American Management Lessons from the Japanese


  • David E. Gray


Japanese management, management failure, limits to rationality, American executive, Japanese executive, management styles, lifetime employment, quality circles.


We have not invented new ways of managing recreation and park agencies; we are practitioners of the management theory that permeates American methods. Those methods are faltering. The myths we use to explain our failure to compete in international markets do not survive close examination. There is interest in the differences in American and Japanese methods including leadership style, time perspective, participation in policy making, management of people, and the nature of the ''social contract'' between management and employees. The Japanese experience serves as a mirror of American practice which permits examination of the flaws in our methods. Future management practices in the United States must commit our institutions to the welfare of the American people and to full participation of members of the organization. Comparison of American and Japanese methods raises issues in management practice which require careful consideration in recreation and park agencies.





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