Case Study on GM Culture Crisis: What Leaders Must Learn From This Culture

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Case study
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According to Volukas Report, there were a lot of pitfalls that resulted in the GM Crisis. He advances his point by trying to make a parallel comparison of the character in the play who takes the villain role and in most cases, the villain seems to be domineering. In this case study, he finds that the weaknesses of GM are much conspicuous and they are the ones that result in some negation that was experienced in the Town Hall with respect to safety measures (The Management View, 2015). Mary Barra too noted these challenges and according to the Report she presented on the subcommittee that deals with safety she was able to enumerate some of the challenges that emanated as a result of the said culture. She further takes some paradigm shift in order to combat the innumerable challenges encompassing the said culture.

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Shortcomings of GM

Ideally, it was not clear to air out switch problems which have been perpetual for almost 11 years. Due to these shortcomings, a lot of issues have not been fully deliberated on creating loopholes which in turn affects the continuity of the system. Similarly, it has failed to take full charge of the matter a factor that hinders its progress. This implies that there is no clear definition of duty to an individual. In short, no one takes direct responsibility for a given matter a fact that results in its conspicuous deficiency (Finkelman & Kelly, 2012). In the same breath; it fails to deal with urgent issues and therefore resulting in dilly-dallying on the system or even at times procrastinations which greatly affects the organization. It was also noted that a lot of sagas emanate from the said culture which eventually leads to tragedy. This is due to insufficient guidelines to handle such kind of entropy or anarchy as experienced in the association.

The further undesirable aspect of GM was that it was unable to raise important issues and challenges related to the business. This also led to misunderstanding between the employer and employee which greatly hindered the functionality of the union (Matiatou, 2015). Due to multiple loopholes, it makes many avoid the assigned responsibility since no one takes full charge of their duty. This comes as a result of not having clear definitions of the task that each member ought to play in the organization. Westley, Olsson, Folke, Homer-Dixon, Vredenburg, Loorbach, Thompson, van, (2011) asserts that the GM culture crises are evident where there is a lack of satisfaction with the intended plan due to reluctance of the concerned member or even absconding of duty. Furthermore, there was an element of not unanimously reaching the decision a fact that led to entropy in the system. This confusion is brought as a result of multifaceted issues that have not been dealt with clearly so as to cohesively bring the different stakeholders together for harmonious workability and functionality of the system. As such, the aforesaid case leads to a dysfunctional system, which also hinders the progress and production of the organization. It was also clear that the crises from the said culture were evident when the organization failed to expedite the process of dealing with challenges. In nutshell, the GM culture has seen multiple challenges encompassing it due to its insufficiency of the system and how to deal with the matter of primary importance in the system.

Who Is Mary Barra?

Nonetheless, Mary Barra takes a paradigm shift in order to counter the challenges experienced in her organization. The notable one is that they were able to elevate Jeff Boyer to be the Vice President of the company. This fact boosted the company and was geared towards rebuilding its reputation (The Cognitive Informatics Approach Towards Wisdom, 2011). Additionally, it increased the number of safety investigators to at least 35. As such, the organization would be on a better platform to counter safety risks besieging the firm and in the long run make the organization continue providing its services without hindrance whatsoever. Consequently, the implementation of Global Product Integrity has played a significant role in seeing to it that the organization comes back to its position. Barra’s intent was to bring sanity and reclaim back their reputation in their organization that was characterized by innumerable challenges related to safety. In addition to this, the employees were encouraged to share important information regarding safety issues.


Conversely, from Volukas Report, there were a number of recommendations that were made. Volukas recommends that the firm needs to enhance good cordial relationships which in turn would result in harmonious working relations. He further says that this has to go hand in hand with effective communication. When the communication channel is effectively employed in the business, there is a higher likelihood of performance and coordination (Bester & Du, 2010). Different systems cease being functional as there is no proper communication with their members. Similarly, he asserts that expedition ought to be judiciously employed in the association as it allows the entity to realize its goals. Conclusively, enterprises have to devise some good modus operandi in order to counter the innumerable challenges centripetally it ranging from safety issues to security.


Bester, S., & Du, P. A. (May 01, 2010). Exploring a secondary school educator's experiences of school violence: a case study. South African Journal of Education, 30, 2, 203-229.

Finkelman, J., & Kelly, L. (January 01, 2012). Management Ethics.

Matiatou, M. (April 01, 2015). From Internal Branding to Cultural Transformation: A Virtuous Circle. International Journal of Knowledge Society Research (ijksr), 6, 2, 1-19.

The Cognitive Informatics Approach Towards Wisdom. (January 01, 2011).

The Management View. (January 01, 2015).

Westley, F., Olsson, P., Folke, C., Homer-Dixon, T., Vredenburg, H., Loorbach, D., Thompson, J., ... van, . L. S. (November 01, 2011). Tipping Toward Sustainability: Emerging Pathways of Transformation. Ambio: a Journal of the Human Environment, 40, 7, 762-780.

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