Long-Term Employment — Japanese organizations tend to have longer employee cycles than U.S. companies. Many U.S. companies treat employees as replaceable parts. It is far more cost-effective and efficient to retain expertise than continually retrain. This keeps the knowledge base inside the company. Providing incentives for long-term employment, then, is an essential component of Theory Z
Consensual Decision Making — When employees feel that they have input into decisions that affect them, their jobs, and their daily processes, they are more likely to buy into those decisions and support change management.
Individual responsibility — Moving away from the union mentality and accepting measurement based on individual performance is tough for many Americans, but the balance between the group and the individuals participation actually empowers both.
Slow Evaluation and Promotion — Rather than taking the short-term approach, as many American companys do, it is about the long-term strategy, not the monthly ROI. This encourages employees and managers to think strategically and anticipate the market rather than simply react to it.
Research as to the efficacy of Theory Z has mixed results.
The processes involved can be time consuming, and certain types of organizations resistant to such change (e.g. large, multi-generational factory environments, etc.) (Daft, 2004). But in organizations in which American workers realize that the globalism brings competitiveness and require a new way of thinking, Theory Z is a powerful tool for bringing management and workers together for the overall health of the business.
Barney, J. (2004). “An Interview with William Ouchi.” Academy of Management
Executives.18 (4): 108-117.
Daft, R. (2004). “Theory Z: Opening the Corporate Door for Participative Management.”
Academy of Management Executives. 18 (4): 117-22.
Ouchi, W.G. (1993). Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet.