Japanese Style Management in Japan and Asia

  • Shinichi Ichimura


The Japanese style management has been studied by many experts mostly on the bases of case studies. The author has undertaken an extensive survey studies in Japan and many East Asian countries about ten years ago and again in China and Japan in recent years. The earlier study included Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Our studies revealed the extent to which the so-called Japanese style management like life-time employment is really practiced in Japan. We found that it was not so widely practiced as many text books say and it is changing in recent years. One weak point of our studies was, however, that we could not conduct our questionnaire survey in China, because Japan had not made any direct investment to speak of until the late 80’s. The boom of Japanese FDI in China in the late 80s and the early 90s opened the possibility of our renewed questionnaire survey in China. The contributions of Japanese private enterprises are very great in promoting the development of East Asian economies, so that their management styles must be influencing the business culture in East Asia. When they go abroad, they have no choice but to practice what they know and believe in. It is basically the subject of this chapter. This chapter gives a summary of our findings in these two kinds of surveys at intervals of about ten years.


Japanese Management Style Management Stable Employment Small Group Activity East Asian Economy 
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  1. 2.
    Many references in Japanese and English are given in our second book in 1988.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    The first survey was undertaken as part of a comprehensive research project supported by the Ministry of Education: “Culture Conflict between Japan and Other Asian Nations,” organized by some leading scholars on Asian problems, including Shinkichi Eto, Professor of Political science, The University of Tokyo then. It not only covered economic or political conflicts but also cultural problems, not necessarily conflicts — culturally sympathy or resonance is equally important. For example, an important problem of pro-Japanese and anti-Japanese sentiments among Western and Chinese visitors and students in Japan during the Meiji era were taken up.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Needless to say, we need a comparative study of many countries’ joint ventures in East Asia seriously to compare the practice of management styles, but unfortunately even now the studies of American or European joint ventures in East Asia are still very few.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinichi Ichimura
    • 1
  1. 1.International Center for the Study of East Asian DevelopmentKokurakita, Kitakyushu, FukuokaJapan

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