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Every culture has its distinct features that differentiate it from the others. In the modern business world, it is important to understand verbal and non-verbal symbols in order to conduct effective communication. National characteristic features can be rather different; thus, business partners sometimes need to study the definition of certain phrases, or try to understand why certain people behave in this or that way. In the film Gung Ho, produced by Ron Howard, there is an example of managing a battle between two nations – the Japanese and the Americans. In this paper, we will try to analyze the abovementioned movie according to organizational behavior and tactics in business. In addition, the paper will explain the difference between the two diverse ways of thinking on examples from Gung Ho.
As a term, gung ho in English has a meaning of “enthusiastic”; in Japanese, in its turn, it means “to work together”. The film under research represents both these descriptions. Gung Ho presents a story about Americans and Japanese who were eager to work under one project, although it was not a simple task. The main hero tried to organize the whole working process properly in order to make everyone happy and to give people a chance to work. To accomplish all the set tasks, the Americans needed to become more organized, while the Japanese had to learn to be tolerant. That is why culture and proper leadership skills are highly important in the workplace. Understanding people’s needs at work is not less important than comprehending the whole technical process.
Speaking about organizational behavior, one can say that ergonomics occupies one of the predominant positions. In the movie, Hunter, the main character, masters the technique to adapt work and working conditions to the employees and employers as he stands on the binding position. For example, when American workers did not want to perform morning exercises, Hunter stepped in a crowd and told them, on the example of a game, that there was nothing bad about it and the Japanese would forget about those conditions later. In another episode, a worker was reading a magazine during work time; a Japanese controller forbade him to do this, but Hunter made a foreigner understand that there was a place for leisure during work. ‘Being people, not robots’ – is a moral of this film.
Two nations, having differences in ways of thinking and approaches, can hardly come to an agreement. For Americans, motivation is highly important, while Japanese people are used to hard labor and to putting the company’s interests above personal ones. Not understanding the need of Americans for spare time with friends and family, the Japanese made Hunter lie to his friends. While the main character made an agreement stating they would produce fifteen thousand cars a month, he could not convince workers that they could accomplish such a goal. As a result, the factory was under a threat of closure. Hunter confessed in his lies and understood the Japanese manager; that was the peak of job motivation and high job performance. That is why, overcoming the differences in approaches or ways of work processing are not the only ones in the business environment; understanding between managers frequently appears to be one of the principal factors.
In conclusion, in the movie Gung Ho, the main problem lies in different methods of motivation and management of the whole working process on the large scale. Japanese people, being too conservative, cannot understand excessively liberal Americans. Both, trying to reach one goal, look at the target from different points of view. For Japanese people, motivation is the company’s record of productivity, but for Americans motivation strongly differentiates. Only the leaders’ understanding of all the nuances can make a business project successful.
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