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Critically discuss with reference to the car industry e.g (Toyota), the Japanese Lean production revolution - Essay Example

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Japan, one of the oldest cultures in the world , was once an insular, agrarian, feudal nation. In 1854, Admiral Matthew Perry of the U.S Navy forced the rulers of Japan to open their nation for western trade and commerce. The introduction of western ideas, of products made by western countries, led to the advent of modern education and industry in Japan…
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Critically discuss with reference to the car industry e.g (Toyota), the Japanese Lean production revolution
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Download file to see previous pages The meiji restoration transformed the Japanese empire into an industrial world power.
With new found pride in their country, and their culture, the Japanese flexed their muscles overseas. After the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), Japan conquered a part of China, some parts of Russia, Taiwan and Korea. These territorial conquests provided Japan with valuable raw material and cheap labor for industries back home. In turn , these occupied territories were fertile markets for Japanese products. The relentless hunger for territorial expansion found expression in Japan's annexing of Manchuria in 1931. In 1937, Japan occupied more territories in China by waging a war on that country for the second time ( Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937-45).
All these aggressive expansionist plans brought Japan in direct conflict with the U.S and its allies. Japan joined the Axis powers- Germany and Italy, in 1941.The same year, Japan declared war on the U.S. The war with Japan ended after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Between 1945 and 1952, post-war Japan was administered by the U.S government .To help Japan stand on its own feet, American financial and technical aid were provided to Japanese business and industry. As part of the technical assistance , the U.S government brought in industrial and managerial experts from the U.S, to train Japanese companies on modern management and production methods. One of the most definitive techniques that influenced Japanese manufacturing, and made Japan the powerhouse that it is today , was the 'Training Within Industry', concept. Training within industry (TWI) service, was a creation of the U.S Department of War, to meet wartime needs. During war, manpower was required by the armed forces to fight the enemy. At the same time, industry which provided key material and equipment to the defense forces, faced a shortage of hands to finish production. Therefore, to optimize the productivity of U.S workforce, a program for training supervisors and workers in industrial establishments was devised. The training was to be done by experts drawn from universities and businesses. The aim of this program was to improve productivity and quality.
The basic concept of the training consisted of the following sequences:
a. study and understand the process
b. break up the process into its sub-components.
c. Educate the supervisor and the worker on the process and its sub-components.
d. Train the supervisor and the worker to work efficiently and without wastage.
e. Train the worker to evaluate the end result and suggest corrective steps.
f. Training the supervisor to deal with workers effectively and fairly.
g. Training managements to develop newer and better training programs.
The essential elements of the TWI program were similar to the principles laid down by Frederick w.Taylor (1856-1915), father of scientific management. In his book, 'The principles of scientific management (1911), Taylor proposed the following:
a. replace rule of thumb work methods with methods based on scientific study of the task.
b. Scientifically select , train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.
c. Divide work equally between managers and workers so that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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