Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment

Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment

Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment


Write a 2–3-page report about the organizational problem and the process that will be at the center of your OIP for Toyota.

Note: You must complete Assessment 1 before you can begin any of the other assessments in the course.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Develop innovative and sustainable solutions to strategic and global operations management challenges.
    • Explain the history and environment of a selected process for improvement.
  • Competency 2: Apply theories, models, and practices of global operations management to address business problems.
    • Develop a problem statement for a process improvement plan.
  • Competency 3: Integrate operations management analyses into general business management planning and decision making.
    • Analyze the impact of an existing process on an organization.
    • Predict the potential outcomes of improving a process.
  • Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business professions.
    • Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business professions.


According to a 2011 case study, Southwest Airlines is uniquely positioned to weather uncertain economic circumstances (Inkpen, 2011). Why has Southwest Airlines been more successful in its industry than other airlines? The same question can be asked in other industries. Why can Wal-Mart outperform Kmart and survive successfully, when the two cater to similar customers? Why has managed to outpace and outperform Barnes & Noble?

To answer these questions, it is important to understand the process strategy and operating philosophy of an organization. Framing the problem and identifying its causes can be a challenging and complex endeavor. Companies have to identify the problem that needs changing, understand their own processes for making change, provide data that supports the need for change, and establish how to best correct the problem and implement a new and improved process.

Process Engineering and Improvement

Organizations use process engineering and improvement to investigate processes and analyze the activities and flows associated with inputs, transformation, and delivery of a product or service to customers. This could include a simple decision such as which operations an organization chooses to perform internally and which to outsource.

An organization’s operating strategies and decisions can affect its ability to exploit the competitive priorities of time, quality, flexibility, and cost. Due to increased global competitiveness, financial challenges, and rising costs, most organizations have had to revise their traditional way of doing things in order to maintain profitability and market share. An organization can choose from one or several processes or activities to assess its potential for improvement. Successfully selecting candidate processes and using optimization techniques can increase performance yields, reduce defects, increase employee and customer satisfaction, and enhance shareholder and public wealth. By identifying the process improvement subject, you begin this process.


Inkpen, A. C. (2011). Southwest Airlines 2011 [Case No. A10-11-0003]. Glendale, AZ: Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Ross, J. E. (1999). Total quality management (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC

Questions to Consider

To deepen your Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

Consider the following in relation to the Toyota recall crisis:

  • What are the four basic types of production processes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? When should each be used?
  • Did Toyota successfully enact the principles espoused by “the Toyota Way” during the recall crisis? What did the company do well, and where was there room for improvement?
  • In pursuing its aggressive global expansion, what tradeoffs did Toyota make? How effectively did the company manage the tension between global standardization and local responsiveness? Were the company’s value chain activities managed effectively?
  • Had Toyota sacrificed quality and customer focus at the expense of extreme cost reductions?
  • What role did Toyota’s supply chain and keiretsu structure played in the recall?
  • What lessons can other companies take from Toyota’s crisis?

In this Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment, you will develop a problem statement for your OIP. An important step in this development is to clearly identify the problem that will be your focus. In preparation for this work, consider the following:

  • What components of a problem would you consider important when identifying its real causes?
  • How would you describe the problem in a way that is clear to the management team?


Suggested Resources

The resources provided here are optional and support the assessment. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; However, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. They provide helpful information about the topics in this unit. The MBA-FP6022 – Strategic Operations Management Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

Toyota Specific Resources

Additional Resources for Further Exploration

You may use the following optional resources to further explore the Questions to Consider and assessment topics.

Operations Management

The following resources offer a foundational broad view of operations management.

  • Deming, W. E. (1987, December). Transformation of today’s management. Executive Excellence, 4(12), 8.
  • Foster, S. T., Wallin, C., & Ogden, J. (2011). Towards a better understanding of supply chain quality management practices. International Journal of Production Research, 49(8), 2285–2300.

You may want to search this blog for the following terms: automotive recalls, operations improvement, and strategic planning.

  • Harvard Business Publishing. (n.d.). HBR blog network. Retrieved from
  • Russell, R. S., & Taylor, B. W. (2014). Operations and supply chain management (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Value Creation Partners. (n.d.). Analyzing and improving operations. Retrieved from
  • van der Aalst, W. M. P. (2011). Process mining: Discovery, conformance and enhancement of business processes. New York, NY: Springer.

Case Studies

The following case studies are recommended for further examination of the topics addressed in this Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment assessment.

You may wish to purchase this resource from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

  • Greto, M., Schotter, A., & Teagarden, M. (2010). Toyota: The accelerator crisis [Case No. A09-10-0011]. Glendale, AZ: Thunderbird School of Global Management.

You may wish to purchase this resource from Harvard Business School Publishing.

  • Gray, A. E., & Leonard, J. (2009). Process fundamentals [Case No. 969-023]. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
  • Assessment Instructions

Write a Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment that explores an existing process in need of improvement at Toyota at the time of the 2010 accelerator crisis. This process will be at the center of your operations improvement plan (OIP). This assessment should build on the work you did in Assessment 1, looking more closely at key details.

Your Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment should outline your process improvement idea and include the following elements:

  • Problem statement: What exactly needs to be improved? Use problem framing and cause-and-effect analysis to develop a brief, preliminary problem statement. Note: You will expand your problem statement in Assessment 3.
  • Background of the issue: Detail relevant historical data, including how long the problem has been occurring and what it is costing the organization. Note: You are not expected to provide specific data results at this early stage of your investigation.
  • Impact: What could happen if the problem continues as it is? What could happen if the process is improved? Outline both tangible and intangible pros and cons for improving the issue or ignoring it. Identify some potential general business results and impacts on business relationships.
  • Desired outcome: How will your new process be different from the old? What competitive advantages will it yield? How will it impact stakeholders? Consider the cost-benefits of the process improvement, estimating how much will it cost the organization and outlining how costs will be offset by the benefits derived.

The work you do for this assessment will inform your work in future assessments. You will also draw on it for the final, comprehensive OIP that you will submit in Assessment 6.

Additional Global Operations Management Challenges – Toyota Case Study Assignment Requirements

  • Length of assessment: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • APA formatting: Format resources and citations according to APA style and formatting.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

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