Japanese Seminar Series: Japanese People’s “Kodawari” Behaviour: Strength and Weakness

15/11/2017, 17:00 - 18:10


The first event, co-hosted by the Japanese Society, in the Japanese Seminar Series, starting with a seminar about Japanese people’s kodowari behaviour by Dr Katsuki Aoki (Meiji University, Japan).

“Kodawari” can be translated into “relentless attention to detail” into English. Japanese people’s kodawari behaviours and their products have attracted attention form the world, such as Princess Mononoke in amine, Dragon Ball in manga, as well as Final Fantasy in video game. These works that pay relentless attention to detail are highly regarded as masterpieces. Kodawari behaviours can also be observed in a business context, such as genuine hospitality, known as “omotenashi”, in service industries, and relentless attention to quality and productivity, such as “kaizen” and “5S”, in manufacturing industries. This seminar will focus upon the management and work practices that create kodawari behaviours in Japanese companies, how such a mindset can be developed through employment and employee training systems in particular. The seminar will shed light not only on the strength but also on the weakness of Japanese kodawari behaviours that make clear the boundary between inside and outside of a community, i.e. “uchi-to-soto”. Especially, the weakness comes to the front in the age of globalization.

Dr Katsuki Aoki is an associate professor at the School of Business, Meiji University in Japan. He received his Ph.D. in business administration from Meiji University in 1999. He is currently a visiting academic at Cardiff Business School. His main research interests include a) international comparative studies on the implementation of shopfloor improvement (Kaizen) activities; b) benefits and limitations of the keiretsu system (OEM-supplier relationships) in the automotive industry; c) globalization of Japanese management practices, human resource management practices in particular. His papers have been published in highly regarded journals such as Organization Science (forthcoming), Harvard Business Review, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production and Operations Management and more. His paper entitled ‘Managing the productivity dilemma: How Toyota develops a context for ambidexterity with suppliers’ received ISM 2016 Academy of Management Best Paper Award.

The event will be followed by a wine reception in the School of Modern Languages foyer from 18:50.

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2.18, School of Modern Languages
66a Park Place
CF10 3AS

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Japanese Seminar Series