How Globalization Changed Their Business
Matsushita is a consumer electronics chain that is located in Japan. It was established in the 1920's and is still going strong today. The electronic superstore has had its ups and downs and has just gone through some revolutionary changes. It has its strengths and weaknesses and its opportunities and threats and most of it has to do with the changing culture in Japan. First, let's talk about the company's strengths.
Matsushita has been around for almost ninety years. That alone is strength, especially when it comes to brand name recognition and stability in the eyes of the consumers. There is a sense of loyalty
that comes with the Japanese culture and since they have been around for so long, Matsushita has flourished because of said loyalty. Up until the late nineties, Matsushita had the motto for their employees of taking them from the "cradle to the grave". That built a wonderful family atmosphere and made Matsushita a safe place to work.
A weakness that Matsushita had been that it took too long to adapt to the changing cultural environment. The new generation of employees is not looking to be tied down by one corporation forever. Also, the bonus structure was set up to reward seniority, not innovation and begins implementing changes in the late nineties to reward productivity and to appeal to the new generation of workers.
An opportunity that the company has is their ability to adapt and sell new products such as DVD’s and flat screen TV’s. Also, the new generation of employee's our more influenced by Western thinking.
They are more creative, ambitious, and ready to work hard to bring innovative thought processes to their new companies. This thought process is better for innovation than the previous thought process of
staying at one job your whole life.
Some of the threats are also cultural ones, though. The idea that you are not going to be with a company your whole life brings about less loyalty for the company and more attention to individual accomplishments.
Overall, Matsushita has the ability to adapt and has name brand recognition. As long as they can keep up with the cultural trends that are happening in Japan, keep the organization’s structure up to date, and continue to be a leader in the consumer electronics’ world, they should do just fine.
1. An economic slump coupled with a more individualistic thought process of the new working force began the change in Japanese culture.
2. The new work force does not believe that the companies are loyal anymore, therefore, the workers might become more individualistic and look put for them. Companies need to make the work environment more of a meritocracy and not have systems of bonuses based on years of service.
3. The traditional values helped Matsushita early on because the company took care of its employees. Therefore, the employees were loyal. When people began being laid off in 2001, people began
questioning this system, and it backfired against Matsushita. The old values became a liability because the new economy was about innovation, and the system in place did not reward innovation or
4. Matsushita is trying to stay current with the cultural trends of the day and the problems that they will run up against is that not everybody wants to change. If they implement their new system too fast, they could lose a lot of their upper management who think that the company is being ageist. If it takes too long, the new generation will not look to Matsushita as a valuable place of employment.
5. They reorganized the system to encourage individualism, encourage risk, and focus on initiative instead of complacency among the younger employees.
6. Culture and business are intertwined. Changes in culture affect business on every level, whether it is customers or employees.