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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s Structure and Workflow Essay


Introduction

Considering the importance of the analysis of internal bureaucratic structures of well-known organizations, the given essay pays primary attention to the structural dimensions of Mitsubishi, one of the most famous Japanese companies. The given organization was chosen because its products (especially cars) are used by people almost in any country. The quality of their products is appreciated by numerous members of my family, and it has influenced the choice of topic for the given assignment.

Among the particular aims of the essay, the paper discusses a few topics related to the chosen bureaucratic organization. To begin with, it discusses the key activities of Mitsubishi Japan. What is more, it applies the primary concepts characterizing bureaucracies to define whether the chosen company has a bureaucratic structure. In the end, it applies the knowledge about the coordination mechanisms to explain the way that they influence and improve the working process in Mitsubishi.

Bureaucratic Organization

Purpose

The particular organization chosen for the assignment is Mitsubishi. The company is known as one of the largest conglomerates in Japan. There is the term “zaibatsu” that is used to describe Japanese companies that had the most significant influence on the economic development of the country until the middle of the twentieth century. Thus, Mitsubishi is regarded as the first zaibatsu that appeared in the country. The number of employees working in the organization exceeds three hundred thousand people, and the conglomerate has more than ten affiliate companies that are headquartered in different parts of Japan.

As for the main tasks performed by the organization, it needs to be said that it provides a range of products and services related to different fields of activity. Considering that there are a great number of organizations that belong to the discussed conglomerate, its tasks are extremely diversified. For instance, companies owned by Mitsubishi provide financial services, glass products, aluminum products, data storage devices, rechargeable batteries, headphones, vehicles and replacement parts, real estate services, chemical industrial equipment, and photosensitive paper (Ephraim 2016). Therefore, as can be seen from these examples, the range of tasks performed by companies from the Mitsubishi conglomerate is enormous.

Structure

The Mitsubishi Group presents an extremely complicated organizational structure as it includes a few dozens of companies headquartered in Japan. Speaking about the general organizational structure of the Mitsubishi Group, it is extremely important to single out a few companies that can be presented as the key members of the conglomerate. Among them, there are companies known all over the world such as Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors.

In general, the structure of the conglomerate has an enormous number of organizational levels. Each company that is a member of the Mitsubishi Group presents a bureaucratic structure due to the presence of three organizational tendencies: formalization, centralization, and complexity.

In general, bureaucratic organizations are structured by the principles of rationality, strict order, and the separation of power. Bureaucratic systems are easy to be distinguished from non-bureaucratic ones due to the presence of a clear hierarchy; because of that, such structures are not flexible. About the first concept that helps to define a bureaucracy (complexity), it needs to be said that the structure of the Mitsubishi Group is extremely complicated.

All companies belonging to the conglomerate work without the supervision of a parent company – considering the great number of industries that Mitsubishi is connected with, it would be extremely difficult to establish the body that would be able to control any aspect of work. Despite that, all companies are strictly interconnected to each other and form a steady system in which each CEO has decision-making power in a particular sphere. Together, these companies present the first layer of the organizational structure of the Mitsubishi Group. Next, each company that is a member of the conglomerate possesses its complicated structure where the principle of task diversification is used.

Another tendency that indicates the presence of the hierarchical structure is the centralization of power. Each company that is a member of the Mitsubishi Group has a clear hierarchy of specialists who are allowed to make decisions that can have a significant influence on working processes. For instance, in Mitsubishi Corporation that can be called one of the key members of the conglomerate, there is a clear system that includes specialists who have the right to make decisions. Even though this system includes the presence of the decision-making power on numerous levels in the organization, all important decisions must be approved by the CEO.

Thus, Mitsubishi Corporation is headed by Takehiko Kakiuchi; the management board also has a chairman who can coordinate and control other members (Directors & officers 2017). Apart from that, there are two more organizational levels when it comes to the board of directors that manages the Mitsubishi Corporation. They include vice-presidents who help the CEO to perform his duties and five outside directors whose assistance allows the organization to incorporate new management practices.

Also, the presence of independent directors has a positive impact on the social image of companies. Continuing on the topic of centralization in the Mitsubishi Group, it needs to be said that each member of the conglomerate has a clear division of duties. Thus, in Mitsubishi Corporation, fourteen executive vice-presidents are responsible for different production areas such as energy business, car production, metal industry, or chemical production. Each department of this particular organization has its internal structure where tasks are distributed.

Also, there is another concept that needs to be analyzed about bureaucratic organizations – formalization. In the field of management, formalization is the term defining the process when responsibilities, the rules of conduct, and values for certain employees or working units are chosen. When it comes to the Mitsubishi Group, it is necessary to say that companies that are members of the conglomerate are highly formalized.

Speaking about the specific rules that shape the activity of all companies belonging to the Mitsubishi Group, it is pivotal to pay attention to the set of values that should be respected by any employee. Thus, according to the official website of Mitsubishi Motors, there are three important principles respected in the Mitsubishi Group; they include the willingness to contribute to the development of the society without causing harm to the environment, the superiority of fairness and sincerity, and the use of the global perspective (Mitsubishi Group three principles n.d.). Also, each member of the conglomerate has its code of conduct for managers and employees; the majority of rules are the same for many organizations, and it proves the existence of a clear system of values.

For instance, the management of the Mitsubishi Corporation structures its code of conduct paying focused attention to safety for employees and customers, the application of the highest social standards to its working practices, diversity, business transparency, environmental protection, and philanthropic efforts. To encourage the process of formalization, it is necessary to define the tasks of organizational subdivisions and provide clear descriptions of jobs.

In this connection, the Mitsubishi Group is highly formalized as each of its key members has a complicated internal structure where tasks and responsibilities are distributed. The process of task distribution is extremely important for Mitsubishi Corporation, one of the so-called “sogo shosha” in Japan (Achrol & Gundlach 2014). The company has seven large business groups and each of them has its subdivisions. For instance, in the energy business group, there are ten departments responsible for the production and transportation of oil and gas in different locations.

Coordination Mechanisms

According to the model proposed by Mintzberg, coordination mechanisms that are used to achieve organizational effectiveness can be divided into three groups that are based on adjustment, supervision, and the development of standards (Sandberg 2014).

The last group includes four types of standardization, and the use of all six coordination mechanisms is manifested in the work of the Mitsubishi Group. The first mechanism is the coordination with the help of communication. In Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsubishi Corporation, and other members of the conglomerate, employees on different levels communicate to define the sequence of actions to be taken in emergencies. Also, the mechanism works on the upper levels of the hierarchy as executive managers are allowed to raise urgent topics during their meetings.

As for the mechanism of direct supervision, it is manifested in the presence of a hierarchy in any company that is a part of the conglomerate; the President or CEO of each company remains a person who defines the range of tasks for his or her subordinated and can control the results. Also, among the coordination mechanisms that are defined by Mintzberg, there are four types of standardization.

Work processes in large companies need to be standardized to ensure that employees use the same technology and the quality of products will not be different. For instance, working processes in Mitsubishi Motors during the stages of car production and assembly are standardized to exclude the risk of mistakes. Each employee knows the process in detail and there is no need for them to waste time discussing their plan again and again because every process is standardized. Also, all companies from the Mitsubishi Group standardize the output to be able to classify products and define spoiled units.

Thus, even the simplest products such as headphones produced by the Mitsubishi Group should meet a range of standard requirements to be put on the market. The same is true for skills of standardized employees; to get a job, each applicant should demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge and have developed skills in the specific skills.

Conclusion

In the end, the Mitsubishi Group presents one of the largest bureaucratic organizations in Japan. As it follows from its structure that includes a great number of branches, the organizational structure of the Mitsubishi Group possesses complexity. Also, due to the presence of hierarchical structures on different levels and the use of standardized values and rules, it presents a good example of a bureaucratic structure.

All companies that belong to the conglomerate act by three key values are presented by the importance of contribution, fairness, and the use of a global perspective. Considering a great number of areas in which the conglomerate operates, managers on different levels use all six types of coordination mechanisms that strengthen the system and improve the quality of products and services.

Reference List

Achrol, RS & Gundlach, GT 2014, ‘Network organization and systems competition: a marketing analysis’, The Antitrust Bulletin, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 743-768.

2017. Web.

Ephraim, PE 2016, ‘Transparency and ethical considerations in business organizations: a comparative case study of crisis relations strategies of Volkswagen and Mitsubishi Motors’, International Journal of Online Marketing Research, vol. 2, no. 2, pp.1-9.

n.d. Web.

Sandberg, E 2014, ‘Coordination mechanisms in the store opening process’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 42, no. 6, pp.482-499.

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