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Stakeholders analysis of Toyota

Discuss about the Communication in Business and Strategic Planning.

Communication in business plays an essential role as this is probably the best aspect of making a firm relationship with both the internal and external stakeholders of a business organization. Every year, Toyota comes up with a handful of new automobile models which are found even more innovative than their previous ones. Therefore, a convenient communication is required every time before introducing the new venture. The considered report is aimed to prepare a brief communication plan keeping in mind about the significance of communications in business for one of the leading automobile companies- Toyota.

The entire assignment has been established by the head of the communication that has been requested by the head of the directors to develop a convenient communication plan for the Toyota as they are about to launch a new revised version of Tarago Ultima in the following year. To identify the role of communication for the new start, the report has undergone a critical evaluation of the internal and external stakeholders of Toyota along with finding the objectives and future scope of the plan built within the report. The assignment is going to discuss the chief purpose of the communication plan for both the internal and external stakeholders that are to educate them about the core values and objectives of the company regarding the new launch. Additionally, the individual channels and their frequencies for each potential stakeholder have been determined. The report is impregnated with a particular metric through which the effectiveness of the communication plan and its scopes has been assessed.

As per Cassidy (2016), communication with both internal and external stakeholders is required as per they are the uppermost individuals with whom a business enterprise should discuss their core values, vision and mission regarding each new business venture. Stakeholder Matrix is among one of the most adaptable and efficient tools to identify the particular stakeholders of an organization and their individual power, impact, and volume of involvement in a distinct company (Maiorescu, 2016). Toyota's internal and external stakeholders are going to make a potential contribution in case of launching the new model in the market. The Salience model helps in case of finding the pivotal impact of the stakeholders.With the support of salience model, it becomes easy to diagnoses parameters like urgency, legitimacy and the capacity of the stakeholders distinctly (Tennert, 2014).

Internal Stakeholders

Their interest

Impact of their power

Employees (Department of sales, finance, logistics, marketing, purchasing, administration and business development and vehicle manufacturers)

The primary benefit of the employees of Toyota are to establish an environment which where each worker can work safely and find equal opportunities. In the case of launching a new car in the market, the interest of each of the employee department will be to earn maximum profit and appraisals.

Following the Salience model for stakeholder analysis, the power of the workers relies upon their urgency to facilitate the department of human resource. It is important to consider that each of these units of employees has distinct function which will conjure up in the final success of the new launch.

Suppliers and dealers

To construct a firm and cooperative relationship with the help of which they can procure an open and impartial supplying process. Additionally, they are the ones for Toyota who take cares of the interests of the business partners.

The suppliers and dealers have the power to support conservation activities for the environment. With the help of their power, Toyota successfully holds warm communication with the partners in operations.

Shareholders or investors

To reach the desired revenue margin by providing strength to the corporate value and maximum capital.

Without the support of enough resource, Toyota could not have reached to the present pitch of success.

Table 1: Internal stakeholder analysis

(Source: As created by author)

In this context, it is important to keep in mind that the bargaining power of the suppliers for Toyota is little as Toyota prefers to produce an innovative vehicle with contemporary machinery (toyota-industries.com, 2016). Therefore, they consider multiple vendors and do not rely upon one, and even they provide opportunities for the new dealers and suppliers too. Employees on the other side are kept like assets for the company for whom the company provides several on job training and provides fair remuneration.

External stakeholder

Interest

Importance

Customers

To get satisfaction by obtaining the vehicle, this will be budget friendly and exclusive at the same time.

Satisfaction from the customers is the key to earning goodwill. Additionally, customer reaction is the indicator of the performance done by the company.

Local communities

To obtain benefits from the business operations of Toyota

The impression of the local communities decides the durability of the enterprise.

Media

To present reliable news about the product and support in the promotion plan

The perception of the audiences and the government depends on the form of the news and information and the style of presentation of them prepared by the media (Garciaâ€ÂCastro & Aguilera, 2015).

Government

To enforce regulations for fuel consumptions and review whether Toyota is maintaining the safety acts passed by the Congress or not

Confirms the stability of the company. Without the help of government, Toyota could not conduct its operations for promotion and corporate social responsibilities.

SRI (Sustainable Responsible Investment)

To rate the cars based on their resistance power

Toyota requires ratings from SRI to obtain positive response from government and audience

Table 2: External stakeholder analysis

(Source: As created by the reporter)

Scopes and objectives

Before understanding the opportunities, scope and objectives of a communication plan it is mandatory to segregate the specific kinds of information to be shared with different stakeholders (Wild, Wild & Han, 2014).

Objectives of the communication plan for the internal stakeholders

  • To share the core values and mission of Toyota regarding the launch of the new car through and notice board, bulletins, e-mails, and memorandums. Toyota's mission regarding the new car is to give the satisfaction of ownership and satisfy customers who have been looking for family cars for long (Moore, Calvo-Amodio & Junker, 2016).
  • To identify the key channels for communicating to find support from the stakeholders and gain helpful remarks and opinions to make final rectification before the final launch
  • To discuss the probable risks regarding the launch and decide possible reaction and outcome from the government, customers and SRI through discussion, schedule meetings, and risk management meetings.
  • To assign duties and choose accountable individuals for the tasks
  • To identify the necessary requirements of the stakeholders and implement the communication strategy carefully

Scopes

  • The plan will support the key internal stakeholders in case of expressing their personal opinions regarding the new car and the way of launching it. The communication plan here follows the communication theory of Libertarianism and the theory of ACT (Adaptive concept of Thought) as Toyota always considers having active participation from their primary internal stakeholders. Libertarianism theory believes in giving priority to individual point of views (Stacey, 2015). On the other hand, as per the concept of ACT theory, there should be a firm framework for understanding certain information or knowledge (Rawal, 2013). Following these two methods, the communication plan will assist Toyota to gain stakeholder opinions fruitfully.
  • Furthermore, the communication plan will broaden up the scope to find distinct pitfalls in the production or in the marketing plan through which Toyota can have the opportunities to rectify those flaws.
  • Most importantly the communication plan is designed to allocate particular tasks upon chosen individuals who will provide the opportunities to each department to deliver the best performance.
  • To make a firm relationship with the target market of Toyota. Toyota’s target market for Tarago Ultima will be those particulars who desired for a long time to have suitable, exclusive family vehicles (Greene, 2013).
  • To inform the target market along with the government and the Department of SRI about the features such as the mileage, durability, resistance power and volume of carbon emission of the new version of Tarago Ultima. However, one thing should be considered that promotional activities should be designed majorly for the target market (Nazari, 2016).
  • To allow the media channels like domestic and international newspapers, online social sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google, news and TV channels to broadcast genuine information about the new car.
  • To receive feedback and rankings from the audience about the image of the car with the help of e-mails, voting through a cell phone, public events, newspaper, and local and international radio channels.

Scopes

  • The communication plan for target market will give them the opportunity to get a brief knowledge about the upcoming knowledge which further help them to decide whether to buy the car or not. However, it should not be neglected that the communications plan opens up chances for the company to negative reviews from the audience regarding those prospects of the car which harms the environment (Waller, 2012). Furthermore, Toyota might have to face some issues and investigation to find whether the demonstrated features are genuine or not.
  • Alongside, the communication plan will provide the opportunities to the audience individual feedbacks along with it make the way easy for the SRI committee to provide their ratings and judgments regarding the features of the car.
  • The communication plan will help Toyota to understand whether the government is reacting positively regarding the aspects of the vehicle. It will work in their favor as Toyota needs to get feedback from the government because the company is suffering from some misunderstanding with the Congress party (toyota-industries.com, 2016).
  • The proposed plan for the external stakeholders has followed the communication theory for social responsibility along with the AIDA model successfully. AIDA model which stands four significant aspects such as interest, attention, desire and action is the most efficient stage of communication. The model helps to design an appropriate advertisement or broadcasting plan for the audience through which they get sufficiently attracted towards the product (Greene, 2013). By following such a model, the communication method gives the scopes to Toyota to attract its target audience through creating proper interest regarding the vehicle. Real investment will support the desired level which will ultimately turn into the action of purchase (Fragale et al., 2012).
  • On the other hand, the plan follows the theory of social responsibility that will provide the freedom to the media channels to show genuine information about the product.

It is essential to consider the fact that the communication plan for both the stakeholder's group has been made on several constraints like managing the expectation of the individual departments of employees and giving priorities to the opinions of the different internal stakeholders. The necessity of preparing the plan for the internal stakeholders specifically is related to previous issues. Previously, Toyota has suffered for giving less time and opportunities to the shareholders and employees for assisting the authority in taking any crucial decision. However, the company should ignore those media channels which prefer to promote companies of their preference as it would not help them to earn a positive response from the audience.

Both formal and informal channels of communications are required for the succession of the proposed communication plan for Toyota. According to White (2015), informal channels of communication in business have become popular and most frequent in comparison with the formal channels of communications.

Formal channels of communication for the internal stakeholders and their frequency

As per the objectives of the proposed communication plan, Toyota has to discuss the prosperity, associated risks, budget and demand of the target market with the employees, shareholders, and suppliers. Therefore, apt communication channels for the internal stakeholders will be the survey report of customer satisfaction gained from market research, scheduled meetings, and newsletters.

An employer can provide relevant information to the employee department and can acquire proper reaction regarding them with the help of face to face meetings and weekly newsletter (Moore, Calvo-Amodio & Junker, 2016). Toyota provides several options to their customer to obtain their individual opinions which include the newsletter, face to face conversation, bulletins and notice board. Toyota’s success in management should be attributed to the frequent meetings between management and employees. All these options are convenient though there is little chance for the employees to get knowledge about customer perception. Therefore, the company should consider presenting annual reports and market survey reports to the employees.

Toyota uses both downward and upward model of communication. As stated by (Bhagwat & Ghajar, 2012), downward and upward pattern helps to first flow the information from the employers to the employees, policy makers, shareholders and suppliers and thereafter assist to acquire feedbacks from the stakeholders. The company conducts yearly meetings with the shareholders and suppliers. It will be helpful if the company will raise the number of review meetings with the suppliers and shareholders as review meetings will indicate how much satisfaction or dissatisfaction the stakeholders are having.

However, formal channels of communication are not frequently applied upon the external stakeholders as the company only considers doing the press release and public events in the time of conducting any new venture.

Toyota’s informal channels of communication for the employees mainly include e-mails which can share data with the employees at a comparatively low cost. Alongside, e-mails are instant which helps to distribute any important resource quickly. However, cell phones and text messages are two examples of those communication channels which are used when the management needs to make any emergency meeting (Nazari, 2016).

Toyota’s formal and informal channels of communication and their frequency

Instead of throwing corporal meetings, Toyota uses e-mails, cell phones in the form of informal channels of communication with the shareholders. E-mails will work appropriately in case of providing company decisions regarding the launch of the new car with the suppliers and shareholders. However, in the time of discussing the budget or required resources for the launch   Toyota needs to make phone calls and video conference with the business associates. Fortunately, Toyota considers doing online exchange plan for the suppliers across the continents.

Near about 60% of the target market for Toyota prefers to go through Facebook, twitter, and YouTube before buying any of their products (Garciaâ€ÂCastro & Aguilera, 2015). Therefore, communication through online social sites will be ideal in this case. Instead of communicating through websites, Toyota has always taken help of popular news and TV channels to share information regarding the products. Instead of keeping this extensive range of informal channels of communication, Toyota prefers to provide facilities for bargaining range through agreements like ZOPA which stands for the intellectual zone for most possible agreements. Agreements like ZOPA helps to find appropriate suitor for an individual lender (Munier & Jiménez-Sáez, 2013). As per Tsao, Tung & Liu (2014), agreements for bargaining range like ZOPA acts like an informal channel for an automobile company like Toyota. If an automobile company provides the facility of ZOPA, it means they are making it easy for the customers to find a proper lender to buy new launched cars.

Newspapers, on the other hand, will work in favor for communicating with the government agencies. However, the company prefers to present annual reports of profit and customer satisfaction to the government agencies.    

To measure the outcome of the communication plan, there should particular schedules which will distinctly proper time and way of evaluation. Market and online surveys will work most efficiently, in this case, to earn genuine information from the stakeholders.

Process

Time frame

Random market survey

Eight weeks

Online survey through ratings in company websites along with other networking sites

Five weeks

Considering Toyota’s lobbying relationship with the government, it can be said that prior to launch the new car, the company should present a report on market research to the government agencies. Moreover, keeping in mind about Toyota’s preference in providing facility of agreement like ZOPA, Toyota can negotiate with finance associations like Zopa. If an automobile company like Toyota negotiates with finance associations like Zopa and offers target market to buy their new launched cars in cheap credit, it means they are paving the way for obtaining more clients. Additionally, companies like Toyota should consider the theory of BATNA which sets apt alternatives for an agreement of negotiation (Munier & Jiménez-Sáez, 2013). If Toyota prefers to provide lending and agreement facilities for buying, they should probably need to keep an alternative way in case any agreement fails. With the help of BATNA theory and agreements like ZOPA, Toyota can even attract a new set of customers in the following year. As opined by Tsao, Tung & Liu (2014), agreement of ZOPA stands efficiently when parties of negotiation keeps action courses like BATNA. However, before following theories like BATNA, Toyota should discuss the probable risks and result about providing agreement facilities and discuss about it with the internal stakeholders. 

 On the other side, the plan implicates that there is little less use of formal channels in case communicating with external stakeholders. Being concerned about that, it can be recommended that it would help if Toyota will send e-mails to their core customers and increase a number of public events. However, before collaborating with a handful of communication channels, Toyota’s communication plan requires determining those particular communication channels which will provide relevant information to the stakeholders along with help them to understand them as well.

Conclusion

The entire report indicates that the supposed communication plan will be helpful to make a firm relationship with its major stakeholder from both internal and external background. From the assignment, it can be deducted that before launching the new version of Tarago Ultima, Toyota should conduct more meetings with their various departments of employees and business partners. On the other hand, the company should give stress upon communicating through the press release, promotional events, online social media, and newspaper with the target market and governmental agencies. Additionally, it would help if the company will consider presenting reports on the market survey and customer satisfaction to agencies like SRI. However, the report is indicative of the fact that Toyota has been gaining success in sharing information and gaining feedbacks from the employees through e-mails. Therefore the objective of the plan which is to get active participation from the employees considers the importance of informal communication channels like e-mails.

References

Bhagwat, S. M., & Ghajar, A. J. (2012). Similarities and differences in the flow patterns and void fraction in vertical upward and downward two-phase flow. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 39, 213-227.

Cassidy, A. (2016). A practical guide to information systems strategic planning. CRC Press.

Fragale, A. R., Sumanth, J. J., Tiedens, L. Z., & Northcraft, G. B. (2012). Appeasing equals lateral deference in organizational communication.Administrative Science Quarterly, 57(3), 373-406.

Garciaâ€ÂCastro, R., & Aguilera, R. V. (2015). Incremental value creation and appropriation in a world with multiple stakeholders. Strategic Management Journal, 36(1), 137-147.

Greene, J. O. (2013). Message Production: Advances in Communication Theory. Routledge.

Maiorescu, R. D. (2016). Crisis management at General Motors and Toyota: An analysis of gender-specific communication and media coverage. Public Relations Review.

Moore, B., Calvo-Amodio, J., & Junker, J. F. (2016, January). Synthesizing Systemic Intervention Approaches: Combining Viable System Model, Knowledge Management, and Toyota Production System for a Sustainable Holistic Management Model. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the ISSS-2015 Berlin, Germany (Vol. 1, No. 1).

Munier, N., & Jiménez-Sáez, F. (2013). Leadership and Negotiation for Project Management. In Project Management for Environmental, Construction and Manufacturing Engineers (pp. 43-53). Springer Netherlands.

Nazari, A. (2016). Developing a Social Media Communication Plan. Strategic Integration of Social Media into Project Management Practice, 194.

Rawal, P. (2013). AIDA Marketing Communication Model: Stimulating a purchase decision in the minds of the consumers through a linear progression of steps. IRC’s International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Social & Management, 1, 37-44.

Richmond, V. P., Mccroskey, J. C., & Mottet, T. (2015). Handbook of instructional communication: Rhetorical and Relational perspectives. Routledge.

Schmitt, S. (2015). Philanthropy in the arts of opera and ballet: Analysis and implementation of a successful communication plan (Doctoral dissertation).

Stacey, W. (2015). Theory and Ideas of Libertarianism, The. J. Peace Prosperity & Freedom, 3, 103.

Tsao, J. H., Tung, C. P., & Liu, T. M. (2014, May). An innovative cross-sectoral method for implementation of trade-off adaptation strategy assessment under climate change. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 16, p. 9778).

Steizel, S., & Rimbau-Gilabert, E. (2013). Upward influence tactics through technology-mediated communication tools. Computers in Human Behavior,29(2), 462-472.

Tennert, F. (2014). An attributional analysis of corporate reporting in crisis situations: The 2010 Toyota recall. Journal of Communication Management,18(4), 422-435.

toyota-industries.com. (2016). toyota-industries.com. Retrieved 15 September 2016, from https://www.toyota-industries.com/csr/library/pdf2006/24-25.pdf

Waller, D. (2012). Developing your integrated marketing communication plan. North Ryde, N.S.W. : McGraw-Hill Australia. 

White, C. (2015). Data Communications and Computer Networks: A business user's approach. Cengage Learning.

Wild, J., Wild, K. L., & Han, J. C. (2014). International business. Pearson Education Limited.

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