Gung-Ho Movie

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Executive Summary

Gung-Ho was a comedy movie released by Parliament Pictures in 1986. The title of the movie is actually a Chinese expression for "work together". The main story portrayed the takeover of an American automobile plant by a Japanese automobile manufacture- Assan Motors Company. As the Japanese executives began to work with their American colleagues, its successful experience and advanced business concepts and ethics are brought to the United States. In the meanwhile, the cross-cultural conflicts and misunderstandings also occurred because of the clash of different cultures, values, and work attitudes between Japanese executives and American executives and workers. However, at the end of the movie, the workers and management have compromised with the latter agreeing to partially ease up on their requirements while the workers agree to be more cooperative. The movie is not only entertaining but also very educational on the multicultural business practices. In reality, this movie is used as an example of how to work with Americans workers and business executives by many multinational corporations such as Toyota. In this project, we will examine this movie from a multicultural management point of view, and analysis the movie by applying the several theories of communication, culture and organizational behaviour.

Cross-Cultural Conflicts Applied to Theories

From the “Gung Ho” Movie, it is not hard to recognize that there are lots of differences in culture, value, and work attitude between Japanese and American. “Cultural is a way of life of a group of people.” (Francesco & Gold, 2005), it is vital for multinational corporations doing businesses worldwide. In particularly, we will mainly analyze the cross-cultural conflicts from culture and organizational behavior and communication aspects.

Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Values

There are five categories in the Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural values. Each dimension is perfectly fit into the analyzing of the cultural differences in the “Gung Ho” move.

Individualism versus Collectivism

In the United States, people value individual rights whereas Japanese people have priority over the overall good of the group so that their individual interests and needs are expected to be subordinated. For example, there is a scene that Willie wants to leave the work early since his child is sick. Although Hunt Stevenson permits him for early leave, the Japanese production supervisor denies the request. This illustrates the difference of working attitudes between American and Japanese workers regarding individualism and collectivism. Since American show more concern for interests of themselves and their families, rather than others’, the early leave is acceptable within the American companies. However, being part of the group is essential in Japan; therefore, that request for early leave is against the overall good of the team, and slowing down the production. If the Japanese management team understood the American work attitude, they could have increased the workers’ motivation toward their jobs. Furthermore, American workers have their preferred way of work in order to increase their productivity. If there are limitations against their preferences, they will not work at there anymore. For instance, one of the American workers would like to listen to music while working; however, this is considered as an inappropriate work manner for Japanese manager. As a result, the worker is really unhappy and cannot fully concentrate on his work (Francesco & Gold, 2005).

Collectivism is described as an overall good for the group. It is not measured by the individual performance. On the other hand, group orientation is valuable in the collectivism. Japanese belong to the collectivism because they care about their company’s overall performance. In order to increase the company sales, the Japanese workers of Assan Motors are willing to contribute their maximum...
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