Contrasting Business Styles of William Durant & Alfred Sloan

Essay by marreamerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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William Durant brought together more than twenty-five independent automobile companies to form the General Motors Corporation. He lost control of the company in 1910, due to financial difficulties. Durant regained control of the company in 1916. As a resilient businessman, he dismissed the bankers and took over as the president of the company (Blackford, pg 242). The business style that Durant possessed was to try to run General Motors as a one man show. He made the daily operating decisions and grand policy by himself. He simply could not make the major decisions on investments, expansion and marketing (Blackford, pg 243). The office of General Motors, during the time of William Durant's presidency, had not control of the company. By 1920, the company was having difficulty paying invoices and payroll and Durant's personal financial difficulties made things worse. In late 1920, Durant resigned as the President of General Motors, never to return (Blackford, pg 243).

Alfred P. Sloan started as the Vice-President of General Motors, shortly after Durant resigned. He prepared an "organization study" to revamp the management of General Motors. By 1924, an organizational plan was implemented and with this came significant changes in the management of General Motors. Pierre DuPont along with Sloan created a strong central or head office, which is today called the corporate office at General Motors (Blackford, pg 245). Sloan helped to take General Motors to having solid financial reporting. The models that were created back then are still followed today by some modern companies. Sloan's' business styles were similar to those of the Pennsylvania railroad; use some fifty years earlier (Blackford, pg 245).

The business styles of Durant and Sloan were completely opposite. From the reading that was done, it was gathered that Durant really had no business styles and wanted...