The paper 'General Motors Recall Crisis in 2014" is a good example of a management case study. As many communication experts hold, the manner in which a firm manages a desperate crisis usually gives the patrons a far more genuine look at how they are run than any pedantically drafted press release could ever offer. Companies must continuously seek the best way of handling firm crises as situations often differ. A crisis often threatens the operations as well as the reputation of a company and as such, many businesses often try to avoid disclosing the aggregate information associated with the incidents whenever they are communicating to the public.
They avoid giving the public the truths for the fear of negative publicity. What such companies often fail to understand is that withholding the facts is often more dangerous to the company that the incident itself. As such, any firm that has been hit by a crisis must strategize its public communication while handling the crisis. In effect, this paper seeks to analyze the 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall, which put the firm in a crisis communication mode.
The recall, which happened immediately Marry Barra took over as General Motors’ chief executive officer, was due to a series of complaints and lawsuits that were burgeoning due to the company’ s defective ignition switches that were causing accidents. This paper will, therefore, use various sources including company reports, investigation reports, news releases as well as news reports to analyze the communication response methodology that was used by General Motors with regards to handling the incidence. Based on various communication management theories and concepts, this paper will look at GM’ s communication effectiveness as far as handling the crisis is concerned. A Short Overview of General Motors (GM) The General Motors Company has been in business since 1902 and is specifically engaged in the designing and manufacturing of trucks, automobile as well as spares across the world.
The company, which is commonly known as GM, is largely known for manufacturing renowned brands such as Chevrolet, HSV, Cadillac, Baoun, Vauxhall, Opel, GMC as well as Jie Fang (GM. 2015). Founded by William Durant in the U. S.A, GM acquired Oldsmobile in 1908 and the subsequent year, the company again acquired Oakland, Cadillac as well as Elmore.
By the year 1911, General Motors had already entered the international market thus exporting various types of automobiles and trucks out of the U. S as well as Canada. The company’ s expansion process continued to increase and in 1930, it again acquired railcar builder firms, which included the Electro-Motive Corporation and Yellow Coach Company. Notably, General Motors has for a considerable part of its history been considered as the largest company in the United States as well as the largest single employer globally.
However, in the early 2000s, the company was hit by an economic slide, which took a toll on GM forcing the United States Government to intervene to prevent the company from crumbling down (Business Insider, 2015). Currently, General Motors manufactures as well as markets brand new automobiles and trucks and also offers international special features such as satellite radio, OnStar vehicle protection, accessories, special services maintenance as well as parts (GM. 2015). As of June 30th this year, General Motors had a market capitalization of $47.57B while the company collected revenue of $152.36 billion in 2015 (Marketwatch. com, 2016).
Besides, General Motors which is headquartered in Detroit employs more than 250,000 individuals across thirty-five countries (GM. 2015).
Marketwatch.com (2016). General Motors Co.. Marketwatch.com. Retrieved 18 July 2016, from http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/gm/financials
Smith, A. (2014, February 14). GM recalls 778,000 cars for faulty ignition. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/13/autos/gm-recall/
Ivory, D. (2014, September 15). G.M.’s ignition problem: Who knew what when. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/18/business/gms-ignition problem-who-knew-what-when.html
Himsel, D. (2014, May 16). General Motors, Avon, and the Devastating Power of Entrenched Corporate Culture. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2014/05/16/general-motors -avon -and the -devastating -power -of -entrenched -corporate-culture/
Coombs, W. T. (2014). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Sage Publications.
Flashman, G. (2016). General Motors Recall: Responding to an offline crisis using social media communications. Linkedin. Retrieved 19 July 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140702213424-18107545-general-motors-recall responding-to-an-offline-crisis-using-social-media-communications
Business Insider. (2015, January 1). GM Adds Another 92,000 Cars To Its Ignition Switc Recall. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/afp -gm-adds -another-92000 vehicles-to-ignition-switch -recall-2015-1
GM. 2015. About GM: Our Company. Retrieved July 19, 2016, from GM: http://www.gm.com/company/aboutGM/our_company.html
Argenti, P. A. (2015). Corporate communication. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Austin, E. W., & Pinkleton, B. E. (2015). Strategic Public Relations Management: Planning and Managing Effective Communication Campaigns (Vol. 10). Routledge.
Alfonso, G. H., & Suzanne, S. (2008). Crisis Communications Management on the Web: How Internet‐Based Technologies are Changing the Way Public Relations Professionals Handle Business Crises. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 16(3), 143 153.
General Motors. (2014, June 5). GM CEO Mary Barra's Remarks to Employees on Valukas Report Findings [Press release]. Retrieved from http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Ju /060514 -mary- remarks.htm