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Ford and Toyota Case Study Essay

1. Which schools of management thought are illustrated in this case? When Ford was founded in 1903, Henry Ford followed the classical management thought to a “T” (no pun intended!) They made one car in one color. The classical management thought believes there is “one best way” to do things to accomplish a goal. Ford wanted to produce cars quickly to meet with demands, so at that time the classical management thought made perfect sense. Another part of the classical management thought is that managers constantly look for ways to improve the process of doing things.

Ford then moved onto both quantitative and systems school of management though. They wanted to improve the ways they were using to design cars. Ford began using computers to help them more effectively achieve their goals of designing cars that would please their customers. Also, Ford wanted to meet and exceed any demands their customers may have thrown at them. This illustrates the systems school of management thought.

Toyota demonstrated the contingency school of management thought. By studying Ford’s process and recognizing the need for and capability of improvement, they are being creative, learning from the past, and accepting diverse opinions and methods for doing things.

Finally, both Toyota and Ford clearly demonstrated the quality school of management thought. Both companies focus a lot of efforts on quality as it is perceived by customers. In order to keep their customers happy, the companies listen to what said customers want.

2. Customers’ perception of quality includes performance, reliability, durability, serviceability, and aesthetics. What else do car customers want? Add to the perception of quality and create a list of the most-desired quality characteristics in a car

Adding to what the book says is the perception of quality, car customers seem to want or are interested in consistent safety features, fuel economy, comfort, price, handling, environmental impact, and possible maintenance costs.


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