Essay Sample on Failed Collaboration and Organizational Behavior

Published: 2023-03-02
Essay Sample on Failed Collaboration and Organizational Behavior
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Toyota Case study Organizational behavior
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 941 words
8 min read


Organizational behavior is founded on the premise of promoting innovation, encouraging leadership, increasing job satisfaction as well as improving job performance. These recommendations of the OB often lead to changing a company's methods of performance, modifying compensation structures as well as reorganizing groups. Sometimes not all these recommendations end up succeeding. Some lead to collaborations that fail. In collaboration, two or more organizations/people work together to achieve certain organizational targets. As a result, those who participate in collaboration as supposed to follow the company's organizational behavior and that leads to collaborative organizational behavior.

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Toyota Corporation is one of the leading companies in the automobile industry. Since its inception, the company has grown and taken over the market courtesy of providing safe vehicles and continuously improving their products to meet the market demand (Rajasekera, 2013). However, from the year 2009 to 2014 Toyota recalled millions of vehicles due to complaints that they were experiencing acceleration problems (Allen & Sturcke, 2010, February 23).

One of the factors that could have led to a surge in quality produced by Toyota was in collaboration with other business partners to maximize production. Some former employees of Toyota were quoted saying that this led to a complicated process of gathering information about the acceleration issues and reporting those issues to federal regulators. Toyota had given the task to different subsidiaries in the United States and those cases were managed separately from headquarters in Japan. Another former Toyota employee, Jula, said that information gathered went directly to Japan without being relayed back (Greto, Schotter, & Teagarden, 2010). All engineering works were being done in Japan and the rest left to subsidiaries to manage. That meant that a problem happening in the United States, Europe and China could not be handled by subsidiaries which led to poor communication and delayed solutions to the problems. Thus, the Americans were left doing services and advertising without the help of manufacturers from Japan while technical matters were being handled in Tokyo. Thus, the prime purpose of collaboration which is to work together towards achieving a certain task was not met and that how the acceleration problems got out of hand. The FBI also claimed that Toyota had deliberately refused to disclose information about acceleration problems for fear of losing customers which further led to a poor solution to the problem.

The fundamental concepts of organizational behavior revolve around organizations and people. Perception, individual differences, desire for involvement, human dignity, mutuality of interest, holistic concepts and motivated behavior are all fundamentals of organizational behavior. Before the recall crises that was witnessed by Toyota from 2009 to 2011, apart from forming collaborations with other people and partner businesses to market Toyota in China and United States there were some internal changes in Toyota. One of them was laying thousands of temporary employees and cutting down allowances for senior members in the organization to mitigate the effects of 2008 economic crises. Besides, Mr Toyoda was just 52 years when he took over as President of Toyota in the spring of 2009 (Greto, Schotter, & Teagarden, 2010). There are claims that that was against the traditions of the company. In the past, the senior management of Toyota would have seen him as very young and inexperienced to lead the company. Also, Toyota, which started as a family company, for the first time it had employed many managers outside the family and likes of Mr Toyoda was growing worried that those executives might not be aware of the traditions of the company.

Thus, from an organizational behavior point of view, the company had broken the fundamental principle of organizations as social systems that are governed by psychological and social laws. By cutting the allowances the executives could have been affected psychologically and that compromised desire for involvement as an OB principle. On mutuality of interest as a fundamental law in OB, Toyota partners in the United States and management in Japan were not working towards the same goal. One side (partners in diaspora) were only concerned with more sales and advertisement while in Japan engineering decisions were being made and little attention to calls from customers complaining about accelerators.

Therefore, there are justifications and evidence that the Toyota crises that led to the recall of millions of vehicles worldwide were as a result of poor collaboration in inter-departments and business partners. The top echelon of Toyota panicked and cut down allowances of all executives and went on to lay off thousands of temporary workers. This meant that when the acceleration and brakes crises set in it met unmotivated managers and less workforce to effectively and conveniently deal with crises. The Toyota Corporation which is famous for providing the best quality and ensuring the consumer's safety standards are priority failed in their mandate. The company was more concerned with increasing sales rather than ensuring the safety of customers.


Review of "The Toyota Way" and "Toyota Production System" that insisted on quality first should be done to identify the cause of the crises being witnessed at Toyota. Secondly, Toyota needs to set regional headquarters in North America, China, Europe and China. The regional headquarters should have the capacity to deal with all engineering issues being raised without waiting for headquarters at Japan to give a go-ahead. In so doing, in case of customer's complains, the issues will be saved immediately.


Allen, K., & Sturcke, J. (2010, February 23). Timeline: Toyota's recall woes. Retrieved from the Guardian website:

Greto, M., Schotter, A., & Teagarden, M. B. (2010). Toyota: The accelerator crisis. Thunderbird School of Global Management.


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