Role of public relations in management: Japanese corporations in the United States
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This study explores how Japanese corporations operating in the U.S. accommodate their management systems to an American work environment, and examines the role of public relations activities in the management systems. Nine interviews were conducted with American and Japanese executives at five Japanese corporations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The major research questions were: What are the management policies and how is the management structured at each company? What kind of communication method is used for employee and community relations programs? How do the differences between American and Japanese cultures, such as languages and work values, affect the corporations? How do public relations activities support management objectives? All the executives concluded that cultural differences between the U.S. and Japan do not become communication barriers once people from both nations gain mutual understanding. Due to differences in the nature of employees and communities in which they operate, the types of management systems and the communication methods adopted by the five companies vary. Public relations can help management monitor these environmental differences and establish its goals according to the environment. To implement these goals, organizations need active managers who are willing to understand the cultural differences of their organizations and to get involved with employee and community activities. In this way, the managers can facilitate two-way communication among the organizations and between the organizations and the communities.
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