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Eastern & Western Management Styles

Germany, the U.S. and Japan
Carola Carstens, Nina Kummer, Britta Upsing

What is Management?
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Staffing Leadership and Career Development Compensation System Motivation and Evaluation



What is management ?

Takeo Fujisawa, Founder of Honda Motor Company: „Japanese and American management are 95 per cent the same, yet differ in all important respects.“


Recruitment in Japan
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directly from school with a focus on general characteristics instead of technical skills as one is employed for a lifelong period

Career development

A successful career  After 10 years: promotion to kacho  After 20 years or more: promotion to bucho  Not before the age of 50: possible promotion to directorship Career development .

Career perception Japan  Germany    Life-long employment Seniority promotion   Ultimate goal: broad experience  Short-time employment possible Promotion on merit Increased mobility Specialists Career development .

Factors that determine salary       Prevailing pay Bargaining power of unions Individual needs Job requirements Seniority and education Ability to pay Compensation System .

The pay-package in Japan    Monthly base-pay Semi-annual bonus Allowances and benefits Compensation System .

Sources of Motivation Similarities     Differences     Responsibility Challenge Interesting work Recognition Money is secondary Seniority wage Promotion system Importance of the group Motivation and Evaluation .

154 Motivation and Evaluation . p.The process of evaluation In: Japanese Management.

HRM: Japan .USA Importance of the company for Japanese and American employees: In: Japanese Management. 155 73% of the Japanese Conclusion 79% of the Americans . p.

USA JAPAN top priority given to human assets in management regular employees ∼ fixed assets  well-being is crucial USA primary importance will be accorded to numbers and laws rather than to people employees = semi-variable assets  can be hired and fired as needed Conclusion .HRM Japan .

HRM in Japan „people-centered management“   Japanese companies exist primarily “for the well-being of Japan and its people” people before profit ? Conclusion .

Abstraktes oder Unangenehmes. „soziales Beisammensein“ Conclusion . allseits Wärme spendender Organismus.“ * kaisha = „Firma“.HRM in Japan Uchi no kaisha*: „Ein Unternehmen ist nichts Fremdes. lit. sondern ein eminent nützlicher.

Office Layout    Open-plan offices No cubicles or dividers Private space is avoided in touch  Keep .

Office Layout “I share a spacious office area with other administrative staff members. When we work together in one big room. we can talk casually to one another. There are a lot of suggestions and ideas exchanged in these conversations.” (the president of Honda American Motors) Office Layout .

Groups    Working groups with family-like ties Identification with the group The group rather than a single individual is rewarded or blamed in case of failure is maintained  Harmony Formal and Informal Company Structure .

Working groups    Group members are aware of their status Individual needs are deemphasized in order to maintain harmony Dependency relationships Formal and Informal Company Structure .

5/6 of the population was employed in rice cultivation Only 10% of the land can be cultivated Crowdedness Cooperation is necessary Formal and Informal Company Structure .Rice cultivation    until 100 years ago.

Habatsu (Cliques)  Informal groups  Membership is based on unchangeable criteria – – Graduating from the same university Having a common hometown Formal and Informal Company Structure .

Communication     office-layout supports the free flow of information everybody is kept up-to-date communication even vertically is easy face-to-face communication is often continued in a restaurant etc.  high-context situation Communication .

not very developed „fine art of communicating (low-context desires and feelings culture) without words“. lacking the reciprocal give-and-take USA non-binding  „inefficient“ preferred form of communication: contracts. nonverbal very important. „honne – tatemae“ Communication .. cold. subtle. memos. seen as formal..Communication JAPAN oral written preferred form of communication „last resort“.

Communication ..Decision Making  popular view: JAPAN group process  catchwords: JAPAN USA USA individual process bottom up  top down but reality is a little more subtle..

Decision Making .Japan Cultural background:  “Wa”: harmony .the essence of Japanese life  „Kyodotai“: harmonic. organic cooperation of a community with friendly mutual support and understanding decisions are ideally made in this atmosphere of friendly cooperation  unanimity  solidarity Communication .

Decision Making .Japan RINGI system of decision making   nemawashi: „preparing the ground“ frequent „sound-outs“ on views and positions (uchiawase) ringi-seido: circling process Communication .

Decision Making – Japan ringi-seido 1 ok? ok! decision form („ringisho“) sound discussion with the affected sections/ people proposal fills out Communication .

 each will make comments on a sheet attached to the back of the proposal Communication .Decision Making – Japan ringi-seido 2  proposal is forwarded to all relevant sections/ people section x section y ...

Decision Making – Japan ringi-seido 3   the decision will be made by top management based on the comments from all people involved in the process official announcement of the approval Communication .

Decision Making – Japan Too time-consuming ? In: Japanese Management. 161 Communication . p.

Decision Making – Japan Pros:  elimination of dissension through participation of a large number of people  participation of employees even at lower levels  cumulated expertise  gradual improvement/correction  no individual responsibility -> daring and progressive decisions  gather opinions of other sections (no “nicht mein Bier”)  smooth/ more efficient implementation Communication .

Two sides of an organization FORMAL “official side” organization charts designated work units INFORMAL “working side” cliques informal leaders job specifications titles ranks lines of authority channels of informal communication Formal and Informal Company Structure .

Kacho     Informal leader Head of department position between management and workforce mediator Formal and Informal Company Structure .

Formal and Informal Company Structure .Informal Structure in Japan Informal  leaders  groups  channels of communication supplement a steep hierarchy.

Organic versus Mechanistic View Organic: The organization as a living organism Constantly in progress Mechanistic:  The organization as a static scheme Strive for equilibrated states Informal and Formal Company Structure .

integrate and motivate in America management rather means supervising others  Informal and Formal Company Structure .Management  management in Japan has to coordinate.

Hierarchy   Strict hierarchical order Secured spheres of control Managers are other-oriented  In the West most managers are self-oriented Hierarchy .

Power Power is based on a person„s function  In Western organizations power is based on a person  Less competition in Japan than in Western cultures Hierarchy .

a catalyst .a coach .a source of inspiration for his team Hierarchy .Leadership  an effective leader in Japan is above all: .

Management and working styles 1 JAPAN generalists promotion by seniority conflict is solved privately people-oriented long-term planning informal communication decision by consensus interdependency Summary WEST specialists promotion by performance conflict is solved in public task-oriented short-term planning formal communication decision by majority interdependency is viewed sceptically .

logical argumentation style written communication more important . nonverbal communication is important face-to-face communication more important Summary WEST less bonds working space is structured according to individual needs informal interactions more common analytical.Management and working styles 2 JAPAN reciprocal commitment between managers and workers open-plan offices formalized and ritualized interactions intuitive.


Total Quality Control   Method developed in the USA Quality assurance at every stage of production In Japan: Quality Circles Target Cost Organization and Planning .

analyse. Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan. 238) Organization and Planning .and solve product-quality and production problems and to improve general operations.“ (Robert E.Quality Circles „Quality Circles are small groups of people who do similar or related work who meet regularly to identify. S. Cole.

Quality Circles   Core element of the Japanese application of Total Quality Control Small groups of employees: 10-12 members to facilitate communication improving process = Kaizen KAI = Change and ZEN = to the best  Continously Organization and Planning .

Benefits of Quality Circles      Improved communication Greater job satisfaction Improved morale Improved quality Cost savings Organization and Planning .

then calculate the costs Organization and Planning .Target Cost Japan   Germany   Costs estimated by „cost engineers“ What are customers willing to pay? Costs estimated by accountants Design first.