The Gung Ho movie is generally about the Japanese company that purchases a factory in the American town. The Japanese send their management to make the factory up to their standards (Blanchard, 1997). The Gung Ho movie is quite interesting, as we can compare the leadership and the cultural differences between the Americans and the Japanese. Individualism and groupism/collectivism can be seen in the way both teams play softball and how they are organized in the company.
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The teams played the game differently, based on their cultural values. Japanese emphasis is on groupism/collectivism. They integrate into strong groups, and everyone is expected to take into consideration the interest of his or her group. Each member of the group is ready to sacrifice himself at all costs for the good of the collective team. Japanese not only have uniforms; each morning, in order to build a team spirit, they do the performance of calisthenics with their executives. When playing softball, the Japanese are portrayed in sync with each other, whereby no player tries to outshine another (Blanchard, 1997). The result of this all is harmony and efficiency that brings forth victory.
For the Americans, they were seen as individualistic. They represented a rag-tag group of individuals who disdain warm ups and team spirit. They prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups. Their ties are loose, and ones’ achievement and freedom is highly valued. The performance of exercises in a group setting is very unusual for them. During the play, they try to give their best individually by outshining their colleagues. They use their own exercise styles rather than the Japanese regimen. Another cultural difference seen is high power distance and low power distance. Americans illustrated a low power distance compared to their Japanese counterparts. The ball game depicts Americans as more aggressive and assertive in comparison with the Japanese.
While the Japanese and American workers are playing softball, the culture conflict is getting more and more serious. Just like in the work place, Japanese management requires for far more systematization and results than the American workers are accustomed to. Japanese culture and organization in leadership as demonstrated in the softball game correspond to expectations of unpaid overtime when output does not meet the standards of productivity. The Americans find it hard to cope with Japanese way of doing things, as the team management does not really consider the workers and the way the live, emphasizing on productivity only. Just as American workers become nervous, and their relations with management become withstanding, the individualistic tendencies appear as a result. One of the workers deliberately knocks down one of the Japanese managers in the softball game (Blum, 1986). It is unlikely that the Japanese leadership would condone such behaviors. Hunt acts as an employee connection. He tries to smooth it over to no avail. The situation seems difficult because of these heightened differences.
The consequential clash between cultural approaches and pressure during the softball game is indicative of the differences between principles of management and economic pressures between the two groups respectively. This provides an appealing sight into effective leadership and the manner in which it has an effect on productivity and inspiration in the workplace. In particular, individualism, as shown by the Americans, brings about divided efforts and low output as compared to Japanese groupism, which is obvious from the behaviors of the teams. There is no doubt that Hunt was finding it difficult to realize a production of 15,000 cars but instead went for 13,000 cars in a month. The strategy of the Japanese was different since they employed a groupism approach which made workers loyal to the team and company as well. Therefore, it improved their efficiency.
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