Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Happiness Will Be Key to Success at Hitachi/says Official

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Happiness Will Be Key to Success at Hitachi/says Official

Article excerpt

The success orfailure of Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. of Norman will be measured in direct correlation to the happiness of the work force from its president down, a group of Oklahoma company leaders was told Wednesday.

So far, the experience has been a good one, said Shiro Takemura, president of the new Norman subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. Takemura spoke during a seminar sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce on doing business with Japan.

"If the corporate culture cannot take root, Hitachi won't succeed," he said. "But I have found Oklahomans to be sincere, diligent, generous and kind. I don't feel a great difference in our cultures."

The company, which expects to begin production this spring, has hired 80 employees and is currently installing production equipment in the approximately 70,000-square-foot structure - the first phase of a facility that could eventually quadruple in size.

In selecting Oklahoma, Takemura said his company looked at three major U.S. regions: east of the Mississippi River, west of the Rocky Mountains and in the central U.S.

Had the northeast been selected, Takemura said he could not have guaranteed the compatibility of the two cultures.

"I might have already gone back to Japan," he said, smiling. "We found the central region easier for us to do business. The cultural characteristics are similar to the Japanese here."

One major common denominator between the Japanese and Oklahoma cultures is the ethic of the work force, Takemura said. His company, through management techniques, intends to enhance that asset, he said.

He criticized the corporate ethic that turns its work force into "gears in a machine," saying such practices eventually damage the corporation. …

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