Principles of Management

For our final course project we will study General Motors Corporation and their CEO, Mary Barra. Ms. Barra was appointed CEO at a very critical time in GM’s history (hint: ignition switch / recall) and has brought the company back from the brink. She’s an outstanding example of a leader and can be credited for countless cultural/organizational transformations that GM. You will need to conduct independent search (I have some suggested links below) a prepare a report based on the prompts below. Part I. (50 points) Thoroughly describe what you consider to be the biggest organizational challenges facing GM over the last decade. How did they respond to those challenges? Do not simply retell the story, apply our concepts.

Identify some external environmental factors in the case of GM (Ch. 2) Describe the levels (visible and invisible) of Corporate Culture at GM (Ch. 2

Identify some aspects of of GM’s competitive advantage strategy (Ch. 5). Describe Mary Barra’s strategies for implementing change at GM. Do you think she’s been successful? Why or why not? (Ch. 8) Analyze Mary Barra in all of the following categories, Selfawareness, Leadership Style, Communication Skills and Motivation. (Chapters 10-13)

Suggested Research Links: GM Recall Timeline (2014) Mary Barra: Driving into the Future (2018) GM CEO Mary Barra is accountable to her shareholders…. not politicians. (2018) Here’s how Mary Barra silenced critics who called her a lightweight (2018) How went from bankrupt to best in ten years (2018) GM Resilient Profit Shows why Mary Barra Decided to Cut Jobs (2019) Leadership Live with Mary Barra (Bloomberg Interview)








General Motors Analysis

Organizational Challenge

The world of business is evolving very fast due to technology and innovation. While companies such as General Motors continue to secure their position in the global market, organizational uniformity and effectiveness continue to be a major challenge of GM.  The greatest challenge faced by GM was the highest cost of employees’ wages, which later dragged the company into bankruptcy (Khan 2).

Toyota, one of its greatest competitors, was paying $44 per hour while it offered $74.  This was based on its agreement with a trade union that demanded it run the plant with a minimum of 80% capacity, leading to bankruptcy. Another challenge was the declining demand for GM products after many cases of battery breakdown were reported.


To address the issue, the company initiated organizational changes. The first step was cost-cutting. General Motors reduced its costs on particular brands to maintain its profitability; Saturn and Hammer. Another step was cutting employee’s pay, which was a major challenge. To improve its vehicle electrification, the company has invested in multiple technologies, including artificial intelligence.

Corporate Culture

Ideally, corporate organizational culture contributes to success and reforms, which improve an organization’s position in the market. Likewise, General Motors’ corporate culture determines its values, traditions, and unwritten rules guiding employees.

GM has instilled responsibility and accountability as primary cultural characteristics. Responsibility encourages workers to remain competitive, while accountability motivates managers to remain accountable in combating the impacts of the automotive industry on its stakeholders.

Competitive Advantage

The greatest GM competitive advantage is its prominent market share. GM has a vast dealership, and as per 2019 filing, it was regarded as a market share leader in South and North America. GM has also spent a lot in research and development (R&D) and technology, particularly battery electrification. GM Chevrolet Bolt EV covers up to 259 miles; thus, GM is among the leaders in autonomous driving technology.

The CEO, Mary Barra

Mary Barra, the current CEO of General Motors, has arguably improved the company’s performance. Her urge to produce a self-driving car, electric vehicles, and cut jobs has improved GM competitiveness, profitability, and market share. Mary Barra demonstrates a higher level of self-awareness.  She is confident in her steps and takes time before taking action. For example, she physically tested a self-driving car to feel its comfort before buying the idea.

Moreover, she portrays leadership skills that entail allowing peers and subordinates to express themselves. She is committed and often serves as a role model to her subordinates.  In terms of communication, she communicates effectively and ensures it reaches everyone across the hierarchy before any information is materialized.















Works cited

Khan, Muhammad Aliuddin, and Muhammad Hashim. “Organizational Change: Case Study of General Motors.” ASEE Zone 1 Conference, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, USA. 2014.

GM Recall Timeline (2014)

Mary-Barra: Driving into the Future (2018)

General Motors Set to Drive into the Future with Innovative Partnerships (2021)

No matter what kind of paper writing service you need, we’ll get it written. Place Your Order Now!
× How can I help you?