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Introduction and Company Overview

Assess Corporate Entrepreneurial Health of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Globalization and advent of technology has allowed knowledge becoming the most important source of competitive advantage for a company (Goodale et al, 2011). Knowledge has capability to render competitive advantage to a firm and provide future sustainability of businesses. Multinationals are adapting processes that allow knowledge processing activity to be developed and shared across the Company platforms. Companies globally are now focusing on development of innovative products and processes or administrative structures that can provide effectiveness and efficiency to the corporation. Incorporating in corporate entrepreneurship requires development of strategies in order to support the same. Organizations that allow employees to innovate set up a climate of corporate entrepreneurship, who in turn nurture tomorrow’s competitive advantages (Atkinson & Ezell, 2012). The scope of analysis here concerns Toyota Motor Corporations Entrepreneurial Health assessment to understand ways that the Company adopts in order to integrate innovations.

Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation with its headquarters based in Aichi, Japan. The automotive Company founded by Kiiichiro Toyoda currently operates worldwide and has over 3.5 lac employees. The Company is considered largest automotive manufacturing company in the world and fifth largest in terms of revenue. Takeshi Uchiyamada is the current Chairman of the Company and Shigeru Hayakawa the Vice Chairman. Akio Ttoyoda is the President of the Company. The Company manufactures luxury vehicles, commercial vehicles, automobiles and engines and caters to global markets (Gómez-Haro, Aragón-Correa & Cordón-Pozo, 2011). The Company is focused on innovation and since its existence has innovated several processes and products for enhancing quality and efficiency of its products in the market. The company has research labs on Bio-Technologies and Robotic wings that are connected with inventing robots. The underlying vision and philosophy of the Company lays focus on innovation for its growth in the entire world for product efficiency and quality. The Company has invented kaizen principles for continuous improvement of its production processes (Kuratko, 2010). The current scope of analysis here evaluates Toyota’s innovative spirits that the company integrates in order to establish core competency in the market.     

Corporate entrepreneurship strategy (CES) is a vision that an organization adopts by completely re-orienting and re-organizing operations to explore entrepreneurial opportunities that are focused on innovations. Employees are motivated to innovate in their jobs in order to make CES. CE has capability to improve organizational performance and organizations need to provide supportive structure for developing an internal environment that can cultivate employee’s commitment (Kuratko, Hornsby & Hayton, 2015). CE allows extension of a firm’s capability of its core competencies and competitive advantages by taking entrepreneurial opportunities. CE allows a firms business to create newer products and processes, which in turn allows market developments by strategic renewal of operations that were existing. CE is initiated by certain triggers that arise from the organization’s internal work environment and external environment. Internal work environment contributes significantly to the development of a climate that in turn triggers innovative ambience.

Theoretical Concepts

Managers can create a corporate climate that is conducive for employees to innovate within their job roles (Marucheck, Greis, Mena & Cai, 2011). Managers have capability to select from employees, similar to venture capitalists and then allocate resources to the employee such that he can innovate in an effective manner. This entrepreneurial friendly ambience and atmosphere can contain human resource management systems, controls, structures amongst other factors that can provide climate for innovations to take place. Moreover, an organizational culture provides social energy that is able to drive a corporation to adopt various procedures and processes to create new products and processes. The basis for entrepreneurial culture is to focus on empowering people allowing transfer of knowledge to take place, such that it can act in the best interests of the organization by enhancing its effectiveness. Organizations that are capable of developing an entrepreneurial mindset can successfully create entrepreneurship strategies by considering opportunities that might arise in external environment. When an organization decides to extend their entrepreneurial mind set then they generally undertake activities that can sense opportunities in external environment and then develop organizations capability to mobilize knowledge as well as resources to exploit them. Combining entrepreneurial behaviours along with strategic actions can allow development of successful corporate entrepreneurship strategy. The theoretical structure provided here has allowed explanation of the concept of corporate entrepreneurship and to analyse them in corporations that are using it.               

Theoretical literatures have provided valuable background for the study of corporate entrepreneurship climate within Toyota Motor Corporation. There have been multiple literatures and internet sources available that have provided necessary inputs regarding entrepreneurial activities that take place within the corporation (Chen et al, 2014). In order to analyse in-detail various entrepreneurial activity that takes place within the corporation there are two approaches selected as given below.  

Self –Reporting

Toyota Motor Corporation’s annual reports incorporate the various innovative endeavors that it does for a particular year. The annual report includes the vision and mission statement of the corporation along with its corporate social responsibility endeavors.  The annual reports include a detailed analysis of all innovations that take place within the Company (Dunlap?Hinkler,  Kotabe & Mudambi, 2010). The Company apart from manufacturing of automobiles caters to various other service range as financial services, builds robots and conducts research in Biotechnology. Its annual reports encompass various innovations that are undertaken by the company and developments done in each and every research. Automobile division of the Company is engaged with designing and manufacturing of cars, mini cars, trucks and currently self-driving cars along with their accessories.     

Research Approach


Automobiles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation speak volumes regarding their quality and efficiency (Engel, 2015). They are forerunners in designing of 2 conventional types of engine vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Their product lines include compact and sub-compact cars, mini vehicles, luxury, sports, sport-utility vehicles and busses.  It had launched world’s first hybrid cars called the Prius in 1997. The innovation laid the blueprint for modern manufacturing by means of Toyota Production System. It has developed a safety technology called the Pre-collision System that comes with Steer Assist and Automated Highway Driving Assist. The Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) innovation ensures safer motorway driving. Other innovations as Co-operative adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Trace Control allows better and more enhanced driving experience (Morris, Kuratko & Covin, 2010). Its landmark innovations were in devising of wireless charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). The charging technology allows charging automobiles easily. Toyota i-road electric vehicles are a three wheeled personal mobility vehicles which was showcased in the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Another major innovation of Toyota was the Toyota Winglet launched in the year 2008 that could have speed of 3.5 mph.

Toyota’s Partner robot Program has been categorised into four parts as Mobility Support, Life Support, Medical and Welfare Support and Work Support, is a part of Human Support Robot (HSR). Its Walk Training Assist and Balance Training Assist robots provide rehabilitation to injured patients in hospitals (Turró, Urbano & Peris-Ortiz, 2014). Kirobo is a robot designed for space companionship. Thus, there are a number of innovative endeavors that Toyota Motor Corporation has developed reported in its annual statements and corporate social responsibility publications made.   

External Commentary

External sources were evaluated using feedback from employees in glassdoor.com, magazine review, journal reviews and all other reviews available on the internet. All possible feedback available for the Company was taken into consideration and then compiled to arrive at this section for the study. It was revealed that employees of the Company are provided resources and initiative in order to undertake innovative procedures and processes (El-Refaie, 2013). Along with the innovation and research and development team, employees throughout the company are provided ownership of their job roles such that they are able to easily innovate. The corporate culture that could be understood from collecting varied data relative to the company revealed that there is a spirit of innovation within the cultural climate. Managers form senior levels till the juniors are given ample freedom to brainstorm ideas and discuss them in corporate meetings and other conventions (Gómez-Haro, Aragón-Correa, & Cordón-Pozo, 2011). A feedback system is also developed and included within the company that allows generating dynamic feedback from its most integral stakeholder which is employees in order to initiate the process of change through innovation. Thus, collecting feedback from the company’s internal stakeholders and other external sources reveal a corporate entrepreneurial spirit within the organization.    

Self –Reporting

Data Analysis and Discussion 

Analysis of collected data is integral in order to assess corporate entrepreneurial spirit that is present within any organization. As for Toyota Motor Corporation, there have been large amounts of data and information collected that reveals prevailing ambience of corporate entrepreneurship within the organization. However, an in-depth analysis of structure of the organisation can provide valuable data.      

Every aspect of analysis of data for Toyota Motor Corporation reveals extensive innovative spirit within the organization. The Corporation practices kaizen along with Toyota Production Systems that provides opportunity for continuous development in its processes. Such development of processes at each and every step will allow incorporation of various methods that are used to resolve problems (Zhang et al, 2010). Toyota’s Resource Utilization Subcommittee has decided on reducing impact of Toyota Industries on the environment by better utilization of its resources. The two commitments provide ways which can help evaluate entrepreneurial intensity within the corporation. This proves commitment to entrepreneurial intensity by the organization. The leader’s commitment to motivate each and every employee within the organization further allows application of corporate entrepreneurship to take place.        

Evaluating of data and information related to Toyota Motor Corporation allows assessing the Corporate Entrepreneurial Climate present within the organization. Organizational climate that fosters the spirit of innovations to take place includes four vital components to be present within the corporation as structure, culture, controls and human resource management. an organization hence need to realign its activities and structure according to provided framework to support corporate entrepreneurship to take place (Murata, 2012). Toyota’s CE strategy is designing to recognised strategic triggers such that more innovative efforts can be initiated from the company’s end. Amongst four most integral parameters, structure of the Company has to be designed in a manner that allows innovation, meaning horizontal structure is preferred compared to vertical structure. In horizontal structure, leaders and managers are able to interact with employees in a greater number of ways to allow encouragement of innovative efforts to take place. Toyota has horizontal structure with presence of few layers that allows ease of interaction between employees and managers as well as leaders. Managers easily share their ideas and innovative areas on which employees can work to resolve problems. Employees on the other hand faces ease of accessing higher levels of managers and leaders to discuss potential issues they are facing and problem resolving techniques they are thinking about. This makes easier for leaders to visualize talents within a pool of employees as well. Broader span of control and decentralization within the corporation allows greater amounts of innovative endeavors to take place (Wilhelm & Kohlbacher, 2011). Presence of open communication flow further allows more interaction regarding problem solving techniques to take place. It reduces an employee feeling of smallness in the vast organization and greater amount of employee engagement to take place. Controls over organizational resources or authority are relatively loose-ended at Toyota that allows empowerment of employees. Employees work within teams with mutual trusts and benefits shared amongst them. Open sharing of information amongst employees from varied teams allows greater brainstorming of ideas and better problem resolution to take place. Moreover at Toyota Motors jobs are defined I n a broad scope with presence of job socialization. There is a reward system that recognizes and rewards employees in their appraisal for any contribution to process or product innovativeness. An entrepreneurial learning culture with well balancing of individual and collective emphasis makes it easier to accommodate strategy of CE (Ries, 2011). Toyota’s vision and mission statement is clearly focused on the future and aims at devising processes or products that can resolve human challenges or assist them towards better future sustain ability. Moreover, entire team and focus of the corporation is to strive towards excellence. The motto and spirit at Toyota is to devise products that are better, high in quality, more effective and efficient. Customer driven focus allows the corporation to create innovation through continuous contribution of their employees leading to celebration of innovation. All relevant data sources and materials that has been evaluated for Toyota, reveals presence of entrepreneurial mindset within the corporation. This is the only reason that has allowed the Company to be innovative in the market with its leading branded products. the corporation has been able to effectively set trends in the market with the several processes that it makes use of in Toyota Production Systems. Its unmatched quality makes it a leader in the automobile market and only a few competitors are able to match up to qualities that are being offered by the Company.     

Conclusion 

Toyota Motor Corporation’s evaluation of corporate entrepreneurial spirit reveals that it is one of the most innovative companies in the world. Its corporate innovative spirit and Production systems have been adopted by various automobile manufacturing companies. Toyota is able to constantly integrate customer reviews and feedback into their production systems dynamically resulting in highest possible quality in their products. In this manner they are able to cater to exactly whatever customer demands are and then deliver them accordingly. The Company has a well-established value chain that helps maintain positive relationships with its suppliers and distributors. It employs positive relationship with their employees as well with various engagement processes. Employees mostly help the Company extend their competitive advantage strategy through their innovative endeavors. Hence, the Company provides various succession planning and professional developmental opportunities to their employees. Therefore, it can be concluded that Toyota’s innovative spirits has allowed its continuous innovative strategies to be successful making it a leading automobile manufacturer around the globe.

Reference Lists

Atkinson, R. D., & Ezell, S. J. (2012). Innovation economics: the race for global advantage. Yale University Press

Chen, Y., Tang, G., Jin, J., Xie, Q., & Li, J. (2014). CEOs’ transformational leadership and product innovation performance: The roles of corporate entrepreneurship and technology orientation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(S1), 2-17.

Dunlap?Hinkler, D., Kotabe, M., & Mudambi, R. (2010). A story of breakthrough versus incremental innovation: Corporate entrepreneurship in the global pharmaceutical industry. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 4(2), 106-127.

El-Refaie, A. M. (2013). Motors/generators for traction/propulsion applications: A review. IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, 8(1), 90-99.

Engel, J. S. (2015). Global clusters of innovation: Lessons from Silicon Valley. California Management Review, 57(2), 36-65.

Goodale, J. C., Kuratko, D. F., Hornsby, J. S., & Covin, J. G. (2011). Operations management and corporate entrepreneurship: The moderating effect of operations control on the antecedents of corporate entrepreneurial activity in relation to innovation performance. Journal of operations management, 29(1-2), 116-127.

Gómez-Haro, S., Aragón-Correa, J. A., & Cordón-Pozo, E. (2011). Differentiating the effects of the institutional environment on corporate entrepreneurship. Management Decision, 49(10), 1677-1693.

Kuratko, D. F. (2010). Corporate entrepreneurship: An introduction and research review. In Handbook of entrepreneurship research (pp. 129-163). Springer, New York, NY.

Kuratko, D. F., Hornsby, J. S., & Hayton, J. (2015). Corporate entrepreneurship: the innovative challenge for a new global economic reality. Small Business Economics, 45(2), 245-253.

Marucheck, A., Greis, N., Mena, C., & Cai, L. (2011). Product safety and security in the global supply chain: Issues, challenges and research opportunities. Journal of Operations Management, 29(7-8), 707-720.

Morris, M. H., Kuratko, D. F., & Covin, J. G. (2010). Corporate entrepreneurship & innovation. Cengage Learning.

Murata, S. (2012). Innovation by in-wheel-motor drive unit. Vehicle System Dynamics, 50(6), 807-830.

Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Crown Books.

Turró, A., Urbano, D., & Peris-Ortiz, M. (2014). Culture and innovation: The moderating effect of cultural values on corporate entrepreneurship. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 88, 360-369.

Wilhelm, M. M., & Kohlbacher, F. (2011). Co-opetition and knowledge co-creation in Japanese supplier-networks: The case of Toyota. Asian Business & Management, 10(1), 66-86.

Zhang, P., Ma, J., Mani, S., Richard, M., Yokoishi, S., Glomski, B., ... & Miller, J. (2010). U.S. Patent No. 7,722,991. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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