Shenanigans: Lifting the Hood on General Motors

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Author: Arnold O’Byrne

Publication Date: May 2014

ISBN: 978-1-907535-40-6

Category: Business

Type: Paperback

Price: €14.99

‘I won’t run your football affairs and you won’t sell my cars,’ Arnold O’Byrne, Ireland’s ‘Mr Opel’, said to Football Association of Ireland bosses when he signed a sponsorship agreement with them in 1986. The fourteen years’ sponsorship included the Irish soccer team’s best ever performances, under the management of Jack Charlton, in Euro 88 and World Cup 1990 and 1994. The nation rejoiced and Opel, ‘Ireland’s Number 1 Supporter’, became market leader in the country for the first time ever.

But the shenanigans, which appeared to be part of the corporate culture of General Motors, the mammoth multinational of which Opel was a division, continued. Arnold O’Byrne had observed them from his time as an investigating chief auditor with the company in the UK: corruption, dishonesty, disrespect. A corporation that claimed to value its workers rode roughshod over them when it suited the strategy of senior executives. Even the FAI sponsorship, a marvellous success in the world of European business, could not save Opel Ireland from being ‘clustered’ with the Nordic countries and downsized.

‘Arnold O’Byrne’s bold decision to sign the sponsorship agreement of behalf of Opel shows that in business, as in life, taking risks is sometimes necessary,
Paul McGrath, former Irish international

‘Arnold O’Byrne shows clearly that, even at senior management level, not everyone shares his ethical values.’
Gay Byrne, broadcaster

‘Arnold’s book is proof that strategy without proper implementation is hallucination.’
John Lynch, business analyst and Irish Independent columnist

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