Gung Ho: Cultural Problem Occurs Between the Japanese Managers and American Employees

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The movie “Gung Ho” is about a Japanese automobile company called the “Assan Motors” beginning to do business in the United States where cultural problem occurs between the Japanese managers and American employees. In the start of the movie, Hunt Stevenson goes to Japan and asks the firm owners to re-open the auto plant. After a little persuasion by Hunt Stevenson, the Japanese owners agree to run the business in the United States, but make assurance that the company will be directed by the Japanese executives.

As the firm continues to operate, the American employees and Hunt Stevenson realize that Japanese managers have far more disciplined work ethic, and expect a high level of reliability from the workers. The Japanese managers were very strict and had a well-organized way of working. The American employees weren’t use to the Japanese way of working, which is to work every day of the week and to work overtime without any extra pay. As a result, a clash between the American workers and Japanese managers occurs. Furthermore, Mr.

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Stevenson then tells the American employees that their pay will increase and they will have a raise if they can compose 13,000 cars per month. The word of Mr. Stevenson influences the American employees to start to work very hard and get them really encouraged. However, when one of the upper executives hears about this, he says the American employees won’t be paid more and their pay won’t increase. Let alone that salary bonus conflict, all other problems in the firm prove us a communication problem since nobody talks to each other in the company about their problems.

The main problem of all this was the cultural difference and the lack of communication. In my opinion, the two main problems which are the most striking for Assan Company are related to communication and culture. To start with communication, this problem reached to the maximum point in Assan Company when Mr. Stevenson told the American employees that they would be awarded with increases in their wages if they were able to succeed in 13,000 cars production. Mr.

Stevenson knew pretty well what could motivate and influences the American employees, but he understood that he was in big trouble with the American employees when the Japanese manager reported that no wage increase would occur. When the American employees learned about Hunt Stevenson’s lie, they were very upset and sad. This showed us that a serious miscommunication occurred among the managers, Mr. Stevenson and the employees. Plus, more importantly, almost everybody in Assan Motors had specific problems. Unfortunately, nobody took the first step to talk to each other.

Therefore, their problems could not be solved. The cultural problems that we notice are two extreme cultural differences which are individualism and collectivism. The Collectivist approach belongs to the Japanese while the Individualist approach belongs to the Americans. According to the Collectivist approach, which is the Japanese, the company operates as a well-organized team with everyone contributing in the firm, starting from the top manager to the lowest ranked employee. On the other side, the Individualist approach is much more self-influenced and motivated. As an example, the Japanese managers told Mr.

Stevenson that the American employees were not loyal as much as the Japanese employees. Additionally, it was stating that the American employees were only working for money, starting the job late and leaving early, avoiding job when they are sick, while their Japanese coworkers were only working for the company, spending less time with their families, running faster, thinking the future of the business as it was everything for them. So, from my point of view, the opposition of the Individualist and the Collectivist approaches was the main reason of cultural contradiction.

For the cultural conflict, there are many solutions to help the problem. For example, the company Assan Motors could have signed a contract with a professional institution which could lead to being tutored about each other’s culture, learning difference and similarities of the two cultures, and how to overcome their cultural problems if it would ever occur, so both parties could know how to react in particular situations. Another solution is that the Head of Assan Motors could distribute surveys to the American employees to learn their preferences, facts of motivation and culture.

The survey could be a great way in gathering information about all the employees. One more solution could be the company could invite a highly respected professional, most probably in the International Industry or Organizational Behavior fields, to give an informative conference within the firm for the executive board and the employees so they could understand both cultures in a better way. I feel these solutions could affect the company in a positive way to solve their cultural problems and make them work together without any clashes. For the communication problem, the Japanese executive should have been told by Mr.

Stevenson that the American employees were most motivated by the salary bonuses. On the other hand, Mr. Stevenson should have been contacted by the Japanese manager to learn how to influence and motivate his employees more. So, both of them had to talk to each other. Just like that, in general, when Mr. Stevenson and the employees had a problem, they had to contact the top executives. Certainly, the managers should have had contact with the employees also. If communication would have been strong throughout the Assan Motors Company, the problems and conflicts could have had a much earlier solution with much better results.

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Gung Ho: Cultural Problem Occurs Between the Japanese Managers and American Employees. (2016, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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