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INTRODUCTION

Ford Motor Company, one of the Big Three automakers, was established
in Detroit, Michigan, on June 16, 1903. Founder Henry Ford converted an old
wagon factory to house his new inventions. The Model T, in particular, was the
one turning point that put Ford on the map. Despite stiff competition from rival
General Motors, over the decades other Ford models such as the Mustang and
Taurus continued to push Ford forward. Today Ford is one of the worlds top
automobile companiesits Ford Focus was the worlds bestselling automobile in
2013.
Ford Motor Company was founded on strong core values, which has
helped it to overcome many obstacles and lead to its success. Despite ethical
issues in the past, Ford Motor Company has proven to be an ethical leader in the
automobile industry. In 2013 it was selected by the Ethisphere Institute as one of
the worlds most ethical companies.
Ford Motor Companys corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are
designed to respond to the demands and interests of the firms stakeholders.
Ford impacts these stakeholder groups through its business activities. At the
same time, the stakeholders are significant because they affect the company
through their purchases and sociopolitical pressure. As the second biggest U.S.based automobile manufacturer, Ford must address the needs of its stakeholders
to maintain its industry position. Thus, improving corporate social responsibility
efforts can help sustain Fords long-term development toward its aim of becoming
the global market leader.

BACKGROUND OF THE JOURNAL ARTICLE

This journal examines the ethical challenges and corporate social


responsibility initiatives Ford Motor Company has faced in its history. It begins
with a history of Fords background. We follow with an examination of Fords
corporate culture and its emphasis on product quality. We then describe the code
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of ethics the firm has adopted to keep it on an ethical course. The next section
demonstrates that despite its strong code of ethics, Ford has experienced
serious misconduct in the past. Next, we investigate how Ford has restored its
reputation and instituted corporate responsibility initiatives to benefit
stakeholders. We conclude by examining Fords current status today.

Fords stakeholders are comprehensively addressed through various


corporate social responsibility initiatives and programs. The following is Fords
prioritization of its stakeholders, with customers having the highest priority:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Customers (Fords top-priority stakeholders)


Employees
Investors
Communities (Fords least-priority stakeholders)

Customers. Fords top-priority stakeholders are its customers. The


interests of this stakeholder group are high quality products and services,
especially after-sales services. Customers are significant stakeholders because
they directly determine the companys revenues. Fords corporate social
responsibility efforts for this stakeholder group are as follows:
1.
Product innovation for quality, fuel economy, and safety
2.
Ford Smart Mobility
3.
Ford Driving Skills for Life program
Ford Motor Company continues to innovate its products for quality, fuel
economy, and safety to maximize satisfaction among customers as stakeholders.
Majority of the firms 2015 vehicles received five-star ratings from the United
States New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Also, the Ford Smart Mobility
program aims to increase mobility and provide autonomous/driverless vehicles.
In addition, the Ford Driving Skills for Life free driver education program helps
novice drivers develop skills for safe and efficient driving. Thus, Fords corporate
social responsibility programs extend beyond just offering vehicles, and improve
the driving skills of customers as the top stakeholders.
Employees. Ford considers its employees as second-level priority
stakeholders. This stakeholder group is interested in career development, high
wages, and equal treatment and opportunities. Employees are significant
stakeholders because they influence the production and service capacity of the
business. For instance, even a small decline in this stakeholder group leads to a
proportionate decline in the companys productivity and performance. To address
the interests of employees as stakeholders, Ford has the following corporate
social responsibility initiatives:
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1.
2.
3.
4.

Sustainable Workforce
Product Online Training
Global Learning and Development
Global leadership development programs

Ford Motor Company has reformed its workplace safety policies through
time to protect this stakeholder group and ensure regulatory compliance. The
firms Sustainable Workforce initiative aims to optimize employees health,
efficiency and productivity. For instance, Fords new global safety standards have
reduced workplace injuries by 90% since 2000.
The company also offers online product training to keep this stakeholder
group always up-to-date and capable of doing their jobs. In addition, the firms
corporate social responsibility efforts include the Global Learning and
Development program, which offers continuing education through classroombased and online courses, as well as mentoring and shadowing to maximize
performance and satisfaction in the stakeholder group. Moreover, Ford has
global leadership and development programs like (a) the Global Leadership
Summit for executives and general managers, (b) the Global Executive
Leadership Program for directors and senior managers, (c) the Experienced
Leader Program for middle managers, and (d) the Salaried Supervisor
Institute/Program (SSI) for new or experienced leaders. These programs reflect
Fords corporate social responsibility and dedication to support the interests of
employees as one of the companys most important stakeholder groups.
Investors.
Ford Motor Companys investors are interested in maximum profits and
business stability. These stakeholders are significant because they affect the
firms capital. To address the interests of this stakeholder group, Ford
implemented the One Ford plan in 2008 under former CEO Alan Mulallys
leadership to achieve consistency and synergy in its global organization. The
One Ford plan reduces costs and maximizes the companys profits worldwide.
This effort is part of Fords corporate social responsibility strategy to improve its
performance, especially in the aftermath of the recession of the late 2000s.
Communities.
Ford has a number of major corporate social responsibility programs for
communities as stakeholders. The interests of this stakeholder group include
support for community development, as well as environmental conservation.
Communities are significant stakeholders because they can influence the
perceptions of Fords customers. These interests are addressed through the
following corporate social responsibility programs at the company:
1.
Supplier sustainability training
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Telephone Numbers: +63 43 723 1446 | 980 0041
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2.
3.
4.

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services


Ford Volunteer Corps
Ford Driving Skills for Life program

LEARNING AND INSIGHTS

Although Ford Motor Company faced significant ethical challenges in the


past, it is taking a proactive approach toward eliminating future issues. It holds
the distinction of being the only one of the Big Three carmakers to avoid having
to be bailed out by the government during the 2008- 2009 recession. This
showed that the company had made a significant turnaround and was financially
viable enough to weather the economic storm. In contrast, the government only
just recently sold off its shares in General Motors, which it bailed out in 2009 with
$49.5 million. It is estimated that taxpayers lost $10.5 billion. By avoiding a
government bailout, Ford was able to improve its reputation and gain a
competitive edge over its major rivals. The company was also able to outsell its
rival Toyota in the United States in 2012 and 2013. Ford has taken proactive
measures toward improving its internal processes, such as improved testing
procedures and internal quality control. The firm made a renewed commitment to
consumer safety, environmental sustainability, and stakeholder appreciation. This
has led to its four-time nomination as a worlds most ethical company. These
results are based upon an intensive review of Fords social responsibility efforts,
innovation, transparency, communication, citizenship, corporate governance, and
business practices. 11 Ford has learned from its past mistakes and has taken
proactive measures toward ensuring consumer safety and satisfaction. Ford is an
elite company that has secured an ethical reputation. It must continue to
investigate ways to improve corporate social responsibility and sustainability
without compromising consumer safety or quality.

Campuses: Hilltop | MH del Pilar | Pallocan East | Pallocan West | Lipa


Telephone Numbers: +63 43 723 1446 | 980 0041
Website: w ww.ub.edu.ph

Ford Motor Company provides sustainability training to its suppliers to


improve their sustainability performance, which is linked to environmental impact.
Also, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is the companys
nonprofit organization for a wide variety of philanthropic efforts for this
stakeholder group. For example, the firms corporate social responsibility efforts
provide investments for community irrigation, as well as education programs in
rural areas. In relation, the Ford Volunteer Corps, mainly composed of the
companys employees, supports community development. Moreover, the Ford
Driving Skills for Life program also ensures that driving does not create issues
with community safety. Thus, the companys corporate social responsibility
activities for these stakeholders are diverse.

SOURCE
Journal Article:
Ford Motor Company Manages Ethics and Social Responsibility
Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative University of New Mexico
http://danielsethics.mgt.unm.edu

Campuses: Hilltop | MH del Pilar | Pallocan East | Pallocan West | Lipa


Telephone Numbers: +63 43 723 1446 | 980 0041
Website: w ww.ub.edu.ph