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Published by Donna Marie

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Published by: Donna Marie on Feb 08, 2011
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The Evidence from Korea
Running Head: ASIAN MANAGEMENT STYLESAsian Management Styles:The Evidence from KoreaDonna Marie F. Yap, RPh; MBASaint Louis UniversityMay 2010
The Evidence from Korea
Asian Management Styles: The Evidence from KoreaAll management systems have a common feature: They strive to enhance the performance of organizations in the most effective way to achieve the organization¶s goals,sharing universally applicable principles of planning, organization, control, leadership andmotivation. The meaningful comparison of the history of firms and business systems amongcountries requires a thorough understanding of the political, social, economic and institutionalcontexts. In the paper reviewed, there is a limitation on the number of references collated tocome up with only two models that pertain to Japanese and Korean management styles.Both Japanese and Korea have rich histories before the occurrence of World War II. Itwould be pleasant to revisit their histories and see how the foundations of their businesses and practices were made. Despite the common notion from the West that management practices werenot being carried out in Asia, management practices have already been used in as early as the1500s in Japan, with business being likened to battle, employing tactical strategy to succeed.Japan¶s society can be identified as blood-prone. It was only after Japan¶s quick economicgrowth after the war that attention has been focused on them. Not until business practices weregiven named by foreign analysts were these recognized accordingly. One example of a business practice in Japan is the Japanese Candlestick System, developed by Munehisa Homna from arice-trading family of Japan, was used in the early 16
century to give rice traders an overviewof open, high, low and close market prices of rice over a certain period. The traders discoveredthat the resulting candlestick charts is a reliable basis for future rice demand. The candlestick system has only been applied in Western investment practices in the early 1900s. (The History of Japanese Candlesticks, 2003)
The Evidence from Korea
Family businesses in Japan contribute much economic development. Family-owned business tend to outperform non-family operated businesses (José Allouche, 2008), therefore itwould be a good basis to start looking into this avenue to understand more about the Japanesemanagement styles. During the Meiji restoration onwards, family businesses in Japan played astrategic role in combining western advancements with the traditional eastern values. They havedefined family as those contributing to the economic welfare of the group irrespective of lineage.They practiced primogeniture long before World War II, establishing structure and familyholding practices of large businesses or 
. The longevity of Japanese family companiesmay be attributed to often turning sons-in-law into true family insiders, broadening the pool for successors and talented managers without involving non-family members (Barclays Wealth &The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009). Salaried managers were delegated to manage theenterprise (families reigned but did not govern) and had the opportunity to move up thecompany¶s hierarchy through internal promotion. Japan has a peculiar concept of family which is based not only on consanguinity but also on adoption (Colli, 2003). The long-standing practiceof keeping the business in the family contributes much to the hierarchical, broad-based structuresand loyalty of the employees that is demonstrated by Japanese businesses today. Profitmaximization, through just-in-time inventory keeping and value-added measures look more likeeffects of sustainable relationships that are fostered within the business (employees) and out(suppliers, customers). For this Japanese management style to be applied in the western setting, itwould involve changing business relationships to a more intimate, familial kind. All in all, thefollowing characteristics can be seen from Japanese management systems: Consensus decision-making, lifetime employment, team spirit, strong loyalty, paternalistic leadership, personal

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