William C. Durant's Case Of General Motors

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William C. Durant was a profitable manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles, but after visiting the World’s Fair, he realized putting the world on wheels was the wave of the future and established General Motors on September 16, 1908. “At inception, GM held only the Buick Motor Company but within years acquired more than 20 companies, which included Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Oakland, known today as Pontiac” (General Motors, 2015). At this stage, GM was not a centrally unified company; Durant kept wheeling and dealing, while allowing the companies to compete with each other with only the slightest level of oversight. As President of General Motors in 1923, Alfred Sloan suggested ways to impose greater controls particularly financial controls, but GM was a divided company without centralized…show more content…
According to Holstein (2009), “within divisions there were separate fiefdoms, which managers guarded against meddling from headquarters” (p. 5). GM was the first to use public-opinion research and the data of the time indicated that the consumers wanted comfort and vehicle performance, but would not pay for safety. As a result, Sloan refused to make his corporation responsible for the safety of its workers or its customers, what mattered was profit and loses. This unethical decision put profits before human lives, where were the core values? Additionally, Sloan fought against unionization of his workers, and government regulation of GM’s factories based on his belief that a good Christian will treat their worker well and pay them fairly. Unfortunately, not all leaders are good Christians and even good Christians make mistakes when
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