Gung-Ho Means “Work Together”

Topics: Leadership, Management, Japan Pages: 7 (2137 words) Published: August 8, 2008
Gung-Ho means “Work together”

Gung Ho demonstrates a cross-cultural relationship between the Americans and the Japanese people working together towards the goal. In this movie, a Japanese car manufacturer company takes over an American car manufacturing plant. The American workers were in conflict with the Japanese style of management.

Hunt Stevenson takes the leadership role and becomes the liaison between the Japanese executive team and the American workers. At first, the workers were working at their usual pace and did not meet the productivity numbers as expected. Before the arrival of the Japanese executives, the organization structure of the plant was “Work Specialization”. •Every worker was assigned to do a specific task.

Each worker performs a repetitive task.
Each worker is specialized in his own part of work.
After the arrival of the Japanese team, the manager set out new rules and restructures the work as “Job Redesign”. The manger wanted the workers to learn new skills and able to do more than one specific task. However, the workers were not respecting the Japanese executives and they felt that the new work structure was more impose rather than implementing. They were not happy with this and felt very dissatisfy with their jobs. Job Redesign usually takes some time to see the results, but in the case as shown in movie, the executives were not allowing time for the change of improvement. After a while, the productivity was still not increasing and the Japanese felt that they need to take action. By doing so, they were to layff workers or closing down the plant. Hunt learned that the Japanese have plans to close down the plant and realized that hundreds of workers would be left without jobs. He decided to offer a proposal so that the Japanese would not close down the plant so soon.

However, the workers were not used to this new way leading them to feel dissatisfy with their jobs. The Japanese concept was imposed more than implemented, and in many cases it was dictated. Implementation was usually top-down and corporate-driven, short-circuiting mid-level management in between. In most cases, team" was tossed around to support everything from re-organization to downsizing to a reason for firing someone (for not being "a team player").

Hunt not only has to try and bring two diverse cultures together, but he also acts as the middle man and try to please both groups of people at the same time. The American workers are concern about work-life balance. They are not used to work long hours; they enjoy taking a break and spending a quality time with their family. The Japanese are only concern for the productivity in the company. They work very hard and would sacrifice their family time to reach the goal at work.

Hunt’s Leadership style not only convinces the Japanese to accept his deal but it also helps him to inspire the workers to believe and follow his example. It can be said that Hunt is a born to be leader because Enthusiastic

“Can do” Attitude
Out-going personality
Ambition, enthusiasm, and energy
The desire to lead
Honest and integrity
Job-relevant knowledge
Strength and bravery

If there were no improvement in the numbers, the boss Old Man Morris would have to close the plant down, and hundreds of workers would become jobless. Hunt Stevenson was a leader with “Contingency Theory”. His main concern is the people at the plant. He tries everything so that the workers would still have their jobs. Because of Hunt is a “Supportive Leader”, he shows concerns of the workers which results a high performance and therefore high productivity.

Hunt Steven tried to achieve the follow:
Improve spirits and productivity
Reduce employee turnover
Empower the workmen

A useful study of ethical leadership....
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