Continuously improving products rather than

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Continuously improving products rather than developing innovative new products, Improving market share for long term profit, and Providing importance to process rather than results. 2.5 The "Ringi System” and Decision Making: Japanese companies employ a method of group-oriented and participatory decision making called: “Ringi" sys tem. This system helps in quick implementation of policies because the basic approval and the opining of persons concerned has already been taken during the process of "Ringi" decision making system. Decision-making in Japanese organisations is based on the
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7 culture of collectivism and shared responsibility. This underlies the Japanese ringi system, which is based on consensual decision-making (Parker, 1994). The Japanese tend to believe the wa or harmony, fundamentally important to Japanese culture and social interaction, can be best maintained in consensus decision-making where everyone has to agree and be happy with the final decisions being made (Chen, 1995). An associated concept, nemawashi, literally refers to dealing with the roots of trees (Chang, 1988), where gardening or the transplanting of trees requires much skill and meticulous effort. In addition, Chen (1995) explained that nemawashi in a big organisation refers to preliminary and informal ideas generation in relation to a proposed course of action or project. The employers in Japanese organisations realise that ideas from the bottom level of the organisation are an important source for the company. Therefore, nemawashi implies the activities that take place below ground level in which contacted persons remain anonymous and feel free to talk about their ideas. The ringi process usually comprises four steps: proposal, circulation, approval and, record. A ringisho, which is a proposal that originates in one section, is forwarded to all relevant sections on the same level, section heads, managers, directors and eventually the president of the company (Chen, 1995). Upon receiving the ringisho, each person involved in the process will make comments on a sheet attached to the back of the proposal. The decision will be made by the top management based on comments of all people involved in the process (Chen, 1995). The purpose of this round-about way of making decisions is to eliminate dissension, as many are given a chance to change their decision before it is actually made. 2.6 Communication: Some distinctive characteristics regarding communication methods within most of the Japanese companies are as follows: Regular morning meeting of top, middle level managers and other employees. Open working office area where all level of employees work together with managers. The layout is very conducive for good communication among employees.
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8 2.7 Culture: The core values of Japanese culture are amae (dependence), on (obligation passively incurred), giri (a bond or moral obligation and debt that must be repaid because of one’s status or membership of a particular group), ninjo (human feelings including all the natural human impulses and inclinations) (Sethi, Namiki and Swanson, 1984). All of the above core
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