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Instructions - a grade of 55-60% is expected - use accessible sources - good writing style - excellent structure of the essay Subject The assignment will be focusing on a major case study on the Toyota Motor Corporation which has been referred to in lecturecasts because of its pioneering involvement in operations management. You should read this case ‘An Introduction to Toyota’ (uploaded file) carefully. You will be expected also to undertake secondary research on the company. This should be a comprehensive search of academic, trade and media articles, books, webpages etc. Since 2009 Toyota Motor Corporation has had to deal with a series of crises including the recall of millions of vehicles due to technical faults and the fragmentation of its supply chain as a result of the tsunami. Before 2009 the company was often held up as an example of excellence. Its success over recent decades has been due in no small part to the way in which it has managed its operations (e.g. quality control and improvement; inventory management; supply chain management etc). For this assignment you are expected to conduct desk research on the company, including the unit’s required and additional reading. You should apply theories, concepts and models from the module to the information gathered on the company such that you can answer the following questions: 1. With regard to the recall crisis Michael Cusumano (2011: 35) observes: “It may well be that Toyota managers as well as staff engineers believed their company had already reached such a high level of perfection that there was nothing much to worry about”. To what extent do you agree with this assessment? Include in your analysis an assessment of the decisions made by management. Did any decision making breach the company’s own ethical standards? 2. What was the impact of the tsunami on Toyota’s supply chain and how well did the company manage the recovery from this? 3. What common lessons can be identified from both crises about the efficacy of Toyota’s approach to managing its operations? What recommendations would you make for improving the way in which the company manages its operations in the future?