Toyota Case

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The major problem that Toyota is facing with its Tundra plants in North America is the sharp drop in demand of pick-up trucks. As the global demand shifted from trucks to smaller cars, sales of the Tundra had been down by 53%. Toyota also faced the problem of overstocks of the 2008 Tundra models due to the unexpected sharp drop in demand. As Toyota emphasizes on its knowledge management system, the five principles of challenge, kaizen, genchi genbutsu, respect and teamwork become the essential strategies for Toyota to success. Therefore, laying off workers would not be a good solution, as it would harm the company’s strategy and knowledge management efforts. However, there are other actions that Toyota can take to hedge its
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Toyota deliberately fosters contradictory viewpoints within the organization and challenges employees to find solutions by transcending differences rather than resorting to compromises. This culture of tensions generates innovative ideas that Toyota implements to pull ahead of competitors, both incrementally and radically.

(Operational Efficiency Vs. Excess Human Resources In Meetings)
Even though contradictory viewpoints exist within Toyota, they bring positive impacts to Toyota’s operations. As mentioned previously, Toyota emphasizes on operational efficiencies while allocating too much human resources in meetings. However, there is no legitimate conflict in such circumstances. By allocating sufficient amount of human resources in meetings, Toyota may actually facilitate the sensemaking processing for its employees. By having more of its employees to participate in meetings, it increases the situation awareness of the employees where they can have better understanding of the interrelationships between information, events and actions and how they influence present and future goals and objectives.

Though such contradiction brings positive impact to Toyota, it is considerably costly to foster the sensemaking process. When facing uncertain economic outlook, Toyota may not want to maintain such type of approach. In addition, there is no guarantee that employees can gain sensemaking ability by excessively allocating them in
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