John Higgins

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  • Topic: Japan, Japanese culture, Anime
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  • Published : February 6, 2009
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How would you describe Higgins's and Prescott's attitudes toward implementing U.S. personnel policies in the Japanese operations?

Higgins and Prescott both have different opinions toward implementing U.S. personnel policies in the Japanese operations. I would describe Higgins's attitude more against the U.S. personnel policies and more toward the Japanese ways of doing things, considering he would rather spend his time in Japan. I would describe Prescott's attitude more for the U.S. way of implementing the personnel policies in the Japanese operations, since he really did not like the way Higgins handled situations.

2. What are the major reasons for the differences in attitude?

Well Higgins would rather be in Japan then he would in the U.S. He wanted the opportunity to improve the "ugly American" image the he believe held abroad. Higgins had taken to the Japanese culture. He married a Japanese woman, moved to a strictly Japanese neighborhood,......

John Higgins
(From : John Daniels & Lee Radebaugh : "International Business", (7th edition), Don Mills (Ont.) Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994)  
Leonard Prescott, vice president and general manager of Weaver-Yamazaki Pharmaceutical of Japan, believed that John Higgins, his executive assistant, was losing effectiveness in representing the U.S. parent company because of an extraordinary identification with the Japanese culture. The parent company, Weaver Pharmaceutical, had extensive international operations and was one of the largest U.S. drug firms. Its competitive position depended heavily on re search and development (R&D). Sales activity in Japan started in the early 1 930s when Yamazaki Pharmaceutical, a major producer of drugs and chemicals in Japan, began distributing Weaver's products. World War 11 disrupted sales, but Weaver resumed exporting to Japan in 1948 and subsequently captured a substantial market share. To prepare for increasingly keen competition from Japanese producers, Weaver and Yamazaki established in 1954 a jointly owned and operated manufacturing subsidiary to produce part of Weaver's product line. Through the combined effort of both parent companies, the subsidiary soon began manufacturing sufficiently broad lines of products to fill the general demands of the Japanese market. Imports from the United States were limited to highly specialized items. The company conducted substantial R&D on its own, coordinated through a joint committee representing both Weaver and Yamazaki to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts. The subsidiary turned out many new products, some of which were marketed successfully in the United States and elsewhere. Weaver's management considered the Japanese operation to be one of its most successful international ventures and felt that the company's future prospects were promising, especially given the steady improvement in Japan's standard of living. The subsidiary was headed by Shozo Suzuki who, as executive vice president of Yamazaki and president of several other subsidiaries, limited his participation in Weaver-Yamazaki to determining basic policies. Daily operations were managed by Prescott, assisted by Higgins and several Japanese directors. Although several other Americans were assigned to the venture, they were concerned with R&D and held no overall management responsibilities. Weaver Pharmaceutical had a policy of moving U.S. personnel from one foreign post to another with occasional tours in the home-office international division. Each such assignment generally lasted for three to five years. There were a limited number of expatriates, so company personnel policy was flexible enough to allow an employee to stay in a country for an indefinite time if desired. A few expatriates had stayed in one foreign post for over ten years. Prescott replaced the former general manager, who had been in Japan for six years. An experienced international businessman who had spent most of his 25-year career at Weaver...
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