An Investigation of Japanese Corporate Culture, Its Trends And Changes




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 profitability.
The Japanese business people see their company as a community, this community
has within in it people who happen to live together by working together. The
company is a living society which needs profit as sustenance for growth.

Western Europe and China, has seen many revolutions throughout their history in
areas such as their religions, politics, industry and culture. When these
revolutions occur new system of thinking replaced the old, sometimes these
changes are forced upon the population. It was not so in Japan, where new
system of thought, whether made internally or introduced from abroad, was added
to or mixed with what was the current ideal.

Because of this accumulation and mixing of ideas, the Japanese mind has became
more