Theory Z of Motivation by William Ochi

Prof William Ouchi (1981) identified the characteristics of Japanese and American Organizations. In course of his research, he found that there were several successful American companies that exhibited characteristics of both America and Japanese companies, he called the marriage of American and Japanese management techniques Theory Z. He noted that these companies did not consciously emulate the Japanese management styles but they evolved from a desire to improve. The marriage of the two styles and the growth of Theory Z explained in the following Table:
American Managerial Practices Japanese Managerial Practices Theory Z
Short-term Employment Lifetime Employment Long-term Employment
Individual Decision-making Consensus decision-making Consensus decision-making
Individual responsibility Collective responsibility Individual responsibility
Rapid evaluation and promotion Slow evaluation and promotion Slow evaluation and promotion
Explicit, formalized control Implicit, informal control Implicit, informal control with explicit formalized measures
Specialized Career Path Non-Specialized Career Path Moderately Specialized Career Path, cross-functional
Segmented concern Holistic concern Holistic concern
  • The practical implication of Theory Z is that managers need to adopt appropriate management techniques from other cultures to local preferences.


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