CHINESE WORKERS UNDER JAPANESE MANAGEMENT—ARE THEY HAPPY?
Japanese companies are said to retain a happy work-force highly motivated and satisfied to contribute to the success of the company. Their employees show a deep, long-term commitment to the company-a commitment which is reciprocated by the company as well reflected in the ideologies and practices of its management. It must be be noted, however, that much of Japanese-style management is supported by the nation’s cultural foundations; the same supports are generally not available in other cultures, or only to a lesser degree. Moreover, some of the features may be rejected as incompatible with the institutions or customs of the host country. As a result, many Japanese companies which have ventured out to set up operations overseas appear to be having difficulties in managing their local workers in different cultures. For one, the level of motivation and job satisfaction among local workers employed by Japanese companies is not always as high as hoped for by the management. In this chapter, we will first examine the theories of movitation, developed and well-tested in the US, and their applicability in other cultures. This will be followed by the presentation of findings from the Worker Opinion Survey that was conducted at the overseas branches of a large Japanese company operating in two of Asia’s newly-industrialized countries whose population is predominantly Chinese-Hong Kong and Singapore. It is hoped that the analysis of the survey findings can help us find out how happy the nonJapanese workers are under Japanese management and identify the causes of problems being experienced by Japanese companies in East Asia.