Japanese Management and Productivity
Japanese Management. The respective author is interested to particularly illustrate here Japanese management system because the system has some extraordinary ingredients that are essential particularly in the improvement of productivity, quality, and culture of hard work & in fostering social responsibility. Japanese management system & their unprecedented success after WWWII promoted a management system which is now known as TQM. Japanese management systems comprises a set of rules, behavioral pattern and concept that are brainstormed into the soul of Japanese people which many believe is the reason of Japan’s upturn from the ashes of the atomic bombs of 1945.
Throughout the whole of the sixties, seventies & eighties of the last century people around the globe astonishingly saw Japan soaring high & high like the Phoenix and concerning rather reconquering their conqueror in many sectors of economy. The western high profile executives the professor who taught Japanese people after the WWII streamed into Japan to discover the Japanese magic.
Japanese magic is now being repeated elsewhere around Japan. We must understand the principles of that magic.
Unlike other systems Japanese Management system has a very peculiar feature that the whole of business or industrial organization works for the well being of their society and 7 they firmly believe that working hard and in a better way goes to serve both the society & themselves. It has been brainstormed into Japanese workers for a long time that customer satisfaction is the most vital element for their company and hence workers must engage all their efforts to win that satisfaction which will bring better benefits for their company as well as for themselves and society.
Such attitude of Japanese people towards their work may be attributed partially to the continuous prosperity of Japanese people with the simultaneous growth and prosperity of their company. Actually Japan has a long history of taking care of their employees.
Japanese Management System comprises the following basic components –
- Companies are part of society & work for it: Corporate or companies are part of society and so work for the well-being of the society;
- Work for society, company & self-fulfillment: People work hard and they engage their best spontaneous efforts to create better products 7 services for betterment of society of society, company and for self- fulfillment. Japanese people call such attitude as Kaizen.
- Better labor-management relationship: Better relationship between labor & management forms the core of Japanese management. Japanese management considers their employees as co-partners and a valuable asset to the company. Firing of workers or their retrenchment is nearly never heard of in Japan until the recent recession that engulfed Japan.
- Long term business strategy, plan & goal: Business strategies on investment, manpower development, personal training, marketing etc. are adopted and pursued with long term consideration in mind.
- Continuous training of personnel: Another important aspect of Japanese management is imparting continuous training& retaining of their personnel during the whole period of employment in the company. As a result employees gain extraordinarily skill & workmanship which is exhibited in their products & services.
- Non interference in the work of corporate managers: In Japan most of the companies are owned by a large number of stock holders. But companies are generally managed by corporate managers who can freely formulate long term strategy without any undue interference. This leads to better management of the company.
- Workshop centered approach: In many countries management is exerted from top downwards i.e strategies are formulated by top management and are forced on rank& file members. In Japan a problem is first handled by floor workers, views on the problem are shared at floor level and are solved. This method is widely known as “Bottom up” or “Groupism” approach. Thus workers can take part in decision making process. This is known as “Workshop centered approach” in Japan. This is much akin to McGregor’s Y theory motivation. Due to this approach Japanese workers concentrate most of their efforts & ability to better work, better quality and better productivity.
- Philosophy of WA or harmony in Japanese Management: The Japanese word WA means that every member of a company must actively cooperate with the management. They must have patience for smooth running of the company. Thus Japanese Management is a management of cooperation & patience. Many experts on Japan believe that the cornerstone of success of Japanese management lies in the philosophy of WA i.e cooperation 5 coordination among workers, management, suppliers , buyers etc. every one strives for the same goal with their best efforts, ability and spirit. This means that Japanese people work under an all out national harmony.