Since 1979 the Ford Motor Co. has fundamentally reoriented its global strategy, restructured its management processes and attempted radically to revise its labour relations. The essential elements of Fordism as the definitive form of mass production – direct control of the labour process and elaborate managerial hierarchies policed by financial specialists – were established at different moments in the development of the Ford Motor Co. Ford’s reputation for analytical rigour was matched only by the intensely political nature of the organisation. Ford’s functional ‘chimney’ structure and the politicised nature of corporate culture combined to limit lateral information flows and interdisciplinary decision-making. Ford and IBM pioneered the development of the multinational as a planned global organisation in which national subsidiaries were allocated specific roles within the corporation’s regional and world-wide strategies. From its foundation, the executive management of Ford of Europe has been based on long-serving European operational managers and short-stay Detroit postings.