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Matsushita and Japan's Changing Culture


Macarena Rodríguez Cabieses

on 3 October 2012

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Transcript of Matsushita and Japan's Changing Culture

Matsushita and Japan's Changing Culture Alessandra Carrera
Fabiola Matzumura
Macarena Rodríguez Questions What were the triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990’s? How is cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan? Question # 1 How might Japan’s changing culture influence the way Japanese business operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the Japanese economy? Question # 2 Case How did traditional Japanese culture benefit Matsushita during the 1950’s-1980’s? Did traditional values become more of a liability during the 1990’s and early 2000’s? How so? Question # 3 What is Matsushita trying to achieve with human resource changes it has announced? What are the impediments to successfully implementing these changes? What are the implications for Matsushita if (a) the changes are made quickly or (b) it takes years or even decades to fully implement
the changes? Question # 4 It was benefit because of the Confucian Values.

It becomes a
liability because
the new
generation did
not consider
valuable all the
traditional values. Thanks What does the Matsushita case teach you about the relationship between societal culture and business success? Question # 5 Matsushita - Panasonic Japanese multinational electronics corporation.

Founded en 1918 by Konosuke Matsushita under strong values such as:
Reciprocal obligations
Loyalty to the company

Despite the materials shortages, Panasonic's products maintain their quality.

They lost 32 factories and offices.

During all this time, they kept their values and kept helping their employes. Matsushita during World War II Some benefits:
Cheap housing
Guaranteed lifetime employment
Seniority based pay systems
Generous retirement bonuses

What they expect from their employes:
Hard work Confucian values in the workplace They didn't were as committed as their ancestors.

They grew up in a world with everything.
They had western ideas.
They had a future with
lot of opportunities.
They didn't want to
be tied to a company
forever. Generation After 1964 In the 90's Japan had an economic crisis.

Japanese companies had to make many changes:
Fired old workers
No guarantee for lifetime employees

Young japanese: stop believing that loyalty to a company was something reciprocated. Panasonic in the 90's Changed the pay scheme: from seniority to performance.

3 employment options

New believes:
- Employees
- Inividuality
- Iniciative
- Taking risk
1998: Time to Change What did they want from their young employees? Rational & logical thinking Ambitious Some Many Few Agressive (cc) photo by twicepix on Flickr (cc) photo by tudor on Flickr They had to:
Close 30 factories.
13 000 jobs were cut
Many assets were sold.

In 2004 they started to make profits.
But it wasn't easy 1st trigger: Richer economy after 1964 and the new generation.

2nd trigger: Lost decade + lost of traditional values.

Now the benefits are based in the performance. They still give the employees benefits but not base in seniority.

This leads to more service-based efficient economy. They wanted people to encourage individuality, start believing in the employee democratization and were seeking younger employees.

Impediments: old employees.

Implications for Matsushita if:
a) Quickly: the employees may not understand the new system and may reject it.
b) It takes years or decades: the business can not prospered before it's implemented adequately. For business to succeed the corporation has to aequeate themselves to changes in society an therefore to social culture chantes.

Practices from today may not be adequate in the future.
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