Odaka (1986) described Japanese management by listing its features and characteristics; he wrote that Japanese-style management includes lifelong employment, seniority-based hierarchy, employment of the total person, standardized training for all employees, respect for interpersonal harmony, the ringi system
, omikoshi management, collective responsibility, and participative management.
This most often is based on the ringi system
, a process of decision making used by most Japanese firms in which consent of all concerned individuals is obtained prior to implementation by circulating a proposal throughout the organization.
The effectiveness of the ringi system
is based on Japn's cultural foundation.
This collective method, the ringi system
, is reported to be used in approximately 90 percent of the decisions made at the lower and middle management levels.
When this ringi system
(ringi sei) is applied to a nonroutine decision that involves the officials of different bureaus and divisions, much time is needed for the interactions to take place among relevant administrators, involving each section, department, bureau, and other relevant agency.
Japanese managers also view their units as more effective in comparison to American managers because probably open communication and ringi system in Japan, in particular, improve operations.
For example, the Japanese ringi system and paternalistic orientation would probably not work at a typical U.S.
The implications of these findings for claims of `bottom-up', participative decision-making in Japan`s ringi system are discussed in the conclusion.
For managerial decisions, it is the ringi system that has received the most attention.
There has also been considerable discussion of Japan's ringi system of "bottom-up, consensus" decision making.
Workers may make suggestions and recommendations through QCCs and other institutionalized channels, and lower-level supervisors may use the ringi system to intiate proposals -- even policy proposals -- but at whal levels in the organizational hierarchy can authoritative decisions be made on these recommendations and proposals?
163) states: "Japanese have extended the ringi system
of decision making to international operations with virtually no alterations." This 'bottom-up' decision making system is extremely time-consuming, and creates strong pressures on subsidiary managers to bridge the gap that is created by their physical isolation from the parent company.