Companies With Day To Day Labor essay example

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Brad Carpenter 3/8/02 Professor Noguchi ANTH 249 Victor Company of Japan's Corporate Philosophy Every company wishes to express a positive image in an effort to appeal to the potential consumer's taste and even morals. This is especially true in Japan, where values and respect play a more crucial role in every day life. The importance of a company's image is seen when examining the website of Victor Company of Japan (JVC). JVC's corporate credo is "Contributing to Culture, and Serving Society". The company displays this slogan at their headquarters, and has continued to believe in it for many decades. JVC feels a commitment to aid humanity, and not simply provide products for consumers.

Their web page states, "It is this type of commitment that sets JVC apart from other companies, and gives us our competitive edge... ". It is clear JVC truly believes that it is of utmost importance to contribute to society. Throughout their web page, JVC stresses aiding society, and being a company of people serving people. The company mentions that technology alone cannot serve people in the future, and that it must therefore be the people who serve others in society. "We consider people and their ideas as being our most [in] important asset".

They use language to build up the consumer, and make the potential client feel more valuable in this way. It also makes JVC more appealing to prospective employees, since most would like to be a valuable asset to a company. JVC makes a smooth, almost poetic transition from what technology the future will bring to how JVC will provide this technology through their employee's innovative ideas. The company's credo, "Contributing to Culture, and Serving Society", uses alliteration, which makes the slogan cheerful and catchy.

Contribution and service are also very popular in Japanese company mottoes: 2.3% and 3.5%, respectively, mottoes contain these words, out of a survey of 3,600 mottoes in 1982. As seen even in this single web page, Victor Company of Japan is looking well beyond the next millennium. Not only does JVC see themselves as pioneers of new technology, but also a company that can envision how this technology will affect society in years to come. They remind the reader that they have had seventy years of innovation, and the invention of VHS video format is only one example of their advancements. The people of JVC, as stated in this web page, will be the company's asset that will establish JVC as the pioneers of new technology.

The last sentence about JVC's corporate philosophy clearly shows their pursuit of innovation: "So as the world welcomes a new millennium, JVC will continue to move ahead, in order to interpret the needs of the present and anticipate the needs of the future, and 'Produce Your Imagination' in original ways that only JVC can". San " ya Blues and the Japanese Company Many aspects of society are interlinked, as one facet of a culture can have an impact on several other facets. Therefore, one can infer messages about several aspects of a society from information on a single aspect. Although Edward Fowler never directly discusses Japanese corporations in San " ya Blues, some ideas concerning companies can be gathered from his writings on day laborers. The fact that day laborers even exist provides some insight into the workings of Japanese companies. Day laborers were the first to supply companies with day-to-day labor, which helped Japan establish a stable base from which to grow (Fowler, 40).

Day laborers also provide a very fluid labor supply, which is essential to several economic factors. Most people living in San " ya find jobs as construction workers, and can be seen daily working in Tokyo. The "Big Six" construction firms in Japan take advantage of this work force. "The success of these general contracting firms, ironically, has much to do with their ability to keep as many workers as possible off the payrolls...

". (Fowler, 13). The manner in which these companies hire workers on a day-to-day basis provides a defense against fluctuations in the construction industry (Fowler, 13). The work ethic that Japanese company workers are known for can be seen in day laborers to some extent. As early as 5 in the morning, a few hundred to a thousand men congregate on or close to Old Streetcar Boulevard in order to find work for the day. Most day laborers will take any job offered to them, and some jobs require several days to complete, without a return to San " ya for the nights.

Many day laborers are too frail or weak to work everyday, however, and there is never enough work to go around (Fowler, 30-31). The perseverance of day laborers can also be seen in Kobe's inspirational speech: "If we want something to happen, we " ve got to make it happen... We " re the ones who " ve got to take the initiative, so long as there's a single breath left in our lungs... Can we afford not to act now?" (Fowler, 163) Although several of Kobe's acquaintances were not enthused, his speech does provide some insight into a day laborer's mentality.

As Fowler converses with several day laborers at the 1989 Fall Festival, it became clear why many came to San " ya in the first place. There are several stories told of workers somehow losing the company's or employer's respect, and finding it difficult to obtain another job. "Tiger Spade", a day laborer who received a degree from T^oho ku in Sendai, found himself in San " ya after being fired from his first job with a major company after conduct unbecoming of an employee (Fowler, 57-58). Many come to San " ya to disappear from society and relieve their families of obligations after committing an error in life that will not allow them to find a job (Fowler, 31-32). These day laborers make it evident how important following rules and respecting authority within a company is, since once fired from a major corporation, it is hard to find a job with another major corporation. Another aspect of Japanese companies that can be seen from day laborers is the practice of rites and ceremonies.

Companies often celebrate seasons and passing with ceremonies, such as a summer camp out, the end of year ceremony, or an entrance ceremony. Celebrations also exist in San " ya. There are the Spring, Fall, and Summer Festivals to celebrate seasons, or in the case of the Fall Festival, the national holiday Labor Appreciation Day. It is interesting, however, that the Winter Festival is also known as the Year-Forgetting Party, and is known as a more somber event (Fowler, 151-158). Nonetheless, it is apparent that ceremonies play an important role in the lives of the day laborers as well as the Japanese company. Through his writings on day laborers, Fowler reveals several aspects of life in San " ya that apply to Japanese corporations.

The mere existence of day laborers, and the sense of community within San " ya provide insight into the workings of company's in Japan. Perhaps these aspects of day laborer life and Japanese corporations are more entrenched in the Japanese society as a whole rather than simply in the two discussed. Japanese Consumer Behavior and the Japanese Company John McCreery, with his look into the Japanese consumers, offers another look into the Japanese corporation. It is very valuable to examine the behavior of consumers, as consumers and companies are dependant on each other.

McCreery not only looks into the behavior of the Japanese as consumers, but also examines the daily lives of the working class. With descriptions of consumers and a look into the working class, McCreery further helps us understand Japanese corporations. McCreery describes and discusses several eras of importance following World War Two, which led to the 'economic miracle', and has affected consumers as well as corporations. Immediately following WWII, there was a decade of rebuilding, during which Japan's hope for a strong army was lost, and the dream of a rich country became the priority. Guided by this dream within companies, Japan overcame the trauma of defeat to become the second largest economy in the world (McCreery, 15). "Next is the proposition that what Japan became during the 1950's and 1960's is the world's most perfect modern industrial society: a society superbly organized to maximize the output of factory assembly lines controlled by large, bureaucratic organizations" (McCreery, 15).

Following the 1973 oil shock, economic growth was still in the single digits and far above Japan's OECD rivals. After a second oil shock in 1979, and the bubble years of rapid economic growth in the 1980's, Japan's economic growth slowed to zero or below zero. These periods are important to discuss because it is explicit in the nature of economics that these eras affected consumers and companies together. In order to better understand companies, one must look at the workers that define the company. McCreery takes several examples of workers within Japanese corporations in an effort to reveal the mainstream employees. In his example of the baby boomer salaryman, or sarariiman, McCreery exposes how these workers are affecting the structure of Japanese corporations today.

The number of babies born after WWII is now creating a problem because today there are simply too many workers with not enough management posts. During the early 1980's, when economic growth was high, the baby boomers were turning 35, and there were many entry-level jobs to be filled. "The end of high growth and a shrinking number of younger men would make it impossible to continue the seniority-based promotions that made a salaryman's life seem so attractively secure" (McCreery, 53). These salarymen became aware that their careers would not advance anymore, and they soon became trapped between the older, higher level managers, and the new workers from the bubble years. Although the majority of women do not have permanent jobs, in 1996 48.1 percent of women were working at least part time jobs.

The acceptance of women in the work force appeared around 1965, when the growing economy created a shortage of jobs. Many students graduating from junior high continued their education instead of joining the work force. The Japanese economy looked toward many housewives to fill this shortage of labor. A graph of the number of women working creates an 'M' curve, in that women join the workforce young, leave to marry and have children, then rejoin the workforce after the children are grown.

Many women find work as "office ladies", the counterpart of salarymen. Although their pay and status is less than their male counterparts, the office lady still carries enough power within the company to affect the promotions of salarymen. In Japan today, women do influence the functioning of Japanese corporations (McCreery, 93). By looking at the mainstream Japanese and their lifestyles, McCreery gives us some insight into companies in Japan. It is intuitive to examine what comprises a corporation, what type of people work for the corporation, and the lifestyles of these employees.

McCreery's research provides an ideal base from which to start examining this foundation of the Japanese company. Fowler, Edward. San " ya Blues. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1996.

McCreery, John. Japanese Consumer Behavior. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 2000.