Analyses the management of Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Corporation

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19 November 2021

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This paper analyses the management of Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Corporation. Carlos has been recognised as a successful leader whose management managed to rescue Nissan from its financial disaster in the late 90s. His contribution to the corporate, business and society is important.

I will start by giving an thought in regards to the history of Nissan adopted by introducing Carlos Ghosn as an individual and analysing his leadership type utilizing various leadership theories and models. We may also assess the effectiveness and effectivity as well as the business worth added to Nissan via his leadership.

The Company
Nissan company was established in Yokohama in the year 1933 to take over the manufacturing of Datsun Ltd. It was renamed as “Nissan” the next year. In 1935, the company began to provide sub-compact vehicles, named Datsun and began exporting to Australia. In the year 1936, Nissan bought a new production line which was supposed for small passenger cars but as a result of of the war, the corporate had to shift to military automobiles and ships (The Short History of Nissan Motor Company, 2013).

The warfare had a massive impact on the company as half of the plant was taken by the occupation forces for a decade which delayed the company’s progress and by the time struggle ended; many buyer had already switched to Toyota. To recover from that, Nissan collaborated with Austin Motors and launched a new car within the year 1958 which lead them to win The Deming prize in 1960. Nissan launched two manufacturing operations in the United States and in the United Kingdom within the years 1980, 1984 respectively.

It also established new headquarters in North America and Europe with a imaginative and prescient to make the selections of design, production and advertising locally. The company which had been beneath debts for the previous seven years signed an settlement with Renault in the year 1999 and both companies shaped an alliance for mutual benefit and growth for both. Nissan Revival Plan (NRP) for restructuring which was introduced in 1999 aimed to reaching sustainable and continuous global progress. The aims of this plan were met by the tip of 2001. The firm at present manufactures vehicles in twenty locations globally. Worldwide number of bought models in 2011 exceeded 4.800 million. In addition to automobiles, Nissan develops and produces marine equipment as nicely (The Short History of Nissan Motor Company, 2013).

Carlos as a person
Carlos Ghosn was born in Brazil in 1954 to Lebanese-Brazilian dad and mom. The family moved to Lebanon in 1960. He accomplished his secondary faculty in Lebanon before travelling to France for university examine. He received his engineering degrees from the École Polytechnique in the yr 1978. After commencement, Carlos worked for Michelin & Cie. for eighteen years. At the age of thirty, he turned the Chief Operating Officer of Michelin’s South America’s operations which operated at a budget of $300 Million. He succeeded in turning over the South American operation from losses to profits. After that he turned the Chief Executive Officer of Michelin in North America. Carlos joined Renault in 1996 as an Executive Vice President for advanced analysis. Renault purchased 36.3 of Nissan’s shares in 1999 and Carlos MOVED TO Japan and joined Nissan as a COO and was named CEO two years later (Millikin, J and Dean, Fu, 2004: 121-125).

Carlos and Nissan
When Carlos joined Nissan in 1999, the company was suffering from losses and it had large debts which represented excessive dangers for the buyers. It was clear that the corporate might not have sustained out there for lengthy with this operating rate. Moreover, it appeared that Renault’s future relies on Nissan’s recovery from this dangerous position after the acquisition of a big portion of Nissan. Carlos realised that a radical change needed to happen and he proposed a three-year revival plan which was later known as “Nissan Revival Plan”. “When the NRP was first introduced, Nissan’s executive committee announced three daring commitments; if any of these were not met, the members promised to resign:

• A return to net profitability in fiscal 12 months 2000

• A minimum working revenue to sales margin of 4.5 per cent by fiscal year 2002
• Consolidated internet automotive debt decreased to less than ¥700 billion by fiscal year 2002” (Nissan Revival Plan, 2013).
In his revival plan, Carlos identified the basis trigger for the poor performance of Nissan prior to now years. These were: “1) Lack of revenue orientation
2) Not sufficient concentrate on customers
3) Lack of cross-functional, cross-border, intra-hierarchical traces work 4) Lack of a way of urgency
5) No shared imaginative and prescient or widespread long-term plan” (Nissan Revival Plan, 2013). Carlos believed that the chance to enhance did truly exist. He identified some success components that may allow Nissan to recover from its disaster and occupy a excessive rating in the vehicle market. Nissan had a world presence. It had markets in several continents with a diverse buyer base. The firm also excelled in its manufacturing system and the standard of the merchandise was never a subject of a grievance. He believed in individuals of Nissan as a key asset along with other organizational belongings such as know-how, policies, process, prospects and companions. Nissan had a forefront in some subject of the know-how and its new alliance with an enormous and respected company like Renault represented- according to his vision- an extra success factor. All of that made Carlos imagine that his plan would succeed and that he could lead on Nissan back to retain its ranking within the trade.

The Revival Plan:
The revival plan was based mostly on cross-functional teams. These groups were shaped by the executive committee and so they included 200 individuals from Japan, The United States and Europe. The cross useful teams centered on completely different areas. These areas have been:

“ Business Development

Marketing & Sales
SG & A
Financial Management
R & D
Product Phasing Out
Organization & Decision Making Process “(Nissan Revival Plan, 2013). The cross-functional teams assessed two thousand ideas and proposed four hundred proposals to the executive committee. The plan geared toward growth with elevated income and lowered money owed. Business growth portion of the plan aimed toward creating new merchandise and models, reducing the lead time which could be achieved by decreasing the product development cycle and order supply intervals in addition to the time to start selling in new markets. The plan had to target twenty per cent reduction in costs by the end of the third year. The plan instructed to centralize procurement and to shorten the list of suppliers in addition to together with services as a shopping for technique. The plan also advised growing the utilization of the manufacturing capacity by shutting down three meeting crops and forcing the remainder to work in two shifts. The industrial organisation was also become a less complicated and more efficient method. Cost discount was an important facet of the plan and for this function a number of motion have been made similar to decreasing incentives and emphasising more on the facility of the model name, closing 10% of retail outlets and opening for longer hours, utilizing the alliance with Renault and employing E-commerce.

R&D costs had been reduce down by leveraging with Renault as properly. Carlos has changed the mannequin of the company from being multi-regional to being a worldwide organisation. That required a world head quarter, worldwide strategy, centralized planning and the global management of several perform of the Nissan. Carlos realized that this might not have been achieved without the important thing asset of the corporate, its folks. For that, he empowered the directors for cross-functionality and orientation in the course of profit. He additionally introduced compensations for efficiency which included bonuses and shares options. The alternative for profession promotion existed for those as nicely (Nissan Revival Plan, 2013). By implementing this plan, Carlos achieved the objectives a year earlier than what was initially proposed. He managed to save tons of the company 200 billion Yen. On the opposite hand, the plan had an impact on folks. Twenty one thousand people lost their jobs as a end result of the price headcount reduction he embraced and due to this fact, Carlos was topic to criticism by media in Japan and worldwide. Nevertheless, Carlos has been acknowledged as a pacesetter of change whose management and administration not only turned losses again into income but also contributed to a structural and cultural change inside the firm. His methodology and vision has been adopted by many leadership colleges. Therefore, his contribution exceeds Nissan to different companies and fields worldwide (Nissan Revival Plan, 2013).

Carlos the leader
Carlos’s personal and career profiles allowed him to be a successful leader. This can be illustrated by analysing completely different dimensions as instructed by Kotter (1990). Carlos learned from his experience with Renault as a vp of advanced research to keep trying at the horizon while creating and executing strategies. An instance of this visionary leadership is his empathy to the brand new era of cars which runs on electrical power as he anticipated that that is the longer term development of the industry and wanted Nissan to lead it. He managed to have his followers share his vision and opened the door for them to grow and advance of their profession. His revival plan relied on having the cross-functional groups brainstorm and share ideas away from the paperwork and structural limitations. The plan also suggested a lot of ideas to be assessed and offered to the board which displays his openness and willing to take heed to others’ thoughts somewhat than directing them to adopt his personal (Nissan Revival Plan, 2013). One of the success factors for Carlos is that he believes in having no notion of the organisation or the culture before he really will get exposed to it. He wished to be taught by experience: “…I asked people what they thought was going right, what they thought was going wrong, and what they might recommend to make issues better. I was making an attempt to reach at an analysis of the situation that may not be static however would determine what we might do to enhance the company’s performance. It was a interval of intensive, active listening. I took notes, I accrued paperwork that contained very exact assessments of the totally different situations we needed to take care of, and I drew up my very own personal summaries of what I learned. In the course of these three months, I must have met more than a thousand individuals. During that time I constructed, bit by bit, my picture of the company based mostly on tons of of meetings and discussions” (Ghosn C, 2006: 93-94).

His leadership created a radical change to the corporate that lead the company towards restoring its position in the market, a mission that may have appeared to be inconceivable to many. Carlos additionally believes in sharing data and expertise which will assist different corporations grow and succeed. This is clearly depicted by the model new service launched by Nissan, the consulting companies which permit the switch of Nissan’s Production Way (NPW) which depends on Kaizen (improvements) to different corporations. “Nissan Production Way is a key ingredient of our success. I hope that you will make it a part of yours” (Nissan manufacturing way, 2013). Nissan consulting providers additionally represents a radical change from a company that adopts continuous enchancment theories to a consulting company that assist others undertake them. Theories of leadership vary in their method towards the evaluation of a leader’s style. Some of those theories emphasise on the behaviour of the leader. In other phrases, they counsel that people are thought of leaders once they act as such rather that by their private traits. This is a more practical approach than trait theories which assume that leaders are born not made (University of Leicester, 2011: 247-254). Lewin et al (1939, cited in University of Leicester, 2011:250) recognized three types of leaders, autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. We can consider Carlos as a democratic leader who demonstrated a sound stage of engagement to the group throughout critical determination making. The cross-functional groups have been requested to assume, discuss and assess ideas and present a reasonable variety of thoughts to the administration. This degree of engagement to the staff boosted their spirit and improved the standard of the choices made.

Fleishman’s (1953 cited in University of Leicester, 2011:251) two issue principle of leadership emphasises on two dimensions, consideration and initiating structure. Carlos managed to achieve efficient balance between these two dimensions, allowing employees to speak their thoughts and ideas and respecting them without losing the traces of responsibilities which are required to manage such a multi-cultural and a multi-national group. In other words, he stands within the center between being people-centred and task oriented; that is referred to by Blake and Mouton (1964 cited in University of Leicester, 2011:253), as “Middle of the road”. Carlos believed that the answer for the company’s issues existed inside the cross-functional teams and he shared this with them. On the other hand, he set the method, targets and timelines for his plan which represented a high stage of task-orientation.

Contingency theories suggest that management style may vary primarily based on the situation in which the leader works (University of Leicester, 2011:255-262).They also relate to numerous parameters such as the chief, his/her followers and the character of the tasks which the leader is trying to finish. It is evident that Carlos possessed many characteristics that allowed him to steer efficiently. He is Lebanese by origin, was introduced up in Brazil, obtained educated in France and has labored in several international locations. All of that enhanced his capability to steer in a diverse environment and overcome the problem of being certainly one of few non-Japanese leading a Japanese firm. His work experience gave him exposure to various areas of the business starting from enterprise improvement to high stage administration together with research. This allowed him to deliver again Nissan to its financially wholesome position and- at the similar time- make developments in other business areas.

Carlos believed in Nissan as an organization, in its individuals as property and in Japan’s culture as a platform. For him to succeed, he needed to secure the cooperation of these beneath his management. He had to make them see him as an efficient leader. He believed that this can’t be achieved without bridging the cultural gap between his origin, expertise and the brand new surroundings he had to work inside. He began studying about Japan, its tradition, language and even the food. He believed in respecting and understanding the culture of those individuals while making an attempt to make a contribution. “I would say despite the very fact that the term at present is not very popular, love the nation and love the culture in which you would possibly be in. And try to find out about its strengths, don’t concentrate on the weaknesses, and ensure that all the people you’re transferring with you’re of the identical opinion” (The transcultural chief, 2013). Carlos benefitted from the culture of Japan. In an interview with MTV channel, he stated that the commitment he and the committee will resign if the revival plan goals were unmet, had been impressed by the tradition of the Samurai who would defend his land and would kill himself in case of failure. He realised that importance of commitment to Japanese (Interview with Carlos Ghosn – MTV Lebanon, 2012).

One of the explanations for his efficient leadership in Nissan relates to the nature of his mission. It was obvious that the way ahead for the two allied firms relied on his success in main Nissan out of its disaster. He additionally tried to use urgency as a motivation factor due to this fact; he committed dates for his tasks to be completed and held himself in addition to the staff accountable for attaining them.

The Path-goal theory of Robert House(1971 cited in University of Leicester, 2011:259) means that a pacesetter can encourage his/her subordinates towards reaching the goals by serving to them draw a clear path to those goals and by giving more recognition to members who obtain those targets. When Carlos first shaped the cross-functional teams, the staff felt misplaced as of what’s required from them and the means to achieve it. Carlos realized this and he invited them to a meeting during which he explained the purpose of forming these groups and his expectations from them. He also promised his directors rewards and incentives for attaining the objectives of his plan. In fact, before Carlos got here up with his revival plan, he spent a while meeting with individuals at different levels of the organisation in order to perceive the culture and the challenges he was going to face. The establishment of the cross-functional teams allowed him to interact large number of the company’s employees in idea technology, reflecting a participative management style. As a Chief Executive Officer of the 2 companies, Renault and Nissan Carlos enjoyed a high level of authority on his subordinates which allowed his ideas to be easily adopted. The leadership of Carlos during disaster is seen as a good instance of what Bass (1985 cited in University of Leicester, 2011:264) identified as “Transformational Leader”.

He managed to raise the notice, dedication and enthusiasm amongst his group. He envisioned a brand new way forward for Nissan, broke the frame that existed earlier than him and personally committed towards this new vision. Carlos emphasised on team range and gender equality. Under his management, Nissan reached twice the rate of competitors in terms of number of female managers throughout the company. “On gender equality, the CEO says that when he started at Nissan, just one per cent of the top administration at Nissan were women. While that was twice nearly as good as his rivals, he was decided to extend the variety of girls in management nonetheless further. Today the variety of women in management is 5 per cent, and the target is to raise that determine to 10 per cent. Ghosn says that though such targets are good, it’s more important to set a lasting, achievable pattern for girls that can show that variety delivers.” (The transcultural chief, 2013).

Transactional management is predicated on transactions and exchange. It normally happens in stable and predictable conditions (Bass 1985, cited in University of Leicester, 2011:263-265). Carlos’s fashion is more transformational than transactional due to the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the business as nicely as his personal characteristics. We can consider few people who find themselves keen to relocate to a new country whose language and culture had been completely new to him and lead a crisis restoration.

The notion of a transformational leader has been criticised by Khurana (2002) who believed that transformational leaders can turn into over satisfied of their charisma and may drive the company towards instability so as to permit a room for radical adjustments. However, these issues seem to be invalid within the case of Carlos Ghosn whose interviews and public speeches present a higher emphasis on expertise and methods somewhat than private charisma. Although he believes in modifications and he directs his staff to keep a watch on the horizon, he makes selections based mostly on rationality. Summary

In this paper we have analysed the management of Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault and Nissan companies. Having joined Nissan within the year 1999, when the company was suffering from a extreme financial crisis, Carlos managed to rescue the corporate and switch it back into a revenue generating agency. Carlos introduced a successful leadership based mostly on vision, participation, and fervour about his employees as properly as contribution to the tradition of Nissan. We have used completely different theories and fashions for this evaluation including behavioural theories, contingency theories in addition to transformations principle of Bass. In my opinion, these theories and models are complementary somewhat than unique. They can all be used to analyse the leadership model and obtain a better understanding as of what made Carlos a profitable leader of a change. Carlos’s leadership has been the subject of many researches in management and his methodology has been adopted by many colleges. Cross-cultural dimensions have a high importance in management. Carlos succeeded in main people in different international locations and organizations that various in power distance, uncertainty avoidance and differed from his personal culture, overcoming what was identified by Hofstede (1992, cited in Linstead, 2009: 254) as challenges. Carlos managed to cut the prices by shutting down vegetation which made many people redundant. Some analysts argue that he may have achieved his targets by a special strategy. The fact that Carlos loved excessive power being the CEO of both companies raises a question as to whether he would have succeeded had he been the CEO of Nissan only. Wouldn’t he have faced extra challenges from the principle shareholder of Nissan, Renaut.


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