THE MODELS OF JAPANESE MANAGEMENT: HOW DISTINCTIVE ARE THEY?
Since the end of the World War II, the vast majority of Japanese authorities on management have been under strong influence of the Western management theories. As a result, there have been very few researchers in Japan who have tried to analyze and theorize the realities of Japanese-style management. However, there are indigenous practices in Japan to contrast with those in the West. In the absence of clearly formulated theories of management in Japan, therefore, we must resort to the studies of Japanese-style management practices, which have been conducted extensively over the last few years, in order to understand the indigenousness of Japanese management. In this chapter, we shall first trace the evolution of management theories that have taken place in the West since the turn of this century, and then go on to examine several models of Japanese management that have been built upon the facts-the practices employed to manage ideas, things, and people. By doing so, it is hoped that we could see how the Japanese have managed to develop their unique features of management while borrowing very heavily the concepts of management from the West.