David J. Schoonmaker
Module 1 – CASE
MGT499 – Strategic Management
13 February 2015
Harley-Davison, Inc. is a company that is widely admired and arguably the most famous motorcycle manufacturer in the world and was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903 by William S. Harley, Walter, and Arthur Davidson in a 10’ x 15’ shed. By the end of 1917, one-third of all Harley Davidson production went to the US Army to be used in World War I. Harley Davidson became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, their models could be purchased in 67 countries worldwide by 1920, and the rest really is history. (autoevolution.com, n.d.) This essay will explore Harley-Davison, Inc. mission, vision, values, assessment of stakeholder’s, and current strategic direction.
The mission statement of Harley Davidson, since the beginning, was “We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.” (harleydavidsonus.blogspot.com, 2012) The mission of Harley-Davidson is to keep the fundamental idea of offering customers the opportunity to not only have a great time through the experience of riding a motorcycle, but exceed all expectations of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The unique experience of actually owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle belongs to a special group of motorcyclists, and is what makes the company the only one of its kind. This unparalleled idea is expressed in the corporate mission statement.
Harley-Davidson’s vision statement is “We fulfill dreams inspired by the many roads of the world by providing remarkable motorcycles and extraordinary customer experiences. We fuel the passion for freedom in our customers to express their own identity.” (Managementmania.weebly.com, n.d.) Harley-Davidson’s vision statement clearly portrays the company’s passion and commitment to the importance of their goal to always continue to improve the relationships with stakeholders which include customers, employees, shareholders, and government.
Harley-Davidson’s core values and value statement or business code of conduct is:
Tell the Truth.
Keep Your Promises.
Respect the Individual.
Encourage Intellectual Curiosity. “These are our values. They are the heart of how we run our business. They guide our actions and serve as the framework for the decisions and contributions our employees make at every level of the Company.” (Chen, 2008) Harley-Davidson’s commitment to continue to provide their customers with superior motorcycles, and most of all an experience, is due to these core values and sets the example for other companies to follow. The Harley-Davidson core values are truly the heart and soul of the how they do business and why the brand strength is legendary.
Harley-Davidson, considers their employees to be their largest competitive advantage and it separates the Harley-Davidson’s culture apart from other companies. They have made easy access for employees to senior management with an “open door” policy. (shareholder.com, n.d.) This creates a two-way communication between employee and management, all the way up to the CEO. This also gives the employees a chance to weigh-in with his or her thoughts and ideas. Harley-Davidson believes partnering with employees is one way they can benefit from the ideas and input of all of their employees. By sharing its vision with employees, it ensures that all of their employees are working in the same direction, is a key of their success. In order to make that possible Harley-Davidson implemented a Partnering Agreement, critical decisions are concluded side-by-side between management and leaders of the unions. There are two separate unions associated with Harley-Davidson; the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers