Compare And Contrast American And Japanese Management Styles

Decent Essays
Since both Japan and America are leaders in the world economy, many people consider their management styles to be quite effective. However, upon closer investigation, there are key differences between them. The main values of Japanese management are respect for work, disciple, loyalty, and the ability to follow orders. By contrast, American management values individualism, goal attainment, personal accomplishment, and future orientation (Anderson 1). The distinguishing factors in Japanese and American management styles are employee-manager relations, company-manager relations, and general management practices. Japanese and American employee-manager relations could almost be considered polar opposites. To many Americans, managers are the people …show more content…
Japanese managers are much more involved with their employees; in fact, their style is often referred to as “MBW—management-by-walking-around” (Domingo). They are encouraged to “get away from their production schedules and budgets periodically to get to know their people and listen to the workers ' ideas and feelings” (Harper 5). It is also encouraged for managers in Japan to know everyone in all the departments in the company and to help their employees directly. In many factories, management will help with such tasks as cleaning machines and fetching parts (Domingo). While most American managers think of themselves above the group because they are the leaders, many Japanese managers consider themselves an integral part of the group. Japanese management has the PM theory of leadership, in which the “P refers to management’s responsibility to form and reach group goals, while M refers to management’s responsibility for preserving group harmony”. The American theory in management is the task and relationship leadership theory, which focuses on keeping the workers on task rather than keeping the group in harmony. Japanese managers work hard to keep the P and M in equal balance while American managers generally focus more on the task than the …show more content…
Japanese companies expect all employees to work very long hours - the workers might be scheduled to work till five o’clock but many will continue work till as late as nine o’clock. In addition to long hours, many employees still work six days a week. Employees are also expected to stay at the company for their lives (Anderson 2). This concept works well for both parties: it provides job security for the workers and provides the company with well trained workers. Companies are quite willing to spend the effort, time, and money to train an employee with the anticipation that employee will be with them for a very long time. However, if an employee decides that they do not want to work the long hours expected by the company, they will be transferred to meaningless jobs. However, due to lifelong employment, if the employee chooses to leave and go to another company, they would be severely punished (Anderson 2). The implied life-long employment drives companies to work very hard to keep their employees and termination of an employee is the last in a long list of possible cost cutting methods. When times are tough, they would much prefer to cut bonuses, stop hiring new employees, transfer employees, cut overtime, or offer voluntary early retirement over the termination of an employee. In contrast, American companies are

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