The Diffusion of Management Practices in the United States

Fumie Murase, Western Michigan University


The study of diffusion of Japanese management practices in the United States is required by growing Japanese investment in the United States and the need of United States manufacturing to become more efficient. This thesis is based on a qualitative analysis of five case studies of automobile assembly plants in the United States utilizing cultural diffusion theory.

Most of Japanese production practices and some of their labor management policies were originally transferred to Japan from the United States. After being modified in Japan some of these policies are coming back to the United States with the transplants. Other Japanese management practices turned out to be unacceptable, but these were either not essential to productivity or had functional substitutes.