Japanese Management Abstract As we know, Japans economy, situation, and condition was totally destroyed during the World War II. But surpassingly, Japan now become one of the powerful countries in the world especially in the economic in only took for less than fifty years. This the reason why I choose this topic.
In this Paper we will look at how are the Japanese managing their company that is one of the key of their success in the business. Also I will comparing the Japanese way with what the western country way of how to manage. The possibility of us in putting in the Japanese Theory in our (western) world are also discussed in this paper. 1.0. INTRODUCTION As we know, Japan had a very amazing growth in economy in the 70s and 80s. We remembered that before Japan had this growth, Japans economy was really destroyed by the World War Two.
Japanese bounced back from disaster to one of the most powerful countries. Two reasons Japanese firm became so successful is how h well managed their firms are. They blend their own culture with others in operating their firms, as a result, they come out with their own unique way of management. They are also successful in the way they develop their human resources. The Japanese business and management system is strongly rooted in Japanese culture and tradition. Japanese have a very unique relationship between institutions and state , between individuals and the state, and between individuals and individuals.
These relationships are linked to culture and traditional values. The Japanese is a plural homogeneous society. They have varieties of people but instead of individualism, they tend to form a group and there are no competition between group. They have very good loyalty in a group. Lee and schwendian wrote in their book,” When a Japanese man asked his occupation, he will usually answer that he is a Sony or Hitachi man, not that he is an accountant, sales person, or business manager.
(Japanese Management, 1982. pp 9). The Japanese also tend to look a non-Japanese as an outsider. They will treated non Japanese differently until they are learned how Japanese culture works. The Japanese often refer to their nation as our country (waga ku! ni) and non Japanese as outside people (gaijin). (Lee and Schwendiman, 1982.
pp. 7). In the Japanese psyche is a concept of inside (uchi) and outside (soto) that not only defines ones membership, in a group but determines how one speaks to and interact with others. (Iwata 1977, pp. 60-65). 1.1.
CULTURE INFLUENCE The Japanese have a very unique culture. They are good at mixing other cultures with their own. As a result of this blending, they come out with their own identity. China was the most importantly influenced. Buddhist and Confucian philosophy are the basic framework the Japanese use to develop their way of thinking.
Buddhist was contributing the way of life. The Confucian taught the Japanese about traditional value, external values, and harmony within the society, while at the same time emphasizing the collective aspect of the social order. These systems are the most important thoughts of Japanese management system. The Japanese used these influences to reject individualism. They prefer the natural order represented by people living in human community, rather than by individual living in the state of nature.
Even though Japanese culture had a lot of influence by others, Japanese still use their own culture to develop their management system. One of the Japanese traditional values is the samurai. Samurais are a leader in a society. They have three codes: first, giri, social obligation, second, on, the concept of benevolence and thus obligation to the lesser status, third, ninjo, a human felling- a kind of tolerance for human nature.
These three characteristics are known as the code of ethics in a professionals life. Beside these three, samurai are also known for the loyalty to their landlord. Todays Japanese dedicate their life to a corporation for their work. These system in their society are well known and apparently will be used as long as this form of elitism justified itself through legitimate behavior. Japanese firms used ringi-sei to make a decision regarding firm decisions.
Ringi-sei is a document circulated from the bottom levels of management to the top, and requires the signature of each manager at each level involved before a decision can be implemented. The top managers only act as a facilitator to the lower management, and if the decision is made then the upper management will look at whether it is proper or not. These systems of decision making will allow everybody to participate in a organization. The classical Asian assumption about seniority and age are the main influence in Japanese management. The juniors management are always learned and they have to respect the senior management. They must trusted the senior management just like the son to their father.
In term, the Senior management have a responsibility to give their knowledge and leaned younger guy. The upper managers have a big responsibility for their subordinates. Therefore, the upper managers have a freedom in hiring them and encouraged them to reach higher productivity. To have a successful career the junior management have to learned everything . There is no fast track.
Everybody will get promotion in time. Subordinates look up to the seniors. This maintains the relationship very well. 2.0.
Management Japanese System The beginning of this paper, Japanese used traditional values as a codes to manage their firm. These system can be summarized books: Theory Z (ouchi), Organized of Management (Yamagata) and The Art of Japanese Management (Pascale and Athos). From these three books we find that Japanese management style emphasized the group rather than individual, emphasized on human rather than functional relationship and a view of top as generalist and facilitators rather than as a decision makers. Japanese society tends to live in groups. This kind of style also is reflected in corporation life.
If someone works in a corporation than he or she will felt sense of belonging. He or she will devote his or her life to corporation. In this group, he or she will work as a unit to achieve corporation goals. Akiro Morita, the president of Sony Corporation, once said his firm is a ship.
Every person on this ship shares the same fate. If one falters and causes the ship to sink, all will suffer (Morita, 1981). The President of Nippon, describing the differences between America and Japanese management , said that, while a U.S. corporation is regarded as a cold, impersonal economic unit, the Japanese unit is regarded as a community with a common destiny (Japanese Managers 1977, p. 130).
The second important thing in Japanese management is emphasized on human rather than on functional relationship. Japanese firms believe in how important human factor is for a corporation. Therefore, they emphasize in individuals relationship. These are very important since a firm is viewed as one big family. If there is a conflict in the firm, than it must be solved in a way so that one is humiliated. The last important thing in Japanese management is a view of top managers as generalist and facilitators rather than a decision makers.
In a Japanese firm top managers are the ones that have already worked a long time. They already know about the firm and have experience. The important job for the managers is to become a facilitator and a generalist for subordinates to make a decision. A problem will be solved in a group and tend to be a consensus. Perhaps the most widely discussed of Japanese management is consensus or participate decision making. Such decision making modes have received considerable attention by scholars.
They conclude that a consensus approach, as compared with individual decision making, often yields decisions that are more creative and that can be implemented more effectively (Ouchi 1981, p.43). 3.0. Practices and Process on Human Resource Management Another important reason Japanese firms have been successful are, they have developed the human resource very well. Japanese firms know that they have a limited resources except human resource. Therefore, the only way to support these limited resources is they have to developed human resource.
3.1. Recruitment The Japanese believe the basic policy for recruitment is to recruit from new school graduates and the company expects these employees to work until a certain age. The company recruits not for a specific job, but rather for a general job. Then, the new employees will developed their potential in a family atmosphere. In Japanese firms, an employee is recruited by the company, not by the individual managers. This makes the employee have a sense of security for their job.
The managers will take a responsibility for their job. The managers will find another job in another department even when their previous job is no longer needed. Therefore, the firm is expecting a new employee to devote their lie to the success of the company. In the past, the Japanese firms used to recruit a new employee from the middle school (age 15), high school (age 18) and a four year college graduation (age 22). The middle school graduates usually work in very small factories or shops because the medium and large company needs at least a high school education. Male university graduates are expected to be future mangers.
But today many companies are trying to recruit from two year colleges, female university graduates, vocational school graduates, and master and PhDs. Japanese firms usually recruit a new employee directly from school. Therefore, the school has an important role in the recruitment process. Schools are the bridge between employee and employer.
School and a firms had a good relationship. Both expect to have a long term relationship. The firms need the high recruitment and the school reputation depends on the new employee. Schools usually provides information about a company to a prospect employee a year before they graduate.
They must already be prepared in the final year. The screening process in a firms uses: examination of school records, essay test, and interview. In the school record, a Japanese firm usually is very particular, they need the best in a school. Some very large companies may decide that only those who earned a grade of “A” in at least 20 subjects should be accepted (Hideo Inohara. 1990).
The age is also to be considered for the accepting employee. The employee must have a certain age, and the age limit is 25 years old age as a new recruitment. After he has reached 25 years old, it is considered time too long to graduate. Japanese firms do not put a lot of weight on testing.
They usually test general knowledge. The test includes an English test for the university graduates. The test is basically to decide which department the new employee deserves. The most important screening is the interviewed. The success of an interview is the one that the decides whether they accept them or not.
Many companies interview two times, but sometimes another interview is conducted by large companies. First interview usually by the alumnus of school which work in the company. Then if the alumnus is satisfied by their interview, the alumnus takes the applicant to a personnel staff and the second interview is conducted. The large companies also conduct a group interview.
It means that the large companies gives a subject to be discussed in the group with others in the school group. The companies will consider being hired by seeing which group reaches the decision, and works as a group. 3.2. Training and Development In the training and development, the Japanese firms have four characteristics: first, emphasizing human relation, second, being corporate responsible, third being continuous and versatile, forth, having multiple purposes. (Hideo Inohara 1990, p.69) Japanese firms know that their worker has a certain knowledge about technology or skill.
To develop this knowledge, firms believe the best way is learning by CO-worker. A firm does not have manual guide books. Hiroshi Takeuchi wrote, In Japanese enterprises , manuals, if there are any manuals, are not so detailed, and usually they are for non-clerical work. (The Management Challenge. 1985).
The firm has a responsibility to develop their employee. The training is treated as an asset of the firm. This training is shared to CO worker to achieve the firms goal, it is not used to the benefit of the individuals. The training is important, since the firm hires people on a long term contract. To trine their employee, Japanese firms do not train in a specific subject.
Instead, they gave knowledge about different skills. The object of this kind a training is to take the employee to become versatile, since the transfer between department can be occurring. This training makes the employee to think as a group as individual. The last characteristic of training and development is to focus on multiple purposes. The rapid changes within a corporation must be maintained by being versatile.
A top manager believes that the need of corporation, worker relationship, and technology are changed rapidly and the only way to survive, employees have to be able to adapt to these changes. The form of Japanese firm used in training and development are: career development, training of particular needs, and informal and self-development. (Hideo Inohara, 1990. pp 72) In term of career development, a Japanese firm provides several training. They are try to make every job easier.
Employees are expected to be able to learn by themselves, and if they can not understand about their job, then they can ask the CO-worker about it. Managers also are able to answer the employee. In way the workers will be able to train to themselves whi …