Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Student Review

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Student Review

Article excerpt

Case Studies in Japanese Management

Editors: Parissa Haghirian and Philippe Gagnon

Edition: First

Publisher: World Scientific

Pages: 316

Price: Pounds 41.00

ISBN: 9789814340878

To date, there are few English-language books that provide a detailed exploration of the philosophies underlying Japanese management. This book seeks to address that lack by exploring the ways that Japanese corporate strategy differs from Western management principles. The introductory chapter argues that we can learn from these strategies, as they are widely considered to have brought about Japan's "miracle" economic recovery in the post-Second World War era. This has led to the country becoming the third-biggest economy in the world, behind the US and now China.

Each chapter is written by a different author, and generally takes the form of a detailed case study of a specific organisation. Some chapters explore successful and world-renowned Japanese firms, such as Sony and Toyota. Others consider the cases of businesses that have attempted to break into the Japanese market, including Walmart, which made an unsuccessful attempt to do so, although its venture into the UK with Asda turned out well. As the text notes, a failure to consider the distinct culture of Japan meant that Walmart's entry into the market was fatally handicapped.

The importance of cultural sensitivity is a major theme in the book. Even if you have no prior knowledge of Japan or Japanese culture, this will not detract from your enjoyment of the book, as elements of this complex culture are introduced gradually. …

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