Supply-Chain Culture Clashes in Europe. Pitfalls in Japanese Service Operations

21 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006

See all articles by M. B. M. de Koster

M. B. M. de Koster

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management

M. Shinohara

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 6, 2006

Abstract

Japanese companies value service and quality highly and they put much effort in realising this. However, survey research carried out in 2001 among senior managers of Japanese logistics companies in the Netherlands, indicated that these efforts do not result in significant performance differences compared to western companies. In this exploratory paper, we report of company visits and interviews with managers of Japanese logistics companies in Western Europe. They described a clash of cultures underlying their operations, prohibiting them from achieving performance excellence. The causes focus around two key factors: the unique concept of Japanese service, based on future rewards which are absent in Western Europe; different employment circumstances in Western Europe, which make Japanese human resource management ineffective, and the Japanese career development system which makes that Japanese managers do not always have the right focus in their job abroad. We conclude that Japanese subsidiaries in Western Europe should keep on nourishing their unequalled service standards, while simultaneously adapting to efficiency standards of Western business practices in order to become more successful in the future.

Keywords: Europe, Quality, Logistics, Japanese Culture, Service Operation

Suggested Citation

de Koster, M.B.M. René and Shinohara, M., Supply-Chain Culture Clashes in Europe. Pitfalls in Japanese Service Operations (February 6, 2006). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2006-007-LIS. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=902736

M.B.M. René De Koster (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1719 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9014 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/rdekoster

M. Shinohara

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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