Other managers make the decision on their own and issue the results to their subordinates. Depending on the environment, either situation can be effective or disastrous.
In Japan, there is a tendency to avoid the single decision maker and instead involve a number of people in the process. Sometimes, this involves individuals who are outside the obvious purview of the decision, but whose input is considered valuable enough to include in the process. The result is a time-consuming process that involves many individuals. However, the process also yields a short implementation period because the process builds a consensus. Instead of managers having to convince those involved that this is the correct decision, those involved are already convinced that the decision is appropriate before the implementation comes around.
These two types of decision making processes are not closely aligned, and Western businessmen who work with Japanese companies and individuals can be frustrated by the lack of movement with regard to the decision making process. By understanding the various factors that go into Japanese decision making, including social and cultural factors as well as business considerations, Western business professionals are likely to be able to cultivate much stronger ties with their Japanese counterparts, and reali