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					A comparison of U.S. and Japanese management styles and
unit effectiveness
Culpan, Refik, Kucukemiroglu, Orsay. Management International Review. Wiesbaden: First Quarter
1993. Vol. 33, Iss. 1; pg. 27, 16 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

The literature comparing US and Japanese management systems is reviewed, and the underlying
theoretical dimensions in organization and management literature are identified for a conceptual model
for comparative analysis. A model of management styles and unit effectiveness is presented that
consists of 6 managerial dimensions: 1. supervisory style, 2. decision making, 3. communication
pattern, 4. control mechanism, 5. interdepartmental relations, and 6. paternalistic orientation. It also
proposes that overall management style determines organizational or unit effectiveness. The results of
an empirical test of the model show that the US management style is different from the Japanese. The
variability between the 2 countries lies among all 6 managerial dimensions as well. While American
managers emphasize supervisory style, decision making, and control mechanism, the Japanese are
more concerned with communication process, interdepartmental relations, and paternalistic approach.

Nourishing American business with Japanese recipes
Thanopoulos, John, Leonard, Joseph W. Review of Business. Jamaica: Fall 1996. Vol. 18, Iss. 1; pg.
7, 4 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

After reviewing more than 100 publications on business practices in Japan, the conclusion is that
three characteristics are predominant in Japanese management thinking: 1. harmony and group
loyalty, 2. consensus decision making, and 3. lifetime employment. If the Japanese experience has
created some great recipes for success, it seems appropriate to take some ingredients and develop
new recipes adapted to American managerial practices. A modification of the avoidance technique of
a self reference criterion (SRC) is proposed, which includes these steps: 1. Start with the domestic
cultural system and examine domestic values and norms. 2. Do the same for the foreign cultural
system. 3. List those foreign cultural elements that contribute to one's system. 4. Delete from the list of
foreign cultural elements those that conflict with accepted practices in the home system. 5. Prepare a
consistent plan of how to inject these elements in the home organizational structure. 6. Develop
tactical tools for implementing Step 5. 7. Review and reevaluate the previous steps.

Are Japanese managers more long-term oriented than United
States managers?
Sam Beldona, Andrew C Inkpen, Arvind Phatak. Management International Review. Wiesbaden:
Third Quarter 1998. Vol. 38, Iss. 3; pg. 239, 18 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

Business press accounts in the US have frequently attributed the decline of many US industries to the
myopic investment behavior of US managers. It has been argued that Japanese managers are more
long-term oriented in their decision making than US managers. A study examines the time horizons
and risk taking propensity of Japanese and US managers. The individual time horizons of Japanese
managers were longer than those of US managers, suggesting a willingness of the Japanese
managers to delay gratification. US managers were found to be more risk seeking than Japanese
The impact of national culture and economic ideology on
managerial work values: a study of the United States, Russia,
Japan, and China
David A Ralston, David H Holt, Robert H Terpstra, Yu Kai-Cheng. Journal of International Business
Studies. Washington: Jan/Feb 2008. Vol. 39, Iss. 1; pg. 8, 19 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

This study assesses the impact of economic ideology and national culture on the
individual work values of managers in the United States, Russia, Japan, and China. The
convergence-divergence-crossvergence (CDC) framework was used as a theoretical
framework for the study, while the Schwartz Value Survey (SVS) was used to
operationalize our investigation of managerial work values across these four countries.
The findings largely support the crossvergence perspective, while also confirming the
role of national culture. Implications from the findings are drawn for the convergence-
divergence-crossvergence of values, as well as for the feasibility of multidomestic or
global strategies for a corporate culture. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]


Although there has been a good deal of prior research on differences between
Asian (i.e., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea) and American
business practices, few studies have dealt with comparisons of approaches to
decision making in the various cultures. This paper addresses how levels of
openness, conflicting advice, centralized control, and disagreement across
different countries may affect decision making. It may be that the “common
wisdom” which suggests Japanese decision making exclusively involves
cooperation ignores the existence of conflict in Japanese decisions. In fact,
Japanese decision makers may be more open, resolve conflict prior to reaching
consensus, and exert less centralized control than decision makers in the U.S.
and Hong Kong. This could help explain their abilities to make effective business
decisions in Japan.

Managerial Behaviors and Job Performance: A Successful Manager in Los Angeles
May Not Succeed in Hong Kong

Managerial behaviors and job performance: a successful manager in Los Angeles
may not succeed in Hong Kong.

by J. Stewart Black , Lyman W. Porter
Abstract. Few studies have attempted to examine how American
managers actually manage while on assignment in foreign
countries or the effectiveness of these managerial behaviors. This
study compared the self-reported managerial behaviors of
American expatriate managers in Hong Kong to a sample to
American managers in the U.S. and Hong Kong Chinese
managers in Hong Kong. The results from the study indicated
that American expatriate managers in Hong Kong exhibit very
similar managerial behaviors to the sample of managers in the
U.S. However, while these managerial bahaviors were positively
related to job performance for the managers in the U.S., they
were not related to job performance for the expatriates in Hong
Kong, nor were these managerial behaviors related to job
performance for Hong Kong Chinese managers in Hong Kong. The growing international
competition that American firms face has increased the need for firms to become more
competitive by improving the cross-cultural management aspects of their business
[Kobrin 1988]. Unfortunately, many American firms have not been successful in
selecting, retaining, and developing effective managers for assignments requiring cross-
cultural management skills [Adams & Kobayashi 1969; Baker & Ivancevich 1971; Black
1988; Lanier 1979; Misa & Fabricatore 1979; Tung 1981]. Because the costs of
maintaining a manager in an overseas post average about $250,000 [Lubin 1989; Misa &
Fabricate 1979] and the estimated costs for premature returns range from $50,000 to
$200,000 per early return [Copeland & Griggs 1985; Harris 1979; Misa & Fabricatore
1979], the problems can be quite significant to a single firm and to American business in
general. Despite this bleak picture, few studies have tried empirically to examine how
American managers manage in foreign countries and whether or not these managerial
behaviors are effective. This study is one of the first to compare the managerial behaviors
of American managers in the U.S. to those in an overseas location (in this case, American
expatriate managers in Hong Kong) and to compare the relationship between managerial
behaviors and job performance in two different contexts. Consequently, this study
provides important empirical data as to whether managerial behaviors that are likely to be
effective in the U.S. are necessarily effective in another culture.
As mentioned, the focus of this study is the relationship between managerial behaviors
and performance during an overseas assignment. Although managerial behavior is not the
only determinant of performance (see Church [1982], Mendenhall & Oddou [1985], and
Stening [1979] for reviews), it is theoretically a critical factor. Simplified, there seem to
be two general schools of thought about the relationship between managerial behaviors
and performance during an overseas assignment.
The Cross-Cultural School of Thought The first school of thought might be termed the
"cross-cultural" school. In this school of thought, scholars such as Farmer and Richman
[1975] would argue that the effectiveness of a particular managerial behavior is a
function of the culture in which the behavior is performed. Or in other words, the
managerial behaviors that are related to performance in the U.S. might not be related to
performance in Japan or visa versa. The basic logic for this position is that because
managerial attitudes and values differ from one culture to another, so do effective
managerial behaviors. Thus, one empirical question that arises is "Do managerial
attitudes and values vary significantly from one culture to another?" Several researchers
have examined the similarities and differences in managerial attitudes across a number of
different cultures. Several studies that included managers from several different countries
found both similarities and differences in managerial attitudes by country [Griffeth, Hom,
DeNisi & Kirchner 1980; Haire, Ghiselli & Porter 1963, 1966; Redding & Casey 1976].
In an attempt to determine if different managerial attitudes made a difference in
managerial outcomes, Lee and Larwood [1983] found that American expatriate managers
in Korea who reported attitudes typifying the Korean culture were more satisfied in their
jobs. In assessing the issue of value differences by culture, England and his colleagues
[England & Lee 1974; Whitely & England 1977] examined the relationship between
values and success by examining managers from several different countries. These
studies found that nationality had a significant influence on the constellation of values of
managers from different countries but also concluded that, in general, successful
managers placed high, common value on productivity, subordinates, and ability [Lee &
England 1974]. Bass and Berger [1979] came to conclusions ...

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