Japanese organization in Malaysia.

Title: analyze on the management style of Japanese organization in Malaysia.

Executive summary

The Japanese enterprise has been said to have successfully harmonized. The most outstanding characteristics in the traditional Japanese management that claimed to have contributed to the phenomenal growth in Japanese economy and technological advances are:


* Lifetime employment system

* Seniority based wage and promotion system

* Decision making by consensus

* Company based labor union

* Harmonious management labor relationship

* On-the job training and job rotation

* Important role of middle management

* Business welfares

* Quality circles or small group activities

Management style from top-executive in Japanese companies differs from that of other countries, in that it involves a rather small amount of going around and giving orders to people. Management is not considered as a top-down issue, but rather as a more circular process. Decision-making is indeed based on consensus: there are a few cases when someone tells another person what to do.

Consensus-based decision making implies a smooth flow of information within the company. Yet, one characteristic of many Japanese companies is the lack of communication between departments, despite an excellent flow of information within departments and sections. Direct lateral communication between departments is sometimes missing, or not as efficient as it could be. For this reason, when interacting with a Japanese company, be sure to meet all people involved in the decision-making process, since some of them from different departments might not be aware of all the issues at stake.

As for the workload, top executives set up general strategies, whereas middle and lower management handle day-to-day operations and planning. Among the duties lies the obligation to recognize capable people within the department and provide them with appropriate training, sp that they can climb the social ladder and use the skills for the good of the company. They are also the ones determining the feasibility of new projects relevant to their fields. Therefore, even through the president's opinion is important, the final decision regarding a given project is likely to lie in the hands of the department and section's heads.

Research Question:

Analyze on the management style of Japanese organization in Malaysia Do they practice the same management style as they do in Japan?


Background of the study

Most of the research in this management area is concerned with the Japanese management style. This study attempts to examine the management style in Nagase (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. An attempt is also made to examine whether Nagase's Japanese manager practices the same management style in local organization. Finally the results are compared with the theories of management style.

The broad problem area

Over the course of the past decade considerable attention has been given to the success of Japanese companies, particular in manufacturing industries. As the Japanese management style appears to be very different from our own, there are critics and misconception about the Japanese management style. The style of Japanese managers can be seen in their way of thinking. They are more concerned with the future and harmonious relations with people and saving face is their basic value.

Research objective

The objective of this study is to find out more about Theory Z- the Japanese approach. Second, to determine whether the Japanese manager practice the same management style in local organization. Lastly, to compare the Japanese management style in local Japanese firms to the theories of management style.

Significant of study

So far, there is no study that has been conducted to investigate whether Japanese managers practice the same management style in local organization, although there are some critics on their management style. Take for instance; critics of Japanese management style often argue that superimposing the Japanese style on U.S, business would be difficult because of the obvious differences in culture between the two countries. Critics of Japanese manufacturing companies also commented the slow processes of decision making, the lack of risk-taking, the reliance on a myriad of small firms and part time employees, the good nature of the trade union and the imprisoning effect of lifetime employment in one company.

Scope of study

In this study, career development, conflict resolution, decision making style of Japanese managers and their attitude towards employees will be examined to determine whether the Japanese practices the same management style in Malaysia. Hence, questionnaire will be distributed to both manager and employees from Nagase (Malaysia) Sdn.Bhd. Penang Office, Suites 13-2. 13thF1., Menara Penang Garden, 42A Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 100500 Penang, Malaysia.

Literature Review

Theory Z- the Japanese approach

W.Ouchi (1981), an important American exponent has introduced the phrase ‘Theory Z' for attempts to adapt Japanese approaches to management in western firms. The key features of Japanese industrial organizations, according to Ouchi in Management Theory and Practice are as follow “…

* They offer lifetime employment (at least for their ‘core' workers)

* They promote form within

* They insist on mandatory retirement of core workers at age 55

* They employ a large number of temporary employees, mostly women

* There is a high degree of mutual trust and loyalty between management and employees

* Career paths are non-specialized with life-long job rotation as a central feature of career development

* Decision-making is shared at all levels

* Performance appraisal is long term (e.g. the first appraisal takes place 10 years after joining the company

* There is a strong sense of collective responsibility for the success of the organization, the cooperative effort rather than individual achievement is encouraged

* Industrial life is supported by a highly-competitive education system

* Industrial life is typified by groupings of large firms financed by major banks and supported by a host satellite firms.

Japanese management philosophy

Betty Jane Punnett wrote a book titled Experiencing International Business and Management. She contrasted Japanese management philosophy with North American's and divided them into career development, conflict resolution, decision making and attitude towards employees. The Japanese Management Philosophy is put in point forms as follow:

Career Development

* Lifetime employment, rare dismissal, nonspecialized career path

* In-house training as generalist for all employees

* Early career emphasis on following directions, team skills: later, quantifiable objectives, team leadership in decision making

* Job rotation for all to develop as generalists

* Evaluation on proficiency at tasks, teamwork skills, ability to contribute to development of other

* Promote on seniority, training

* Entry directly from school, promote from within

* Outstanding performance not equated to fast movement up ranks or rapid salary increases; instead additional responsibility or recognition-‘elite track'; hiring based on education not skills; low wages consistent throughout industry; bonuses, fringe benefits, allowances tied to company performance

* Relative pay equality between workers or management, pay increases with age and seniority

* Payment-by-results based on group performance

Conflict resolution

high-minded commitment to navigating the Company in a way that would motivate the employees and help them develop their full individual capacities. The torch that he lit has been passed on to us. We, too, hold dear an organization that is open to society and that cherishes the worth of the individual employee. We, too, are committed to maintaining a style of management founded on the principles of self-discipline and mutual trust. We, too, understand that the spirit of freedom born of these principles is the source of the energy that animates our Company.





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