and established in 90 locations overseas.

Purpose of Research

The objective of this research paper is to comparatively analyze the organizational behavior of GM and Ford Motors Limited. This will involve an analysis at the individual level, group level, and organizational level. The analysis process will help in drawing conclusions of which organization is more effective in operations.

Individual Behavior Analysis


Personality comprises of ways in which the company’s individuals react and interact with each other and it forms a critical aspect of customer care procedures. Personality incorporates how well a company manages the problems facing customers within the shortest period of time and attention given to them. Comparing GM and Ford Motors Limited, we notice some differences in their personality traits. On the aspect of emotional stability, GM has training processes which focus on making the employees more emotionally stable and self-confident. At Ford Motors, the training processes focus on more on performance work rather than stability as it is with GM case (Egilman, 2014). Basing on extraversion personality, general motors put more emphasis on team-oriented activities and thus its workers have become more assertive, gregarious and sociable. According to Egilman (2014), Ford Motors Limited is more group oriented and therefore the outcomes of its strategies are more self-fulfilling. On the personality issue of experience and openness, both GM and Ford Motors Limited strive at nurturing creativity, sensitivity, and imagination in their working procedures. The environment provided by the two companies is suitable for nurturing, cooperation and building of trust among the employees and the management.


Values relate to the way a company views its employees and the position they take in the organization. Values in an organization lay the foundation for understanding the employee's attitudes and motivation, values have an influence on the people's perception in the two companies. They both hire individuals into their workforce who have mixtures of values in the automobile industry. With the various value types incorporated in the two companies, they have emerged strongly in their innovation processes and greatly added to the companies’ job satisfaction and performance. GM particularly is related to more job satisfaction compared to Ford. The strategies obtained by General Motors such as hiring, salary definition, and working conditions are magnificent and they have made it an automobile giant (Automotive Spotlight, 2016).


This is a primary factor in employee job satisfaction. Motivation could be through better salary offer, performance bonus or through rewards recognition. GM offers handsome salaries and thus the company has managed to recruit most highly skilled workers and attracted more expertise. It has also managed to keep the highly skilled personnel and productive workforce. Ford Motors, on the other hand, offers lucrative salary and focus on developing a more skilled and motivated team. However, its salaries are quite lower compared to that of GM. Ford provides safe, inclusive and respectful working environment which motivates its workers.

Perception and Individual Decision Making

Perception involves how employees organize and interpret sensory impressions and give a meaning to the company environment. An interview with the workers of the two companies did show a high perception they hard towards the company. They also reported that the companies improve creativity in the decision-making through the cultivation of creative skills, expertise, and task motivation. In reference to expertise, GM hires HR which has greater expertise in carrying out the job operations more effectively. The better working conditions, salary, and scope for a career development have formed the basis of expertise attraction at general motors (Hirish et al., 2016). The companies ensure that the hiring process of the workforce drives at bringing expert personnel with the abilities to utilize analogies while at the same time execute their talents which reflect the talent and encourage creativity. The intrinsic task motivation of general motors is well developed compared to ford motors.

Group Behavior Analysis


Communication processes employed in both are well developed and the information system resources in GM complement wider organizational strategic objectives. Furthermore, the communication process in GM evaluates the extent of functional integration into the activities of the value chain and to fully realize organizational visions and missions. In the two, the communication strategies are functional and actualized into the business core objectives and features. In Ford Company, it aims at aligning the process of manufacturing and the manner in which the engineering capabilities are maximized (Ginn & Zairi, 2010). The process of communication is also high technology developed comprising of events and facilitations, news and routine tracking. It is comprised of communication with customers, organization, and with agents or dealers. Channels of communication between the two companies involve the use of memos, newsletters, annual reports, and advertisement on television, billboards, newspaper, and the internet.


Mary T. Barra is the chairman and the CEO of GM. The president is Dan Ammann who is responsible for managing the firm's operations globally. Alan Batey is the vice president while Daniel E. Berce is the financial president and the chief executive officer. The leadership structure of GM is well structured and promotes a faster decision-making in the company. On the other hand, William Clay Ford Jr. is the executive chairman of Ford Company while Mark Fields is the president. The two have assisted the company in delivering a shareholder value, maintaining positivity in economic, social and environmental aspects. The president, Mark Fields has greatly impacted on the positive organizational culture and promoted the delivery of strong innovative products for profitability. The leadership of Ford is also composed of Raphael Richmond as the global director compliance and Amit Mohanty as the team leader in connectivity analytics.


The power of the two organizations could be analyzed in terms of market share, market capitalization, and annual profits. Both companies share customers and the two automobile giants are intensively fighting battles over market shares dominance. Currently, GM is the leader in market share followed by Ford Motors. Previously, Ford held the lead till the 1920s but permanently feel in market domination when its model T ran out of gas. However, ford also did enjoy a considerable leadership in the 1980s and 1990s and since then, the two companies have been transformed into machine fight over market power. For instance, in December 2015, GM held a market share of 19.6% while that of ford stood at 16.6%. The value widened in January 2106 where GM tabled 21.8% while ford reported a decreased value of 15.5% (Hirish et al., 2016). The market capitalization and profitability level of GM are higher compared to that of Ford.

Organizational Behavior Analysis

Organizational Culture

Organization culture analysis of GM and Ford Motors Limited revealed some similarities and differences. They have both built an innovative and risk-taking culture in their organization. GM does encourage innovative ideas and employee participation and opinions. However, it takes a moderate risk taking policy compared to Ford Motors. GM is driven by an immense passion and a culture that constantly seeks challenges and identify new opportunities. Its culture also works towards connecting with customers to earn their loyalty and at the same time make everyone feel valued through recognizing and acknowledging bold contributions. The culture has translated into creating vehicles consisting of an engaging performance and approaching innovation by responding to the needs of the customers (Townsend et al. 2010).

At Ford Motors, the organizational culture does influence the company’s driver towards higher performance in its effort of attaining the stated vision of becoming and industrial leader and addressing its stipulated organizational goals. It defines its values, traditions, and customs which affect the individual and group behaviors. The culture exemplifies the mission and vision statements with more emphasis being put on teamwork and excellence. The management team aims at achieving synergy and consistency through fostering of functional and technical excellence and delivery of results.

Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of GM is well developed and fosters commitment and teamwork. Its tasks are well coordinated and supervised and direct towards the achievement of the organizational strategies. The organizational structure of Ford Motors Limited is based on the business requirements in the variety market conditions globally. The international scope of the company’s operational activities defines the key organizational structure effectiveness in support of the company to keep its performance and growth perspectives. Ford organizational culture is in terms of corporate hierarchies, regional and global geographical divisions. The organizational structure of GM Company has had an advantage in ensuring global control and directions and the HR maintains its workforce.


Major changes have been noticed in the two companies in terms of the products released to the market since their establishment. There are internal and external forces influence the change in the two companies. Considering external forces, the Japan Toyota based company affect both GM and Ford and push the continuous changes. The innovative products that Toyota comes up with drive changes to ensure that the companies keep track with the market changing needs. Internal forces are driven by competition among the local companies (Townsend et al., 2010). GM and Ford are stiff competitors and form the internal forces of change together with other automobile companies such as Chrysler. They continually come up with new changes in technologies and innovations for changes. The changes made in the two companies direct at cutting costs and ensuring high profitability levels. Planned and unplanned changes affect the company. Planned changes are intentional and goal oriented while unplanned happen when immediate necessary initiatives are taken but they are not major.

General Motors is an Effective Organization

Through the analysis and comparison of GM and Ford organizational behavior, important similarities and differences are noted though more emphasis was driven at analytical comparison involving the differences. The outcomes of the research conclude that GM is more dynamic, versatile and flexible in its working processes. It aims at improving productivity levels and maximizing the income together with improving the society oriented services. GM offers handsome salaries which have attracted more employees and expertise. Besides, the company’s personality, values, and motivational strategies are well defined. The excellent communication and leadership strategies have also directed the better performance and job satisfaction. Furthermore, its organizational culture does value its employees and customers.


Individual, group and organizational behavior analysis are significant aspects in understanding the strength and weak points of an organization. The interaction between the two key players in the automobile industry shows the intensity of the rivalry. Vehicle manufacturers in the US are constantly competing to become leading innovators in designs, technology, quality, and safety features. The management abilities have also played a critical role in value creation for the companies and take decisions that overcome any challenges facing them. All the organizational behavior strategies have worked towards ensuring that the companies realize their strategic focus and maintain a healthy competition.


Automotive spotlight. (2016). The Automotive Industry In The United States. Retrieved on 18, Feb 2017 from

Egilman, D. (2014). Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Asbestos, and a "Sane Appreciation of the Risks". International Journal Of Occupational And Environmental Health, 15(1), 109-110. doi:10.1179/107735209799449798

Ginn, D. & Zairi, M. (2005). Best practice QFD application: an internal/external benchmarking approach based on Ford Motors' experience. International Journal Of Quality & Reliability Management, 22(1), 38-58. doi:10.1108/02656710510572986

Hirish Evans, Jullens John, Singh Akshay and Wilk Reid. (2016). 2016 Auto Industry Trends. Indusrty Perspective. Retrieved on 18, Feb 2017 from

Townsend, J., Cavusgil, S., & Baba, M. (2010). Global Integration of Brands and New Product Development at General Motors. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 27(1), 49-65. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2009.00699.x

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