Although universal elements define the organizational change that suggest each as unique, the ambitions, values, perceptions, and ethics organizations adopt represent some of the most significant sources of uniqueness. Even within the same industry, firms differ in how they define, shape up, and approach their goals. Combined with the uniqueness that exists in identifying and approaching success, the different ethics, ambitions, perceptions, and values of organizations present a unique challenge in light of change management in organizations. One of its simplest definitions presents change management as the sum of investments designed to identify revolution, prepare and support organizations, teams, and individuals in addressing organizational change. Change management investments are different from one organization to another. The unique nature of organizations, even those which exists in a similar industrial setting, presents unique challenges in change management. There is hardly a one-size-fits-all change management suite. Excellence in change management not only demands that the unique elements about organizations be adequately understood and analyzed but also matched to the best change management investment in both the short and the long terms (Basu, 2017, p. 15).
Apart from being of the most popular global brands, Toyota is rich grounds in light of business and organizational-based research and related activities. The company has set up operations in the Middle East in countries ranging from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait to Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria (Goksoy, 2016, p. 104). In March of 2016, the company began investing in an extensive organizational change that would see the company change its structure and functionality from a product-based structure to a function-based structure. The entire organizational change was aimed at installing and developing a new management structure; one that would aim at creating a product-based organization as opposed to a function-based one to streamline and improve work processes across the company. This would affect all the 14 distributors across the Middle East region.
The new management structure adopted by Toyota would see the company shifts its orientation from being region based towards the various product classes. This shift would be mainly guided by the reviews from how the company makes decisions and works. According to Toyota’s regional president, the structural change to be instituted might fail to be the ultimate solution required by the company, but it presents a myriad of opportunities to the company and its operations in the Middle East (Cameron & Green, 2015, p. 89). For instance, the organizational change would not only provide the company with grounds through it would make better vehicles, but also strengthen and grow the company’s workforce across the region. The ability of the structural change to fail or work rested squarely on the Toyota workforce across the region.
Traditionally, Toyota has had an organizational culture that invests in and supports continuous improvement and innovation in the company’s endeavours. Today, the organization is guided by four central values; teamwork, quality, continuous improvement birthed from constant learning, and secrecy (Osono, 2018). There is hardly a region or business area Toyota has invested in that is not run through teamwork. The organization is designed to exist as a learning organization; one where the firm and the people therein are developed through constant learning. Quality is at the heart of the organizational culture; the constant need to ensure high-quality automobiles are provided for the different markets it serves. A considerably high degree of secrecy is presented in Toyota’s organizational culture. These elements of the company’s culture have been responsible for the continuous growth over time. The constant learning culture in the company has not only acted as grounds through which innovation has been maintained over time, but has also improved the problem-solving capabilities of the company while ensuring quality is continuously improved. The secrecy element of the organizational culture has reduced the organization’s flexibility and has had adverse effects with regards to rapid problem-solving.
One of the most noticeable organizational changes taking place at Toyota is aimed at ensuring the short and mid-term product development and strategy are assigned to new seven in-house and product-based companies. This will be achieved by creating five new companies and renaming two existing companies. The five companies include Toyota Compact Car Company, Innovative R&D and Engineering Company, Lexus International Company, CV Company, and Mid-size Vehicle Company (Osono, 2018). The two renamed companies are Connected Company and Power Train Company. The organizational changes will also see the creation of a new research centre as well as having the corporate strategy division take up with long and mid-term strategic planning functions. Finally, the divisions within the company which do not fit to a specific group as well as other undefined groups will be forced to transform aimed at supporting the functioning of business units in management areas ranging from cost and profit to administration and human resource within the in-house companies.
There will also be management changes presented in the organizational change. One of the executive vice-presidents in Toyota Middle East will be forced to resign. There will be a simultaneous promotion of one of the managing officer promotions to a senior managing officer (Deans & Kroeger, 2015, p. 183). Two executive vice presidents will take up positions of chief financial officer and chief officer with regards to the Frontier Research Center. Another two vice presidents will be chief officer and chief competitive officer governing the research division.
Conclusively, it is evident to note that the new changes in Toyota Middle East will not only institute organizational changes but will also bring about changes in light of the management of the 14 distributors across the Middle East region. Apart from setting the company on a path to achieve its production and sales targets for 2016, the changes were also aimed at ensuring the company simplifies its work processes and addresses long-standing quality issues. The organizational change in the company are also designed to provide the company deals with one of its long-term goals; to consolidate the production and production of small cars. The company is set to recalibrate its focus on emerging markets, especially India through these organizational changes.
Basu, S. (2017). Corporate purpose: Why it matters more than strategy. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Deans, G. K., & Kroeger, F. (2015). Stretch!: How great companies grow in good times and bad. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Goksoy, A. (2016). Organizational change management strategies in modern business. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Osono, E. (2018). Extreme Toyota: Radical contradictions that drive success at the world’s best manufacturer. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books.