BUS 1101 02
“Gung Ho” is comical, yet informative film which greatly illustrates the cultural differences between the American workforce and the Japanese way of doing things. The movie covers many business topics, from risk taking, to management techniques, as well as employee motivation and empowerment. The differences in the way both countries do business cause a huge rift between the Japanese management and the American workers. In the end, they learn from each other and reassess their own way of business.
Risk taking is an integral part of the business world and this movie no different. Hunt Stevenson, a foreman at the factory, is sent over to Japan, given the responsibility of convincing a Japanese corporation to take over the plant in order to save the factory. This is a last gasp to save the mid-western town. The Japanese manufacturer, Assan Motors, is taking a risk in buying the factory as they are investing a lot of money and they can not afford to lose money on this deal.
The 1980’s were a rough period for American car manufacturers. The Japanese were gaining a lot of ground and even surpassing the Americans in the
automobile industry. The Japanese believed in a harder approach to doing business and treating employees. They believed in Ouchi’s Theory Z approach to management. One of the principal ideas in this theory is that employers have holistic concerns for their workers. In the movie, when Hunt is in Japan, he interrupts a management training session in which the trainees are required to practice the martial arts. Also, on the first day of work at the factory in the United States, the American workers find great amusement in the fact that the Japanese management wants them to perform calisthenics at the beginning of each workday.
In “Gung Ho,” the autocratic leadership of the upper management does not sit well with the American workers. The upper management places unrealistic expectations upon them and...