Online ISSN : 2424-2055
Print ISSN : 1882-0271
ISSN-L : 1882-0271
Volume 49
Displaying 1-17 of 17 articles from this issue
  • Nobuhiko Yamanaka
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 6-16
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     The purpose of this study is to conduct an exploratory analysis of the relationship between organizational design, trust in management, and innovation in Japanese companies, based on data from a survey on organizational design in Japanese companies.

     For modern companies, including Japanese companies, the key management issue is how to sustainably create differentiated value through the realization of innovation. Such innovation is realized through cross-organizational collaboration, and therefore, its success or failure depends on the design of the organization in which such innovation activities are carried out.

     The hypotheses of this study are, first, that the formation of complementary patterns of structural and process characteristics (forms of organizing) is important for the realization of organizational designs that promote innovation, and second, that the effect of such complementary organizational designs on innovation is mediated by trust in management.

     The results of the analysis show that complementary organizing patterns, which comprehensively introduce various forms of organizing, have a highly positive effect on innovation, indicating a complementarity effect. In addition, these complementary organizing patterns are also found to increase trust in management, and the positive effect of complementary organizing on innovation is found to be partially mediated by the trust in management.

     From the results of the analysis, the following conclusions can be drawn. To realize an organizational design that promotes innovation creation, it is important to have a comprehensive transformation that forms a mutually complementary relationship among the various elements and variables that make up the organization, and the realization of “overall consistency” of the organization is considered to be crucial. Furthermore, it is suggested that the formation of such a comprehensive complementary organizational design may increase trust in management, avoid the decline in morale associated with organizational change, and promote efforts to realize innovation.

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  • Fumie Ando
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 17-26
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     In recent years, many Japanese companies have suffered from low labor productivity and a lack of vitality. This paper focuses on the possibility that organizational inertia makes organizational unlearning difficult as one of the reasons why such conditions have occurred. I hypothesized that organizations can change if they generate outward forces that extend beyond inward forces by inertia. What is considered necessary for this is two kinds of “distance.” The first is a high level of aspiration, that is, “distance” from the status quo by top management. The other is the “distant” learning sources for organizational members beyond the existing boundaries of organizations and technologies. This paper calls such a management style “distant-throw management.”

     In order to investigate this research framework, three companies that meet the research criteria were selected and analyzed. Every case shows that the top management presents a high level of aspiration. In addition, organizational members made use of both internal and external learning sources. In particular, it was confirmed that whenever discontinuous leaps were made, the organizational members used external sources of learning such as requests from customers that were different from their existing work. These organizational members' behaviors are considered to be the result of each company's change in business model that accompanied the change in its aspiration level, as such changes semi-compulsorily enable organizations to achieve organizational unlearning.

     In this paper, the organizational conditions for supporting this “distant-throw management” were also found: an outsider's perspective of top management, focusing hiring on personnel quality, ensuring psychological safety, and so on.

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  • Sugio Baba
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 27-35
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     The age of the individual has arrived. The proactive work of individuals is essential for responding to changes in the external environment and creating value, such as in Corona. Bartlett & Ghoshal (1997), Pfeffer (1998) and Baba (1996) (2005) are representative examples of literature that pursues these phenomena. However, there are situations where the individual is not being utilized.

     Prior research has shown that the process of utilizing the individual can be divided into three phases: personal, organizational, and strategic. A questionnaire survey of companies reconfirmed the effectiveness of measures to utilize individuals in each of the phases identified in existing research. On the other hand, it became clear that there were a certain number of companies that were unable to utilize the individual even after implementing such measures. This tendency is particularly strong in the organizational phase. In addition, the percentage of companies that succeed in utilizing individuals in all three phases is extremely small.

     Organizations are looking for both situations in which individuals can be utilized and situations in which they cannot. Because of the existence of these two sides, it is beneficial to separate the situations in which individuals can be utilized from those in which they do not need to be utilized. However, in reality, before separating the two sides, there is a situation where both sides can be combined. In order to solve this problem, it is important to understand the dynamism of repeated separation and fusion. Additionally, it is necessary to develop a mechanism to absorb or tolerate inconsistencies. In this paper these points with examples of how individuals are utilized is illustrated.

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  • Chikako Hironaka, Asako Terazawa
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 36-45
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     This study explores how to make communication go smoothly between Japanese expatriate managers and local employees. This has been a hot issue for Japanese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Currently, an increasing number of SMEs have gone global and started overseas production, mainly in Southeastern Asian countries. If Japanese expatriates can communicate effectively and efficiently with local employees, overseas subsidiaries might perform excellently.

     We applied the concept of metacognition and schema based on Nishida (2003) and focused on the role, procedure, and language schema under a cultural schema.

     Needless to say, Japanese expatriate managers try to operate local companies based on a cognitive activity characterized by Japanese management style. However, they should acquire different cultural backgrounds and assumptions by dealing with some misunderstandings and conflicts.

     Metacognition serves to regulate intercultural engagement such as appropriate intercultural communication and trust-building with local employees.

     Our research is combined with qualitative and quantitative studies.

     To grasp the current situation regarding communication between Japanese managers and local employees, we conducted in-depth interviews with Japanese expatriate managers, and then surveyed both Japanese expatriate managers and local employees in Malaysia.

     Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-cultural country; therefore, it is a huge challenge for Japanese expatriates to adapt.

     First, we elaborate on the communication issues based on our survey. We clarify the Japanese managers' language proficiency, their motivation to learn local customs and culture. We also collected the data about the perception gap between Japanese managers and local employees, like role assignment and communication measures.

     Second, we compared expatriate managers who acquired metacognition and those who could not acquire metacognition based on our interviews.

     Third, we examine the local employees' attitudes under Japanese supervision. We observed the difference between local employees who have Japanese supervisors with metacognition or not.

     One finding is the importance of Japanese expatriate managers acquiring metacognition such as role, procedure, and language schema. Another finding is that excellent performance of SMEs is brought by the local employees who acquired metacognition and achieved behavioral changes.

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  • Yukari Mizuno
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 46-55
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     This study examined two research questions. The first was to identify the reasons for the global success of the companies, Morimatsu industry and Nabel, analyzed in the case studies. This question is linked to sub-theme 2 of the annual meeting of the Japan Academy of Business Administration. The second was focused on entrepreneurs or top management team members who were decision-makers and drove the expansion of their business globally. The question was to identify the relationship rationale and key factors of entrepreneurs' characteristics, decision-making, strategy and implementation tactics, and organizational performance.

     We identified the bottlenecks in developing their businesses overseas using the research on global SMEs and found a solution to lead their businesses to global success. Then, we examined articles analyzing the relationship between the entrepreneurs' or top management team members' characteristics and decision-making and organizational performance.

     The companies in the case studies, Morimatsu industry and Nabel, have established themselves as leaders with top market share in the niche market in Japan. Thus, their next step was to expand into global markets, and they succeeded. This means that both companies have achieved organizational performance in their global businesses.

     In the case of Morimatsu industry, they were faced with some troubles initially during expansion in China. However, Morimatsu grasped the needs of global companies and subsequently adopted pressure tank technology and production. Morimatsu assigned executives (members of the top management team) familiar with the Chinese market and business process, who had been at Morimatsu for a considerable time and had a good relationship with the CEO.

     In the case of Nabel, they developed functional equipment for grading, cleaning, inspecting, and packing eggs ahead of their competitors. As a result, they acquired the second largest market share in the world. Nabel established two ways of developing their overseas business: building relationships with each local company and establishing local corporate branches. Nabel considered the type of global business strategy case by case. The CEO assigned board members for their global business from among the executives in their headquarters in Japan.

     By analyzing the case studies, the bottlenecks identified from the research about the global business of the SMEs were solved. They found their own solutions. Regarding decision-making and implementing strategy and tactics, the CEO, not the top management team, prompted the start of a business overseas. Further, the top management team members implemented the strategy and tactics. Additionally, they were responsible for driving the expansion of their global business strategy and performance.

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  • Katsunori Yokoi
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 56-66
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     In a few decades, many Japanese manufacturing companies have expended overseas in various countries and regions and established bases locally. These bases have developed multiply, some has developed as planned, some has not. In this situation, for the companies, how to coordinate these multiple resources, including bases, to realize international optimal resource allocation become more important problem. However, this problem is hard to solve. Therefore, this paper discusses how these companies allocate their resources to solve this problem through the case of Honda's motorcycle business – the Japanese motorcycle company that is known as the best practice of global business.

     As a result of case study, the findings as follows: (1) Honda has aimed for the optimal resource allocation through a long-term activity in which Honda has adapted the changes in the market and the bases to shape the overall resource allocation, and has changed the pattern of allocation after a certain period; (2) to continue such long-term activities, Honda had prepared a powerful coordination system through the cooperation of its headquarters and overseas bases.

     Honda's coordination system enables itself to go on its path toward optimal resource allocation on the assumption that changes of market and development of bases never end, by incorporating these changes into the long-term vision and concrete plan. This indicates that international companies should build coordination system organizationally and formally.

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  • Toshio Goto
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 67-79
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     This paper aims to discover the problems inherent in today's Japanese management and their solutions by comparing with Huawei, which is in sharp contrast to Japanese companies in its rapid growth, focusing on their credo-driven aspect. The first part of this paper examines Huawei's Employee Ownership Scheme to prove the company is wholly owned and governed by its employees. This governance system is also identified as the core mechanism to achieve a rapid growth as a credo-driven company by instilling the corporate philosophy among employees. In the next part, the literature review shows that credo-driven management improves financial performance, if accompanied by a sufficient mechanism to instill the corporate philosophy among employees, and that corporate philosophy is one of the major strengths of Japanese-style management, which however has not been sufficiently highlighted in the conventional research. The rest of the paper discuss, based upon the above, the credo-driven management with focus on its importance in general and specifically in the post-COVID-19 pandemic business environment, its potential to revitalize Japanese management, and its implementation.

     This paper has three major contributions to the literature as following. First, it first proved Huawei is wholly owned and governed by its employees under the relevant Chinese legal system, by examining its Employee Ownership Scheme and the governance system and rebuking other paper which negates its employee ownership and posits Huawei is owned by the trade union and, ultimately, the government. Second, the paper presented a new approach to the study of Japanese-style management with focus on its philosophical aspect as its strength. Leaving this subject less attended, the literature has focused on the labor practice, marketing and other aspects of Japanese-management in the past. Third, the paper clarified the way to revitalize Japanese management with credo-driven management and its implementation, with due emphasis on how to share and instill the credo with employees.

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  • Masanori Seto
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 80-93
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     This study conducted an exploratory single case study on small and medium-sized manufacturers founded 106 years ago. The case study challenged the corporate transformation aiming at the “knowledge industrialization” of the current business model, while aiming to improve corporate value by embodying the management philosophy.

     This study targeted the actual situation of philosophy-driven management (i.e., management with the philosophy as the basis of management behavior) using the manager's attitude to reflect his or her own words, actions, and decision-making. This study first examines the establishment and sustainability of philosophy-driven management unique to the associated manufacturers based on the research results from the viewpoint of the “narrative” concept. The next purpose is to spark discussion that contributes to the survival of small and medium-sized manufacturers, which are vulnerable to management resources, as derived from the various suggestions of previous research.

     Therefore, based on the theoretical limitations and weaknesses highlighted in previous research on small and medium-sized manufacturers, and particularly on the knowledge from “management organizational theory,” the development process of ideal management as a “narrative” is discussed. The results reveal the following key points required for sustainable ideal management: stakeholders must find and continuously enhance the core competencies that support ideal management and have a future-oriented attitude that continues to reflect, which is centered on top management. Although this paper is not beyond the scope of an exploratory interpretation, it suggests the possibility of surviving in business society as a person/organization that has gained social recognition based on management behavior centered on the philosophy of small and medium-sized manufacturers.

     This study's practical implication is embedding the ideal management into an organization as an effective means for modernizing management by reviewing unorganized management behavior in small and medium-sized manufacturers.

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  • Yasuo Nishiguchi
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 94-97
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     Japanese companies need to break away from the old Japanese style of management and pursue a new method of organizational management. The traditional Japanese management style took root during the period of rapid economic growth from 1955 to 1972. At the time, the industrial structure was vertically integrated within companies. However, as digitalization progressed from 1980s, the international horizontal division of labor among companies developed. The relocation of factories in developed countries to China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia caused irreversible damage to Japan's labor-intensive manufacturing industry.

     In intellectual-intensive industries, individual creativity is emphasized. Organizational management that links the results produced based on individual knowledge to the overall value of the organization or company is necessary. Rather than emphasizing the “isms” and “philosophies” that were necessary for management to achieve efficient production in the days when labor-intensive manufacturing was dominant, it is necessary to carry out management with corporate logic as a sufficient condition while maintaining the corporate ethics required by stakeholders as a necessary condition.

     The introduction of a knowledge management system is a practical activity to transform tacit knowledge into formal knowledge and utilize it systematically. As the various activities that have been practiced tacitly will be verbalized, the personnel who created the knowledge will be able to reflect on their own activities and deeply understand their meaning. Furthermore, the practice of sharing formal knowledge can be expected to progress within the organization. The level of collective knowledge accumulated at the organizational level will also increase dramatically. The autonomous collective knowledge gained in this way can be used to achieve high profits and sustainable growth and, ultimately, realize corporate ethics.

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  • Koichiro Kodama
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 98-107
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     In this study, we investigated how firms react to radical innovation and how incumbent businesses transform. We focused on the photo-printing business in Japan and its adaption to the digitization of photography after the mid-1990s, which might have had a negative effect on the survival of the industry. Nevertheless, despite theoretical predictions, the industry has prevailed.

     Compared to existing research, our analytical perspectives were characteristic in the following two aspects: we focused on incumbent firms whose position would be undermined by new entrants; our unit of analysis was not limited to a single organization, but included multiple entities that are related to the focal firm to capture the entire change that was cumulatively generated by each entity. In the case analysis, we attempted to determine the reasons why photo-printing businesses have survived from both macro and micro perspectives, providing a multi-layered understanding of the phenomenon.

     We revealed the significant role of digital-minilabs as a solution to the challenges of the photo-printing business, examined the reasons why this business achieved results that differ from existing theories, and uncovered the tacit premise of those theories. Next, we examined the following two issues: first, the reason for the emergence of digital minilabs at such an advantageous time for the photo-printing business. The timing of digital-minilabs' emergence was found not to have been determined based on strategic planning, but was a result of reactionary measures to address immediate challenges. Second, we investigated why minilab equipment spread rapidly to the entire photo-printing industry.

     After investigating the digitization phenomenon in the photo-printing business, we propose that the process, which was intermediated by chance, can be explained from the perspective of the garbage can model. Finally, we distill the essence of the dynamic force that drove the transformation of the industry.

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  • Yoshimi Shibano
    2022 Volume 49 Pages 108-110
    Published: May 25, 2022
    Released on J-STAGE: May 26, 2023

     This study considers the corporate philosophy of a company and attempts to verify the effect of organizational culture on corporate fraud through quantitative empirical analysis using text mining. The result of my empirical research using terms extracted by frequency analysis shows that companies with a stakeholder-oriented philosophy and a society-oriented philosophy have had reduced fraudulent activities. On the contrary, companies with a region-oriented philosophy have had an increase in fraudulent activities. The results of additional cluster analysis show that companies with social contribution and value creation philosophies have had a reduction in fraudulent activities. Companies with a philosophy of denying fraud do not show any significant fraudulent activities. The results of a quantitative empirical analysis indicate that corporate organizational culture may have an effect on corporate fraud. While previous research mainly analyzed the impact of governance systems on corporate fraud and recommended countermeasures, this research will make the following contributions. This study empirically shows that corporate culture can affect fraud. By using text mining of corporate philosophy as a proxy variable of organizational culture, the factors affecting corporate fraud were quantitatively analyzed. Further, it also empirically demonstrates what organizational cultures may have an effect. If corporate fraud is affected by organizational culture, simply changing corporate governance at the directorate level, such as to increase the total of outside directors is not enough to combat corporate fraud. I believe that the corporate culture of a company should be regarded as one of the governance mechanisms for the sustainable survival of the company.

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