Japan as - anything but - Number One by Woronoff

By Woronoff

'Japan as -anything yet - number 1 could be everybody's quantity ebook to examine Japan. After nearly any advent that lays out the claims made for Japan's really strange economic system and society, your next step ahead might be to learn an educated severe textual content, to set a distinction within the brain. No publication achieves this extra concisely, extra acurately and extra succinctly than Japan as - something yet - quantity One.' - James Y. Bourlet, Professor of jap administration, London Guildhall college Is Japan number 1? good, possibly it's if you happen to simply think about these sectors the place it's been fairly profitable. yet now not in the event you upload many others the place its functionality was once mediocre or worse. Is Japan #1? good, might be it's for those who ask the overseas 'friends' who've made a occupation (and occasionally a fortune) as apologists of eastern factors. yet, when you ask the japanese themselves, you can find that they're something yet happy. Is Japan number 1? good, probably it truly is while you are taken in through the tatemae, i.e. the reliable model or how its admirers prefer to photograph it. however it doesn't glance so nice when you understand the honne, i.e. the realities of existence in Japan. Is Japan number 1? good, might be it's in the event you take what's most sensible in Japan and distinction it to what's much less sturdy in international nations. however it doesn't examine so good if you happen to combine the nice with the undesirable in either locations. No, the writer doesn't imagine that Japan is a terrible position or that its leaders have made a whole mess of items. yet, in case you glance heavily, it's in no way the extreme good fortune it truly is often claimed to be. it truly is towards the suggest, with many critical difficulties that might merely worsen if humans foolishly suppose it's #1.

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Most foreign management gurus and business journalists focus on the big companies, where failures are relatively few. They pay scant attention to smaller firms, where the going is much rougher. But, more to the point, they are writing for a public which apparently only wants the good news. In addition, Japanese corporations and business organizations keep the foreign "experts" well supplied with information about every expansion, new product, advanced technology and export breakthrough. You have to hunt for the blunders and fiascos, which is more work.

Another part of the picture actually reveals that Japanese companies are more effective and powerful than commonly thought. Not omnipotent, but as close as you can get to it in this world. To do so, it is necessary to consider just what a corporation is. Unlike Western counterparts, a kaisha is not simply a legally incorporated entity with its capital, personnel, knowhow, etc. It is much more. Each big company—and those are the only ones the fans of Japanese management really care about—has three additional dimensions which define it in the Japanese context.

5. Kunio Okada, Japanese Management: A Forward Looking Analysis, Tokyo, Asian Productivity Organization, 1987. 6. If you cannot take my word for it, see what Ezra Vogel had to say before his conversion, in Modern Japanese Organization and Decision-Making, p. xviii. 7. Rodney Clark, The Japanese Company, p. 174. 8. For more on the treatment of women, see Woronoff, op. , pp. 111-47. 9. See Ron Dore, Taking Japan Seriously. 10. Abeggten, Kaisha, pp. 207-8. 11. World Executive's Digest, May 1986, p.

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