Gung Ho: U.S Vs Japanese Management Styles
Gung Ho is an interesting movie, which utilizes humour to compare the managerial and cultural differences between the Japanese and the Americans. The theme of the movie is that a Japanese company takes over a failed American auto plant and saves a town from ruin. However, conflict arises due to the tremendously different cultures and work ethics of the two groups. A very important element in the movie is the portrayal of the collectivism of the Japanese both in their daily and working life. While, the Americans are shown to be focused on, individualism. Collectivism is a phenomenon where the efforts of an individual are put forth for the betterment of a company or a social group. Individualism puts emphasis on individual values over group values. In Gung Ho, the Japanese are shown as trying to the run the auto plant as efficiently as any other plant in Japan. The fact that the labour is American does not to matter as the plant is owned by the Japanese and they want it to reflect their success. Therefore the company executives give preference to working late hours and even at home, even though it causes problems at home. Whereas, the American workers are shown to arrive late but leave early and give preference to their families over the company. The Japanese expect the products to be of a very high standard of quality like those in Japan, but the Americans do not understand the need for such quality control or work ethic. The demand for the performance of calisthenics as a group each morning is also very unusual and humorous for the Americans. Moreover, the Americans find it quite odd that the Japanese executives go for a swim together in the river each day, but this too is a portrayal of their team spirit. Also when playing baseball, the Japanese are shown to be in sync with each other, with no player trying to outshine another player. The individualism of the Americans is portrayed by the main character,...
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