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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

"J-THREE" (Japan's Big Three Automakers) in US: From Japanese Style to American Style

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: K. Rajesh Kumar, Mercy Mathew

Industry: AUtomobiles


Case Code: HRM0019

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Many Japanese companies operating in the US prefer to hire Japanese executives in senior management positions than Americans since their style of management differs. However, of late, the J-Three (Japan's Big Three Automakers - Toyota, Honda and Nissan) have been hiring many American executives for senior management positions for their operations in America. The fact that both the management styles differ, presents a challenge to these companies as to how best they can integrate both the styles. The case examines the various differences between both the styles of management and also analyses the reasons behind J-Three's preference of Americans over the Japanese.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the growth of the 'J-Three' (Japan's Big Three Automakers) in the US automobile market
  • To understand the differences between American and Japanese styles of management
  • To analyse whether the growth of Japanese automobile companies in the US has been the result of Japanese style of management
  • To analyse the rationale behind Japanese companies hiring American executives
  • To discuss the problems the companies would face in integrating both the styles of management
  • To discuss as to what would be the most appropriate style that J-Three should adopt given their aggressive growth plans in the US.

Keywords : Management styles, Competitive advantage, Keiretsu, Decision making by consensus, HRM Case Study, Relationship management, Lifetime employment, Product development, Leadership, Impact of culture, Change management, Recruitment, Toyota, Honda, Nissan


  • Japanese Style of Management vs American Style
  • Japanese Car Makers in US
  • Japanese Car Makers Hiring American Executives: The Rationale
  • The Challenge

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