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In Japan it does. Note that the Japanese hate to fail…..to them failure is a disgrace and this prompts them to exert maximum effort in meeting, if not exceeding their goals.
The term of “ringi” has two meanings. The first meaning being of “rin, ‘submitting a proposal to one’s supervisors and receiving their approval,’ and gi meaning ‘deliberations and decisions.
emphasizes communication, collaboration, and consensus in decision making.
During those ten years, they will be taught everything in the company.
They believe that if you work for the company, you should know every aspect involved to run it.
However, this practice is currently met with challenges as the younger workforce is generally more impatient and piracy of talent is becoming more common.
In Japan it is not strange to see managers working side by side with their employees.
This explains why manager in Japan are able to understand their employees problems.
Analogy of GPs, Specialists and Fam meds…
These benefits are added motivation for the employee to stay in the company as the needs of his/her family are also met.
Interestingly, these steps are very similar to GE’s Six Sigma
Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement and Control
Quality circle teams do not make decisions and are still highly dependent on upper management to give the go signal for any implementation
Hence it can be safely concluded that no progressive organization can afford to ignore the concept of quality circles.
Techniques of Japanese Management
Techniques of Japanese
Francis Paul V. Jagolino, M.D.
Japanese Management Culture
• Service to the public – by providing high-quality
goods and services at reasonable prices, we
contribute to the public’s well-being;
• Fairness and honesty – we will be fair and honest
in all our business dealings and personal conduct;
• Teamwork for the common cause – we will pool
abilities, based on manual trust and respect;
• Uniting effort for improvement – we will
constantly strive to improve our corporate and
Japanese Management Culture
• Courtesy and humility – we will always be
cordial and modest and respect the rights and
needs of others;
• Accordance with natural laws – we will abide
by the laws of nature and adjust to the ever-
changing conditions around us; and
• Gratitude for blessings – we will always be
grateful for all the blessings and kindness we
Techniques of Japanese Management
• Theory Z
• Quality of Work Life (QWL)
• Quality Circles
• A “Japanese Management
Style” popularized by Dr.
• Theory Z focused on
loyalty to the company by
providing a job for life
with a strong focus on the
well-being of the
employee, both on and
off the job.
According to Dr. Ouchi, Theory Z management
tends to promote:
• Stable Employment
• High Productivity
• High employee morale and satisfaction
Theory Z as an Approach to
• Humanistic approach to management
• Hybrid management approach combining
Japanese management philosophies with U.S.
• Places a large amount of freedom and trust
• Assumes that workers have strong loyalty in
both teamwork and the organization
Characteristics of Theory z
• Long-term employment and job security
• Collective responsibility
• Implicit, informal control with explicit, formalized
• Collective decision-making
• Slow evaluation and promotion
• Moderately specialized careers
• Concern for a total person, including their family
Long-term employment and job security
• New employees are
recruited directly from
school rather than in an
open job market.
• An exchange of
commitment between the
employer and the
• The employer must be
prepared to make sacrifices
for the employee to ensure
lifelong loyalty and
• The entire workforce is
held responsible for
failure to achieve
• “The fault of one is the
fault of all”
• Trust is a key essence in
ensuring that teams
meet their objectives
Implicit, informal control with explicit,
• Employees are briefed on what needs to be
done but not specifically told how to do it.
• Assumes that every employee will use their
intellect, skills and ingenuity to accomplish
• Despite minimal supervision, strict Key
Performance Indicators (KPI) must be met.
• All decision making in Japanese companies is a group
Ringi System of Decision-making:
• Newawashi (Tree Root): Preliminary and informal
sounding out of employees’ ideas about a proposed
course of action or project.
• Ringi Seido (Proposal, Decisions, Action): A formal
process that provides the opportunity for equal ranking
managers or employees of a group within a company
to partake in an individual’s idea.
Slow evaluation and promotion
• The longer than employee stays, the more
chance of getting promoted.
• A major motivation for an employee to stay in
• Japanese employees generally stay an average
of 7-10 years in a company before being
• Affirms the company’s commitment to the
employee for lifelong employment.
Moderately specialized careers
• Traditional Japanese Career paths are more “non-
specialized” allowing employees to rotate roles
and jobs on a frequent basis.
• American Career paths are more geared towards
“mastery of craft/specialization” allowing little or
no crossing between functional roles.
• A Type Z Career path is the “middle of the road”
where employees are allowed to rotate roles but
on a less frequent basis.
Concern for a total person, including their
family (Holistic Concern)
• The Japanese strongly
believe that problems at
home will affect work
• Employees and their
families are seen as one
• Companies usually offer
many benefits like family
housing assistance and
other needs for the
employee and their
Quality Of Work Life (QWL)
• Quality of relationship between employees & total
• a process by which an organization responds
to employee needs
• Varying from industry to industry
1. To create a positive attitude
2. To increase productivity
3. To improve standard of living of the employees
MAJOR ISSUES IN QWL
1. Pay and stability of employees
• Employees will demand more in the form of social
security and welfare benefits
• Not giving out proper salaries will affect the QWL
2. Job security
• Should not have any fear of losing their job
• Systems with healthy working conditions &
optimum financial security
• Due to working conditions,
working schedule , hypertension,
irritability, conflicts etc..
• Adversely effect employ productivity
4. Adequacy of resources
• Match between resource availability & company
• Leads to employee dissatisfaction
STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF QWL
1. Self managed work teams
• Autonomous work group or
integrated work teams
• Plan , coordinate & control activities with the help
of team leader
• employee participation
2. Participative management
• Allowed to participate in management participative
schemes – quality circle
• Develop a positive attitude
3. Worker- Supervisor relationship
• Social association , belongingness, achievement of
work results etc…
• Opportunity to move in to jobs with
high job satisfaction and prestige
• Recognizing workers as Human beings rather than as
Performance based reward system
6.Organizational health programs
• Educating employees about health problems
• Results in reduction of absenteeism, hospitalization
7. Alternative work schedules
• Work at home, flexible working hours, part time
• Quality Work Life basically is all about employee
involvement, which consists of methods to motivate
employees to participate in decision making. This
helps in building in good relationships
• To retain a good talent ,organizations should have
low stress levels and high quality of work life.
• Quality circles were originally associated with Japanese management and
• Quality Circle is one of the employee participation methods.
• It implies the development of skills, capabilities, confidence and creativity of
the people through cumulative process of education, training, work
experience and participation.
• It also implies the creation of facilitative conditions and environment of work,
which creates and sustains their motivation and commitment towards work
• Quality Circles have emerged as a mechanism to develop and utilize the
tremendous potential of people for improvement in product quality and
• Quality Circle is a small group of 6 to 12 employees doing similar work
who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify
improvements in their respective work areas.
• They use proven techniques for analyzing and solving work related
problems coming in the way of achieving and sustaining excellence leading
to mutual empowerment of employees as well as the organization.
• It is "a way of capturing the creative and innovative power that lies
within the work force".
• Quality Circles is a people – building philosophy, providing self-motivation
and happiness in improving environment without any compulsion or
• A philosophy of managing people and methods to make this philosophy a
way of life.
• The Quality Circle philosophy calls for a progressive attitude on the part
of the management and their willingness to make adjustments, if
necessary, in their style and culture.
• The concept of Quality Circle is primarily based upon recognition of the
value of the worker as a human being, as someone who willingly
capitalizes on his wisdom, intelligence, experience, attitude and feelings.
• Quality Circle concept has three major attributes:
– Quality Circle is a form of participation management.
– Quality Circle is a human resource development technique.
– Quality Circle is a problem solving technique.
The objectives of Quality Circles are multi-faceted.
a) Change in Attitude
From "I don’t care" to "I do care"
Continuous improvement in quality of work life through humanization of
b) Self Development
Bring out ‘Hidden Potential’ of people
People get to learn additional skills.
c) Development of Team Spirit
Individual Vs Team – "I could not do but we did it"
Eliminate inter departmental conflicts.
d) Improved Organizational Culture
Positive working environment.
Total involvement of people at all levels.
Higher motivational level.
• Appropriate training for different sections of employees needs to be
• Without a proper understanding of the real concept of Quality Circles,
both the workers and management might look at this philosophy with
• Each group should know beforehand the commitments and implications
involved as well as the benefit that can be obtained from Quality Circles.
• Such training comprises of :
Brief orientation program for top management.
Program for middle level executives.
Training of facilitators (Train the Trainer).
Training for Circle leaders and members.
A steering committee
LAUNCHING QUALITY CIRCLES
The major prerequisite for initiating Quality Circles in any organization is
the total understanding of, as well as complete conviction and faith in the
participative philosophy, on the part of the top and senior management.
The launching of Quality Circles involves the following steps:
o Expose middle level executives to the concept
o Explain the concept to the employees and invite them to volunteer as
members of Quality Circles.
o Nominate senior officers as facilitators
LAUNCHING QUALITY CIRCLES
o Form a steering committee.
o Arrange training of coordinators, facilitators in basics of Quality
Circle approach, implementation, techniques and operation
o A meeting should be fixed preferably one hour a week for the
Quality Circle to meet.
o Formally inaugurate the Quality Circle.
o Arrange the necessary facilities for the Quality Circle meeting and
PROCESS OF OPERATION
The operation of quality circles involves a set of sequential steps as under:
Problem identification: Identify a number of problems.
Problem selection : Decide the priority and select the problem to be taken up
Problem Analysis : Problem is clarified and analyzed by basic problem solving
Generate alternative solutions : Identify and evaluate causes and generate
number of possible alternative solutions.
PROCESS OF OPERATION
Select the most appropriate solution : Discuss and evaluate the alternative
solutions by comparison in terms of investment and return from the
Prepare plan of action : Prepare plan of action for converting the solution
into reality which includes the considerations "who, what, when, where,
why and how" of solving problems.
Present solution to management : Circle members present solution to
management for approval.
Implementation of solution : The management evaluates the recommended
solution. Then it is tested and if successful, implemented on a full scale.
BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF
Advantages of quality circles
• Increase Productivity
• Improve Quality
• Greater upward flow of information
• Boost Employee Morale
Disadvantages/problems with QC
• Inadequate Training
• Lack of Management commitment and support
• Jealousy and Envy by non-participants
• Quality Circles are not really empowered to make decisions.
• Quality Circles are not limited to manufacturing firms only.
• They are applicable for variety of organizations where there is scope for
group based solution of work related problems.
Quality Circles are relevant for factories,
firms, schools, hospitals, universities,
research institutes, banks,
government offices etc.