Manufacturing Ideology by William M. Tsutsui

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By William M. Tsutsui

Jap is the envy of the realm for its effective and humane administration practices. but, as William Tsutsui argues, the origins and implications of "Japanese-style administration" are poorly understood. opposite to common trust, Japan's acclaimed recommendations will not be quite novel or maybe specifically eastern. Tsutsui lines the roots of those practices to clinical administration, or Taylorism, an American idea that arrived in Japan on the flip of the century. in the course of next a long time, this imported version used to be embraced--and eventually transformed--in Japan's commercial workshops. Imitation gave upward push to innovation as jap managers sought a "revised" Taylorism that mixed mechanistic potency with admire for the humanity of work. Tsutsui's groundbreaking examine charts Taylorism's eastern incarnation, from the "efficiency flow" of the Nineteen Twenties, via Depression-era "rationalization" and wartime mobilization, as much as postwar "productivity" drives and quality-control campaigns. Taylorism turned greater than a administration instrument; its unfold past the manufacturing unit used to be a effective highbrow template in debates over financial progress, social coverage, and political authority in sleek Japan. Tsutsui's historic and comparative views demonstrate the centrality of jap Taylorism to ongoing discussions of Japan's government-industry kinfolk and the evolution of Fordist mass creation. He compels us to reconsider what implications Japanese-style administration has for Western industries, in addition to the way forward for Japan itself.

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70 Although Scientific Management in 1920s Japan appeared mainly in large, highly mechanized factories and was spread primarily by company engineers with overseas experience, Taylorism also flourished in a number of smaller firms which employed “efficiency experts” to rework their managerial methods. The first and most prominent of these Taish¯o managerial consultants was Ueno Y¯oichi, who in 1920 agreed to reorganize the Lion Toothpowder Company’s chronically inefficient packing department. In Ueno’s own retelling: The time and motion study was tried by me at the first time in my life, as exactly as it was explained in textbooks of Scientific Management.

Serious efforts at managerial modernization only began in 1919, however, with the government’s com66 Sugayama, “Bureaucratization,” 78. Quoted in Okuda, Hito to keiei, 64. 68 The Gantt chart—named for its inventor, the Taylor disciple Henry L. Gantt—was a graphical device used for production scheduling and performance evaluation. See Daniel A. Wren, The Evolution of Management Thought, 4th ed. (New York: Wiley, 1994), 137–39. 69 On Taylorism in the JNR, see Konno K¯ oichir¯o, “Kokutetsu k¯osaku k¯oj¯o ni miru kagakuteki kanri no ayumi,” pts.

4 (October 1988): 289–97. 11 Quoted in Okuda, Hito to keiei, 34. 12 The process did not advance uniformly through all sectors and in all firms, however. Internal contracting was eliminated from Hokkaid¯o Colliery in 1893, Shibaura Manufacturing in 1900, Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard in 1908, and Oki Electric in the mid-1920s. See Chokki, Kigy¯o keiei, 89–92. 13 Taira Koji, “Factory Legislation and Management Modernization during Japan’s Industrialization, 1886–1916,” Business History Review 44, no.

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