Case Discussion Questions
1. What were the triggers of cultural change in Japan during the 1990s? How is cultural change starting to affect traditional values in Japan?
2. How might Japan’s changing culture influence the way Japanese businesses operate in the future? What are the potential implications of such changes for the Japanese economy?
3. How did traditional Japanese culture benefit Matsushita during the 1950s–1980s? Did traditional values become more of a liability during the 1990s and early 2000s? How so?
4. What is Matsushita trying to achieve with human resource changes it has announced? What are the impediments to successfully implementing these changes? What are the implications for Matsushita if (a) the changes are made quickly or (b) it takes years or even decades to fully implement the changes?
5. What does the Matsushita case teach you about the relationship between societal culture and business success?