ERIC Number: ED217502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Japanese Management and Participative Decision Making: Implications for Organizational Communication Research.
Stewart, Lea P.
In recent years, Japanese management techniques have been proclaimed by many as the salvation of American business. It would be dangerous, however, to apply these techniques to American business situations without critically examining them. Whereas Americans regard responsible individuality as a virtue and view lack of autonomy as a constraint, the Japanese regard individuality as evidence of immaturity and autonomy as the freedom to comply with one's obligations and duties. While there are no significant differences in the style of decision making used by Japanese and United States managers, the dominance of face-to-face communication among the Japanese may account for the perception that there is more openness about major decisions in Japanese firms and more desire for employers and employees to explore and learn together. There are problems with the Japanese system, however. For example, permanent employment operates mainly in the larger Japanese firms, applies only to a minority of Japanese workers, and is reserved for males. To avoid the stigma of becoming a temporary worker or manual laborer, Japanese children are pressed at increasingly younger ages to learn enough to be admitted to the most prestigious schools, since career opportunities are dependent on educational achievement. After careful examination, Japanese management appears to be a system of contradictions. Before American business people start a wholesale application of Japanese management techniques, they need to ask whether success should be measured in terms similar to those used by the Japanese. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interpersonal Communication; Japan; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Hartford, CT, May 6-9, 1982). May not reproduce well due to dark and broken print of the original.