A comparison of U.S. and Japanese management systems and their transferability to Singapore industry
This research compares U.S. and Japanese management systems and evaluates their transferability to the Singaporean manufacturing industry. The objectives were:- a) To determine the effectiveness of U.S. and Japanese management systems when applied to Singapore. b) Determine the extent of transferability of U.S. and Japanese management systems to Singapore. c) Survey general problems ecountered in the application of U.S. and Japanese management systems to the Singapore industry. The study using questionnaire survey and interviews covered a total of eighty companies from four groups of firms in four industrial sectors comprising of U.S. and Japanese subsidiaries based in Singapore and their respective parent companies. Data from the questionnaires and interviews were used to investigate environmental conditions, management philosophy, management functions/practices, management effectiveness, and firm productivity. Two-way analysis of variance was used to analyse the questionnaire data. The analysis of the perceptual data from the questionnaire survey and interviews suggested that both U.S. and Japanese parent companies performed better in almost all the management variables studied when compared to their subsidiaries in Singapore. U.S. subsidiaries have less difficulty in adjusting to the Singapore environmental conditions and obtained better results than the Japanese subsidiaries in management functions/practices and management philosophy than the U.S. subsidiaries. In addition, the firm productivity (in terms of labour and capital productivity) of U.S. subsidiaries in Singapore was found to be higher than those of the Japanese subsidiaries. It was found that the Japanese parent companies returned the highest score among the four groups of firms in all the four industrial sectors for all the four management variables (i.e. environmental conditions, management philosophy, management functions/practices, and management effectiveness) surveyed using questionnaires. In contrast, the average score for Japanese subsidiaries in Singapore was generally the lowest among the four groups of firms. Thus the results of this study suggest that the transfer of U.S. management system into the Singapore industry is more successful than the Japanese management system. The problems encountered in the application of U.S. and Japanese management in Singapore were identified and discussed by the study. General recommendations for the Singaporean manufacturing industry were then made based on the findings of the questionnaire survey and interview analysis.