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This paper is aimed at discussing the interview of Carlos Ghosn who discusses his work at Renault Nissan and the trends that are likely to affect the automotive industry in different ways. Many of his answers can be related to the learning materials covered in the first three chapters of the textbook. In particular, it is possible to argue that this corporate leader makes very insightful comments about the role of leaders, their responsibilities, and some of the attributes that these people should have. To some degree, his responses can throw light on some peculiarities of strategic management. Furthermore, Carlos Ghosn demonstrates how businesses can become more agile by responding to external trends and minimizing internal weaknesses. These are some of the issues that are examined in the textbook. Overall, these issues play a critical role in the work of many business administrators who may occupy different positions in the workforce hierarchy. Furthermore, suggestions offered by people like Carlos Ghosn can warn students against various pitfalls such excessive focus on organizational effectiveness and negligence of customers’ needs. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely.
Strategic management and leadership
Among the main concepts discussed in the first chapter, one can distinguish strategic management and leadership. In his turn, Carlos Ghosn attaches importance to the role of leaders who should be able to interact with managers and employees representing different cultures or ethnicities (Stanford Graduate School of Business). Additionally, this person should display empathy to people who he/she guides (Stanford Graduate School of Business). This attribute is important for the implementation of any strategy that a leader wants to implement. This is one of the points that Carlos Ghosn stresses during his interview. To a great extent, he can be regarded as an executive leader who champions changes and creates opportunities for learning (Jones 26). Additionally, such leaders may go against the conventions which emerged in the organizations. For example, Carlos Ghosn departed from the tradition according to which the positions of leadership had to be occupied by people who have worked in the company for a long time (Stanford Graduate School of Business). This practice can be observed in various Japanese companies, including the automotive sector. Yet, Carlos Ghosn adopted a more democratic approach to HR policies of Nissan. To some degree, this step was critical for the implementation of the long-term goals.
Furthermore, the first chapter includes the discussion of such a concept as ambidextrous behavior. This notion incorporates such elements as alertness to new opportunities, ability to work on several tasks, and willingness to cooperate with other people (Jones 2). These issues are also of great importance to Carlos Ghosn. Admittedly, this corporate leader does not use this specific term, but the examples that he provides are closely related to ambidexterity which is a critical component of strategic management. Overall, Carlos Ghosn is able to identify those leadership qualities which are vital for the development and implementation of a strategy.
Admitted, Carlos Ghosn does not discuss some of the critical issues related to strategic management. For example, researchers pay much attention to such issues as corporate governance or mission statement. However, one should bear in mind that at the time when he became the CEO of Nissan, he was primarily concerned with organizational effectiveness and the need for cost-reduction.
A significant part of Carlos Ghosn’s discussion is related to internal environment because this question was critical for the success of Nissan and its long-term sustainability. It should be mentioned that this corporate leader is renowned for his ability to optimize the internal operations and reduce costs. For instance, he attached much importance to the efficiency of procurement since a significant part of the costs could be attributed to this particular activity (Stanford Graduate School of Business). At the time when Carlos Ghosn took control of Nissan, this company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Furthermore, its return on investment was very low, and it was important for addressing this problem. The only way to address this problem was to focus on organizational effectiveness and optimize value chain. Therefore, it was necessary to review many workplace procedures and production processes. Overall, Carlos Ghosn highlights the importance of minimizing internal weaknesses which could undermine the work of any organization, even if it manufactures the most innovative and high-quality products.
Additionally, this person attaches importance to the external environment of the organization. In particular, he focuses on the idea that the management should be responsive to the new trends emerging in the market. For example, Carlos Ghosn speaks about the transformation of infrastructure in different countries. In particular, the increasing number of charging stations can generate demand for electric cars. This issue is particularly important for the senior executives of automotive companies (Stanford Graduate School of Business). Additionally, he attaches much importance to aging population. Many clients may lose their driver’s license as they grow older, and in the future, there can be an increased demand for the so-called autonomous vehicles which can function without a driver’s control (Stanford Graduate School of Business). This is one of the points that can be made.
While discussing external environment, Carlos Ghosn also notes that it is important to consider the changing needs of clients. The problem is that some companies focus only internal efficiency, but they overlook the new trends in demand. As a result, their products cannot serve the needs of potential buyers. This is one of the pitfalls that should be avoided by the management. The author does not mention the use of different analytical techniques such as SWOT analysis. Nevertheless, he eloquently demonstrates why it is important to consider a wide range of external influences and remain responsive. These are the main details that should be distinguished.
On the whole, this analysis indicates that the daily practices of corporate leaders reflect the theoretical concepts outlined by researchers. Admittedly, they do not always follow specific guidelines developed by researchers. The examples offered by Carlos Ghosn can be of great use to business administrators, especially if their work is related to the automotive industry. By focusing on leadership, internal environment, and external stressors, they can strengthen the agility of businesses and their long-term sustainability. To a great extent, their ideas can help people understand how various factors shape the work of businesses. Furthermore, this interview is worth attention because Carlos Ghosn gives several important insights into the work of leaders who need to motivate employees and display empathy for them. These are the main details that can be singled out.
Jones, Gareth. Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, New York: Pearson, 2013. Print.
Stanford Graduate School of Business. “CEO Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan Alliance on Innovation.” Online video clip. YouTube. 2014. Web.