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Malaysian Management Journal (MMJ) Vol. 2 No. 1 June 1997

Educating Managers to Learn Strategically on the Job: Lessons from British Managers
Makoto Kanda
Economics Faculty, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
 
John B. Kidd
Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
We hypothesised that the best way of modifying managers' behaviour is by changing the processes involved in their making and implementing their own strategic plans. To obtain data we used a questionnaire (survey), which focused on the linkages between British senior managers' behaviour. Specifically we studied the above processes from which we determined their chances of learning how to behave. The survey findings indicate the best principles for learning by managers; we can therefore suggest implications for structuring their strategic planning processes and their implementation, We propose how best to educate managers to be good learners.
 
Keywords: Organizational learning, British manufacturing industries, strategic change, innovation, single & double loop learning, deutero-learning.
 

 
Some Human Management Aspects of M&A in Japan—Obstacles and Opportunities Offered to Foreign Companies
Philippe Debroux
Hiroshima City University
Japan
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Out-in mergers and acquisitions activities in Japan have gradually increased but stay at a level extremely low compared with the situation in the Western World. Regulatory aspects remain important to explain this, but despite rapid changes in the socio-cultural environment, some idiosyncracies resulting from the concept of company remain. Japan is undertaking rapid soda-cultural changes and we should avoid being dragged into past perceptions far away from the modern reality. Nevertheless, as these characteristics lead, even today in a period of transition, to different management rules and labour attitudes and behaviour, they should still be considered with great care when doing business in Japan.
 
Keywords: Corporate governance. Familist analogy, 0211-117 merger and acquisition, Internal labour market, Management practices, Socio-cultural framers, Multiple stakeholders, Structural and ideological norms, Organizational commitment, Hostile takeover, Psychological contract, Interaction rituals, Meritocratic appraisal, Organizational culture, Task-oriented approach, Transition groups, Level of integration, Counter­culture groups, Group identity, Management control
 

 
Global Corporate Strategies and Local Interests? (On the Discussion in Europe)
Hans-Erich Muller
Hans-B odder Foundation, Dusseldorf
Germany
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The balance of economic power is beginning to shift. A lively debate is in progress in Europe about the social and political consequences of the growing competition from emerging southeast Asian countries. This article provides a broad outline of the background behind the dynamism and the driving farces of globalization. Leading corporations adapt themselves- to the changing environmental conditions by using the strategies of global localization. and decentralized organizational structures (lean production, total quality management, reengineering etc.). Their success, however; depends on the development of the relevant institutions, not the least for regulating conflicts.
 

 
Current Problems of the Integration of Graduates in Germany and Japan
Norbert H. Pieper
Wa llenhorst,Germany
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The continuing economic crisis in most of the developed countries makes it necessary to discuss the reasons for the very high unemployment rates in many countries, especially the current problems of the integration of graduates in Germany and Japan. In the case of Japan, the hiring situation of graduates for 1 994 and 1 995 promised to be the most dire in memory and therefore Japan's labour market problems are comparable to that of Germany. The governments and the labour market administrations in Germany and Japan have to strengthen their efforts to integrate most of their young graduates, and the universities on their part, have to qualify their students in a professionally-oriented way. Those companies which cease hiring graduates are bound to lose in a mid-term view.
 

 
Management Education within a Cultural Confluence: Twinning Programmes in Malaysia
Paul McDonald
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand
 
Graham Pratt
University of Technology„Sydney
Australia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
In its steady advance toward Vision 2020, Malaysia has been working hard to balance the skills and competencies of its people commensurate with its economic growth. To this end, educational twinning programmes abound in Malaysia. At present, these programmes are inevitably reliant to a considerable degree on Western thought and science. This paper, written from the perspective of two twinning programme directors, examines cross-cultural management issues underlying educational programme design and delivery. Its focus concentrates on. the execution of commerce and business programmes.
 
Twinning programmes in commerce and business in. Malaysia may be heralding a new era in management education—that of the global manager, capable of conducting business with sensitivity and efficiency across a number of cultures and ideologies, These programmes which operate at the confluence of global schools of thought, including Buddhist-Confucian-Taoist, Islamic, Judaeo-Christian and Vedic-Hindu, present significant pedagogical challenges. This paper discusses these challenges, including areas of cross-cultural difference requiring sensitivity and discretion, and resultant issues in course design and delivery. This paper concludes with a number of dilemmas for those involved in management education—dilemmas with potential long-term implications for both Malaysia and the Western nations that currently provide the curricula for twinning programmes.
 

 
The Hybridization of the Japanese Production System in the United States and East Asia
Hiroshi Itagaki
University of Saitama, Urawa
Japan
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This paper examines the international transferability of the Japanese production system to the United States (US), Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, by utilizing the "application-adaptation analytical framework". Three major factors determine particular application-adaptation hybridization characteristics in individual countries: strategic necessity of industry and company; specific attributes of the elements comprising the Japanese production system; the historical, social, and managerial environment of the host countries.
Keywords: the international transferability of the production system Japanese production system managerial environment of the host countries.
 

 
Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard Effects in the Malaysian Credit Market: An Empirical Analysis
Omar Marashdeh
International Islamic University, Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The purpose of this paper is to test empirically the impact of adverse selection and moral hazard on the Malaysian credit market. The paper develops a supply and demand function for credit in Malaysia by using monthly data over the period from January 1983 to November 1993 which has seen a recession and several years of sustained economic growth. Unconstrained 3SLS is used to estimate the model. The study shows that credit rationing is not practised in the Malaysian credit market, i.e., adverse selection is not present. However, commercial banks were willing to give more loans at higher interest rates which contributed to the problem of moral hazard. The reasons for the absence of credit rationing might be due to the enforcement of lending guidelines to the priority sectors during the period of the study and the concern of banks about their profitability which increases at higher interest rates. The policy implications of the findings are discussed.
 
Keywords: Adverse selection, moral hazard, credit market,   loan supply Malaysia, credit rationing, loan demand
 

 
Recent Trends in M&A of Japanese Firms and Corporate Governance
Shinobu Muramatsu
Seikei University, Tokyo
Japan
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
 
It is said that we are in the middle of a second boom of mergers and acquisitions in Japan. After the collapse of the bubble economy, many failed companies have been rescued by viable companies through mergers. At the same time, the number of owner-managers looking for successors by way of being acquired increased. Almost all of them are owners of small and medium companies. In addition, for diversification, Japanese companies have come to rely upon 'mergers and acquisitions (M&A) more frequently than before. The second M&A boom in Japan implies that Japanese business people have learned how to use M&A techniques for corporate restructuring as well as corporate growth, through the experiences of cross-border M&A activities in the 1980s.
New trends in cross-border M&A of Japanese companies emerged. For example, foreign direct investments by Japanese companies shifted away from Asia towards the US and Canada in the 1980's. Investment in the US and Canada increased to as much as half of all of the direct foreign investments by the Japanese, compared with the previous level of one third. Subsequently, starting around 1989, the number of acquisitions in Europe surged, presumably due to the unified markets in Europe.
 
The Japanese corporate governance system which became active after the collapse of the bubble economy in, Japan, remarkably reduced the need to use takeovers and acquisitions as a disciplinary mechanism; this contrasts- sharply with the way business is conducted in the US. Acquiring or merging with another company was an option only when the survival of an important business relationship is jeopardized by financial distress or loss in competitiveness.
 
The bubble economy has brought excess cash for management. Cash is the easiest asset to deploy in the interests of a select group of stakeholders. Therefore, decisions about how to allocate cash bring sharp disagreements among stakeholders about the future direction of the company. Japanese managers who are virtually free from shareholders' control have pursued Zeiteku activities (financial engineering), making use of cash in hand and low-cost funds procured in the capital market. The results turned out to be a total failure when the bubble burst. Managers in declining industries are pushing to restructure companies in the direction of product or business diversification. Implicit promise of employees' life-long employment and corporate growth are the main motives of their strategies.
 
The behaviour of Japanese managers suggests that freedom from capital market discipline prompted them to benefit themselves and the employees of the firm at the expense of other stakeholder interests. The remarkable success of Japanese companies in the postwar period has furnished the Japanese corporate governance system with a unique market for corporate control. Experience and knowledge obtained after the collapse of the bubble economy will create a different market for corporate control—a market which brings more challenge to incumbent management since there is a greater chance of hostile bids by outsiders.
 

 
Perception of Organizational Politics, Job Satisfaction and Bio-Social Variables
Tan Chew Chai & Mirza S. Saiyadain
School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia
 
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This study was conducted to examine the nature of the perception of organizational politics and its relation­ship with job satisfaction and bio-social variables. Using a questionnaire, data was collected on 142 super­visory personnel- The results indicate that the perception. of organizational politics consists of seven factor dusters. These are, impression management, clique behaviour, selection system, performance expectation, reward system, supervisory communication and ca-worker behaviour. The results -reconfirm the general finding of a negative relationship between job satisfaction and perception of organizational politics. Of the seven factors, impression management and supervisory communication contribute significantly to job satisfaction. While none of the bio-social variables showed any significant relationship with perception of organizational politics, on the whole, race, years of formal education and total years of experience showed significant differences/ relationships with the factors of performance expectation, co-worker behaviour and supervisory communication. These results are explained with reference to the Malaysian, context.