American And Japanese Management Practices In Their Singapore Subsidiaries' Joseph M. Putti and Thomas Chong F.H.*
ABSTRACT Multinational corporations have made significant contributions to the economic growth of Singapore; American and Japanese companies are among those in the forefront. This study is aimed at finding the extent to which US and Japanese companies have transferred and implemented the management practices in their subsidiaries operating in Singapore. Extensive and intensive interviews of a small sample of companies in the electronic/eiectrical industry reveal that the Japanese are not practising what they do in Japan while the Americans have demonstrated that the transferability of their management practices is feasible and they are workable in Singapore.
In recent years more and more companies across cultures are turning to Japanese management practices in their efforts to increase productivity. In the post-war period Japan has achieved remarkable economic success. Many scholars and researchers attribute this success to the Japanese way of managing enterprises. While the credit seems to go to the Japanese for the concepts and techniques which result in efficiency and effectiveness, the Japanese themselves silently agree that their miracle has been achieved through borrowed practices from the West, particularly from the United States. In whatever culture or nation the Japanese and American companies operate, they seem to contribute tremendously to economic growth. Of course, they carry their own sets of practices abroad. The US management practices are characterised by: emphasis on individualism; encouragement of independence in interpersonal relationships; worker participation; promotion of competition and elitism, with preference for the specialist with a high level of ability; low sense of belonging to the company; making changes in an abrupt manner; tsasing promotions on individual merit (Kobayashi, 1976). Japanese management practices,...
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