It is said that when an organization embarks on a new activity, the entire organization needs to be on board with the organizational purpose of that activity. However, in the case of Hospital X, which implemented kaizen, even though the purposes of kaizen differed across workers, the usefulness of these new activities was communicated as being shared purposes (a) among workers in the same division where superiors and subordinates work closely together and (b) among workers performing the same jobs but in different divisions. Thus, the new activities were adopted by the entire organization without having a common organizational purpose.
This study analyzes the relationship between work engagement (WE) and job performance based on data from 3,296 individuals obtained in an internet survey. First, the analysis was conducted with WE as an explanatory variable, as well as with job performance, which was measured as the difference in personal and workmate evaluations, as an objective variable, and yet no clear relationship was found. Job performance was then used as an explanatory variable and WE as an objective variable, and that analysis discovered a clear inverse U relationship between the two. In other words, WE is low when job performance is low or high, and high when job performance is in the middle range. Also, when an analysis was done with the prediction that sum of, rather than differences in, personal and workmate assessments will have a strong relationship with WE, it was found that there was a clear, positive linear relationship between the two. In other words, the more a person highly evaluates not only oneself but also one’s workmates, the higher the WE. Existing studies tend to believe that WE heightens job performance, yet this study indicates that the converse is perhaps true in this cause and effect relationship. It also suggests that WE increases as one builds healthy relationships with workmates, evaluates them highly, and works hard and competes in a friendly manner with them.
The development and diffusion of compliance activities in Japanese companies from around 2000 can be thought of as a typical example of the institutional isomorphism discussed by DiMaggio and Powell (1983), that is, isomorphism mechanisms that were at work irrespective of performance (Aizawa, 2018a). Snow Brand Milk Products had a corporate scandal in 2000, and the compliance activities it began soon after comprised institutional isomorphism. In actuality, at that time there was no extraordinary worsening of performance, though directly after the scandal in 2002, the company was beset by a worsening of performance that put the company in danger, and it waged its survival on a wide-ranging rethinking of the details of its compliance activities to make them more unique. In addition, it spun off core businesses and transferred some of its shares in order to win back trust. Companies that have confronted management crises and have survived work toward restoring trust using similar methods. In other words, even when the same company doesn’t have selection pressures, institutional isomorphism may arise, and when there are selection pressures, competitive isomorphism may arise.
When a company acquires new knowledge, it expects to create new business by fusing the new knowledge with existing knowledge. At least that is how things appear superficially. However, Fujitsu’s new business development discussed in this paper was not related to any new knowledge but sprung up because of other reasons. Because the company had invested a lot of resources to acquire new knowledge, it was impossible to recover the management resources that it had invested, which then became sunk costs, unless the company did something. We call such a situation “sunk cost pressure.” In the case examined in this paper, this sunk cost pressure induced the combining of disparate knowledge in the company’s possession, thus creating new business.