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Devry BUSN427 week 1 assignment




Question;Case Analysis: Chapter 3 Closing Case on pages 125?127.;Your responses should be well-rounded and analytical and should not just;provide a conclusion or an opinion without explaining the reason for;the choice. For full credit, you need to use the material from the;week's lectures, text, and/or discussions when responding to the;questions. It is important that you incorporate the question into your;response (i.e., summarize the case in the Summary) and explain the;principle(s) or concept(s) from the text that underlies your judgment.;For each case, you should provide at least two references in APA format;(in-text citations and references as described in detail in the;Syllabus). Each answer should be double-spaced in 12 point.;Use the following headings and lengths in your paper;Summary;In this section, you should summarize the case in one paragraph.Questions;Number each question. Each specific question under the numbered Case;Discussion Questions should be a paragraph in length because many Case;Discussion Questions contain more than one question.;Be sure to restate each question before answering it.Apply the concepts from the appropriate chapters in your answers.References;Include citations throughout the paper and a reference page with your sources. Use APA style citations and references.;See the Homework Assignment Grading Rubric document in Doc Sharing.;Case;Analysis: Chapter 3 Closing Case on pages 125?127. Your;responses should be well-rounded and analytical and should not just provide a;conclusion or an opinion without explaining the reason for the choice. For full;credit, you need to use the material from the week's lectures, text, and/or;discussions when responding to the questions. It is important that you;incorporate the question into your response (i.e., summarize the case in the;Summary) and explain the principle(s) or concept(s) from the text that;underlies your judgment. For each case, you should provide at least two;references in APA format (in-text citations and references as described in;detail in the Syllabus). Each answer should be double-spaced in 12 point. Use the;following headings and lengths in your paper;Summary;In this section, you should;summarize the case in one paragraph.;Questions;Number each question. Each;specific question under the numbered Case Discussion Questions should be;a paragraph in length because many Case Discussion Questions contain more;than one question.;Be sure to restate each question before answering it.;Apply the concepts from the;appropriate chapters in your answers.;References;Include citations;throughout the paper and a reference page with your sources. Use APA;style citations and reference;Closing case: Panasonic and Japan?s Changing Culture;Established in 1920, the consumer electronics giant;Panasonic was at the forefront of the rise of Japan to the status of major;economic power during the 1970s and 1980s (before 2009 Panasonic was known as;Matsushita). Like many other long-standing Japanese businesses, Panasonic was;regarded as a bastion of traditional Japanese values based on strong group;identification, reciprocal obligations, and loyalty to the company. Several;commentators attributed Panasonic?s success, and that of the Japanese economy;to the existence of Confucian values in the workplace. At Panasonic, employees;were taken care of by the company from ?cradle to the grave.? Panasonic;provided them with a wide range of benefits including cheap housing, guaranteed;lifetime employment, seniority-based pay systems, and generous retirement;bonuses. In return, Panasonic expected, and got, loyalty and hard work from its;employees. To Japan?s postwar generation, struggling to recover from the;humiliation of defeat, it seemed like a fair bargain. The 125126employees;worked hard for the greater good of Panasonic, and Panasonic reciprocated by;bestowing ?blessings? on employees.;However, culture does not stay constant. According to some;observers, the generation born after 1964 lacked the same commitment to;traditional Japanese values as their parents. They grew up in a world that was;richer, where Western ideas were beginning to make themselves felt, and where;the possibilities seemed greater. They did not want to be tied to a company for;life, to be a ?salaryman.? These trends came to the fore in the 1990s when the;Japanese economy entered a prolonged economic slump. As the decade progressed;one Japanese firm after another was forced to change its traditional ways of;doing business. Slowly at first, troubled companies started to lay off older;workers, effectively abandoning lifetime employment guarantees. As younger;people saw this happening, they concluded that loyalty to a company might not;be reciprocated, effectively undermining one of the central bargains made in;postwar Japan.;Panasonic was one of the last companies to turn its back on;Japanese traditions, but in 1998, after years of poor performance, it began to;modify traditional practices. The principle agents of change were a group of;managers who had extensive experience in Panasonic?s overseas operations, and;included Kunio Nakamura, who became the chief executive of Panasonic in 2000.;First, Panasonic changed the pay scheme for its 11,000;managers. In the past, the traditional twice-a-year bonuses had been based;almost entirely on seniority, but now Panasonic said they would be based on;performance. In 1999, Panasonic announced this process would be made;transparent, managers would be shown what their performance rankings were and;how these fed into pay bonuses. As elementary as this might sound in the West;for Panasonic it represented the beginning of a revolution in human resource;practices.;About the same time, Panasonic took aim at the lifetime;employment system and the associated perks. Under the new system, recruits were;given the choice of three employment options. First, they could sign on to the;traditional option. Under this, they were eligible to live in subsidized;company housing, go free to company-organized social events, and buy subsidized;services such as banking from group companies. They also still would receive a;retirement bonus equal to two years? salary. Under a second scheme, employees;could forgo the guaranteed retirement bonus in exchange for higher starting salaries;and keep perks such as cheap company housing. Under a third scheme, they would;lose both the retirement bonus and the subsidized services, but they would;start at a still higher salary. In its first two years of operation, only 3;percent of recruits chose the third option?suggesting there is still a;hankering for the traditional paternalistic relationship?but 41 percent took;the second option.;In other ways Panasonic?s designs are grander still. As the;company has moved into new industries such as software engineering and network;communications technology, it has begun to sing the praises of democratization;of employees, and it has sought to encourage individuality, initiative taking;and risk seeking among its younger employees. But while such changes may be;easy to articulate, they are hard to implement. For all of its talk, Panasonic;has been slow to dismantle its lifetime employment commitment to those hired;under the traditional system. This was underlined in early 2001 when, in;response to continued poor performance, Panasonic announced it would close 30;factories in Japan, cut 13,000 jobs including 1,000 management jobs, and sell a;?huge amount of assets? over the next three years. While this seemed to;indicate a final break with the lifetime employment system?it represented the;first layoffs in the company?s history?the company also said unneeded;management staff would not be fired but instead transferred to higher growth;areas such as health care.;With so many of its managers a product of the old way of;doing things, a skeptic might question the ability of the company to turn its;intentions into a reality. As growth has slowed, Panasonic has had to cut back;on its hiring, but its continued commitment to long-standing employees means;that the average age of its workforce is rising. In the 1960s it was around 25;by the early 2000s it was 35, a trend that might counteract Panasonic?s;attempts to revolutionize the workplace, for surely those who benefited from;the old system will not give way easily to the new. Still, by the mid-2000s it;was clear that Panasonic was making progress. After significant losses in 2002;the company broke even in 2003 and started to make profits again in 2004. New;growth drivers, such as sales of DVD equipment, helped, but so did the cultural;and organizational changes that enabled the company to better exploit these new;opportunities. The company continued to make solid profits until 2009, when;like most enterprises, it was hit by the global recession. Panasonic?s response;to this showed how much the company had changed. The company quickly announced;that it would close 27 plants and lay off 15,000 employees, half of them in;Japan, signaling perhaps, the final end of it?s lifetime employment;commitments.;Sources: ?Putting the Bounce Back into Matsushita,? The;Economist, May 22, 1999, pp. 67?68, ?In Search of the New Japanese Dream,? The;Economist, February 19, 2000, pp. 59?60, P. Landers, ?Matsushita to Restructure;in Bid to Boost Thin Profits,? The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2000, p.;A13, M. Tanikawa, ?A Pillar of Japan Inc. Finally Turns Around, Work in;Progress,? International Herald Tribune, August 28, 2004, pp. 17?18, and;?Panasonic Will Slash Jobs, Shut 27 Plants,? Los Angeles Times, February 5;2009, p. C3.;1.;What were;the triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990s? How is cultural;change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?;2.;How might;Japan?s changing culture influence the way Japanese businesses operate in the;future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the Japanese;economy?;3.;How did;traditional Japanese culture benefit Panasonic during the 1950s?1980s? Did;traditional values become more of a liability during the 1990s and early 2000s?;How so?;4.;What is;Panasonic trying to achieve with human resource changes it has announced? What;are the impediments to successfully implementing these changes? What are the;implications for Panasonic if (a) the changes are made quickly or (b);it takes years or even decades to fully implement the changes?;5.;What does;the Panasonic case teach you about the relationship between societal culture;and business success?;="msonormal">


Paper#53258 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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