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The Arts of Leadership$
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Keith Grint

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199244898.001.0001

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Henry Ford: The Blind Business Visionary

Henry Ford: The Blind Business Visionary

Chapter:
(p.187) 6 Henry Ford: The Blind Business Visionary
Source:
The Arts of Leadership
Author(s):

KEITH KEITH

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199244898.003.0006

This chapter returns to the business world to look at Henry Ford, whose leadership inaugurated a qualitative leap from craft to mass production and gave rise to the term ‘Fordism’. It discusses how Ford enabled vast numbers of Americans to own cars because his prices were so low, but he persisted in assuming that price was critical long after many of his former customers had drifted away to the cars of General Motors and Chrysler, where the competitive edge was in novelty and product enhancements not simply price. It notes that Ford was a pacifist who spent a vast personal fortune leasing a ‘peace ship’ to sail to Europe and stop the First World War—but he simultaneously made an even bigger fortune with his production of munitions, boats, tanks, planes, and jeeps in both wars.

Keywords:   Henry Ford, mass production, Fordism, General Motors, Chrysler, First World War, peace ship, cars, Americans

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