Case 1: Chiba International, Inc.
1. Can Japanese management practices work in the United States without adaptation? Why or why not? What cultural values are relevant? Japanese management practices in the United States cannot work without adaptation. Because Japanese culture is so different than American culture, it would take a lot of acclimation. The reason it wouldn’t work without adapting is because the values and behaviors of the two countries are so different from each other. For example, the Japanese are very patient and cautious. The opposite is true for Americans, who are action-oriented and risk takers. The relevant cultural values include those on page 118 of the text. For Americans the values include: Action, Freedom, and Equality. For the Japanese, they value patience, harmony, and hierarchy. In order for Japanese management practices to be used, Americans would have to learn to take on the Japanese values and adapt to the differences in culture. 2. How should Ken and John adapt Chiba’s California practices to their situation? What problems will they run into (cultural and otherwise)? Chiba International was able to grasp the Japanese culture by slowly immersing themselves in their culture. Instead of trying to jump right into the way the Japanese did management, they took their time to really understand the meanings behind why the Japanese did things the way they did. Ken and John should look follow Chiba’s example and ease into things. In the beginning of the case, it talked about how John thought hiring a Japanese professor would help them get things rolling. This was a good thought, but it is more about learning the culture than merely getting translators. The biggest Problem they will face is the adapting of the Japanese culture. A lot of their values have been instilled in them throughout their whole life, so John and Ken need to be patient in learning what takes the Japanese a lifetime to master. 3. What aspects of the Japanese approach...
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