1.What were the triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990s? How is cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?
In the 1990s when Japanese economic growth slowed down for a long time firms where forced to change the way of doing business. They started to fire older employees. The younger generation, which grow up wealthy, saw this process and concluded that loyalty to one company might be not the best for themselves. The difference between the postwar generation and there children (the parents were struggling to recover from the humiliation of defeat / the children grow up in a richer world with more possibilities and they did not wanted to be a “salaryman” and tie themselves to one company for a lifetime (Book p. 105 l. 9-27)) is the change in the Japanese culture. It led to a change in the traditional values in Japan. Loyalty, group identification and reciprocal obligations became less and individualism more important.
2.How might Japan's changing culture influence the way Japanese businesses operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the Japanese economy?
In the first step Japan's changing culture is influencing the way how Japanese businesses will manage their human resource. If loyalty, group identification and reciprocal obligations looses there value in for the employees, then the companies needs to put some other incentives. Lifelong working contracts with perks will decline, short time contracts with employees will increase. Bonuses based on performance will increase also. The idea: More money for better performance. In the second step the change in the human resource management will also change the way how Japanese businesses are able to operate. They could take orders more flexible. Labor will become more like other assets. If the companies take a lot of order they could hire fast new employees. Also in bad times they could fire employees more faster. Hiring and firing would...