Showa Packard Case

Published: 2021-06-29 06:57:39
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Showa-Packard Case

The issues around the Tanaka appointment came about initially because Johnson felt that Tanaka was under qualified to be running the JV. Johnson's stance became even firmer once he discovered that Tanaka got the job because Showa felt his time was up on their Board so they "retired" him to running the JV. Finally what made the incident even more frustrating for Johnson was when Showa shot down his idea of appointing Abe, stating it would out of line to promote someone of Abe's tenure to that level given Japanese business customs.

In my opinion this incident was fully driven because you had two parties from different sides of the world that just didn't understand each other customs and then became growingly skeptical of each other as time went on. Given shared authority, JVs are usually difficult execute when both companies are from the same country and in this case when you throw in vastly different cultural and business customs finding common ground can be very hard to come by. The Tanaka appointment was a perfect example of Packard and more specifically Johnson just not being used to very rigid system of advancement in Japan and then becoming suspicious when things didn't match their norms. I also believe that given this was the first time both these companies had done business in the respective countries it's likely that both Packard and Showa did not do enough homework on culture and customs, otherwise the issue around succession could have better defined during the negotiation process. Finally having Harper, someone who really didn't get Japanese culture either and could barely communicate with his counterparts in Japan, as Packard's eyes and ears on the ground furthered the understanding gaps between both sides.

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