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A Comparison of American and Japanese

Styles of Management

Masaaki Livai
in
Total Quality Handbook, 1990
by G. Dixon and J. Swiler
Figure 1.6 Hierarchy of KAIZEN involvement
Top Management Middle Supervisors Workers
Management and
Staff
Deploy and Use KAIZEN in
Be determined to implement Engage in
functional roles
introduce KAIZEN as KAIZEN goals as KAIZEN through
a corporate strategy directed by top Formulate plans for
management the suggestion
KAIZEN and provide
Provide support and through policy guidance to workers system and small-
direction for KAIZEN deployment and group activities
Improve
by allocating resources cross-functional
management communication with Practice discipline
Establish policy for Use KAIZEN in workers and sustain in the workshop
KAIZEN and cross- functional high morale
capabilities Engage in
functional goals Support small-group
Establish, maintain, continuous self-
and upgrade activities (such as
Realize KAIZEN development to
standards quality circles) and the
goals through policy become better
individual suggestion
deployment and audits Make employees system problem solvers
KAIZEN-conscious
Build systems, through intensive Introduce discipline in Enhance skills and
procedures, and training programs the workshop job-performance
structure conducive to Help employees Provide KAIZEN expertise with
develop skills and
KAIZEN tools for problem suggestions cross-education
solving
Figure 1.1 The KAIZEN umbrella

• Customer orientation • Kamban


• TQC (total quality control) • Quality improvement
• Robotics • Just-in-time
• QC circles • Zero defects
• Suggestion system • Small-group activities
• Automation • Cooperative labor-
• Discipline in the workplace management relations
• TPM (total productive • Productivity improvement
maintenance) • New-product development
Figure 1.2 Japanese perceptions of job functions (1)

Top Management
Middle Management Improvement
Supervisors Maintenance
Workers

Figure 1.3 Japanese perceptions of job functions (2)

Top Management Innovation


Middle Management KAIZEN
Supervisors Maintenance
Workers
Figure 1.4 Western perceptions of job functions

Top Management Innovation


Middle Management
Supervisors Maintenance
Workers

Figure 1.5 Innovation-centered job functions

Innovation

Maintenance
Figure 1.7 Deming Wheel

Design

Research Production

Sales
KAIZEN Innovation
Japan Strong Weak
West Weak Strong

Figure 2.1 Features of KAIZEN and Innovation


KAIZEN Innovation
1. Effect Long-term and long-lasting Short-term but dramatic
but undramatic
2. Pace Small steps Big steps
3. Timeframe Continuous and incremental Intermittent and non-
incremental
4. Change Gradual and constant Abrupt and volatile
5. Involvement Everybody Select few “champions”
6. Approach Collectivism, group efforts, Rugged individualism,
systems approach individual ideas and efforts
7. Mode Maintenance and Scrap and rebuild
improvement
8. Spark Conventional know-how and Technological break- throughs,
state of the art new inventions, new theories
9. Practical Requires little investment but Requires large investment but
requirements great effort to maintain it little effort to maintain it
10. Effort orientation People Technology
11. Evaluation criteria Process and efforts for better Results for profits
results
12. Advantage Works well in slow-growth Better suited to fast-growth
economy economy
Figure 2.2 Ideal pattern from innovation

Time

Figure 2.3 Actual pattern from innovation

Time
Figure 2.4 Innovation alone
What should be
(standard)
Maintenance
What should be
(standard)
Maintenance What actually is
Innovation
What actually is

Time

Figure 2.5 Innovation plus KAIZEN


ard
ew stand
N
KAIZEN

Innovation
ndard
N e w st a
KAIZEN
Innovation
Time
Figure 2.6 Total manufacturing chain

Science Technology Design Production Market

Innovation KAIZEN
Figure 2.7 Another comparison of Innovation and KAIZEN
Innovation KAIZEN

Creativity Adaptability
Individualism Teamwork (systems approach)
Specialist-oriented Generalist-oriented
Attention to great leaps Attention to details
Technology-oriented people-oriented
Information: closed, proprietary Information: open, shared
Functional (specialist) orientation Cross-functional orientation
Seek new technology Build on existing technology
Line + staff Cross-functional organization
Limited feedback Comprehensive feedback
Figure 2.8 Western and Japanese product perceptions

Technology Preferred
Product
Level Process

Western High Technology- Innovative


perceptions technology oriented innovation product

Japanese People-
Low technology + KAIZEN-oriented
perceptions oriented +
KAIZEN product
KAIZEN
Figure 2.9 Upcoming Japanese product perceptions

Technology Level Preferred Process Product

High technology Technology-oriented Technology-oriented


innovation innovation

Technology-oriented
KAIZEN

Low technology Technology-oriented Technology-oriented


innovation innovation