Cultural imbalance can be devastating to an organization as what happened to the Mazda Motor Company plant in Flat Rock Michigan. Even though Mazda thought it had a solution with screening process before hiring its workers. This paper will show why Mazda Motor Company wasn't successful and possible suggestions on what they could have done to fix the problem. The Cultural difference between the American work force and the Japanese workforce and how each believes things should get done especially in the 80's are as clear as day and night. Mazda Motor Corporation was basically run by upper management and made their decisions on a management consensus basis. The Americans were not happy with the idea that the Japanese management would on a daily basis give them a "laundry List" outlining their daily tasks and functions.
The American managers didn't like the idea that they were being kept out of the decision making process and this in effect would filter down the line workers and cause dissension towards the Japanese managers. Mazda felt they had a good hiring process in place even though it would cost them $13, 000 per applicant screened which would promote quality in the assemble of their cars, loyalty to their managers, teamwork which would have a positive affect on culture in the plant, and overall efficiency. This was a good way waning out less skilled and non self thinker potential employees, however, they didn't take their training a step further by training them in the direction of the company and how they wanted things to get done. Because of these reasons Mazda lost four key American managers and replaced them with Japanese management and this made things worse. This essentially led to high turnover among the American workers. The American workers were trying to communicate to the Japanese management that there was a problem and they had some recommendations on who to alleviate some of the issues but the Japanese managers were not willing to listen and this basically was the reason of the partial collapse of Mazda and thus bringing Ford Motor Company in and taking over half ownership of the plant.
The new management team brought in by Ford had its work cut out especially when their first order of business was to cut the workforce in spite of the workers feeling all along they were under staffed and over worked. Because there was such a diverse culture at the Mazda plant some type of process had to be implemented to bring cohesion back to the plant. According to Dressler, he offers a ten step program which diagrams a process to implement change in a diverse workforce. First is to create a sense of urgency for change. Once you have done that then you can show the workers that there is a problem and there is an immediate need for change, which is the second step. The third step is to create a guiding coalition.
The forth step would develop a shared vision while the fifth step would communicate this vision with the workforce. The sixth step would be to eliminate the barriers to change. The seventh step would allow short term wins within the company. The eighth step would be to consolidate the gains and produce more wins for the company. The ninth step would be to support the change and incorporate it. And the final step would be to monitor the progress and change the vision as needed.
These steps are important to the success of any company wishing to bring positive change to a diverse work culture. With today's ever growing diverse workforce there is going to be a large cultural barrier among workers. It is important for everyone to try to start on the same page and accept that people with different cultures do things differently, and try to come up with a way to incorporate their ways of thinking to be an effective organization.