Friday, July 10, 2009

A New GM

The New York Times is running an article entitled, "With Sale of Its Good Assets, G.M. Tries for a Fresh Start." The article states, "'G.M.’s goal,' (G.M. CEO)Mr. Henderson said, 'is to design, build and sell the best vehicles in the world, something that the company had forgotten. He listed the company’s priorities, in order, as its customers, its cars and its culture.'"

1. Challenge students to consider the three most important characteristics of a high quality car. What separates a high quality car from a low quality car?

2. In the article Mr. Henderson describes G.M.'s top three priorities as customers, cars, and culture. What does it mean to take care of customers well? Do students think that it's easier for a small company to take care of customers or a small company? Why? Should a company agree to all of a customer's demands? Why or why not?

3. Challenge students to define the word "culture". What is the difference between a national culture and a corporate culture? Students could describe the school culture.

4. Do students think that a company should have responsibilities towards employees who lose their jobs after a restructuring? Why or why not?

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