Wk1 lectures - Course Documents LECTURETTE 1.1"AN ANALYSIS OF UNITED STATES VS JAPANESE MANAGEMENT Research conducted in comparing American style

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Course Documents LECTURETTE 1.1 – “AN ANALYSIS OF UNITED STATES VS. JAPANESE MANAGEMENT” Research conducted in comparing American style management vs. the Japanese style of management are clearly distinct from one another. As an example the cofounder of Honda Motor Company, T. Fujisawa, observed that, “Japanese and American managers are 95 % the same and differ in all important aspects.” On one hand, managers must cope with the same challenges and opportunities- irrespective of whether they are operating in Tokyo or Los Angeles. However, in five critical areas, the business environment is very different. NATIONAL CULTURE The American worker usually perceives the job-even a good job-as primarily a means to an end: a source of funds through which one enjoys life off the job. The worker in America discovers that American individualistic values run contrary to the corporate workgroup. The “Go West, young man” worker mobility work ethic in America limits company loyalty and long-term employment commitments on the part of the employee. However, the Japanese culture places extraordinary pressures on one’s obligations. span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Obligations are inherited at birth and enlarged through education and career. They result in fierce loyalty to one’s employer and one’s country. As a nation, the Japanese enjoy an amazing consensus of purpose and are highly disciplined to fulfill these obligations. In Japan, it is said that the job is society, and society is the job. Every Japanese who joins a company shares equally in it. His or her friends work for the same company. THE WORKFORCE Japanese workers work together for good of the organization, avoiding individual recognition in favor of group, corporate, and national accomplishments. The American worker is an individual who looks out for number one. Japanese workers perceive an overall duty to work long hours, shun vacations, and commit themselves completely to their work, giving Japan its long history of being called the most goal-oriented country in the world. Apathy on the part of American workers is an increasingly challenging problem. The lack of worker loyalty and work orientation is evidenced by the fact that the average tenure of any United States job is only 4.2 years, whereas the Japanese see the commitment lasting a lifetime.
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Competition among employees is a long-standing American tradition and is seen as one way to keep workers sharp and hard working. Little concern is expressed for the fact that this emphasis on competition can undermine worker cooperation and employee morale. The Japanese see such competition as a negative work factor, and research has shown that Japanese worker performance deteriorates under competitive environments.
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This note was uploaded on 07/06/2009 for the course MGMT 303 taught by Professor Scott during the Spring '08 term at Agnes Scott College.

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Wk1 lectures - Course Documents LECTURETTE 1.1"AN ANALYSIS OF UNITED STATES VS JAPANESE MANAGEMENT Research conducted in comparing American style

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