Case Study (BMW Dream Factory and Culture)

Subject: Business
Type: Profile Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 2017
Topics: Work Ethic, Business Ethics, Leadership

Culture at BMW

The culture of an organization can be considered as the accumulated mutual learning of that organization as it handles its challenges of external adaptation and in-house integration; which has functioned adequately well to be regarded valid and thus, new members can learn it as the right way to behave, feel, think and perceive in relation to those challenges. The accumulated learning comprises a system or pattern of behavioral norms, values, and beliefs that come to be considered for granted as essential traditions and ultimately drop out of attentiveness (Schein, 2016). Every dynamic company has a distinctive and extensive culture, and this culture is obtained through the personal attitudes, experiences, common views or respective values that each organizational member holds. 

The culture of an organization influences outcome like ethical behavior, self-confidence, commitment, performance, and productivity. BMW has a culture that considers a chain of adjacent and entwined practices and day-to-day functions that occur only in the organization. At BMW the organizational culture is comprehensive and moves past ethnic and cultural environments and social classes because of the company’s extensive global presence in spite of being a Germany company. The most distinctive feature of BMW’s culture involves idea sharing by its personnel (Schein, 2016). The organization enhances brainstorming by allowing every worker to contribute ideas irrespective of their personality or position to design new approaches to future improvement and to add to crucial decision of the organization. The company respects its workers by ensuring that it treats them both equally and demonstrates to them that they are valuable regardless of the rank. In turn, this has led to a contented workforce who strives to achieve their company’s objectives.

An additional extensive culture at the organization involves the capacity to reward risks related to work. BMW encourages its staff to be creative in their work, which allows them to stimulate growth in the company. Besides, this also ensures that employees who get exposed to risks during their work are rewarded. In turn, this motivates workers to be creative and willing to engage in roles that would otherwise be ignored or be handled with caution because of the risks involved.  The essential culture concerned is that the company expects every employee to contribute in reaching or seeking a solution.  Consequently, this has enabled BMW to instill a culture of responsible behavior and teamwork, which has led to more significant levels of achievements of the company’s objectives and made it among one of the most attractive to potential graduates. It has also allowed the company to promote an entrepreneurial culture, which is rarely a tradition in German companies. Workers are innovative because the company management has learned through experience to listen to the ideas of workers and clients.

Leadership Model and how it affects the Culture of BMW

Leadership model contributes significantly to the determination of whether a manager can establish associations and gain the trust of employees. Employees mostly follow a leader they trust even during uncertain and challenging periods.  A leader can assume different leadership models as he or she interacts with employees and coworkers.  It is sometimes necessary to change models based on the people being led and the accompanying conditions.  There is not a single model that applies to all situations and leaders must adjust their models to the existing position. Efficient leaders understand when they must adapt their models in handling many difficulties they experience (Schein, 2016). Different managers at BMW display various leadership models. However, it is clear that the dominant model is the situational leadership model.  

Situational leadership style involves adapting leadership models by the manager to meet the level of development of the employees. Situational leadership style requires the leader to change his or her style instead of the follower adjusting to the method of the leader.  Situation leadership model involves four dominant techniques of leadership, which are telling, selling, participating and delegating (Schein, 2016).  In the telling, leaders tell workers their roles and how to complete them, which allows the leader to establish associations with workers and build an environment where trust develops. In selling, leaders strive to get workers on board, which would enable them to demonstrate their leadership expertise and build confidence.  In participating, leaders work with teams and share decision making roles, which allow them to focus on the association with employees. Finally, in delegating,  a leader pass specific functions to workers by assuming the responsibility of monitoring progress while reducing his or her role in decision making. In turn, this allows the leader to display trust in employees, which reinforces the confidence created in previous interactions. Consequently, the situational leadership model builds trust between the leader and the workers.

At BMW, leaders ensure that workers obtain what they require every time. The effect the situational leadership model to the culture of the company is that workers have developed a bold confidence that allows them to engage in duties that they are expected to perform with the awareness that they are responsible for their behaviors. Situational leadership model has promoted the development of a risk-taking culture because workers are confident that their leaders will not criticize their actions provided that the activities are within the required boundaries. The model has also allowed the management and workers to build strong working associations as leaders have realized the importance of avoiding coercion and controlling workers to compel them to perform their duties. Every worker is a team actor at BMW where roles are endured by all employees although each one of them is held responsible for independent behaviors.  Situational leadership has also allowed workers to experience high work satisfaction levels, which has increased their productivity. 

Job Characteristics Model and job satisfaction at BMW

Based on the job characteristics model the objective features of the job result in job satisfaction (Phillips & Gully, 2014). For instance, when workers perceive that the duties they are completing are vital their performance and motivation improve. The job characteristics model identifies five features upon which jobs vary. They are skill variety, task identifies, task significance, autonomy, and task feedback. Variety in skill entails the level to which the duty needs different activities to allow an employee apply an array of talents and abilities (Phillips & Gully, 2014). Task identity entails the level to which the duty necessitates an employee to complete an entire and identifiable work role.  The significance of the task involves the extent to which the job offers an employee discretion, freedom and autonomy in scheduling the role and establishing to perform the job. Task feedback consists of the length to which completing the required activities of the position leads to the person gaining clear and direct data regarding the proficiency of his or her performance. Together, these five features determine the motivating potential of a job, which must match the development needs of the person. A manager can enhance this harmonization by employing the correct individuals and through altering the motivating potential of the work. The job characteristics model recommends that if a good match between the individual needs and the job features exist, three critical psychological conditions occur among workers. They are an understanding of outcomes of work activities, experienced responsibility for work results and experienced meaningfulness of the job. These conditions increase job satisfaction and work motivation.

Thus, the job characteristics model demonstrates that employee performance depends on the type of job they perform. At BMW, workers receive high job satisfaction levels, which mean that they contend with their duties. The reason for this is that the job characteristics model demonstrates that employees become happy when their jobs are more satisfying. In turn, this points to the excellent working conditions at BMW that covers a majority of the five job features. There are different tasks at BMW, which decreases monotony and offers workers an opportunity to focus on specific roles that they enjoy the most and can do with high satisfaction levels. 

Besides, the managers at the company ensure that every worker appreciates that each role is crucial, in turn; this gives them the motivation to perform their duties, which leads to increased productivity.  By engaging in what they like and what they deem essential, workers become more satisfied. BMW has a feedback system that enables managers to assess employee performance. In most cases, excellent performance is encouraged and praised while mistakes are sympathetically amended.  In turn, this has inspired the culture of praise and reward, which enhances hard work.  Different workers possess different skills and talents, which makes it easier for them to adjust to engaging in their tasks quickly as each worker enjoys his or her role. In turn, this fosters high levels of job satisfaction.

Organizational Creativity Attributes that BMW Fosters

BMW promotes specific creativity attributes that have been useful in helping it stress its dominance in the auto sector.  For example, the company has adopted the application of the pooling approach to complete every main project.  The method entails assigning a whole team from all company departments a new project (Phillips & Gully, 2014). In turn, this has assisted the company in enhancing efficiency and has led to high-quality goods. The company also applies outsourcing as a creative strategy where most of its operations are located away from its headquarters. The basis for this is that the company has realized that achieving a competitive advantage is only possible through the adoption of an international appearance as globalization is now a standard phenomenon. Besides, BMW selects only the most experienced employees during the hiring process in all its departments across the world. The reason for this is that the company appreciates and devotes resources to skill development among its workforce. In turn, this has made BMW be among one of the most esteemed companies across Europe. BMW possess the latest technology that has allowed it to continue manufacturing vehicles that are required in the current market conditions. The company has adopted emerging trends in technology to guarantee its constant efficiency.  Moreover, the company has sought to produce sustainable cars to decrease environmental pollution and enhance a sustainable environment where it aims to build cleaner and greener vehicles that are fuel-efficient.

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Furthermore, BMW always encourages innovative ideas where it allows members from different departments to come together and work as a team. It encourages brainstorming of ideas, which often fosters creativity and result in success. The company expects innovative and creative styles. The company also believes that exceptional strategy cannot simply produce an attractive factory but a factory whose airy and open spaces can enhance communications among line staff and managers while creating a setting that allows the company to produce excellent cars. The company fosters the culture of allowing its workers to air their creative ideas and watch them become fruitful. Flexibility and innovation contribute significantly to the company’s success. BMW differs from its rivals because it customizes its products to the taste of customers. The company mostly applies the ideas of its new workers because of their novel approach and ideas.

In conclusion, BMW is an organization with an inclusive culture that encourages, engages, and embraces flexibility and creativity. In turn, this has allowed the company to produce high-quality products continuously while managing a global presence. The firm encourages brainstorming regardless of the rank or personality of its workers where workers from different departments come together to contribute a variety of ideas. The company also fosters teamwork by making each member, whether frontline workers, designers, managers or engineers feel essential by understanding that the company considers their ideas important. Leadership in the business has been the key in allowing workers develop trust and confidence, which has allowed them to be more satisfied with their job and hence increase productivity. Managers have established an environment where workers feel essential, contribute to the development of the company, engage in the work that they like and contribute to the overall growth of the business. The company has recognized the importance of positive reinforcement of its employees for their hard work.

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  1. Phillips, J., & Gully, S. M. (2014). Organizational behavior: Tools for success. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  2. Schein, E. H. (2016). Organization Culture and Leadership. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
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