In chapter 7 it is described as: consensus-forming decision-making groups in Japanese organizations. I found this concept very interesting because it is so different from what I am used to. Japanese value conformity and cooperation, whereas in the United States often times decision-making process depends more on individual responsibility and leadership.
Ringisei was first introduced by private business firms in Meiji era but has since gained wide acceptance by public and private organizations alike. This is how it works in Japan: First the formal internal document known as ringisho is prepared. It is drafted by a rank-and-file official who lacks any decision-making authority. Sometimes even the officials at the rank of subsection chief or below, are given the responsibility. Second, in principal ringisho is discussed and evaluated separately by the officials of the section, division, and bureau concerned. It does not always require a collective discussion in a conference of all relevant administrators. Third, although the head of the organization concerned – for example, the minister in a government ministry—has the sole legal authority to approve ringisho, it is customary for him to ratify the result of prolonged evaluation by his subordinates.
In my opinion Ringisei has both advantages and disadvantages. On the credit side of the ledger, there is opportunity the system provides for participation in decision machining by many persons, thus ensuring their cooperation at a later stage and a preservation of a record of decision making. However on the debit side the process could be inefficient, because it could take a long time. Sometimes delays could be caused by the absence of the appropriate officials or by their negligence. At other times delays may stem from deliberate stalling by officials who, although unhappy about the document, find it difficult to propose revisions. Another shortcoming in this...
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