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Thread: japanese management style

  1. #1
    Newbie Malloc-X may be famous one day Malloc-X may be famous one day Malloc-X's Avatar
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    japanese management style

    hey guys how r u doin?

    I have this assigment doin about japanese management style and could really use your help. i have been searchin the net for hrs. i've gathered a bunch of information but i wouldn't mind u guys tellin me what u know. i need to also know about the japanese culture as well. and japanese organisational behaviour.

    so far these sites have help me out the most

    http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbook...e/uu36je0g.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture...ese_management

    any help from u guys would be greatly appreciated. thanx in advance

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    Newbie Vault 35 may be famous one day Vault 35 may be famous one day
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    Re: japanese management style

    The company I worked for in Japan was typical enough. Imagine I am your manager at a Japanese company and you are a new hire. The following rules apply to the Japanese staff and their management:

    If you have a problem with the way your manager does his or her job, complain about it in the bar after hours. Never do it in the office. If you do it in the office, then you do not belong at this company.

    If you have a problem with the way your manager does his or her job and you go over his head, you are being childish and unreasonable and the big boss will agree with me.

    If you don't do your job, you get fired--no excuses, no appeals.

    If you are a sales manager and you don't meet expected monthly sales figures, you will be removed from that position the next day. You may not get fired, but you will be moved and placed in a lesser position.

    If you are caught taking personal calls in the office, you will be given a warning. If it happens again, you're fired.

    If an angry boyfriend or girlfriend ever calls this office and anybody else gets wind of it, you're out fast.

    Turn off your personal cel phone in the office or it will be confiscated. If you have a problem with that, then you do not belong at this company.

    Hair color. If you change your hair color and your manager tells you to change it back to your natural color, do it or you're out. If you get a perm and your manager says to undo it, undo it or you're out. The same goes for nails, excessive makeup, colored contacts, jewelry, and anything else they we can think of.

    Follow the dress code or you don't get in the door. Don't even think about setting foot on company property if you are not fully dressed--that means your tie better be on and tied properly before you get to the office--none of this standing in the office toilet to finish doing your tie. Skirts will be a specified length and you ladies will wear only the type of hose specified in the code.

    If one single yen is not accounted for at the end of the day, you will stay in the office and account for it before you leave--even if you have to pay for it yourself.

    Tattoos will not be visible. If you have tattoos on parts of your body that cannot be covered by business attire, you probably will never be hired in the first place.

    If someone is harassing you and you can't deal with it like an adult, request a transfer to another branch or resign and seek life elsewhere.

    We don't simply believe the customer is always right. We believe the customer is God.

    Don't get romantically involved with customers. If you do and it goes bad, you will be fired if your ex-sweetheart causes us any trouble at all.


    You can be fired for no reason. We will usually give you a reason but we don't have to.

    These are just a few of the rules the Japanese operate under. Mind you, the Japanese were a bit more forgiving with us western foreigners because, of course, we are ignorant barbarians. They had other bi-lingual western foreigners manage us on a day to day level but the Japanese management had ultimate power over them, of course.
    -----------------------------Double Post Merge---------------------------------------------
    I forgot to mention that you might find more resources on the internet if you use the keywords "Japanese corporate culture" in the search boxes.
    Last edited by Vault 35; Apr 17, 2006 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Newbie ChamaTama may be famous one day ChamaTama may be famous one day ChamaTama's Avatar
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    Re: japanese management style

    Vault 35, which industry were you involved in? Sounds really... uh, harsh. Although, having lived in Japan for most of my life, I'd have to agree with what you've listed.

    One thing, though, I'd like to say that the given description yet seems to be the mainstream it's not that bad everywhere. I can't generalize the Japanese corporate culture in a word since I currently work for an "exceptional" company, but I feel a huge change in the corporate culture in the past few years.

    A lot of it I suppose is due to foreign investment influence and the big IT wave. Some companies like the one I work for is a good deal flexible in many aspects, however, as I said they're still minorities in numbers.

    umm, sorry I couldn't help you much.

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    Newbie Vault 35 may be famous one day Vault 35 may be famous one day
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    Re: japanese management style

    It does seem harsh but some of us got used to it and after a while became comfortable with it because that type of system is very predictable. And, like I said, they were more forgiving to us foreigners--as long as the Japanese customers felt they were getting their money's worth out of their exposure to us, we could invent our own "customer relations" style. Foreigners were part of the company's product.

    The Japanese staff worked under much tighter rules. They had a lot more responsibility than us. They balanced the books and handled the money. They made the sales and paid the bills. They recon the competition disguised as customers. The researched new neighborhoods and set up deals to open new locations. 99% of the Japanese staff were women under 35 years old--even upper level regional managers. The company put young women into positions of heavy responibility as soon as possible--and the young ladies often have no choice in the matter. They have no shortage of applicants.

    The company also has a huge infrastructure that is uniform all over Japan. This gave some of us a sense of security. In the years I worked for them, they never made a single mistake in payroll--and there was never a shortage of overtime if you wanted to make some extra money.

    Some of us liked it but it isn't for everyone. Some of the foreigners I worked with lasted only a short time because they simply were not used to anyone telling them what to do on any level--and most of us were in our twenties fresh out of university. Anyone not able to put their youthful, built-in contempt for authority on a shelf wasn't happy there .

    I felt O.K. there because I knew from the beginning it was only temporary. I knew I would move on eventually because my marketing professors in university told us it was O.K.--scary sometimes but O.K. There are also lots of places to blow off steam in Japan and you don't have to drive at all or take a train very far to get to those places.

    Some of our competitors paid more but they were less secure and had narrower customer bases. Our customers were of all ages and professions.

    I never ran out of money and I blew a lot of it on hobbies like anime, airsoft, drinking, unnecessarily expensive clothes, cigarrette lighter collections, porn, love hotels, unnecessary electronic toys, watch collection, and so-on. In the end, I had still somehow saved more than enough money to relocate back to the U.S., buy a used car, get another apartment, and get a new job.

    Many of the books I read about jobs in Japan before going there did not have many nice things to say about the company but I have no regrets working for them. I met my wife there. She was one of the staff. We worked well together so...The company had strict policies against employees getting romantically involved with customers but not so among co-workers.

    I was an English teacher at Yokohama Honko Nova. Walk out of the main entrance of Yokahama Station and look up and to the right--or walk out of almost any station in Japan and you will find a Nova branch soon enough.

    If I ever became bored with the conditions at Honko, I would ask the Japanese sales manager if she had a branch somerwhere in her region missing a teacher that day. Not only did I usually get to go, but I often gained some overtime out of the situation as well--more money. I liked that. After about the third time I asked her, I didn't have to ask her again. Whenever she was missing a teacher in the outlands, she called on her overtime "addicts" first.

    Most of the Japanese staff were transparent about how business was going. They drafted some of the foreign, native English speaking management (they also taught classes) to hold meetings with us to explain how business was going. They told us how much the rent was for the office space and how much the utility bills were. They told us how much money the school was making during a given month and they explained the customers' spending cycles.

    Most of us, whether staff or teacher or management on either side, tried to avoid missing work without giving at least 24 hours prior notice. There was a complicated system of penalties for missing work based on how much warning we gave the staff. If I called the staff and gave them notice a day ahead of time that I was sick, then I only lost the money I would have made during the classes I missed. If I gave them no notice, then I would lose money for the classes I missed plus I would be "penalized" for an additional class.

    My wife and I left Nova because we were ready to try working on my side of the world for a while--U.S. We are still working together at the same company in the same building. She is a CAD Tech and I am an engineer. We are contractors for the phone company--they trained us in-house. We are both convinced that our experience at Nova had a lot to do with how easy acclimation to our present jobs was--she got raises a lot faster than I because of her high pressure sales experience. Management style here is much different because everything is contract project based--no daily schedules like Nova, only project deadlines. Management here leaves us alone most of the time as do the customers because the projects take weeks at a time to complete.

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    Materials Master KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi's Avatar
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    Re: japanese management style

    yeah, I have heard that a reference is Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings, I have heard that management and Japanese companies use its principles alot; also Vault 35 what is your speciality in engineering because I am currently a Materials Engineer in college and its nice knowing there are more of us on the boards. Also, the way you are describing the management style in the US is on target, at least in project and research based, you only have deadlines and management comes and checks up on you, however if you miss a deadline or a project deadline, watch the hell out.

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    Newbie Vault 35 may be famous one day Vault 35 may be famous one day
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    Re: japanese management style

    I suspect materials engineering is far more complicated than what I do which is outside plant telecommunications engineering--some call it OSP telephony. Its all about throwing cable pairs, pair gain, planning fiber & copper cable feeder & distribution schematics, obtaining construction permits, and so-on. It's a bit of field work and a lot research and CAD work. You'll probably never find OSP eng. courses in any university. Phone companies just handle it all in-house. CATV outfits probably handle things the same way--in house training then they throw us into the field--remote management. Even if we don't meet the deadlines, there is usually a good reason that everyone is aware of--nervous state & local officials blocking permits, for example...

    You probably have to go through four years or more of university to get the materials eng. degree. I studied marketing and advertising in uni. I tripped over the OSP gig by accident. I think they hired me because I had a 4 year degree in "anything" to proofread their permit application documents. I took the job because I was really interested in their "hands off" style after being under the customer's microscope as a teacher/pseudo-therapist/pseudo-celebrity in Japan.

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    Materials Master KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi may be famous one day KnightofNi's Avatar
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    Re: japanese management style

    That sounds like a good job, yeah materials engineering is more specialized but also alot more braod, you do have to go 4-5 years in school for a degree, but thats new job, I have never heard of the OSP, you learn something new everyday I guess. To put it into perspective, I would be designing new materials to make fiber optic cables out of. I am ok with the hands off style, but thats not gonna with me, because in research based engineering, at least at the industry level you are under the clients microscope.

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    Newbie Vault 35 may be famous one day Vault 35 may be famous one day
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    Re: japanese management style

    You would be amazed at how uninformed utility management is in this country about just how fiber works. I imagine the situation is very different in Japan--they do indeed know how it works. Mind you, there are serious weaknesses on both sides:

    Japan--We know every technical aspect about every gizmo we're putting in the ground but we don't know how to dig the hole and get away with it before anybody notices--so service is good but it ends up costing everybody a fortune.

    U.S.A.--we know how to dig the hole and how to grease the local officials so they'll look the other way but we don't know how any of this technology we're installing actually works--so service is cheap but sometimes it doesn't work.

    Design us a fiber that is more flexible than what is on the market now and the world is yours. Right now, an average telephone fiber is made up of 24 strands and each one of those strands is about half the diameter of a human hair.

    Gotta go now...More later

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