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Hardcover Working for the Japanese: Inside Mazda's American Auto Plant Book

ISBN: 0029109310

ISBN13: 9780029109311

Working for the Japanese: Inside Mazda's American Auto Plant

The presence of Japan Inc. looms larger than ever for millions of American managers and workers, as hundreds of Japanese companies open plants and offices in local communities across the United States. What is it like to work for the Japanese? Can Americans, with their strong tradition of individualism, adjust to a Japanese team system that emphasizes harmony and close cooperation? How do Americans and Japanese resolve the misunderstandings that arise...

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Disappointing Ending

Among those celebrated Japanese auto makers in the US, the author picked Mazuda, because it is the only unionized Japanese transplant with reasons. This book starts out with nothing but a prize on Mazuda's management and production systems, filled with the Mazuda's official lines and a stereo type commonly associated with Toyota. It reads like one of those PR books for the Japanese automotive company, which made me wonder whether I should continue reading further. There are reasons why Mazuda lags way behind Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Suzuki, and it all sounded too good for Mazuda. Then the reality check starts. The author starts describing in detail how Mazuda's system proven in Japan failed to work in Michigan the way it intended. The real value of this book lies in this reality check, which occupies about the two thirds of this book. Simply put, despite the cooperation of local UAW, the Mazuda's production system could not be transferred to Michigan as such, because it relies so heavily on the Japanese way of life where you find virtually no single mom and the wives - who tend to be full time home makers - take on the entire family responsibility so that their husbands can devote their entire time and career, if necessary and expected, for the success of their employers. But the author ran out of time. In two years that the author took to cover the developments, Mazuda Flat Rock Plant remained in difficulties and kept making compromises with no improvement in sight. The book ends abruptly when all parties involved are still complaining at each other. It could well be that the author could not afford to continue covering the further developments before the plant started to show positive results. This book fails to cover how Mazuda Flat Rock Plant eventually overcame their difficulties. This is where the lessons could have been learned. I wish the same author would cover how Ford has taken over Mazuda's entire management and preformed to bail it out. Ford's experience with Mazuda exhibits a sharp contrast to Renault's undertaking with Nissan, which has come back strongly under the French leadership.
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