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Henry Ford's Leadership Style and Culture

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 2416 words Published: 19th Jun 2018

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Henry Ford is a well-known figure. An inventor, Successful Entrepreneur and he is a philanthropist and successful American businessmen who was the founder of Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford was born in 30th July 1863 on a farm Greenfield Township Michigan in United State and Ford family were immigrant from Ireland.

He lost his mother in 1876 when he was thirteen and he had no interest in taking over his family farm and he moved to city of Detroit. He used to work as an apprentice at the flowers machine shop. In 1896 he was successfully built his first automobile, called quadricyle.

Henry Ford started his own Ford Motor Company in 16th June 1903 with $100,000 of capital stock but only $ 28,000 paid in cash. After introducing model T in 01st of October in 1908 his wisdom able to change the millions of lives in that period.

Making of Model T is a one of main milestone in the personal transportation. Model T is a car very easy to operate and easy to handle on the rough roads and it’s automatically became as a huge success in car making industry. In 1918 half of all the American cars were the Ts and because of that Ford had to build-up another large factory in Michigan in 1910.

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Henry started accurate manufacturing, standardizing and interchanging parts in 1913 and he moved to assembly line system as well. It was a one of greatest revolution of the automobile industry because it reduced the assembly time per vehicle and it done very smoothly and efficiently with law cost. Henry Ford’s production of T model made the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. 

Henry ford is the inventor of the modern day assembly line method of production for his model T cars and hold more than 100 patent for his inventions. He is a leader who had great qualities which proven by his popularity and building affordable cars.

  • Individual consideration / appreciate workers

He was a person who appreciated his workers by paying them a huge wages for all of his assembly line workers. Because of that he grab all the talented workers in the region to work in ford. Not only by paying high salaries but also by giving some credits to their work and by making an environment where they happy to work and feel that they are a part of an organization.

  • Believing yourself

He believed himself and taught others to believe their self and always push them to go beyond their limits and imagination which could make impossible, a possible.

  • Born to work

He realized that work takes an essential part of our lives. As a human being we need to work, in order to reach your goals, to accomplish your dreams, to change impossible to possible. Work represent a huge part of our lives.

  • Cost cutting

He implement this method to produce more automobiles which everybody can afford. Reduce the production cost by eliminating expensive options such as luxury look, design, choice of colour and producing automobiles using an assembly line method.

  • Credibility

He had all the knowledge about automobiles. His vision is not only invent just a machine but invent it in larger quantities and it should be able to afford for everyone.

  • Intellectual stimulation

His way of thinking by introducing the moving assembly line, minimum stock level and minimising wastage.

  • Decision making

He was a great decision maker. Made the right thing at the right time. When other manufactures thinking about luxury cars he thought about the affordable cars which is more reliable in economical market.

  • Risk taking

Henry Ford is a risk taker because after he became as an unshakable giant in the automotive industry he decided to join to aviation trade and he started manufacturing since 1925 and he built few aircrafts for the US army and passenger transportation but he had to shut it down in 1933 because of poor sales and 1929 economic recession. That is a one of his financial and reputation risk


He is always interested in mechanics. He had a born talent for mechanism and his passion for the machines and most importantly he became as engineer with Edison illuminating company in 1891. Those are the reason to inspire him and dedicate his for the industry.

After he established Ford Company he had to compete with the other automotive companies which made him more innovative, self-believing and reputed. Those motivations led him to the success in automobile industry.

Individual consideration which means paying high wages, appreciation toward their workers and hardworking (there was a time henry could have retired even though he stayed and work for the company) inspired his team.



Henry Ford was a great Entrepreneur and same as Richard Branson funder of Virgin group seen by many of as also a good Entrepreneur and he stared over 200 companies and many of his companies have been succeed but few have still failed but when he comparing with quality of risk taking he is a unbeatable risk taker in every part because he had good gut feeling and he start everything as an apprentice and driven it to the target.

Bill gate is another great entrepreneur, contributes to the technical progress in the world like Henry Ford in Automobile industry. He had a great determinations and perseveration to develop the industry and he developed the computer systems and his quality of hard working he driven to his targets. Bill gates and Henry Ford both are having same entrepreneur qualities but within little time period Bill gate able change the IT industry, because he has lots of sources and he is an expert in his field but it is different in Henry Ford’s time and it’s cannot be compare to the time who Bill gates living in.

William C Durant also a great entrepreneur who started his career as a sales man, later he found the general motor company. He established many automobile companies, most of them are join ventures and blooming, yet few was fallen as a result of Durant’s poor decision making. If we compare the Durant’s decision making quality to ford, Durant made the decisions by looking at its present economy and short term success. His poor decision led him to lost the control of GM. General Motors built on their vision and took over to first place in market share by adding variety. But, it was Henry Ford who saw a future much different and much better than his current day. (The title of Ford’s popular 1926 book, Today and Tomorrow, reflects this).

Ford is an innovator, he invented assembly line method to the automobile production though Durant didn’t invent any to the industry.

Risk taking is another great quality of ford. Not being framed to the automobile production, he took his production to the aviation industry, instead. He built few aircraft to the US Army and passenger transportation. It wasn’t successful shut down the company because of poor sales and recession. Durant wasn’t a risk taker, he never tried a new industry he just stick to the automobiles.

By comparing Henry Ford’s qualities with William C Durant, Henry ford was great entrepreneur who had all the qualities, such as innovation, rick taking, decision making, to be a great leader to lead his team and organization to the success.


Five dimensions of culture

Armed with a large database of cultural statistics, Hofstede analysed the results and found clear patterns of similarity and difference amid the responses along these five dimensions. Interestingly, his research was done on employees of IBM only, which allowed him to attribute the patterns to national differences in culture, largely eliminating the problem of differences in company culture.

  • Power/Distance (PD)

This refers to the degree of inequality that exists – and is accepted – among people with and without power. A high PD score indicates that society accepts an unequal distribution of power and people understand “their place” in the system. Low PD means that power is shared and well dispersed. It also means that society members view themselves as equals.

According to the above explanation henry Ford’s strategy is categories under the low power/distance (PD). The characteristics of an organization to identify whether a high PD or low PD is are,

It should be a flat (horizontal) organization which means, an organization with less or no levels of intervening management between its staff and management.

Equalise, the way they treat to the managers or the supervisors are same as the way treat to the employees

Ford motor company is an organization with a less management between its staff which relief employees from extra pressure and they are able to see the result of what they have really done, what is the outcome of his action. There are more possibilities to try their new ideas and management can identify the creativity and it can be used for company’s success. Employees are loyal to the company. Henry treated everyone in a same manner by appreciating their work not considering who he is, what position he/she hold.

  • Individualism (IDV)

This refers to the strength of the ties people have to others within the community. A high IDV score indicates a loose connection with people. In countries with a high IDV score there is a lack of interpersonal connection and little sharing of responsibility, beyond family and perhaps a few close friends. A society with a low IDV score would have strong group cohesion, and there would be a large amount of loyalty and respect for members of the group. The group itself is also larger and people take more responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.

  • Masculinity (MAS)

This refers to how much a society sticks with, and values, traditional male and female roles. High MAS scores are found in countries where men are expected to be tough, to be the provider, to be assertive and to be strong. If women work outside the home, they have separate professions from men. Low MAS scores do not reverse the gender roles. In a low MAS society, the roles are simply blurred. You see women and men working together equally across many professions. Men are allowed to be sensitive and women can work hard for professional success.

Henry appointed anyone who has a talent in automobile without any consideration, whether male or female and appreciated in same manner. So the ford company is categories under low MAS. No matter male or female, if company recognized your talent and admire and respect it that persons motivation level is high. That would help an organization to motivate their employee’s.

  • Uncertainty/Avoidance Index (UAI)

This relates to the degree of anxiety society members feel when in uncertain or unknown situations. High UAI-scoring nations try to avoid ambiguous situations whenever possible. They are governed by rules and order and they seek a collective “truth”. Low UAI scores indicate the society enjoys novel events and values differences. There are very few rules and people are encouraged to discover their own truth.

Entering and starting a business in automobile industry is not a tranquil thing. Person must have a knowledge of the industry, product and the economy and talent of course. Henry was risk taker (one of his great leadership quality) which we has seen it from him, when was moved to aviation. His vision aimed the future and strategies were long term. Henry didn’t take the decisions by looking at the present economy statues. So it’s a low UAI.

  • Long Term Orientation (LTO)

This refers to how much society values long-standing – as opposed to short term – traditions and values. This is the fifth dimension that Hofstede added in the 1990s after finding that Asian countries with a strong link to Confucian philosophy acted differently from western cultures. In countries with a high LTO score, delivering on social obligations and avoiding “loss of face” are considered very important.

Henry ford, he is the creator of ford motors he has the power to shut it down and treat the others in the company as he want. There was always a chance for creativity and innovation in the ford company. He didn’t falter to do any changes according to the market and the economy. Because of those reasons according to the Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions it’s a low LTO

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In 1999 November Business magazine of Fortune selected Henry Ford as Businessmen (business entrepreneur) of 20th century out of 4 nominative entrepreneurs. Alfred Sloan (General Motors) Thomas Watson (IBM), 20th century business leader Bill Gates and Sheryl James (James) and he got this award honour for transformation of the millions of life styles and for the revolution of automobile world creating a car which was the affordable for working middle class.

As the heirs to Henry Ford’s extraordinary vision of progress because of that others job is to learn from the past and work toward the future. If that happens, perhaps people will be writing about their own generation’s manufacturing visionaries 100 years from now. He is great entrepreneur, charismatic personality, great leader, hard worker, risk taker and he had an unbeatable great qualities as an entrepreneur and it cannot be compare to another entrepreneur in world. Henry Ford had great ambition and he had a great confidence about himself and he truly believed his dreams come to true and he succeed.

“There was no way to escape the fact that Henry Ford was the great business impresario of his era – or any era for that matter”.

-Douglas Brinkley, authors, Wheels for the world


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