Submit your answers to these questions as a file (DOC) attachment below:
1 What are some key differences between the expectations of Assan Motors management the expectations of the workers?
2 Compare the management styles of Hunt, Kaz, and Saito. Give specific examples. Whose style would you most closely follow if you were managing this factory? Why?
3 What specific advice would you give Assan Motors management about relating to the workers in this factory?
The local auto plant in fictional Hadleyville, Pennsylvania (Links to an external site.), which supplied most of the town’s jobs, has been closed for nine months. The former foreman Hunt Stevenson goes to Tokyo (Links to an external site.) to try to convince the Assan Motors Corporation to reopen the plant. The Japanese company agrees and, upon their arrival in the U.S., they take advantage of the desperate work force to institute many changes. The workers are not permitted a union (Links to an external site.), are paid lower wages, are moved around within the factory so that each worker learns every job, and are held to seemingly impossible standards of efficiency and quality. Adding to the strain in the relationship, the Americans find humor in the demand that they do calisthenics (Links to an external site.) as a group each morning and that the Japanese executives eat their lunches with chopsticks (Links to an external site.) and bathe together (Links to an external site.) in the river near the factory. The workers also display a poor work ethic (Links to an external site.) and lackadaisical attitude toward quality control.
The Japanese executive in charge of the plant is Takahara “Kaz” Kazuhiro. He has been given one final chance to redeem himself by making the American plant a success. Intent on becoming the strict manager his superiors expect, he gives Hunt a large promotion on the condition that he work as a liaison between the Japanese management and the American workers, to smooth the transition and convince the workers to obey the new rules. More concerned with keeping his promotion than with the welfare of his fellow workers, Hunt does everything he can to trick the American workers into compliance, but the culture clash becomes too great and he begins to lose control of the men.
Scenes in this clip:
- Hunt Stevenson is offered a promotion
- Workers do morning calisthenics
- Problems on the assembly line