Corporate Culture: The J Factor; Toyota's Sales Have Shifted Overseas, but Its Spiritual Center Still Lies in Japan

Newsweek International, May 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Corporate Culture: The J Factor; Toyota's Sales Have Shifted Overseas, but Its Spiritual Center Still Lies in Japan


Byline: Christian Caryl and Hideko Takayama

Not long ago, Toyota Motors president Fujio Cho welcomed 1,700 new employees at a traditional Japanese "joining-the-firm ceremony." Last year was stellar for Toyota, but Cho skipped through the rosy stats, including record overseas production for the 13th straight year, to dwell on an almost apocalyptic vision of rising competition, particularly from South Korea and China. "Toyota's lead is growing smaller," he warned. "If we stop and relax, we could soon find ourselves facing a threat to our survival as a company."

Sure, in public, Toyota now looks and sounds increasingly, confidently American as its sales center shifts to the United States. But its spiritual center is Toyota City, a huge company town of 400,000 people outside the industrial city of Nagoya. Employees from all over the world come here for indoctrination in the "Toyota Way." This phrase is repeated like a mantra, and embodies a deeply Japa-nese ethic of constant self-improvement and fear of complacency. This near-religious inspiration is one reason Toyota consistently ranks as one of the most respected firms in Japan, and one of those university graduates would most like to work for.

At Toyota's museum in Nagoya, humble beginnings take pride of place. The first third of the museum is a vast display of looms--homage to the company's origins as a manufacturer of textile equipment. Museum officials explain, with zeal, that it's all part of the Japanese tradition of monozukuri , or "making things," a word that evokes the joy of crafting a product as perfectly as possible. "This is the big word for describing what Toyota's about," says senior managing director Yoshimi Inaba.

Dwelling on history helped Toyota keep its focus while other Japanese giants lost their way. (Sony insurance, anyone?) A clear identity has helped Toyota maintain high standards across 170 nations, including 51 production factories in 26 countries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Corporate Culture: The J Factor; Toyota's Sales Have Shifted Overseas, but Its Spiritual Center Still Lies in Japan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.