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Overview of the Organization Selected: General Motors

6 pages
1619 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

General Motors formerly known as General Motors Corporation is an American company and it is one of the largest motor manufacturers in the world, being the world leading manufacturer in a larger period of 20th and early 21st centuries (General Motors, 2017). It is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and sale of automobiles and trucks, and automobile parts. The company distributes its products throughout the united states, Canada, and other countries. The company was founded in 1908 by William C. Durant, and it consolidated several companies. The company is based in Detroit Michigan, and its headquarters is also there. Some of the GM notable brands include Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Holden, Autobaojon, Wuling, Jiefang, Maven, and OnStar (General Motors, 2017).

Analysis of organizational structure

General Motors, applies regional divisional organizational structure to run its activities. It mainly involves grouping of businesses based on their geographical segments and areas of operation. Its structure mainly focuses on the regional markets, and the existing corporate structure mainly serves as means for strategy implementation that is specific to regional market conditions. They have aligned their structural characteristics with the business needs that are relative to the existing market conditions (General Motors, 2017).

Core Values

The core values include continuous improvement, customer enthusiasm, innovation, teamwork, as well as individual respect and responsibility (General Motors, 2017). These values portray the companys image to the customers, and it helps them to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.

Mission Statement Analysis

The companys mission is based on the fact many issues have to be addressed to ensure that they attain the right goals. The company recognizes the importance of economic, environmental and social objectives to become a more sustainable company as well as in the planning of the future activities (General Motors, 2017). The company is dependent on technology for success, as well as innovations and partnerships. Improvement of existing technology is achieved through development as well as the deployment of new technology. With competition, GM recognizes that innovation is crucial for its future success, and responsiveness is achieved when they respond to stakeholders needs, through the building of strong partnership among all the players (General Motors, 2017).

Analysis of Code of Ethics

At GM motors, the code of ethics is critical especially in the expression of values, and it makes the company make decisions that win the loyalty of their customers, trust and also respect. This is driven by the companys mission; to become the worlds most valued automotive company- and hence they strive to do business in the right way (General Motors, 2017). The organizational leaders in the company take personal responsibility for ensuring that all the actions that are taken are for the good of the company. They believe that the people including the company employees trust their leaders to do business in an ethical manner and ensure that the vehicles that are built ate of high quality, and that the employees work in a safe environment and also do what is right for everyone who is involved with the GM and the customers (General Motors, 2017).

Analysis of Reward and Performance Evaluation Systems

The behaviors of the leaders of GM is directly reflected by the actions that are taken by their employees. The company leaders are expected to be accountable and responsible. By accountability the employees are expected to do what the leadership says, demonstrate accountability by supporting one another, and demonstrate accountability with regards to performance-based behavior (General Motors, 2017). The GM leadership places strict penalties on employees who violate the code of ethics through disciplinary actions. As part of the responsibility of the employees, the leaders ensure that they strictly review and follow the code of ethics, understand the established rules, cooperate with one another, and share concerns.

At GM motors, all the employees are encouraged to take responsibility for the consequences of their behavior. This ensures that they adhere to the established code of ethics. As part of being responsible, they are encouraged to ask questions, share relevant concerns and also ideas, when they are asked to do something against the established code of ethics in the organization (General Motors, 2017). This is mainly done through consultations with the manager or supervisor in a specific department. The role of the supervisor is mainly to build the ethical culture, be a role model, listen and offer guidance and report to senior management of behaviors that are considered unethical.

Analysis of Reporting and Communication Systems

GM motors have a formal code of ethics that guides behavior of every member of the company. The code is alighted with the company values, and it is distributed widely among all its employees. The company follows the code strictly and has been reinforced to other formal systems, and it guides activities in the company such as decision making and rewards (General Motors, 2017). The supervisors are whistleblowers, and they have the responsibility to report any unethical behavior within their department. They are charged to report and take action. The company has established channels for confidentially communicating such issues. The company punishes misconducts swiftly and justly based its intensity. Disciplinary action is taken upon the violators, and it ranges from termination to fines, criminal prosecution, and imprisonment (General Motors, 2017).

The company operates on the code, that is regarded more like a policy of the company, and GM motors promote individuals regarding merit, and not just integrity. All employees are suspected to act with integrity within the company. Integrity is emphasized among the recruits and employees that join the organization. This ensures that they align themselves with the expected code of conduct in the company (General Motors, 2017). Regarding the managers, the company has a training program for ethics and ethical decision making, to ensure that they subscribe to the code and the core values and the principles of the company. The company has made ethics a part of a routine for conducting and planning meetings, new ventures, to ensure they survive the competitive environment. It believes in serving people with honesty and integrity, and they uphold that at all levels. Through training, the language of ethics is taught and applied, and all the employees are responsible for ensuring the ethical code is followed. The supervisors have the committer role of ensuring that that is achieved at GM (General Motors, 2017).

Informal Organization Norms

GM has an organizational culture of agility, and it focuses on speed when it comes to addressing issues, problems as well as business opportunities. Some of the characteristics include the freedom to grow, learn and evolve, fast thinking for continued success, innovation and emphasis on equity, responsibility, and accountability, and positive relationships. These norms are consistent with the existing formal rules and policies (General Motors, 2017). The heroes in the organization are the current chairman and chief executive officer of the GM company Mary T. Barra, who upholds to the code of ethics in ensuring the safety of the employees as well as the customers. However, in the recent times, GM has been accused of being aware of faulty ignition that claimed 27 lives and injured 25, and it has suffered losses amounting to millions. The ethical concern was the fact that the company did not act responsibly and to ensure the reputation of the company stays intact, the chairman has been in an ethical crisis revealing the events behind the tragedy. The company will have to eventually take responsibility, compensate the victims and work on ensuring that they enhance safety to the employees and customers of GM.

Some of the organizational rituals include ensuring safety, and through it ensures everyone is responsible for ensuring that every other person is safe within the organization. The people of integrity in the organization get awards, for good behavior, and the new entrants are welcomed with messages of maintaining integrity, honesty and respect, and that they have the freedom in the organization as long as they uphold to the code (General Motors, 2017). The company encourages questioning of issues to ensure its improvements. The company encourages its employees to do what is right, and conform to the valued characteristic. The company does not give data regarding employees that have been fired in the past. The language of the code is in existence for discussing ethical concerns, and it is incorporated and encouraged during decision making in the company (General Motors, 2017).

Social media is one of the informal socialization processes that is applied by GM staff. With the growth of platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram among others so do online socialization among individuals. However, with social media, several forms of unethical behavior is encouraged such as sharing of company information without consent or posting confidential details regarding the organization online. Social media is different from organizational subgroups because people can interact anytime, without having to call a meeting.


GM motors has a strong ethical culture that guides its code of conduct. The ethical code encourages integrity, honesty, and respect among its employees (General Motors, 2017). It is built based on the core beliefs, values and the mission of the organization. It exhibits strengths such as the ensuring that everyone is responsible and accountable, that everyone should review the code, employees have the power to question it, and that it encourages prompt actions upon its violations. Some of its weakness includes the fact that the code has not been in line with the scandals that have faced General Motors in the past, and it has always placed it in an ethical dilemma, which causes a bad reputation for the organization.



General Motors. (2017). General Motors Overview. Retrieved 10 November 2017, from

General Motors. (2017). GMS Code of Conduct. Detroit: General Motors. Retrieved from


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