Sunteți pe pagina 1din 17

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Executive Summary

Ford and Toyota motors remain two of the largest companies in the world today. The companies,

however, are on divergent paths. One, Toyota, is gaining market share and increasing the size of its

company. The other, Ford, is rapidly losing market share and downsizing.

Toyota will continue to carry a large market share and in the future will compete with General Motors

for the tops spot. This success is due to a highly organized communications system that reflects the

company’s goals throughout. Toyota need to maintain its aggressive “learning” approach to the industry

and make minor improvements to its potential employee section of its website.

Ford, however, is losing market share and alienating customers. To maintain competitiveness, they need

to improve customer relations, relations with families, and aggressively publicize its “Way Forward”

campaign.

While these two companies come from different backgrounds, an analysis conducted of their

communications practices brings to light both successes and failures. These lessons are applicable to not

only the company leadership, but students of business and communications alike.

Background and History of Toyota and Ford

Toyota Motors

Originally established in the 1860’s as a textile company, Toyota Motor Corporation was the creation of

Kiichiro Toyoda. Completing his first prototype car in 1935, Toyoda was an innovator and researcher. In

the 20’s, he traveled to Europe and the United States to research manufacturing techniques and the

automobile industry. On one such trip to Ford’s River Rouge plant he was impressed with the scale of the

plant but critical of its inefficiencies. By 1933, he had converted one of his textile mills into a dedicated

auto manufacture and research facility. In 1937, the company had produced enough prototypes to warrant

1

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

the establishment of Toyota Motor Co. Throughout these formative years, Toyoda pioneered the concepts

of just-in-time inventory, “kaizen” or continuous improvement, and “kanban” parts labeling.

Toyota Motor Corporation is growing. As of 31 March 2006, Toyota employed 285,966 people in over

28 countries. Additionally, revenues and market share for the company are growing. Revenues for 2006

totaled $179 billion with total company assets valued at $244 billion. With only $15 billion in operating

expenses per year, there are not many companies in the world who can claim a value 16 times their yearly

expenses. The company could not sell a single car for 15 years and still operate “in the black.” As of last

quarter, Toyota overtook Ford as the second largest automaker world-wide.

Ford Motors

Ford Motor Company is closely identified with the history and development of the automotive industry.

In 1913, the first moving assembly line was implemented at Ford’s Highland Park plant in Michigan. The

new system allowed individual workers to stay in one place and perform the same take repeatedly on

multiple vehicles. The assembly line greatly increased production and efficiency allowing the company

to surpass competitors while making the vehicle more affordable. Henry Ford believed the company’s

future was based on the manufacturing of affordable cars for the public. The company began using the

first 19 letters of the alphabet to name each car and in 1908 produced the well known Model T.

In 1925, Ford Motor Company acquired the Lincoln Motor Company and in the 1930’s created the

Mercury division focusing on mid-priced cars. In the 1950’s the Ford Motor Company went public and

in 1967 Ford of Europe was established. In 1971 the company created its North American Automotive

Operations which consolidated U.S., Canadian, and Mexican operations.

As of today, Ford Motor Company manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six

continents and employees about 325,000 people worldwide. Ford Motor Company has 11 wholly owned,

equity-owned joint venture plants around the world. Ford, currently in its second century of business, has

2

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

eight different brands including: Ford, Volvo, Lincoln, Jaguar, Mercury, Land Rover, Mazda and Aston

Martin.

Assumptions/observations about the industry and environment

The automobile industry produces automobiles and other gasoline-powered vehicles, such as buses,

trucks, and motorcycles. It provides jobs for millions of people, generates billions of dollars in

worldwide revenues, and provides the basis for a multitude of related service and support industries.

The automobile has enabled people to travel and transport goods farther and faster, and has opened

wider market areas for business and commerce. Between 1886 and 1898, about 300 automobiles were

built, but there was no real established industry. In 2005, with automakers and auto buyers expanding

globally, the industry manufactured 53 million cars and employed over 1.76 million people in the US

alone.

Automobile manufacturers can be among some of the largest companies in the world. Some companies,

such as Toyota, are multinational (operations in 28 countries). Some companies, such as General Motors,

share parts with other manufacturers, use parts made in foreign factories, and assemble entire cars in

foreign countries.

The three major automobile manufacturers in the United States are General Motors, Ford, and Daimler

Chrysler. These automakers provide much of the industry's employment in the United States, but lately,

foreign automakers, such as Toyota and Nissan are building automobile assembly plants in the United

States.

The automotive industry is currently growing as a global industry. Over the past year, however, the

industry has seen vast changes in both product and market shares.

3

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

How the principles of Toyota and Ford compare.

Toyota’s Philosophy – “The Toyota Way”

The philosophy of Toyota is entitled the “Toyota Way.” While the Toyota Way has many facets, its two main pillars are continuous improvement (kaizen) and respect for people. A deeper analysis of the Toyota Way reveals the company’s basic “principles” and “precepts.” These two sets of rules essentially form the company’s vision.

Guiding Principles:

1. Honor the language and spirit of the law of every

nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the world.

2. Respect the culture and customs of every nation and

contribute to economic and social development through

corporate activities in the communities.

3. Dedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe

products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere

through all our activities.

4. Create and develop advanced technologies and

provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwide.]

5. Foster a corporate culture that enhances individual

creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and management.

6. Pursue growth in harmony with the global community

through innovative management.

7. Work with business partners in research and creation

to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits,

while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships.

The Toyota Precepts

1. Be contributive to the development and welfare of the

country by working together, regardless of position, in faithfully fulfilling your duties.

2. Be at the vanguard of the times through endless

creativity, inquisitiveness and pursuit of improvement.

3. Be practical and avoid frivolity.

4. Be kind and generous; strive to create a warm,

homelike atmosphere.

5. Be reverent, and show gratitude for things great and

small in thought and deed.

4

But which of these rules guides the

company’s communications practices both to

internal and external audiences? While none

of these rules specifically dictate how the

company communicates, they all reflect an

“open” organization. By examining Toyota’s

corporate philosophy we see they appear open

to inputs from both internal and external

audiences.

While Toyota does not have specific

communications goals and principles stated in

the “Toyota Way,” they have dedicated time

and effort to spelling out specifically how

they intend to live up to the Toyota Way in

their communications efforts. Analysis of

their annual Environmental and Social Report

reveals a well-organized communications

effort with all stakeholders. Their

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

communications goals are aligned with these stakeholder groups.

Ford’s Philosophy – Keep It Simple

Ford has very basic principles that the company defines in its Sustainability Report.

Guiding Principles:

1. Products and Customers: We

will offer excellent products and

services.

2. Environment: We will

respect the natural environment and help preserve it for future

generations.

3. Community: We will respect

and contribute to the communities around the world in which we work.

4. Quality of Relationships: We

will strive to earn the trust and respect of our investors,

customers, dealers, employees, unions, business partners and society.

5. Financial Health: We will

make our decisions with proper regard to the long-term financial security of the Company.

For each principle, Ford performs a survey from year to year

questioning how they compare to the year prior. The survey

includes questions about employee satisfaction, safety recalls, sales

satisfaction and owner loyalty.

Similar to Toyota, Ford does not have specific communications

goals and principles stated but it does make an attempt through

reports and its website to keep an open line of communication with

employees, stakeholders, investors, customers as well as the public.

The website is direct and to the point. On first glance it offers

information for investors, families, as well as current and future

employees.

Through analysis of the company’s website and reports its communication style seems for the most part

to be straightforward and honest. However, the company does not properly communicate its new “Way

Forward” Plan.

Through the use of reports and press releases Ford communicates its Way Forward plan. It is a

blueprint for restructuring products, manufacturing capacity, cost, as well as brand positioning. The idea

behind the Way Ford plan is to restore North American automotive operations to profitability by 2008.

Ford claims the Way Forward plan includes, “tough, sometimes painful, actions intended to respond to

the realities of today’s increasingly competitive global automotive industry.” The plan is in response to

Ford decreasing revenue and possibly its recent buy-out offers and lays offs. Ford does not successful

5

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

communicate or emphasize the Way Forward plan. It can only be found on the website in reports and

press releases.

This plan is important for all audience members. It will directly affect employees and investors, so it

should be on the front line. It should be talked about and discussed or at least included on the website;

not only in press releases. This plan seems like something the company would want to communicate and

advertise. However, it seems Ford is falling short of its responsibility to its audience members on this

particular aspect.

Internal Communications Snapshot Communications with employees.

Toyota

Toyota has several stated goals that relate to communication to employees.

Toyota’s Employee Goals

-Creating a workplace environment where employees can work with their trust in the company

-Stable employment where layoffs and dismissals are not readily made

-Steadily maintain and improve working conditions from a medium- to long-term perspective

-Ensure fairness and consistency

-Share the management mindset and sense of critical urgency through thorough communication

-Reflect business results in working conditions

-Promote personal growth through work

-Communication of the Toyota Way/role

-Promoting teamwork aimed at pursuit of individual roles and optimization of the entire team

-Thorough consensus building and achievement in single thrust

To analyze whether these goals are actually

practiced, an interview was conducted of a

dealership manager. Mr Vic Fiore, store

manager of Geis Toyota provided feedback on

whether Toyota “walks the walk” when it comes

to interaction with employees. While Mr Fiore

could not provide feedback on hiring and firing

policies, he highlighted several of Toyota’s goals.

First, he stated that the corporation encourages

training and “off-site” educational opportunities

for employees. Trips to factories and test

facilities are available to help educate employees

on products. Additionally, implementation of Toyota’s new Dealer Daily program has increased the

6

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

amount of time salesmen and managers can spend with customers. This new program will be discussed

later. In speaking with Mr Fiore, it appears Toyota’s stated communication goals with employees match

what the employees proved as feedback. Toyota’s overall goals with respect to employees appear to

promote open communication and reflect that employee satisfaction and input is key to corporate success.

Ford

Ford’s goals as that relate to communication to employees was more difficult to ascertain. Because of

Ford’s unwillingness to cooperate, a majority of the information listed below is from the company’s

website for future employees. While we had hoped to discuss with several employees how the company

Ford Employee Goals:

-A learning community

-Values diversity: we recognize that diversity is not only a reality of our global nature; it’s a distinct advantage, and one that we value and embrace.

-Equal Opportunity “Opportunities for employment and advancement will be available on a non-discriminatory basis--without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or veteran status.

-We take affirmative action in accordance with law to have minorities and women represented appropriately throughout the workforce and to provide qualified handicapped persons, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era opportunity for employment and advancement.”

-Employee Resource Groups: We welcome and value the ideas and contributions of all employees.

-Worklife Integration: Helping you find balance is a corporate commitment.

-Matching people with our hiring needs is personal, thorough, and efficient

pursues these goals, calls to employees were not returned.

Perhaps these problems were due to the company’s recent “buy-

outs.” Over 32000 employees were offered buy-outs to leave

the company in an effort to cut costs. Undoubtedly, these

cutbacks have affected company morale and would explain a

lack of goals that reflect as Toyota states, “Stable employment

where layoffs and dismissals are not readily made.”

Internal Communications Snapshot II

Messages conveyed to future employees.

Another way to gauge continuity in messaging is to analyze

messages to future employees. These messages tell prospective

employees what qualities the company is looking for.

Additionally, these messages can paint a picture of how the

company sees itself in the future.

7

For this analysis, we looked

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

at general qualities the company looks for and also compared job descriptions of two very similar jobs at

each company. It should be noted that while both companies have portions of their websites dedicated to

future employees, Toyota’s site was sparse and almost appeared to not want any one to apply. Ford,

however, had much information readily available even in the midst of 32000 buyouts.

Toyota vs Ford – What they’re looking for

General Qualities:

Ford

-Integrity: behaves with honor and dignity

-Flawless Execution: passion for excellence

-Relationship: cares, develops, safeguards

-Foster teamwork and apply the knowledge, skills and values required to support the business.

-Anticipate tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.

-Push the limits with innovative business solutions. Challenge norms and search out emerging HR issues and trends.

-Lead the change effort.

-Take action, deliver results and resolve problems.

-Embrace diversity and use it to deliver a competitive advantage.

-Measure results to support accountability.

Toyota

-None provided

Ford spends a lot of time on its website stating in general what

qualities it looks for in potential employees. They even go as far

as to post sample bios and pictures of its current employees.

These images and bios also do a good job of promoting an image

of diversity and inclusion. Toyota on the other hand offers no

additional information. Their jobs site takes you right to searching

for jobs.

8

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Sample Job Description:

Ford Description:

Ford Motor Company is a “Fortune Five” company and a recognized leader in the automotive industry offering competitive salaries and benefit plans. From employee discounts on our vehicles to educational opportunities, Ford works with its employees to strive for a quality of life that is second to none. By choice, Ford Motor Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a culturally diverse workforce.

Transmission and Driveline Engineers work to design, develop, test & implement transmission systems. This spans the time from the vehicle's initial concept to supporting the daily production of transmissions. The development of a vehicle lasts 3-5 years, during which time an engineer's duties can be broken down into four distinct phases:

-Early Program Development - translate vehicle & customer requirements into component & system design specifications

-Design Development - design components to meet the customer's requirements

-Design Testing - oversee tests that ensure the transmission will withstand customer usage

-Program Launch - support powertrain plants in the manufacturing of quality transmissions

Whatever the development phase, an automatic transmission engineer is responsible for delivering a product that meets all program targets, including quality, cost, weight, manufacturability, ergonomics, and customer satisfaction.

Comparing these two job descriptions it becomes

apparent that Toyota is much more concerned with

providing specifics than Ford. It appears Toyota is

very concerned with “weeding out” potentially

Toyota Description:

Toyota Technical Center, the R&D Division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, is currently seeking an Engineer to join our Drivetrain Engineering department at our Ann Arbor, Michigan location.

Responsibilities

Develop prototype transmission components on localization projects.

Increase design responsibility through value engineering.

Manage an increased number of projects, responsible for implementation from prototype to production.

Maintain quality of an increased amount of drivetrain components manufactured in North America.

Research North American drivetrain trends and new technology, and recommend to Toyota Japan.

Design Role:

Develop local prototype transmission components.

Create Automatic Transmission drawings in CAD.

Countermeasure dynomometer evaluation results.

Design Liaison Role:

Travel to North American suppliers and Toyota Manufacturing Centers to gather engineering data.

Compile and evaluate North American data and make an engineering recommendation to Toyota Design in Japan.

Design Research Role:

Research North American Drivetrain trends and new technology. Report and recommend future Toyota design direction.

under qualified applicants with its detailed requirements.

9

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Comparing Qualifications

Ford Qualifications

-B.S. or M.S. in mechanical or electrical engineering

-The ability to adapt to a dynamic working environment and work within a diverse team

-Interest in the automotive industry and Transmission Engineering as a career path

- 0-2 years of automotive-related experience

-Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

*Reflects company goal or precept

Toyota Qualifications

-Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

-Strong problem solving and communication skills to lead and report projects.

-Experience/interest with automotive design and development.

-Experience and willingness to work with CAD, CAE.

-Knowledge of Toyota Production System and quality systems.

-Possibility of long term assignment in Toyota Japan.

-TTC Transfer or New Hire with Intern/Co-op Experience.

-Experience in Drivetrain Engineering preferred.

-Positive thinking and highly motivated for any problem

These two descriptions paint the greatest contrast between the two companies. Toyota definitely wants

person who knows about Toyota and is willing to enlist into their corporate culture. This is evidenced by

four of nine qualifications reflecting the company’s goals or precepts. Ford, however, has a rather diluted

qualifications listing that only once reflects a company goals or mission. Clearly, Toyota is very up-front

and clear that they want someone who will reflect the company’s goals.

10

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Organization and staffing of communications infrastructure

Toyota

Toyota Corporate

Communications

Internal External Field Strategic Communications Communications Communications Planning and Administration
Internal
External
Field
Strategic
Communications
Communications
Communications
Planning and
Administration

Employee

Toyota Product

Communications

News Division

Flagship

Lexus Product

Publications

News Division

Executive

National

Communications

Corporate Media

 

Relations

Intranet

Websites

Toyota USA

Archives

Vintage Vehicle

Museum

Midwest (Detroit)
Midwest (Detroit)

Business

Development

Northeast

(New York)

Strategic

Southeast

Planning

(Miami)

Division

administration

Washington D.C.

 

Corporate

Gulf States

(Dallas)

philanthropy

Video production

Gulf States

center

(Houston)

 

Community

West Coast

Relations

(San Francisco)

division is aligned into four primary functional areas.

Communications within Toyota is

organized under the Corporate

Communications Division in

Torrance, CA. The mission of

corporate communications is to

develop and execute a broad base

of communications strategies for

multiple audiences, both inside

and outside the company. The

External Communications is responsible for all product news activities for the Toyota and Lexus sales

divisions as well as corporate media relations. Additionally, this group covers general TMS business

issues with added responsibility for diversity communications.

Field Communications oversees Toyota’s group of regionally based communications offices and public

relations agencies in key markets, including the Northeast, Southeast, Washington, D.C., the Midwest,

Gulf States, the Southwest, southern California, northern California and the Pacific Northwest. This

network provides local service to news media and will work closely with Toyota and Lexus regional sales

offices and dealers.

Internal Communications is responsible for internal audience communications, including employee

communications, flagship publications, executive communications, intranet Web sites and the Toyota

USA Archives and Vintage Vehicle Museum.

11

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Strategic Planning & Administration is a new department with responsibilities for business development,

strategic and long-range planning, division administration, corporate philanthropy and the Toyota Video

Production Center.

Ford

Organization of Ford’s communications infrastructure was not available due to a lack of response to

queries.

A comparison of existing communication programs-

Toyota

Internal Communications

Communication within the company is accomplished through a variety of methods. The company

retains an intranet as well as standard electronic mail systems. The company relies heavily on internal

training to ensure all employees understand the “Toyota Way.” This training consists of orientation

training for newly promoted personnel, induction training for newly joined staff, advanced training for

company specialist, career consultant and mentor training. The company also conducts cultural training

and encourages managers to seek intra-company transfers to overseas assignments. The company

maintains 600 on-site trainers at all its locations.

Toyota sees good communication as the basis for all activities. In addition to communication in the

workplace, Toyota has created numerous other opportunities for discussions between labor and

management including Labor-Management Councils, Joint Labor-Management Round Table

Conferences, and various subcommittees. Toyota has established a number of hotlines for swift resolution

of issues related to compliance, gender harassment, mental health and working conditions. Further,

Toyota implements employee morale surveys, and monitors employee job satisfaction, etc. In a survey

conducted in FY2004, responses were received from 83% of the approximately 19,000 employees that

12

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

were surveyed. Positive responses such as “I’m proud to work at Toyota” and “I’m satisfied with my

working conditions” continue to be at high levels.

Dealer Daily - Web-based dealer communications system designed to improve communications between

the automaker and its 1,100 Toyota and Lexus dealers. The Internet portal has increased dealer

productivity by nearly 70%, according to Toyota. Because of the new system, dealers spend less time at

their computers and more time selling vehicles, Cooper says. Toyota's Dealer Daily is a large, Windows-

based virtual private network (VPN) that links the dealers' management systems to Toyota headquarters

or to other business units around the clock.

Communications with Employees’ Families. Since FY2002, greeting cards from the president have

been sent to employees and their families at the end of the year, and since FY2003, various work sites

have held workplace visits for families to facilitate communication between the workplace and home.

Toyota also created the Toyota Fami-net, a family oriented website, and is taking other measures to

enhance relations with employees’ families.

External Communication Toyota conducts external communications in a number of varieties. The

most popular are its websites and electronic communications programs. Toyota has websites for

corporate communication, dealer communication, “Fami-net” for families, and websites for each of the

different countries in which it operates. Additionally, they utilize print communications for annual

reports, direct mail, and family newsletters.

Ford

Internal Communications. Because of Ford’s resistance to the attempts made at contacting the

company directly, a dealer was contacted and was more than willing to answer any questions. The store

manager at Leo Kaytes Ford in Warwick, New York said that Ford headquarters has three ways of

communicating with the dealers. The first being email, the second is direct broadcast and the third is

called Ford Star. Leslie Kaytes, the store manager, said the preferred way of communication is Ford Star.

13

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Ford Star is a real time live chat session. Kaytes likes Ford Star because her questions are answered

right away. There is no waiting for an email to come back or being placed on hold. She can talk with

people at Ford headquarters at any time during business hours.

Kaytes said that to become a certified dealer or employee an individual is required to take online classes.

Once the classes are passed dealers take periodic classes to ensure they have retained and are utilizing

lessons learns. The classes also offer incentives to sales people during the course of the year.

Ford has an entire website dedicated to future employees. The first page of the career website says,

“Discover Bold Careers.” The company offers student programs, co-op programs as well as full-time

programs on its website than can be read about and if interested applied for. The website goes through

topics such as diversity, worklife integration, recreation and fellowships, helping our community,

company benefits, and Meet Ford People.

Ford has employee resource groups that are made up of employees with common interest or

backgrounds that provide insight as well as different perspectives to the company. The groups are

company-sponsored and provide support, identify barriers and offer organized activities for members.

These groups are: Ford-Employee African-Ancestry Network, Ford Asian Indian Association, Ford

Chinese Association, Ford Finance Network, Ford Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees, Ford Hispanic

Network Group, Professional Women’s Network, Women in Finance, Ford Parenting Network, Ford

Interfaith Network, Middle Eastern Community @ Ford Motor Company, Ford Employees Dealing with

DisAbilities.

The “Meet Ford People” link mentioned above is very interesting. The website says, “The best way to

learn about working at Ford Motor Company is to let our people tell you.It lists hundreds of employees

who have written a small blurb about why they like working at Ford. Some are actually videos of the

employees talking about their jobs and how Ford is not only a great company to work for but it also

considers ones family as well.

14

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

The Meet Ford People is an interesting approach to enticing new employees. Maybe after reading about

a few employees and seeing their picture a person will feel more inclined to apply; especially if they read

about someone or watch a video that they can relate to.

Communication with Employees’ Families. Ford does an excellent job of communicating with the

families of employees. However, the website does not directly take a visitor to the family website. A

little searching must be done first. There are five tabs at the top of the screen. The fourth one is titled,

“Good Works.” Within that page is a link to the environment, community, awards, and funding and

grants pages. Within the community page is where the family website is located.

The company’s family page is centered on enriching the lives of its employees, retirees, and their

families. The program strives to put families and communities first. Ford has created the Family

Learning and Service Centers (FLSC). The FLSC slogan is, “Strong families build better communities.”

FLSC provide high quality child care, family education and services, community service and outreach,

and a volunteer support network. Some programs offered by the family education and services are family

wellness, retiree program, summer and holiday camps, as well as job and career assistance programs. The

retiree program has walking clubs, travel programs, food and friendship programs; the idea behind the

program is to enrich retired life, “from financial planning to gardening.” FLSC has its own website which

is more than likely offered to employees and their families. They more than likely do not have to search

through the website to find it like non-employees.

External Communication

When the Ford Motor Company website is first opened there is a link on the bottom left entitled

“investor information”. The company wants to ensure that investors have a direct line to the information

they are looking for. The communication is open and direct. The company knows that people looking to

invest do not have the time to search the site for the necessary information.

Other Communication Methods:

15

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

Annual Reports

Financial Results

Stock Information

Sustainability Reports

Separate websites for any brand of Ford Motor Sales and Corporate Information

FLSC Website

Ford Star

Direct Broadcasting

Direct Mail

Advertising

Leslie Kaytes also discussed the advertising of Ford. There are three tiers: corporate, regional and dealer.

The commercials and advertisements by Leo Kaytes Ford are not controlled by Ford’s corporate

headquarters only monitored. Kaytes said that unless the dealer is doing something offensive the

corporate headquarter has no control over how they choose to advertise. This is interesting and beneficial

to the dealer but also to Ford as a whole. Warwick, New York is a small community and the Kaytes

family is a well known establishment in this town. The family is often seen in commercial on television

and it works as a communication method. It gives the viewer a sense of reality and builds a relationship

with the community.

Recommendations

Toyota

The old saying goes, “What do you get a man that has everything? What can you recommend to a

company that dominates the market and is poised for even greater market share? The best

recommendation for Toyota is that it needs to ensure it continues to aggressively look forward and seek

improvement on its current systems. The “Toyota Way” is based on a learning environment. One lesson

16

Comparing Organizational Communications Ford Versus Toyota Authors: Elizabeth Zurlnick and Paul Hayes January 8, 2007

from the past is that people do not like monopolies. Toyota must strive to paint itself as a learning

company that is not out to destroy all other automakers. Efforts at this have been seen in their recent talks

with Ford executives. The second recommendation would be to improve their “jobs” portion of their

website. They could include more information on what type of people they are looking for and “put a

face” on the company much as Ford does with their site.

Ford

There are three recommendations for Ford. The first and most important is to add information to the

website regarding the “Way Forward” program. This program will be a benefit to all audience members.

Investors, employees, customers will be interested; basically anyone who has an interest in Ford will be

interested in this program. It is a program that is attempting to turn Ford around within the next year.

The goal of Way Forward is to return profitability by 2008. This program could make or break the

company and Ford should be willing to advertise it. Show the public what the company is trying to do to

turn profitability around and make Ford an investors dream again.

The second recommendation is talk more with people. Be willing to communicate with the public. As

a researcher it seemed that Ford was unwilling to talk and discuss the company’s profile. The dealer was

more than happy to answer any questions, which is definitely a plus. Dealers are on the front lines and

often the only contact a person has with a company. So, their friendly disposition and character is

definitely a plus for Ford Motor Company.

The third and final recommendation would be to make the family and community page a more integral

and obvious part of the website. As stated earlier an investor has an immediate entrance to the website.

There is a special link for investor information. A person looking to find out the benefits of being a

family member of a Ford employees or simply looking to see what benefits Ford has for the community

should not have to search so hard. It should be made more available.

17