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The GM Culture Crisis is a case study highlighting the leadership challenges General Motors, or GM, faced during the early 2000s. The case study is an actual example of how a company’s leadership style and organizational culture can impact its decision-making process, the behavior of employees, and, ultimately, its success. The case study focuses on the change in leadership style and the influence of organizational culture on the company’s decision-making process and employee behavior.

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Evaluation of the Leadership Theory

The leadership style used in the case study is authoritarian leadership. During the early 2000s, GM faced a crisis, and the company’s CEO, Rick Wagoner, took a top-down approach to decision-making and imposed strict rules and regulations on employees (Kuppler, 2015). However, as the crisis worsened, there was a shift in leadership style towards a more participative leadership style, where the CEO involved employees in the decision-making process and encouraged collaboration.

The characteristics and decisions of management that helped explain the shift in leadership style include the willingness to involve employees in the decision-making process, a focus on collaboration, and an openness to new ideas. The change in leadership style was also influenced by external factors such as changing market conditions, increasing competition, and declining sales (Kuppler, 2015). Changes in market circumstances, greater competition, falling sales, and the need for a more participatory leadership style to enhance employee engagement and motivation are some of the internal and external pressures on the company. In addition, that may have prompted the shift in leadership style.

The relationship between the leadership style used by the organization and the decision-making process was significant. The authoritarian leadership style imposed by the CEO during the early 2000s resulted in a rigid decision-making process with little room for employee input (Kuppler, 2015). However, the shift towards a participative leadership style allowed for more collaboration and increased employee engagement in decision-making.

Organizational Culture Assessment

The internal culture present within the organization was hierarchical and bureaucratic, with a focus on top-down decision-making and strict rules and regulations. The rigorous decision-making process, the emphasis on rules and regulations, and the lack of employee engagement in decision-making are specific instances from the case study that reflect the internal culture.

Insights and Conclusions

The organization’s leadership style and internal culture complement each other, as the hierarchical structure of the internal culture supports the authoritarian leadership style. It is evident from the case study that leadership style and organizational culture can have a profound impact on a company’s success and growth. However, as the company shifted towards a participative leadership style, the internal culture also shifted towards a more collaborative and participative culture. The changes in leadership style and internal culture influenced each other, as the shift in leadership style towards a more participative style resulted in a more collaborative internal culture. Employee conduct is controlled by the organization’s leadership styles and internal culture. The hierarchical and bureaucratic internal culture, combined with the authoritarian leadership style, resulted in a lack of employee engagement and motivation. However, the shift towards a participative leadership style and a more collaborative internal culture led to increased employee engagement and motivation.

In conclusion, the GM Culture Crisis case study highlights the importance of leadership style and organizational culture in determining a company’s success. The shift from an authoritarian leadership style towards a participative manner, combined with a change in the internal culture from a hierarchical and bureaucratic structure to a more collaborative and participative one. This significantly impacted the behavior of employees and, ultimately, the company’s success. This example highlights leadership and organizational culture’s critical role in determining a company’s performance and the need to adjust to changing market conditions and be open to new ideas and methods. The GM Culture Crisis highlights the interplay between leadership style and organizational culture and how changes in one can impact the other. The case also serves as a cautionary tale for companies and leaders, emphasizing the need to continuously assess and adapt leadership style and organizational culture to ensure continued success and growth.

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Kuppler, T. (2015). The GM culture crisis: What leaders must learn from this culture case study. WebArchive. Web.

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