Leadership styles in Japan - Essay Example

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Leadership is about taking a dominant position, having a vision for the future within a group and to help the group realize its objectives through effective supervision and motivation…
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Leadership styles in Japan
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Leadership styles in Japan Leadership is about taking a dominant position, having a vision for the future within a group and to help the group realize its objectives through effective supervision and motivation (Taleghani, Salmani and Taatian, 2010; Mills, 2005). Providing the right motivation to the staff will increase enthusiasm towards their work and in achieving goals. Different countries have adopted various leadership styles based on their culture and prevailing conditions and various strategies are being adopted by leaders in order to achieve their end goal such as directional, supportive, participatory and success oriented leadership (Taleghani, Salmani and Taatian, 2010; Mills, 2005). Japanese leadership styles involves maintaining a close personal relationship with the group members as human beings are accorded a special value in the Japanese cultural system and they constitute an important asset to the company or organization. Hence human resource development occupies a key role in any organization. Leaders are expected to be kind to their fellow employees and also possess a feeling of commitment and a moral pressure of the society which would enable them to understand their members and help solve their problems. The relationship between leaders and their fellow colleagues are compared to that of a parent and a child as it is a mutual relationship based on respect, kindness and trust. This attitude has prevented them from being authoritative and controlling. The efficiency of a leader is judged on the basis of their relationship and understanding of the professional and personal life of their co-workers (Taleghani, Salmani and Taatian, 2010). In turn the fellow employees are also expected to be faithful towards their leaders and aid him in all his endeavors (Taleghani, Salmani and Taatian, 2010; Japanese Management Style). Japanese leaders enjoy more support from their employees compared to the American counterparts as the later work individually rather than as a group and there is very little interdependency between the leaders and the fellow employees. Leaders have high tolerance levels and are thus able to handle work related tensions in a better manner. In addition they also have the self-discipline and control through which Leaders also have the responsibility to decrease work tensions, anxiety and quarrels among the fellow employees. Thus there exists a close-knit atmosphere among leaders and co-employees in Japan with increased stress on team work, flexibility and involving all the members in decision making, right promotions on the basis of superiority and bonuses; all of which ensure a secure employment. While promotions take long to come by layoffs are a rarity in Japanese work environment. This is in exact contrast to the work environment in America where promotions are very quick but there is little or no work security as layoffs are common (Taleghani, Salmani and Taatian, 2010).
Japanese leadership requires that the leaders are unassuming and never ambitious as the welfare of the company and his fellow colleagues should be their priority rather than individual growth. Leaders should be able to achieve the group targets without being forceful and by encouraging the group members to interact and make decisions. They should also be easily approachable and available to their colleagues and should be willing to share their knowledge and expertise. In return the members are also required to keep their leader apprised of all the decisions and developments in the work (Japanese Management Style). However, this leadership style is likely to change as Asiatic countries such as Japan are entering world markets. Such changes have been adopted in countries such as India and have been successful. Thus Japanese leaders who were more participative in their approach towards their fellow employees are likely to become more professional as in the United States in the near future (Mills, 2005).
1. Taleghani, Salmani D., and Ali Taatian. 2010. Survey of leadership styles in different cultures. Iranian Journal of Management Studies 3(3): 91-111. (accessed April 14, 2012)
2. Mills, D.Q. 2005. Asian and American Leadership styles: How are they unique? Working Knowledge. (accessed April 14, 2012)
3. Japanese Management Style. World Business Culture. (accessed April 14, 2012) Read More
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