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Organization transformation, case of Google and Toyota

Organization transformation affects consistently the organizational performance. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that even largest companies cannot always confront the challenge of restructuring and completing the transformation successfully. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of Google and Toyota, which have completed their transformation successfully.

Google has undergone considerable changes entering new markets with the introduction of its new product, smartphones Nexus. The introduction of the new product and entering the new market was extremely challenging for Google. The company did not have experience in developing and introducing smartphones. In addition, the competition in the samrtphone market is tight.

Toyota operates internationally and the company faced the problem of the localization of production opening its production faciltieis in the US and Europe. In such a situation, the company faced the problem of the adaptation of its management style and internal business processes to local peculiarities to match needs and expectations of local employees. Nevertheless, Toyota has managed to localize the production introducing its just-in-time management strategy and adapting the organizational structure and culture to needs of local employees promoting local managers to top positions in overseas outlets of the Japanese company (Northouse, 2001).

Google faced the challenge of entering the new market with the new product without any experience in this field. Instead, Toyota has entered the new market with its traditional products, but the company confronted the problem of substantial cultural differences, which raised barriers between Japanese managers of the company and local employees in the US and Europe. In fact, both situations were quite challenging since Google had to start a new branch in its business development, while Toyota had to start its production in new countries.

The impact of internal and external factors on both companies was very significant. Google has no experience in developing and introducing smartphones in the market. Therefore, the company has to create the new team that could work on the new project effectively. The company had to find professionals, who could create new smartphones that could outpace the major rivals of Google. The tight competition was the major external factor that influenced Google and the introduction of its new product in the new market.

As for Toyota, the company confronted numerous internal problems, such as communication gaps between managers and employees, the low effectiveness of the management style used by Toyota’s managers and others. The impact of external factors was less significant compared to Google because Toyota was a renowned brand and customers were interested purchasing its products.

In case of Google, the fourth stage of the transformation process was the most challenging. In fact, the company has extensive knowledge in different fields of high tech industry but the company has never worked with smartphones. Therefore, the company had to introduce a brand new product in the market, where the competition was tight and Google had to challenge such behemoths of the smartphone industry as Apple and Nokia.

As for Toyota, the most challenging part was probably the stage of the identification of the problem because the company implemented absolutely the same methods and strategies, which it applied in Japan, where Toyota operated successfully. However, the company has uncovered considerable problems in its business development in the US and Europe because its traditional methods and strategies did not work properly overseas (Khor, 2001). As a result, the company had to identify the problem and its roots and that was the most challenging part because Toyota apparently did not expect to find the cause of the problem in cultural differences between Japanese managers of Toyota and local employees in the US and Europe. Traditional approaches to management used by Japanese managers were ineffective because local employees have accustomed to different managerial styles. As a result, the resistance of employees grew stronger and managers of Toyota had to identify the problem fast. As soon as the problem was identified, Toyota has developed a plausible solution and implemented it effectively promoting local managers to top positions in its overseas outlets.

At the same time, changes conducted by Google and Toyota were quite successful, especially in case of Toyota. Google has managed to introduce new smartphones in the market, in spite of the tight competition. In this regard, the company had to employ new professionals, who could develop and prepare the new product for the introduction into the market. The company used experienced marketing team, which worked on the promotion and introduction of the product in the market. At the same time, the company had to hire a new project team to create Google’s smartphone. In this regard, the HR manager of the company had to select well-qualified professionals, who could not only create a new smartphone but also make the new smartphone better than other smartphones created by rivals of Google.

Toyota, in its turn, has to focus on the enhancement of its human resource management because it was the major challenge for the company’s successful development of its business in the US and Europe. While launching new production lines in the US and Europe, Toyota’s HR managers should focus on the elaboration of the effective management styles and strategies for Japanese managers working with American and European employees. However, the company eventually shifted to the employment of local managers and their steady promotion to the top positions. Such a decision has proved to be correct because, on the one hand, local managers learned the organizational culture, structure and principles, while working in Toyota (Peters, 2002). On the other hand, local managers could understand better needs and expectations of local employees. Therefore, they could be more efficient than managers transferred to the US and the EU from Japan.

In such a situation, it is just possible to recommend Google to pay more attention to the promotion of its products and creating the positive public image of its products as absolutely innovative and better than products of Google’s rivals. In fact, the company has introduced the new product, but its promotional campaign was not very successful. In this regard, the celebrity endorsement could be helpful.

As for Toyota, it is possible to recommend introducing training programs for managers and employees of the company in its overseas outlets. In the course of training, managers and employees could learn more about the organizational culture of the company and its traditional relations between managers and employees. In such a way, employees could understand their managers better, while managers could elaborate more flexible approaches to their employees.

Thus, Google and Toyota has undergone considerable changes and succeeded in this regard. Their experience is useful but it reveals how difficult the transformation occurs.

 

 

References:

Khor, M. (2001) Global Economy and the Third World. New York: New Publishers.

Northouse, P. G. (2001). Leadership theory and practice, second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Peters, T. J. (2002). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row.