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CoverBungsche, Holger
From Freshman to Middle Management. Issues of Organizational Behaviour in Japan

2004 • ISBN 978-3-89129-414-7 · 296 S., kt.; EUR 30,40

Many business and management studies in the past assumed that Japan's 'unique' culture determines the specific management system, the firms' organization and strategies, and especially the behaviour of Japanese people in business. However, their arguments were not very convincing and often didn't exceed the level of simplifications, clichés, and stereotypes.
Instead of guessing about the influence of culture, this study turns its attention towards clearly identifiable modern Japanese systems of thought and how they describe economy, business, society, company, and work.
The study shows that it is the economic demand for effectiveness and efficiency that determines the education of new company employees and their further personal development in Japanese firms. The freshmen are expected to share the perception that the final purpose of working is to contribute to the company profits and thus to the well being of the society. Moreover, it is this contribution to the economic growth and prosperity of company and society that allegedly will also result in personal success and satisfaction. Since this way of thinking is perceived to be the only possible one, because it is also the most natural, sharing this thinking and acquiring the necessary correct attitudes and behaviour are inevitable for becoming accepted as a member of the company and society. It is this economic perspective, not only on working, but on life as a whole, that provides the basis for the company education and the personal development in Japanese firms.

Holger Bungsche studied Japanese studies, Chinese studies, modern history and sociology at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, where he received his MA degree in 1992. After receiving his M.B.A. in international management form European University Brussels, he studied at the Department of Business Administration of Kôbe University, Japan. From 2001 to 2003 he worked at the Social Science Research Centre of the Friedrich-Alexander-University, where he also received his Ph.D. in Japanese studies, Chinese studies, and sociology in 2002. For his studies and research he has lived for more than 8 years in Japan and Taiwan.


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