Why Elon Musk Must Go Research Paper

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Human Resources and Change: Major Responsibilities of HRM

The three major roles of human resources management (HRM) are (1) administrative, (2) operational, and (3) strategic. The functions that fall within these roles include: recruiting and selecting hires, orientation, maintaining stable and quality workplace environments, managing employee relations, and training and developing staff. This paper will show how the HRM of the company Tesla, Inc., including the manufacturing, finance, and marketing subsystems are in need of change. By comparing these subsystems to other successful subsystems, this paper will indicate that Tesla can improve its productivity and increase demand. In that context, the impact of change, stakeholder satisfaction, attracting, developing, and maintaining human resources, internal consistencies, connectivity to the course, and the application of personal Christian worldview will all be addressed.

Subsystems in Need of Change

The most major organizational subsystem within Tesla that is in need of change is manufacturing as the company has failed to meet its internal goals of production for several years running (O’Kane, 2018), all while the company’s reputation as a leader in the electric vehicle (EV) market is being eroded by complaints of shoddy manufacturing, bumpers falling off in the rain, battery cells catching fire, and auto pilot failing (Lambert, 2018; Orlove, 2018; Torchinsky, 2018). Tesla’s manufacturing subsystem is a highly complex system involving AI, robotics, and trained employees both in the manufacturing plant and the Gigafactory where Tesla’s batteries are produced. The need for change within this subsystem is based on the fact that Tesla cannot reach its production goals, as the factory is too reliant on robotics, which were envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk as being the future of auto manufacturing. Musk recently admitted that this overreliance on robotics was an error (Matousek, 2018).

Comparison to Successful Subsystem

In comparison to one subsystem at a successful and profitable car company such as Ford, Tesla’s manufacturing subsystem is sub-par. The production line at Tesla needs to be overhauled: the robotics must be replaced with skilled laborers who assemble by hand the more intricate aspects of the assembly line. Ford pioneered the modern day assembly line but not to the total exclusion of human faculties. Tesla’s Musk, in an effort to market himself and the company as visionary and forward-thinking, attempted to rely wholly upon robotics—and it has cost the company dearly (Hawkins, 2018).

Impact of Change

The proposed change—retiring the robots on the production line and using a more traditional assembly line concept—would impact the company in numerous ways. First, it would challenge Musk’s reputation as a visionary who can revolutionize the means of production.
Second, it would require a substantial drawdown on Tesla’s capital, as the company is heavily invested in robotics and to admit defeat could scare off speculative investors who bought into Musk’s vision of the company’s production line being the future of auto manufacturing (DeBord, 2018). Most importantly, however, it would right Tesla’s production line and allow the company to reach its production goals by way of traditional assembly line practices. It would just require investing in human capital rather than in robotics that have proved to be inefficient overall.

Stakeholder Satisfaction

Tesla has to protect its image and reputation as a leader in the luxury EV market. It has branded itself as the next generation of manufacturing. Thus, to change its manufacturing subsystem would be, in a sense, to admit that the company is not quite as trailblazing as its CEO envisioned. However, what matters now is that Tesla meet production goals because convertible notes are coming due and Tesla must be able to show a profit in the coming quarters in order to retain investors (SEC, 2018).

First, investors must be satisfied. That means Tesla has to start focusing on productivity and less so on visionary tactics. Numbers matter to investors: they don’t care how the cars get made and delivered, just so long as it happens. Second, consumers want delivery. Many buyers bought into the idea of an affordable Model 3, but have been waiting years to take delivery because of “production Hell” at Tesla (Boudette, 2018). Their demand must be satisfied. Third, executives want better accountability: they are leaving in droves (Hull, 2018) because simple concepts like traditional assembly are lost on Musk. In order to retain good leaders Tesla’s head executive needs to wake up to reality.

Attracting Human Resources

Tesla could attract the human resources required to bring about the change by creating the right atmosphere to attract the talent to lead. Right now, Musk is having a very public meltdown and the Board must take action. Musk spooked investors after appearing on the Joe Rogan podcast and smoking marijuana (Mullen & Shane, 2018)—this just weeks after press releasing via Twitter that….....

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Boudette, N. (2018). For Tesla, production hell looks like the reality of the car business. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/business/tesla-model-3.html

DeBord, M. (2018). Elon Musk promised a Tesla alien dreadnought factory—but what we got was a tent. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-is-failing-to-build-the-factory-of-the-future-2018-6

Gerhart, B., & Fang, M. (2015). Pay, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, performance, and creativity in the workplace: Revisiting long-held beliefs. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2, 489-521

Hawkins, A. (2018). Tesla relied on too many robots. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/13/17234296/tesla-model-3-robots-production-hell-elon-musk

Hull, D. (2018). Tesla erupts in chaos after senior execs leave, Musk tokes up. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-07/tesla-chief-accounting-officer-leaves-citing-level-of-scrutiny

Lambert, F. (2018). Tesla model S battery caught on fire without accident. Retrieved from https://electrek.co/2018/06/16/tesla-model-s-battery-fire-investigating/

Mahmood, M. (2015). Strategy, structure, and HRM policy orientation: Employee recruitment and selection practices in multinational subsidiaries. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 53(3), 331-350.

Matousek, M. (2018). Elon Musk says he agrees that there are too many robots on the Model 3 production line. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-says-model-3-production-using-to-many-robots-2018-4

Mullen, J. & Shane, D. (2018). Weed, whiskey, Tesla and a flamethrower. Retrieved from https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/07/technology/elon-musk-joe-rogan/index.html

Nees, T. (2014). On becoming a servant leader. Retrieved from http://tomnees.com/leadership/on-becoming-a-servant-leader/

O’Kane, S. (2018). Tesla misses production goal of 2,500 Model 3s a week. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/3/17192312/tesla-goal-model-3-elon-musk

Orlove, R. (2018). This test shows why Telsa autopilot crashes keep happening. Retrieved from https://jalopnik.com/this-test-shows-why-tesla-autopilot-crashes-keep-happen-1826810902

SEC. (2018). Tesla convertible notes due. Retrieved from https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1318605/000119312517086195/d349123dfwp.htm

Torchinsky, J. (2018). Bumper falls off brand new Tesla model 3. Retrieved from https://jalopnik.com/bumper-falls-off-brand-new-tesla-model-3-after-30-minut-1828306917

Wolverton, T. (2018). Elon Musk says he was thinking like a Vegas casino owner. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-funding-secured-tweet-vegas-odds-2018-8

Wong, J. (2018). Tesla workers say they pay the price. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/13/tesla-workers-pay-price-elon-musk-failed-promises

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