UBC Theses and Dissertations
Japanese business organization through mentality perspective Yamashita, Hideo
This paper is an attempt to shed light on Japanese business organization from a mentality perspective and thus to explain some characteristic attributes of the organization. "Mentality" provides, the basis for the mode of thought attributable to the nation. The "YAMATO SPIRIT", which is one of such mentalities and which is also the core concept of this thesis, is the Japanese mentality and thus is the basis for Japanese ways of thought and action. The Japanese mentality, in other words, the "YAMATO SPIRIT", is defined as "an effort to attain the identity of one with many through 'Nothingness'". As such, it manifests itself in the business field as well as in other aspects of Japanese life. In fact, this SPIRIT is one of the decisive elements in the business field, emerging as the Japanese business spirit. The Japanese business,spirit, in turn, takes various forms, such as the maxim "do your bit for your country" on the management side, Nenko wage system and Shushin Koyo employment system on the labor side, and the interdependence among firms, banks, and the Government. Furthermore, it is manifest in the business decision-making, functioning as a synthesizing element. Finally apart from the business organization, the Japanese mentality manifests itself with the existence and importance of the "Betriebswirtshaft" in the scholarly field of business in Japan. Again, this paper is an attempt to explain these characteristic attributes of Japanese business organization through Japanese mentality. The paper is composed of three Parts. In Part I, we shall look briefly, from a historical point of view, at the management and labor sides of Japanese business organization. This preliminary survey should present a good background for us to understand what the "YAMATO SPIRIT" is, and what its implications are in the Japanese business scene. In Part II, we shall discuss the three elements on which the "YAMATO SPIRT" is based, and then arrive at the definition of YAMATO SPIRIT by referring to Dr. Nishida's philosophy, and finally take up two distinguishing traits of Japanese mentality. The definition of YAMATO SPIRIT and its traits in this stage will be highly conceptual and abstract. Proceeding to Part III, however, YAMATO SPIRIT will take concrete forms; i.e., the forms of those above-mentioned characteristic attributes of the organization. In other words, it is in this Part that we shall view Japanese business organization from a mentality perspective. For this reason, much more emphasis has been put on this particular Part.
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