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The introductory part of this research work will seek to summarise the overall content of the research and emphasise on the significance of the research problems to be investigated. Initially a short background overview is presented followed by a discussion of the issues which will set the context and narrow the research towards research questions.
The process of "globalisation," refers to the big-picture and the process that draws together services, products, and markets around the world (Gatignon and Kimberly, 2004). Facsimile transmission, electronic mail, tele- and video- conferencing has made it possible for people to operate whilst being spread over vast geographical distances, enabling them to share information instantaneously. Banking can be done from remote locations and goods and services are now routinely ordered through home shopping networks. It is obvious that Globalisation has intensified competition and interdependence between economies of the nations in the world market. This is reflected in regard to trading in services and goods, movement of capital, labour and employment. As a result domestic economic developments of developing countries are not determined entirely by domestic policies and local market conditions. Rather, it is argued, they are influenced by both domestic and global policies set up by the global community.
There are an increasing number of international joint ventures, project based collaborations, and licensing agreements which means that in many ways the boundaries of the firm are becoming unclear and as Srinivas (1995) argued the limit of competition has expanded from the traditional firm level to that of the alliance network. The new world order has also created an extraordinary demand for knowledgeable and skilled workers. Employers are reaching across national borders to find the skills they need because of a rising gap between the demand and the world's supplies of labour. Srinivas (1995) went on to argue that this has resulted in a loosening of immigration restricting policies, standardisation of labour practices and massive relocations of work force. It is clear that the impacts of globalisation for developed countries like U.S and Japan are many. Many developing countries have weak economies, legal issues, and political issues, and this makes them vulnerable to high levels of insecurity, corruption, and conflict. This situation is worsened due to lack of competitiveness in term of technology, labour, and skills. Whereas the developed countries are argued to have already built a better infrastructure, have more advanced technology, a better pool of skilled labours, and superior managerial practise. Therefore companies in Japan like TOYOTA have crossed and have yet to cross many hurdles to establish themselves in the global market and also to renovate themselves into multicultural beings (Hartungi, 2006).
The Background or History of the Toyota Group
The foundation of TOYOTA Group was laid in 1933 by 39 year old Kiichiro Toyoda. He started a company being a division of Toyoda automatic loom works devoted to the production of automobiles. In 1929 Kiichiro Toyoda travelled to Europe and the United states to investigate about automobile production and had begun gasoline powered engines in 1930. In 1937 TOYOTA motor company was established as a separate and independent company. Although the TOYOTA GROUP is today best known for cars, but it still makes automatic looms and it is still in the textile business, which is now computerized and electric sewing machines which are available worldwide. (Financial times)
TOYOTA established their headquarters in Toyota city, Aichi and in Tokyo. TOYOTA Financial services provide financial services through its division in addition to manufacturing automobiles. TOYOTA Motor Corporation (including TOYOTA Financial Services) and TOYOTA services from the bulk of the TOYOTA group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world. In the 1960's TOYOTA began to expand with a new research and development. In 1980's the TOYOTA motor company received its first Japanese Quality control award and began participating in wide variety of motor sports.
In 1982 the TOYOTA motor company and TOYOTA motor sales merged into one company by TOYOTA Motor Corporation. After two years New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) was founded by the TOYOTA entered into joint venture with General Motors operating an auto-mobile manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. At the end of the decade 1980's TOYOTA started to establish new brands with the launch of their Luxury division Lexus in 1989.In 1997 TOYOTA starts production of the world's best selling car, the prius. With a major presence in Europe, due to the success of Toyota Team Europe, the corporation decided to set up TMME, TOYOTA motor Europe Marketing and Engineering, to help market vehicles in the continent. In 1999 the TOYOTA motor company targets to list itself on the London and New York stock exchanges.
TOYOTA Motor Company initiated the "Innovative International Multi-purpose vehicle" project (IMV) to optimize global manufacturing and supply systems for pickup trucks and multipurpose vehicles, and to satisfy market demand in more than 140 countries worldwide in 2002. TOYOTA Motor Company managed to enter a Formula One works team and establish joint ventures with French motoring companies Citroën and Peugeot a year after TOYOTA Motor Company started producing cars in France. TOYOTA Motor Company is a minority shareholder in Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, having invested US$67.2Â million in the new venture which will produce the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, slated for first deliveries in 2013.TOYOTA Motor Company has also studied participation in the general aviation market and contracted with Scaled Composites to produce a proof-of-concept aircraft, the TAA-1 in 2002.
In 2005 TOYOTA motor company ranked eighth on Forbes 2000 list of the worlds leading companies. For the first quarter of 2008 TOYOTA motor company was number one in global auto-mobile sales. In January 2004, leading global automobile company and Japan's number one automaker, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), replaced Ford Motors (Ford), as the world's second largest automobile manufacturer; Ford had been in that spot for over seven decades. In 2003, Ford sold 6.72 million vehicles worldwide while Ford's worldwide sales amounted to 6.78 million vehicles (General Motors, the world's largest car manufacturer sold 8.60 million vehicles). In the last few years company has also found recent success with its smaller models-the Corolla and Yaris-as gas prices have risen rapidly in. In 2009-2010, the company was heavily in debt and had to request a loan of more than $3 billion from a bank backed by the Japanese government.
Over the past decade-and-a-half, the TOYOTA Group has changed more than ever before in its long and illustrious history. Rejuvenating established businesses, entering new markets, manufacturing advanced products and expanding into global markets are among the initiatives the Group has undertaken with dynamism during this period. The TOYOTA Group presently employs about 350,000 people. Taking good care of this large group is the priority for the Group. The set of policies that have been emphasised and reinforced by Chairman Fujio Cho and the Group Corporate Centre has made TOYOTA Group's more consistent and united than it has ever been. There is a focus on innovation, pursuit of business excellence, emphasis on ethical business practices and commitment to the communities in which it operates. The new era has seen TOYOTA group looking beyond Japanese border for global opportunities and footprint. Acquisitions of foreign enterprises have been one of the ideal ways of accomplishing this target.
FOCUS AND PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH
This study set out to examine some of the research debates about globalisation and to critically evaluate a few real time case studies in relation to the TOYOTA group. The work will explore the origins and practical implementation of globalisation within the group. It also sets out to examine how globalisation has induced growth and expansion of the TOYOTA Company.
The focus therefore of this research is to evaluate the driving factors and the real challenges of globalisation presented to the TOYOTA Group, which it has to be recognised, has been particularly successful in its globalisation strategies. The particular purpose of the study therefore is to enable other to recognise learn and benefit from lessons learnt and to add to the body of knowledge within the related area.
The initial research focus at this stage is therefore to critically explore and to examine the impacts and implications of globalisation within the TOYOTA Group. Questions put forward at this stage for exploration are:
How did the TOYOTA Group identify and recognise the challenges with regards to growth of globalisation? And what do they consider to be current unresolved issues? It is the intention that this initial focus will enable the researcher to further develop and explore the subject area.
The main aim of this research is to critically evaluate and recognise the challenges and unresolved issues with regards to growth of globalisation of the TOYOTA Group and recommend few strategic changes for the company's future global focus.
To critically evaluate the various theories focusing on the challenges and benefits of globalisation
To analyse how the TOYOTA Company has overcome the challenges of globalisations and excel in the market place
To explore the TOYOTA companies finance and opportunities growth due to globalisation
To expose the unresolved globalisation issues challenging the progress of the TOYOTA Company.
To identify how the TOYOTA Company can tackle the unresolved challenges and grow profitably in future
FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS
Whenever a firm decides to globalise itself it has to take various proactive decisions that will determine its future profitability and survival. A firm can choose to enter into the global market adopting different theoretical strategies. What the theories say does not always coincide with how firms internationalise, which makes it possible to find anomalies and the discovery of new interpretive theories. The internationalisation theories have been extended and modified by the research scholar on an ongoing basis. Different authors have chosen different paths for how to expand the theories. Although these expansions all encompass the same core, the additions totally change the significance and explanatory value.
A qualitative research approach will address the purpose of this study. Qualitative
Methodology encourages detailed description and fits with the need to document a set of circumstances surrounding the globalisation of the TOYOTA Company. It also supports interpretive objectives such as understanding the impact of globalisation on the growth and expansion of the company. The association between globalisation and the financial growth of the company will also be identified. The validity and reliability of the research will be demonstrated by performing triangulation methodology and rechecking the results of case studies analysis with that obtained by secondary data research and personalised telephone interviews conducted within a small sampled group of the companies potential staff members. The research framework will finally assess the latent new strategic approaches to strengthen a companies' ability to embrace the positive impacts of globalisation and mitigate its potentially negative effects by overcoming the various challenges.
This study will contribute to the theories regarding how the process of globalisation affects the company, employees and other stakeholders of the organisation. The study may have practical significance for any Japanese company seeking to globalise competitively. It may broaden awareness and understanding of how globalization affects the context and the real challenges to be addressed by the company seeking to position itself vis-à-vis globalisation. This study will also contribute to an understanding of how the "transmitters" of globalisation can lead to changes in companies' policies, procedures and working practise.
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