Transfer of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic: the case of Japanese manufacturing firms

Abstract

This study examines the level of application of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic from the perspective of hybridization, by employing a survey of Japanese manufacturing firms based in this country. The survey reveals that the Japanese system of production control is strictly enforced, while work organization, labour relations and group consciousness have been—despite targeted practices used by Japanese companies to facilitate application of the Japanese system—largely adapted to the local conditions. Furthermore, this study identifies the transitional process from relying upon Japanese expatriates towards engaging local human resources in the parent-subsidiary relationship. In addition, even though the Japanese-style procurement method is applied with a large number of local suppliers, the local content ratio nevertheless remains relatively low in the Czech Republic. Overall, Japanese manufacturing firms, via their vigorous effort to transfer their distinctive management style, are challenging European business practices and Czech socio-cultural traditions, even though the level of hybridization is strongly variegated according to particular management spheres.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The CzechInvest figure includes FDI from Japanese firms in Europe.

  2. 2.

    1 Euro = 25.3 CZK. http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=EUR&To=CZK [accessed 27 January 2018].

  3. 3.

    Japanese FDI increased rapidly after the Plaza Accord in 1985 due to the appreciation of the yen.

  4. 4.

    Please note that there are only five assemblers in our survey. Thus, most data on the procurement method captured in Table 7b relate to first tier or second tier suppliers.

  5. 5.

    OECD Stat. https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=TUD# [accessed 25 January 2018]

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Acknowledgments

We should like to thank the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Czech Republic, JETRO Prague Office, all Japanese manufacturing firms in the Czech Republic (with special thanks to ACZ, Aisin, Daikin, TPCA, and TRCZ for the permission to use the corporate name) that supported our study, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI Grant No. 15K03496) for research finance. We are also grateful to two anonymous referees for very helpful comments, although the usual disclaimer applies.

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Correspondence to Kaoru Natsuda.

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Appendix

Appendix

Point 18. Ratio of Japanese expatriates 21. Local content
5 4% or more Less than 20%
4 3-less than 4% 20-less than 40%
3 2-less than 35% 40-less than 60%
2 1-less than 2% 60-less than 80%
1 less than 1% More than 80%
  1. Source: Kumon and Abo (2004)

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Natsuda, K., Sýkora, J. & Blažek, J. Transfer of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic: the case of Japanese manufacturing firms. Asia Eur J 18, 75–97 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10308-019-00534-6

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JEL classification

  • M16 International Business Administration