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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2007

Raduan Che Rose and Naresh Kumar

The purpose of this research is to empirically examine the extent to which the Japanesestyle human resource management (HRM) model is being transferred to subsidiaries…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to empirically examine the extent to which the Japanesestyle human resource management (HRM) model is being transferred to subsidiaries, given the contextual characteristics of the Malaysian environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The transferability of Japanesestyle HRM is examined through an analysis of the policies and practices of 69 Japanese subsidiaries and focuses on the following specific areas of HRM: employment policies and practices, remuneration systems and career development policies and practices; and management strategies and workplace industrial relations practices.

Findings

Overall, the findings suggest that the key elements associated with the Japanesestyle HRM as described in most of the literature are either present to a very limited degree or completely absent. It seems clear that the transfer of the distinctive Japanesestyle HRM, and especially the “four pillars” is not a priority of management. To a certain extent, most companies seem uncomfortable with the characteristics of the local labor. However, the HRM policies and practices in the companies surveyed are not simply the result of the limitation of the local environment and resources; rather they are “opportunist” management strategies which, by taking account of these contextual limits, seek to control the subsidiaries' operations.

Originality/value

By confirming many of the findings of research on the HRM policies and practices of Japanese subsidiaries, especially in other developing countries and, to a certain extent, some developed countries, this study demonstrated that while “technical” elements (the hardware) of the Japanese model are readily being transferred, most of the HRM elements (the software) are adapted in significant, and not always subtle ways. Thus, the issue of the transfer of Japanesestyle HRM abroad in general and in Malaysia particularly is not so much a question of whether the Japanese want to transfer their distinctive policies and practices as of whether they need, or indeed are able, to do so. The findings of this study also demonstrate that what most Japanese subsidiaries achieve is a system of labor control – this is the essential purpose of the HRM practices under considerations: to make the production methods work and enable the company to make and sustain profit – and indeed what the Japanese have achieved and secured in Malaysia is a highly effective system of control (given local conditions).

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

Michael White

For many years, the achievements of Japanese industry were regarded in Britain as remarkable, enviable perhaps, but essentially irrelevant. The arguments always put…

Abstract

For many years, the achievements of Japanese industry were regarded in Britain as remarkable, enviable perhaps, but essentially irrelevant. The arguments always put forward by British managers to dismiss the possibility of learning from Japan were that Japanese workers, Japanese industrial relations, and many features of Japanese social life, were fundamentally different from British, and were essential to the success of Japanese manufacturing methods. With the arrival of Japanese manufacturing subsidiaries in Britain, many of which appear to be flourishing, those arguments have become weaker and British management has begun to look at the Japanese management approach with a more appreciative and acquisitive eye.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

Andrew Kakabadse, Andrew Myers and Lola Okazaki‐Ward

Japan’s advance into Europe over the last ten years or so has been well documented. Through localization, gaining a competitive advantage has been the strategic response…

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Abstract

Japan’s advance into Europe over the last ten years or so has been well documented. Through localization, gaining a competitive advantage has been the strategic response of Japanese organizations towards Europeanization. Reports on a survey of some 3,350 executives operating within Europe and Japan. Elicits three types of Japanese management style and describes these as: the policy makers; the business drivers; and the implementors. Analyses and compares with the European responses, the responses from these three groups. Discusses the implications of these management styles for international management. Also considers training and development implications for Japanese secondees which centre on: effective communication; developing quality relationships; problem solving at local level; and preparation for the selected secondee.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1994

Zhong‐Ming Wang and Takao Satow

HRM and decision‐making patterns can affect the overall effectiveness ofjoint ventures. Discusses the results of case studies ofChinese‐Japanese and wholly Japanese

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1947

Abstract

HRM and decision‐making patterns can affect the overall effectiveness of joint ventures. Discusses the results of case studies of Chinese‐Japanese and wholly Japanese ventures in China. Proposes that the Japanese managerial strategies may be more suited to building the new management norms in the initial phases of the joint venture while the Chinese managerial style ensures continued progress, within the Chinese cultural context, in the more advanced stages of the joint venture.

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1989

Larry Crump

Key concepts influencing Japanese business practices are examined.These include amae, hitonami, haji, and ringi. The majorcross‐cultural training and development issues…

Abstract

Key concepts influencing Japanese business practices are examined. These include amae, hitonami, haji, and ringi. The major cross‐cultural training and development issues are discussed and problem areas highlighted where there can be vast differences in the approach of a Japanese manager from that of a Western manager in the same situation. Problem areas and training needs are identified, particularly in communication skills, so that Japanese managers can be better equipped for dealing with Western‐based organisations.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Fredric William Swierczek and Jun Onishi

This article presents the findings of research on the application and adaptability of Japanese management practices in a different cultural context, Thailand. The national…

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Abstract

This article presents the findings of research on the application and adaptability of Japanese management practices in a different cultural context, Thailand. The national characteristics of Japan and Thailand based on Hofstede's conceptual framework, Japanese human resource management approaches and the specific Japanese business practices and social concepts were analyzed. Possible conflicts between the Japanese management and Thai staff based on the different perceptions of the Japanese management style were assessed. Data were collected from ten Japanese manufacturers using a sample of 100 employees (50 Japanese managers and 50 Thai subordinates from the same group of companies). The results shows an interesting pattern of Japanese managers adapting more to Thai culture and as well as Thai subordinates adapting to the Japanese style of management and human resource system.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2020

Masaki Hosomi, Tomoki Sekiguchi and Fabian Jintae Froese

While mentoring plays an important role in Japanese working places, formal mentoring programs have only recently been introduced. This chapter provides an overview of the…

Abstract

While mentoring plays an important role in Japanese working places, formal mentoring programs have only recently been introduced. This chapter provides an overview of the development of mentoring in Japan and presents a conceptual model to comprehend mentoring in Japan and beyond. The chapter begins with the illustration of how the characteristics of Japanese organizations and Japanese-style human resource management (HRM) promoted the naturally occurring informal mentoring in the Japanese workplace in early years. In response to the stagnating economy and declining demographics during the last few decades, many Japanese firms adopted Western-style HRM practices, including formal mentoring programs. We provide statistical data to demonstrate the widespread adoption of formal mentoring programs in recent years. We then report the results of the systematic review of the academic literature on mentoring in Japan, suggesting that research on mentoring in Japan is still in the early stage. Based on the historical overview, current data and the systematic review of the academic literature, we develop a conceptual model of how the socio-cultural and economic context as well as organizational characteristics influence the adoption of Japanese-style naturally occurring informal mentoring and/or Western-style formal mentoring practices. We conclude this chapter with practical and theoretical implications.

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Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Wong Mei Foong and Shankar Chelliah

This chapter explained the findings of a research that is aimed at studying the effectiveness of cross-border knowledge transfer from Japanese companies to their business…

Abstract

This chapter explained the findings of a research that is aimed at studying the effectiveness of cross-border knowledge transfer from Japanese companies to their business affiliates in Malaysia by looking into Japanese organizational culture and the mediating effect of the business affiliate’s learning intent. By focusing on attributes identified by existing literature, there were three aspects being investigated to study their roles in influencing the effectiveness of cross-border knowledge transfer. These aspects are intensive and extensive job training, employee involvement and human relations, and leadership styles. The results indicate that all three aspects indeed led to a higher learning intention. The research also found that the business affiliates’ learning intent significantly mediates the relationship between organizational culture and the effectiveness of cross-border knowledge transfer. This study provides academicians and human resource managers deeper insights on how to improve knowledge transfer in cross-culture organizations by managing organizational culture more effectively.

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2004

Hideki Yoshihara

Until around 1980, Japanese companies occupied a predominant position in Asia. Their Asian operations are managed by Japanese persons and in the Japanese language. This…

Abstract

Until around 1980, Japanese companies occupied a predominant position in Asia. Their Asian operations are managed by Japanese persons and in the Japanese language. This Japanese-style international management is well suited to transfer technology and know-how from Japanese parent companies to their overseas subsidiaries. But, it does not provide opportunities to local managerial and professional employees to display their abilities and initiatives. Japanese companies also have problems in Japan. They invest more in foreign countries than in Japan, which results in the hollowing out at home. Japanese companies are managed by old men and thus lack a strong leadership. Japanese multinationals are facing a challenging task of management innovation both at home and abroad.

Details

Japanese Firms in Transition: Responding to the Globalization Challenge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-157-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

Tracey‐Lee Wingrove

Considers the implications for managers in Japanese subsidiaries, by looking at the management style employed by Japanese expatriates and the reactions from their local…

Abstract

Considers the implications for managers in Japanese subsidiaries, by looking at the management style employed by Japanese expatriates and the reactions from their local colleagues. The findings were drawn from a research project encompassing in‐depth interviews with both Japanese and British senior and middle managers working in well‐known Japanese companies. The senior management team of the vast majority of Japanese subsidiaries is composed largely of expatriate managers. It is natural that these individuals attempt to behave in ways that are comfortable for them as they are working for the same board of directors in Tokyo as they were prior to moving to the UK. Although there are many concrete examples of management practices that have been modified to fit the local environment, it is the less tangible aspects such as communication, decision making and delegation that cause conflict between expatriates and locals when expatriates continue in their Japanese ways. Local managers need to be aware of this as much as the recently arrived expatriate.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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