Matsushita Japan's Culture Change

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1.What were triggers of culture change in Japan during the 1990s? how is cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?

Cultural change in Japan was triggered by the economic recession in the 1990’s. Traditional Confucian values focused on loyalty, high moral and ethical values and set the pathway for relationships with others in traditional Japanese businesses. When the generation born after 1964 lacked the same commitment to traditional Japanese value as their parents but they grew up in a world that was richer, where western ideas were beginning to make themselves felt, and where the possibilities seemed greater. They did not want to be tied to a company for life, they become a salary man.

Traditional ways of doing business and perceptions of the loyal, hard-working salary-man were slowly being replaced by movements toward individualism among workers. After witnessing older workers being laid-off during economic slumps, younger generations believed loyalty would no longer be reciprocated. Additionally, a shift toward western values in a world where the new generations were freer, richer and individualistic meant that Japanese firms had to change the way they appealed to new generations.

2.How might Japan’s changing culture influence the way Japanese businesses operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the Japanese economy?

This changing cultural trend would influence the way Japanese businesses operate in the future as it would have significant implications particularly for the human resource strategies of firms. Older styles of recruitment and selection would be minimized. A new employee pool that is focused more on individualism and self-benefit without the support structures of paternalistic firms would mean different incentives and pay schemes. Japanese firms would also be more open to international investors and dealings with businesses and have a more diverse, international workforce...
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