Initiated by world best seller books of Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number one in 1979, William Ouchi's Theory Z in 1980 and Pascale & Athos The Art of Japanese Management in 1981, a huge number of articles and books dealing with Japanese management have been published during the past twenty years. Same interest has been paid to Total Quality Management, when Western countries have found out that TQM was one of main drivers for the Japanese business success. Parallel with this great interest on Japanese management practises, several new management terminologies based on Japanese managerial practises have been introduced such as CWQC (Company Wide Qualily Control), Quality Circles, suggestion Systems, Just-in time, Kanban System, Kaizen, Hoshin Planning (Policy Deployment), QFD (Quality Function Deployment), Lean Production / Lean Thinking, Toyota Productian System etc.
In this respect it is argued through the thesis that there are new trends of a paradigm shift in management theories and practises partly stimulaled by Japanese management approaches. The paradigm shift in management theories and practises is coneecned from rather mechanistic and bureaueratic organisational approaches, which focus on 'hard ware', to a more human oriented and holistic approach, which focus on 'software'.
A literature survey of three selected modern management theories - TQM, The Leaming Organisation and Personal Leadership - shows the new trends of a paradigm shifL Furthermore i t is argued that the new trends of a paradigm shift are strongly affected by the successful Japanese managerial approach, especially by the Company Wide Quality Control approach, which was forerunner for establishing theory of TQM. The Japanese approach of Company Wide Quality Controlis a kind of synthetic management theory, shaped through interaction processes between the rational and logical Western way of thinking and the Eastern way of a rather holistic and people oriented way to manage organisations.
Through the research it is suggested, that one of the possible roots of the paradigm shift is the three East Asian philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The elements of those philosophies were embedded in the Japanese practises of Company Wide Quality Control, and later on in the theory of TQM. It is argued that TQM was one of the early initiating managerial approaches, which showed the new trends of a paradigm shift. Due to interactions between theoreticians and practitioners in managerial areas, the TQM movement has had an effect to other management theories. Because of this background there are also some logical links between the selected modem management theories and ancient Asian philosophies.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2000. , 169 p.