Chiba Case Study

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Chiba International, Inc.

Question 1.

Philosophy: Chiba’s philosophy reflects aspect of Japanese National Culture. With an Individualism score of 46, Japan shows a leniency towards Collectivism, that is, they believe in putting harmony over the expression of individual opinions. However, unlike many of their neighbouring Asian countries, they are not only loyal to family, or those people who have been in their inner group sine birth, but also to situational groups. This means that unity is an important factor in groups outside of family, and friends. Chiba emphasizes on a family-oriented environment, and are united for a common goal. They put pressure on personal relationship s because they believe they are essential for the success of the company. For example, when there is a problem within the group they organise “kompas”. This is an off-premises meeting where the employees meet up to resolve problems, and work harmoniously. In contrast, the company’s attitude towards carreer advancement, large amounts of effort expected from exployees, and high company goals express Japan’s high Masculinity score of 95 indicates that they are driven by competition, achievement and success.

Meetings: Chiba holds numerous meetings which gives every single employee (from salaried to top management) the opportunity to speak and express any thoughts or concerns they like. They also focus on building a close relationship between employees and commitment to the company by hosting company-spondored activities such as parties and sports. During the meetings they also discuss the company goals which are linked with the annual comany bonuses distributed equally amogst the employees. This shows that they lean towards unity and success for all, rather than individual profits. Japan’s power distance score of 54 shows that there is a relative amount of centralized power. The frequency and procedures of the meetings show the power distance, however giving the employees the opportunity to speak freely shows that Chiba is a more democratic organization, rather than autocratic or laissez-faire.

Sales: Chiba’s outlook on sales is very different from the American way. Their motto indicates that «Sales» represents Sincerity, Ability, Love, Energy and Service. Sincerity in selling a product, the Ability to do so. Energy to work at 100%, and finally Service to the customer. Managers also expect honesty from the sales team, even about any mistakes they could have made. Employees are dependant on upper management, and management is dependent on them for feedback on customer preferences. Power distance is evident, however not as prominent.

Management Style: Chiba International’s management style differs from American management in several ways. First, given that they are more individualistic, they enter the company wondering whom they will directly report to, as well as scouting out those who have «power» and gain their approval. However, Chiba’s collectivist perspective believes the employee will «report to the company» as a whole, rather that one individual. They look for devotion, dedication and an agressive attitude in managers, without paying much attention to their credentials. They are interested in their way of thinking more so than their skill. The company believes that «the joy of working for the company can be identical to personal happiness with the family», which is different than the American mind-set. The Japanese manager will think of the future of the company first, rather than his/her personal happiness, «Live to work», achievements and reaching goals are all characteristics of a masculine society.

Financial Principles: Chiba’s financial principles show a great deal of uncertainity avoidance, which reflects Japan’s score of 92. Their frequent meetings, and updates on company progress, along with their founder’s conservative management style which asks the question: « If we close down tomorrow, what would our liquid assets...
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