Sony is one of the most powerful and respected multinational corporations in the world, and Akio Morita is its outspoken chairman. From his global perspective. The outspoken Chariman of the Sony Corporation candidly discusses the rise of Sony, his own extraordinary career as one of the most successful businessmen. Akio Morita; Edwin M Reingold; Mitsuko Shimomura. Morita, Akio, Japan -- Electronic equipment industries: Sonı̄ Kabushiki Kaisha -- Morita, Akio - Biographies.
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Made in Japan book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The outspoken Chariman of the Sony Corporation candidly discusses th. Download Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony free ebook (pdf, epub, mobi) Book details Author: Akio Morita Pages: pages Publisher. Made in Japan by Akio Morita, , Dutton edition, in English - 1st ed. Cover of: Made in Japan | Akio Morita Akio Morita and Sony. 1st ed.
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Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Traditionally in Japan family always played a big role. The families were big. Often many generations — grandfather, father, sons and daughters - lived together in one house. So did Morita, although having the privilege of living at a high standard.
The reason for this was that the family owned a soy-sauce producing factory. By this Morita early learned to help his father in business affaires and could benefit a lot from it. Especially within such big families, traditionally the oldest ones gain a lot of respect. Discipline within the family grants discipline for life, business life in particular. Many family owned businesses for instance relied on the eldest son being the successor as head of the company after his father.
In return, he got paid with stocks which turned out to be more than just a compensation.
Besides discipline there exists a hard competition both in business and social life in Japan. This is why parents in Japan see to it that their descendants enjoy a high standard of training at school and business education. This is transferred by the Japanese education system.
Young Morita for example had to sit in unheated and during winter very cold classrooms. This education Morita felt was continued during the navy service when he had to run very long distances — before breakfast.
Also Japanese universities maintain a high standard.
Only the best students even get in and therefore have to pass very hard entrance exams, even harder than the following studies themselves. This also Morita criticises , pp. Maybe also because of the competitive education system, poverty does not seem to exist in Japan. People early learn the importance of struggling for a comfortable life by achieving a good final examination that is the entrance to a secure job. In connection with this goes the Japanese philosophy of avoiding to waste things.
Morita , p. Nothing is more honourable than both being the head of a happy family and a successful businessman or businesswoman. Since the long lasting, chaotic era of the Daimyos and Samurai, who were involved in many wars against each other, many Japanese show a high concern of sympathy to those who step out of the ordinary by doing or achieving certain things and this way become some kind of heroes Morita, , p. Furthermore, the age of the Edo-period left its mark on the Japanese people, since the rules at that time forbade any individual excesses.
This is for instance why many Japanese girls and young women today show a confusing variety of outfits. Young man join motorcycle gangs who openly and loudly attack the environment Schneidewind, , p. The eminent desire for Karaoke singing along to well-known songs watching their lyrics scrolling on TV-screens among the Japanese folk in my opinion also shows how they strive for individuality.
I think this is also the cause for the general enthusiasm for innovations. Especially Morita and Ibuka were characterized by it. One of the most guarded treasures in Japan is the honour of the individual.
This is why Japanese dialogues does not seem to contain any possibilities to pick a quarrel. Instead of fighting, Japanese use their language to analyse what went wrong instead of directly confronting the opposite. Being loud or rough is not listed on the agenda. In Japan the one who overreacts and loses his temper is the one who loses his face.
Morita , pp. There was no fight, just a difference of opinion that is natural among Westerners, but which most Japanese try to avoid. Moreover certainly the time of the economic wonder during the 50s, a time where also Sony managed to grow and to expand to foreign markets, very much affected Japanese management strategies.
It seems to me that a Japanese has three families: his real family, the company he works for and the country he was born in. Japanese revel in statistics that show their country ahead of others.
And since all Japanese companies are part of the Japan corporation, for a Japanese employee the company he works for is not just his employer. He sees himself belonging to a whole community and he is one part of it that can make it successful.
Germans as a rule work as long as they have to according to their employment contract which is very often based on collective agreements. In Japan the relationship between employee and employer can be regarded as an interrelationship, not only because the employee earns money to care for his family.
He is really needed. To underline that philosophy, Japanese companies keep up the institution of life-time employment. Instead, they try to form a motivated and flexible workforce. This way it is possible at all to use the full brain power of a company or department. A fact, that Morita had preached even more extensively, because he thought that the more different the employees ideas in a company, the smaller the risk of making mistakes , p.
Although, as Morita admits, it also existed to prevent the workers hanging around in unknown bars, drinking too much and telling secrets of the company , p.
In terms of making mistakes, Japanese companies in general are more tolerant. Instead of trying to find out who made the fault, the cause for it is being analysed. Individual responsibility is rather undefined, so that young employees are encouraged to experiment and due to this have more chances to discover something new Morita, , pp.
But also in Japanese companies avoiding mistakes is much more important than analysing those that have been made. Therefore meetings in Japanese business are often very long and intense — much longer and more intense that for instance in the US or Europe Morita, , p.
Businessmen from those countries frequently feel uneasy when negotiating with Japanese ones. The reason for this could be that, as said in chapter 3, the Japanese avoid struggles in conversations and tend to paraphrase what they originally would like to say.
Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony
A fact, that over and over again lead to misunderstandings and could cause vicious circles. Through the ages this respect for age and seniority, experience and hierarchy has been developed and still exists.
But in relation to collectivism, Japanese managers also see themselves as a part of the family. Top management of a company has to have the ability to manage people by leading them. To abolish the gap between management and labour, management offices in Japan do not look like their counterparts in Europe or in the US. Regularly, they neither are ten times bigger than those of their inferiors, nor do they have leather outfits or other toys like cocktail bars and television sets.
This way Japanese also avoid clients and investors to become too suspicious on what the profits are being spent Morita, , p. Managers in Japan take a high responsibility according to the condition the company is in.
This also shows a great difference between the US and Europe: Working as a freelancer I obtained an announcement of the DJV Deutscher Journalisten Verbund, an institution to protect the rights of journalists and freelancers in Germany.
Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony
This would not be possible in Japan. It contradicts to the idea of life-time employment and the solidarity that is present between management and labour force. Problems due to cultural differences have to be realized, analysed and solved.
Different values concerning hierarchy and collectivism need to be fixed up with the work force and management. Before it could think about foreign investment it had to build up its economy once more and had to restore its relationships to the world.
But exports in Japan would not rise as fast as that. With a view on Europe, according to Blanpain and Hanami , p. Both were rather far apart from each other. When investigating the special management systems of the Japanese subsidiaries in Europe and North America, according to Blanpain and Hanami several unique characteristics attract the attention ,pp.
To assure a smooth integration into the whole group of affiliated companies, especially in early periods, high- and middle-ranking positions are filled with them.
But in contrast to other multinational companies, even after some time there are still a lot of expatriates, also in leading positions, in relation to local staff. Especially when Japanese companies more and more became successful abroad, this led to the reproach of discrimination. The explanation for enduring these complaints could be that Japanese headquarters have a much higher trust in expatriates.
They live and understand their own culture and language and therefore could better guarantee the perfect transmission of Japanese business and management tactics. Another characteristic is the conversion of hierarchy into collectivism. Therefore, in times of boom we are very careful about increasing our personnel.
Once we have hired people, we try to make them understand our concept of a fate-sharing body and how if a recession comes the company is willing to sacrifice profit to keep them in the company. If you can do that, the bottom line will take care of itself. When you make innovative new products, you must re-educate the sales force about them so the salesmen can educate and sell the public. And it also means making some popular and profitable items obsolete, often the items you can make the most profit on because your development costs are paid for and these products have become easy for your salesmen to sell.
I believe a manager must have a wide range of general knowledge covering his own business field. It also helps to have a special sense, generated by knowledge and experience—a feel for the business that goes beyond the facts and figures—and this intuitiveness is a gift only human beings can have. I use consultants selectively and have found the best ones can do valuable information gathering and market analysis.
But their use can be brought to ridiculous extremes, and it has been. Even if a new executive takes over he cannot change that. In Japan the long-range planning system and the junior management proposal system guarantee that the relationship between top management and junior management remains very close and that over the years they can formulate a specific program of action that the years they can formulate a specific program of action that will maintain the philosophy of the company.
It a also may explain why in the initial stages progress is very slow in a Japanese company.
But once the company communicates its philosophy to all employees, the company has great strength and flexibility. You have to do something to make a business out of a new development, and that requires that you keep updating the product and staying ahead of the market. Some people in the world, especially the Americans, will have t to learn something of the meaning and spirit of mottainai and conserve more.
Step by step, year by year, we must all learn how to be more skillful and efficient in using our resources economically. We must recycle more. As to the expanding populations, that will be a challenge to everyone, for they will have to be fed.
But as the standard of living of a people increases, the population tends to level off, people live a different way, acquire different tastes and preferences, and develop their own technologies for survival.
Only by expanding world trade and stimulating more production can we take advantage of the possibilities that lie before us. We in the free world can do great things.It shows how Sony moved into the international market: The challenge is great; success depends only on the strength of our will. But as we became more successful and our track record became clearer, the others waited a shorter and shorter time before jumping in.
This action was a big step, but also it helped Morita and Sony to become more and more aware of the American way of life and business. In Emperor Hirohito ascended to the throne. If something goes wrong it is considered bad taste for management to inquire who made the mistake. Will test this as my experience with Indian business grows more. Early parts of the book on t There's some great stuff here on the early days of Sony and the development of Japanese industry after the second world war.
Sony as the author claimed has rightly stood for quality and pioneered technology, as we had always known, and that was the whole ideology of those technocrats, never to compromise on quality, and the sales will be taken care of.
Death Morita suffered a stroke in , during a game of tennis.
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