The Group Case Study: Winterkorn

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Under Winterkorn’s management, the company did not have an official mission statement. The company goal is stated as follows: “The Group’s goal is to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which can compete in an increasingly tough market and set world standards in their respective class”. According to an article by Lincoln (2015), the company prided itself on conservation and modesty.
This gap needs to be identified and fixed by any leader of any organization. Without a mission statement outlined by Winterkorn, the company was lacking an objective and a drive for creation of a healthy culture. It also contributed to a lack of motivation and acceptance of responsibilities by employees, which led to the company’s goals not being met.
This leader had no clear vison of the future and adopted an autocratic style of leadership. The task of communicating, inspiring people and the
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In an article by Akdeniz (2015), Winterkorn is profiled as a manager and not a leader. Akdeniz described him as having aggressive goals set for the company, making heavy investment in technology, keeping his production and marketing goals in front of his leadership team and heavily investing in marketing in foreign markets. Nowhere in the article did he mention an investment in his people and society, and the improvement of his resources.
An article in leadership excellence by Voigt and Guariglia (2015) supports the conclusion that Winterkorn is a manager: Winterkorn was able to assemble a team to be effective and efficient in meeting the goals outlined by him. His team worked in a controlled environment and shielded him from negative news and developments, therefore not allowing him to be an effective leader.
Overall, having an autocratic leadership style, in combination of being detached from the overall operations and having a corporate culture of performance at any cost created the framework for this disaster to
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