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1. What were triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990s?

How is
cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?
During the 1950s -1980s Matsushita was able to benefit from traditional
Japanese culture because the business was able to hold onto personnel through
period of extreme growth, hence retaining acquired knowledge, experience and
skills. This meant that Matsushita never needed to relearn tasks only to improve
on what they already knew. From the 50s through the 80s during periods of
extreme growth Matsushita could rely on employees to encourage their sons and
daughters to follow in their foot steps and join the company where required and
behave in an acceptable manner to that of their parents.
2. How might Japan's changing culture influence the way Japanese businesses
operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the
Japanese economy?
The paternalistic relationship characteristic of Japanese management changed,
allowing employees options for different type of employment contracts whereby
they could choose greater salary to forego company housing and seniority
benefits. This affected Japanese business performance, improving productivity
and individual rewards/incentives.
3. How did traditional Japanese culture benefit Matsushita during the 1950s1980s? Did traditional values become more of a liability during the 1990s and
early 2000s? How so?
The values of the 50-60x helped Japan become strong economically. The
Confucian values included obligation to the workplace, strong loyalty and group
identification, hard work, and belief in the greater good of the company.
Although these traditional values helped Japan to become a strong economy, they
became more of a burden in the 1990s and early 2000s when the economy went
through a slowdown and the "cradle to the grave" concept was not possible to
keep for protecting jobs. Some businesses kept employees on the payroll as
seniority gave protection to workers but their jobs were often less of a highperforming type and more for security only. This hindered company and industry
growth, contributing more to the economic slowdown of the country.
4. What is Matsushita trying to achieve with human resource changes it has
announced? What are the impediments to successfully implementing these
changes? What are the implications for Matsushita if (a) changes are made
quickly or (b) if takes years or even decades to fully implement the changes?
The company's continued commitment to long-standing employees means that

the average age of its workforce is rising. In the 60s it was around 25, by the early
2000s it was around 35 years. The quick cultural change would help Matsushita
to increase productivity fast but it would also result in the laying off of many
senior employees. The longer adjustment of the cultural changes would delay the
company's progress but could result in more acceptances among employees and
possibly a higher level of morale.
5. What does the Matsushita case teach you about the relationship between
societal culture and business success?
Societal values influence business success as these determine employees
attitudes and their level of commitment for work. Management decisions are
impacted by cultural values in terms of priorities and business objectives.
Different cultural values result in different business practices. However, cultural
values change over time and business leaders must be sensitive to the changes
and its implications to business.

Transcript of Matsushita and Japan's Changing Culture


Matsushita and Japan's Changing Culture
DERRICK SOKONI
SHELDON REIMERS
Questions
What were the triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990s? How is
cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?
Question # 1
How might Japans changing culture influence the way Japanese business
operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes
for the Japanese economy?
Question # 2
Case
How did traditional Japanese culture benefit Matsushita during the 1950s1980s? Did traditional values become more of a liability during the 1990s
and early 2000s? How so?
Question # 3
What is Matsushita trying to achieve with human resource changes it has
announced? What are the impediments to successfully implementing these
changes? What are the implications for Matsushita if (a) the changes are
made quickly or (b) it takes years or even decades to fully implement the
changes?
Question # 4
It was beneficial because of the Confucian Values.

It became a liability,
The new generation
did not show interest
in the traditional
values.
Thanks
What does the Matsushita case teach you about the relationship between
societal culture and business success?
Question # 5
Matsushita - Panasonic
Japanese multinational electronics corporation
formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Founded In 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita under strong values such as:
Identification
Reciprocal obligations
Loyalty to the company
Despite the materials shortages, Panasonic's products maintain their quality.
During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts
of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light
fixtures, motors, electric irons, wireless equipment, and its first vacuum tube
They lost 32 factories and offices.
During all this time, they kept their values and kept helping their employes.
Matsushita during World War II
Some benefits:
Cheap housing
Guaranteed lifetime employment
Seniority based pay systems
Generous retirement bonuses
What they expect from their employes:
Loyalty
Hard work
Confucian values in the workplace
They Grew Up In A World of Ambition
Western Ideals Were Present

Dynamic World.
Loyalty Not A Focus
Generation After 1964
Japanese Companies Had To Make Many Changes:
Layoff Old Workers
Guaranteed Lifetime Employment Was Taken Away.
Loyalties To A Single Company Started to Fade.
Panasonic in the 90's
Changed The Pay Scheme: From Seniority To Performance.
3 Employment Options
New Beliefs:
- Employees Democratisation
- Individuality
- Initiative
- Taking Risk
1998: Time to Change
What Did They Want From Their Young Employees?
Rational & Logical Thinking
Ambitious
Some
Many
Few
Agressive
(cc) photo by twicepix on Flickr
(cc) photo by tudor on Flickr
They Had To:
Close 30 Factories.
13 000 Jobs Were Cut
Many Assets Were Sold.

But It Wasn't Easy


First Trigger: Richer economy & Ambitious Generation after 1964
Second Trigger: Economic Slump & loss of traditional values & Jobs

Loyalty Benefits Change to Performance Benefits


They still give the employees benefits but not based on seniority.
This leads to a more service-based efficient economy.
They wanted people to encourage individuality, start believing in the
employee democratization and were seeking younger employees.
Impediments: old employees.
Implications for Matsushita if:
a) Quickly: the employees may not understand the new system and may
reject it.
b) It takes years or decades: the business can not prospered before it's
implemented adequately.
For a business to succeed the managing parties should anticipate changes in
society, which lead to social-cultural changes.
Practices of today may not be effective tomorrow.
Confucian values are ethical and philosophical system developed from the
teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. ...
BACK GROUND AND HISTORY
CASE STUDY OVERVIEW
CONTENTS OF PRESENTATION
BACKGROUND
CASE STUDY OVERVIEW
QUESTIONS
ACTIVITY
CONCLUSION
ACTIVITY
CONCLUSION
In 1927, it began producing bicycle lamps, the first product which it
marketed under the brand name National.
Panasonic is the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012
market share.
Its head quarters are located in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan.
After the war, Panasonic regrouped as a Keiretsu and began to supply the
post war boom in Japan with radios and appliances, as well as bicycles.
Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for
components after World War II. Sanyo grew to become a competitor to

Panasonic, but was later acquired by Panasonic in December 2009.


In 1961, Konosuke Matsushita traveled to the United States and met with
American dealers. The company began producing television sets for the U.S.
market under the Panasonic brand name, and expanded the use of the brand
to Europe in 1979.
Establishment of Panasonic in the
U.S in 1959 as it becomes global.
In 2004 They Started To Make Profits.
WHAT YOURE REQUIRED TO DO
Generation Before 1964
Held Traditional Values
Job Security an Asset
Loyal To Single Company
Seniority-Based Pay System
Worked For Good of Company
Western Ideas Started Change
Traditional Values
They didn't were as committed as their ancestors.
In the 90's Japan had an economic crisis.
Overseas Based Managers Brought In Western Management Ideas.
What Option Would You Take?
You Shall Be Given The Same 3
Options That The Employees Were
Given.
Cultural Differences
Difference Between Cultures
Ideals Change
Be Aware Of Each Generation