Багринцева Д. С.
Case: Matsushita’s Culture Changes with Japan
1. In the 1990s when the economic bubble burst, the Japanese economy entered a prolonged economic slump. Companies had hard times. They were forced to change its traditional ways of doing business. Troubled companies started to lay off older workers and abandon lifetime employment guarantees. Younger people noticed this happening, they concluded that loyalty to a company might not be reciprocated. They lost faith in the mutual loyalty and neglected the traditional Japanese value of mutual obligations and loyalty. One of the central bargains made in postwar Japan was undermined. However, the generation born after the 1964s lacked the same commitment to traditional Japanese values as their parents. Their values were more westernized, their possibilities seemed greater. They did not want to be tied to a company for life. They didn’t want the same position in the same company their whole life, the wanted to switch companies and positions. All these events led towards individualism.
2. Japanese businesses can’t operate the way they used to due to Japan’s changing culture. Companies have to change their human resource strategies such as the pay schemes or the recruiting system. In the past, the traditional twice-a-year bonuses had been based almost entirely on seniority. Managers were eligible to live in subsidized company housing, go free to company-organized social events, and buy subsidized services such as banking from group companies. They also still would receive a retirement bonus equal to two years’ salary. But now pay scheme might be based on performance; managers might be shown what their performance rankings and how these fed into pay bonuses. They might lose both the retirement bonus and the subsidized services, but start at a still higher salary. This is a good opportunity for Japan to adapt to the globalization world and be more competitive. The cultural...