Comprehensive Business Governance Plan for Ford Motor Corporation
This paper seeks to analyze a would-be comprehensive business governance plan for Ford Motor Corporation. It will detail the specific elements of an effective business governance plan as well as its applicable models. This study will also stress the reasons why such a plan would be of value to this corporation. More interestingly, the reader will find a well developed program and the critical steps for its implementation especially from the departmental levels. This study cannot forget to include the various processes that can be used to evaluate the program and also the likely benefits this program can have on Ford Motor Corporation from a global point of view.
Whenever one mentions Ford Motor Corporation to a colleague with an in-depth interest in automotive industry he will bear witness that it is among the most famous automotive corporations in the world. The company is very well known for its competitive products, for instance, Mazda, Volvo and Ford. It is also worth noting that it ranks among the best automotive companies in South Africa and in deed, in other parts of the world (FMCSA, 2010). This study believes that the reader must have come cross a Mazda or Volvo, whether he is
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It is also evident that Ford Motor Corporation has been expanding its market base by launching other plants in different countries, for instance, Australia and New Zealand (Business Africa, 2008). One thing is very clear that whenever a company decides to expand its territories there are several factors that must be put into consideration otherwise it may incur a lot of risks. This is why this study intends to give a reflection on how Ford Motor Company can overcome such challenges through a comprehensive business governance plan. In other words, this study will offer a concise and achievable business governance plan and how the company is likely to benefit from it. It will also develop a program for the same and provide a detailed explanation of how the program can be implemented.
Ford Motor Corporation Imperative Need for a Business Governance Plan
This section will seek to define an effective business governance plan and the reasons why Ford Motor Company cannot afford to do without one. What inspires this section is the fact that Ford Motor Corporation needs a strategy that will enable it achieve its mission on a day-to-day running of its business. Is it not good to have the other departments work towards a common goal? Moral unity binds groups of employees into a community for the well being of the entire society (Shepard, et al. 1995). Doesn’t the reader believe that Human Resource function shares some relationship with the Finance Department? Legal Department is not an exception since its responsibilities point to the same goal as those of the Marketing and Advertising Department.
A business governance plan can be termed as the reservoir of ethical values in a corporation (Watkins, 2004). Just as how a reservoir acts as a place where one can store water for future use so does the business governance plan for a corporation. Consider the following example: community A lives in a country where climatic changes are very hard to predict no matter the good technology they have in their meteorological department. Today, there is rainfall, tomorrow it’s extremely sunny; today there is scarcity of water, tomorrow there is water! In such a situation this country might need to consider coming up with structures that will enable it cope. As in, put up “reservoirs” that will ensure availability of water all the time no matter the variations in the climatic conditions.
Looking at the above example it can be seen that a reservoir serves as a plan B and literally, it is a savior in times of need. It becomes a benchmark upon which this community will depend on in the future and of course in the present. Please note the order of words here “in the future and of course in the present”. This is because reservoirs in the minds of many people serve as a future remedy, but it is actually a remote strategy; it is meant to benefit the stakeholders in every minute of their life. So, how does this example apply to the business governance plan? In a nut shell, the need for a reservoir as in the case of community A is as much the need for a business governance plan for Ford Motor Corporation. As can be seen, its basic motive is to deal with scarcity. The changing climatic conditions underpin the variations that occur in the employees. Today, they can be ethical, tomorrow they will be unethical! Today they dedicate themselves to the principles of the company, tomorrow they are different! Today, the management is like this, tomorrow it is like that! Today, the directors believe in these values, tomorrow they implement other values! Customers get these products today, tomorrow they get other products! This is not business but chaos and waste of time. It is poor management and there is no reason why such a corporation should engage in business. In fact, in one way or another, most corporate laws emphasize on effective and benevolent management otherwise the company can be wound up for lack of expertise on its part. The notion of corporate social responsibility must have been inspired by the fact that corporations should go about their business everyday in a responsible manner (Waller & Lanis, 2009).
It has been shown that the reservoir becomes a lean board where such variations can be controlled. This is what a business governance plan will do to Ford Motor Corporation. That is, its business governance plan arises due to the fact that it needs a static and comprehensive strategy that unifies all the operations of the business, its departmental functions and so on and so forth into a common purpose. An effective business governance plan changes an organization’s mantra to values such as sincerity, transparency, teamwork, and ethics (Richardson, 2004). Moreover, the business governance plan helps to bring awareness to the employees on the important values the company believes in and actually makes them mandatory to all employees without bias. An integral business governance plan helps to create effective communication between departments, consultation among managers and employees and creating a positive feedback framework which enables the company to assess all its operations. In simple terms, the business governance plan answers the question, is the operation of the business adhering to the vision? Is the corporation walking in the path of the company’s vision? It is nothing else but making Ford Motor Corporation acquire authenticity and respect in the eyes of its clients and more so, its shareholders.
It is of no use for Ford Motor Company to over rely on its rules and regulations if it has no moral character and integrity. It is important to develop qualities across the entire organization by incorporating values as well (Devero, 2004). Moreover, working towards value-based organization places an organization beyond its competitor since it projects varies across the entire workforce (Devero, 2004). An effective Business Governance Plan deters directors from engaging in unethical behavior but as such; make them take a leading role in ethical responsibility. Such internal mechanisms ensure that the leadership team successfully implements the corporate vision in a balanced and harmonic manner. A business governance plan stresses more on morality and instills such morality in the mission statement of the organization. A good business governance plan will help Ford Motor Corporation coin a mission statement that meets the standards of Center for Business Planning (2006) which directs companies to state their ethical position.
Ford Motor Corporation Business Governance Program
This section will develop a comprehensive corporation business governance program suitable for Ford Motor Corporation. It is also worth noting that one cannot manage to develop such a program without first understanding the aim of the program and some few things about Ford Motor Corporation.
In the earlier section this study has already highlighted on some important components for a business governance plan as well as the reasons why it would be imperative for Ford Motor Company to think of having one the soonest.
The following is an overview of how the program would be. First it is good to establish the vision and mission of Ford Motor Corporation. The vision and mission of Ford Motor Company is quality assurance and warm customer relationships served with gratitude, friendliness, concern, individual pride and Company Spirit (FMCSA, 2010).
Ford Motor Corporation takes into account all its organization functions, and more so, relates to the Board of Advisors and the entire activities. This program does not intend to state the roles or decisions that can be carried out by the directors. It is an all inclusive program so to speak. Therefore, this program will put together the vision and mission statement in order to give it the potential of realizing the corporation’s essential vision.
Ford Motor Corporation values membership and it is open to those organizations with an interest in automotive engineering and its quality and cost effectiveness. This membership will reflect universality and diversity of the automotive industry. This membership will also consider the classification of members as well as their areas of interest. Moreover, this membership will be balanced and the members will represent a broad view of the industry. Ford Motor Corporation will extend ownership to all members and it will also ensure that an appropriate balance of payment is maintained among them.
All activities of Ford Motor Corporation shall be entrusted to the Board of Advisors. Moreover every member shall have a right to one vote but they will have to designate one principle and probably a few representatives. Also, there will be consultations and annual meetings in order to evaluate the core values of the company.
Ford Motor Corporation shall have an executive committee who will represent the Board of Advisors and monitor the operations of the company at the different departments. It is also important to have a Chairman who might oversee the activities of the Board of Advisors and ensure that they fulfill the strategic plan in place, including the governance plan. Therefore, the Chairman will facilitate the realization of the mission, chair meetings and carry out appointments at all levels. Ford Motor Corporation shall include in its program a Strategic Planning Committee who will report to the Board of Advisors and they will also develop, update and evaluate the Ford Motor Corporation Strategic Plan. The committee shall also monitor the trends of the corporation and its business drivers. This committee shall develop measures on performance and prepare reports for the Board of Advisors on an annual basis.
It is also important to note that the team of directors shall be responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and still ensure that they comply with the legal requirements. The same director will be responsible for the functions related to the participation of the entire staff. Additionally, the Director will be responsible for supervising, recruiting and guiding the staff in performance.
The program shall incorporate control mechanisms in the finances of the company through audit processes and procedures. Moreover, Ford Motor Corporation shall have an effective customer feedback model and especially on warranty issues. The staff members shall be involved in various training programs to better their skills and performance.
The Steps for Implementing the Program
This section will link the program discussed above with the different departmental functions. As such, it will show how various departments can take part in this program and at the end of the day meet each and every objective stated. This is what can be referred to as functional department participation program. Or better still, functional department participation plan is simply what happens when the program has been devolved.
The departmental functions can be as follows: (a) Human Resources (b) Finance (c) Marketing and Advertising (d) Legal Department (e) Board of Directors
“Human resources department manages organizational policy and operation issues including the personnel activities” (Cloves, 2010). Human resources department have shifted their roles from operational personnel to that of strategic human resource management in order to promote competency and adequate training among employees (Baron, 2010). As can be seen, the two functions can be useful in enhancing the competence of employees in Ford Motor Corporation. This is in full agreement with the program since it aims to promote their skills and performance. The shift from operational personnel to that of strategic human resource is but a boost to the deliberations of the Strategic Planning Committee. This is because the strategic decision at the human resource level will be very well taken care of. The human resource should establish dynamic networks to replace bureaucratic and hierarchical structures to cope with the changing environment. It should also strive to reduce unethical conduct that can jeopardize the corporation’s governance plan. In order to achieve this end, the human resources department can consider decentralizing the industry’s structures so as to promote effective decision-making and accountability vertically and horizontally with staff members. By designing adequate training programs the human resources department supports the actions of the leaders in practicing good corporate governance (Hudson & Bourne, 2001).
The legal department monitors the corporation’s social responsibility to ensure that it complies with the laws and regulations. It should also constantly evaluate the managerial integrity and efficiency as well (Huang & Su, 2009). The program emphasizes that Ford Motor Corporation endeavors to operate within legal requirements. In this regard, its legal department will enable it achieve this end. It will also make the operations of the corporation transparent and accountable including the protection of its members, shareholders for that matter, as well as safeguarding their interests. It uncovers any possibility of illegal and unethical behavior in the corporation (Huang & Su, 2009).
The finance department under its departmental subdivisions, for instance, internal audit department and external audit department, guarantees transparency and accountability. Since the program aims at cost management, profitability and revenue growth Ford Motor Corporation should have competent financial departments with highly skilled team of finance and accounting officers capable of preparing financial reports and with accountability (Eaton, 2005). Auditorial processes, for instance, help the management improve its controls, processes and risk management in the finance department and in the entire corporation. Moreover, to enhance a sound business governance program, the internal audit department, the committee of auditors including the external auditors must work as a team to ensure quality work and mutual respect (Eaton, 2005).
Marketing and advertising department places a corporation above the rest. It creates competitive advantage that places the industry’s product in such a manner that consumers will want to buy it (Smith, 2004). It also creates an effective customer feedback model which monitors the satisfaction of the clients. Essentially, marketing and advertising department will ensure that Ford Motor Corporation delivers only quality products as per the program.
The board of directors as leaders has a responsibility to create a statement of values that serve as a platform for the organization’s action guidelines (Smith, 2005). Indeed, the program is essentially to inculcate values in every bit of operation. Actually, the program seemed as if it was describing the roles of the Board of Directors which should not be the case. However, they widely featured in the program due to the fact that they symbolize leadership in the corporation. Again, the program by itself is not sufficient since it requires a driving force and this is where the Board of Directors come in. Just as indicated in the program it is also a requirement that the board of directors keeps a balance between the shareholder’s rights with the management. The board of directors contributes to the governance plan by not only steering the industry in the right direction but also ensuring that everything operates within feasible directions (Smith, 2005).
The Evaluating Process of the Program
This section will highlight some of the evaluating processes of the program. It will look at such processes from a departmental point of view.
a) Develop an interim committee that will constantly ensure the principles of the program are fully implemented and adhered to.
b) The departments should prepare reports on a weekly basis and advance them to the Board of Advisors for further scrutiny and improvement.
c) The finance department should utilize external and internal auditors to assess the operations therein and ascertain their authenticity, transparency and accountability. This also includes interim auditors that will constantly supervise the operations of the corporation.
d) The Board of Advisors should request for a statistical report on customer feedback survey.
e) Constant supervision of employees to ensure they have appropriate skills and ability to cope with the changing technology.
The Global Influence the Program have on Ford Motor Corporation
This study believes that if Ford Motor Corporation implements its program to the letter then it will also be in a better position to indulge in global market. It was indicated earlier that its products are to be found in most parts of the world. So, people will want to buy good products whether in USA or in Italy. Once its governance program gains credibility in the international realm then chances are that it will be successful.
The program values membership which this study believes it extends to buying of shares and an invitation to foreign investors. This means that other interested corporations and individuals in other countries can invest in this corporation without fear. It has also emphasized on the need to have a program that will safeguard the interests of the members at all costs.
Through legal department Ford stands at a better chance of engaging in only legal deals both locally and internationally. The Marketing and Advertising Department will give it enough muscle to tolerate the global competition and challenges posed by other automotive industries.
The Judicious Resolutions
With such a program Ford Motor Corporation stands a better chance of having the best decision-making model that will incorporate the ideas of every employee. This promotes an effective model that involves consultations and involvement of all member staffs. This study wishes to challenge the reader to research more on the difference between Hierarchical organization structure and Matrix model and in so doing apply the principles of Matrix model in this section.
This program is essentially a resolution to have a process within the framework of ethical principles and values. It is a resolution to obtain nothing else but an ethical and vision-oriented Ford Motor Corporation and this becomes the guide to all its other judicial and decision-making procedures.
As can be seen, a lot has been said about the need for an effective business governance plan. In deed, the business governance plan as an ethical document controls the operations of the company in an ethical framework. This study has also developed a governance program tailored for Ford Motor Corporation and the various steps that can be considered in achieving the program from a departmental level. It has also analyzed the various ways this program can be evaluated. By and large, Ford Motor Company is very well advised to implement this program if it is to benefit from its products. It will also help it to simplify so many other things aimed at strengthening its ethical reputation.
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