An Investigation of Japanese Corporate Culture, Its Trends and Changes

Topics: Japan, Culture of Japan, Japanese popular culture Pages: 7 (2152 words) Published: October 8, 1999
An Investigation of Japanese Corporate Culture, Its Trends And Changes

Japanese Business & Culture bus 258.1

Table of Contents1.0 Introduction
2.0 Procedure
3.0 Findings
3.1 Changing social culture.
3.2 Business Culture in Japan
3.3 Why change is needed
3.4 What is Japan and her corporations doing to develop and change 4.0 Conclusion
5.0 Bibliography

Japanese Business & CultureAn investigation Japanese corporate culture, its trends and changes.1.0 IntroductionThis report is based around the following quote: "Japan's corporate culture is the product of uniquely Japanese social and historical influences, so deeply rooted as to easily repel outside influences. Bur Japanese corporations need to change their basic goals...." This report will discuss nature of corporate culture in Japan, and why change is needed. The maximum length is 2,000 words

2.0 Procedure The report was produced using library based research because of the time scale and cost. The sources used include text books, journals and newspapers.. The references have been made 'Harvard Style' and can be found in the Bibliography.

3.0 Findings The Japanese business culture has been described by Beedham as a culture that acts like a clan, in that there is a large amount of authority given to the man at the top, and in the commitment that is shown by the people around him, Beedham points out that this can be evident in the way that their car factories, investment banks and government ministries are ran.

This clan-like-behaviour has the effect of making decision making painfully slow, with compromises having to be met in all directions, but this is starting to change, as the people of Japan are starting to change and have different priorities. These changes can be put down to several factors that are changing in Japanese society as a whole.

3.1 Changing social culture. The increasing and speeding up of urbanisation is one way in which corporate culture is being changed. Because of this urbanisation there is less commitment to groups as people become more individual and have their own priority in life. Marriage and family ties are also starting to loosen. Links between children, parents and grandparents are not the same as they were ten years ago.

The greatest impact on peoples commitment to their work is money. As the Japanese become richer, they are starting to see that there is a lot more to just working every hour possible. With this extra money they have been given the opportunity to make friends out of the workplace and focus on other activities such as clubbing, music, football etc. and they are seeing spare time differently. But this is only taking place on the outside edge of Japanese society and the core of Japan which includes the big businesses, are still operating in the traditional way of life and it has been estimated that it will take a further fifty years before a new way of living and lifestyle becomes the norm. (Beedham)

3.2 Business Culture in Japan

Business Culture is said to be the product of the mind and is often described as: "how we do things round here". (source unknown) Before describing the corporate culture within Japan it is useful to understand the corporate culture in the West as a comparison. In the West, business is simply about profit seeking. Its Managers and workers are there to increase profit for the owners of a corporation. The employees are evaluated by how much of a contribution they make towards the generating of this profit. The Western corporation is designed like a profit machine and operated like a profit machine.

Within the Japanese business world, the corporation is not seen as been there for just profit. Profit is important, but it is not the only reason for the company's existence, but involves people and their future. The community factor is as important, and sometimes more important than, short term...

Bibliography: Brian Beedham, Tomorrow 's Japan, The Economist, July 13th 1996 Various Internet
article with no title or author. FT 96 Dec 05 page 6/ Survey - Japanese
Industry: Routes to the top FT 96 Dec 02 page 20/ Lex Column: Japan FT 96 Nov
18 page 14/ Management: Time to pull back the screen
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