David Jansen provides preview of year-long Japan research project report which shows Japanese companies on cusp of change
Washington, DC, July 2, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - "Change in Japan is just around the corner," PwC's David Jansen said in a speech on June 29 to the 25th annual Association of Japanese Business Studies conference at Georgetown University. "But for change to happen, the discussion of Japan's future course needs to be more frank and open," Jansen said.
Jansen, managing partner of PwC's "Future of Japan project," an intensive year-long research initiative into the future prospects of Japan's global corporations, gave the academic audience a sneak preview and the back story of the project report, slated for release in September.
The speech focused on a reformist narrative that emerged from six months of interviews with more than 50 opinion leaders in Japan: senior corporate executives, political leaders, government bureaucrats, academics and analysts.
"So far the discourse on reform has been muted," Jansen said. "As one influential business leader told us, 'Everyone knows what the truth is... but no one wants to come out and sayit.'"
What the PwC initiative has discovered, Jansen explained, is an intense debate going on behind closed doors. "If you give opinion leaders a chance to speak off-record, you hear a surprisingly frank appraisal of the challenges facing corporate Japan. What we found remarkable is how many people are itching to let loose but feel constrained in expressing their opinions."
"The reformist narrative centers on two things: talent and diversity", Jansen said. "After the war, Japan developed aphenomenally effective human resources model that enabled them to rocket forward to become the world's second largest economy in 20 years. But the system has been about harnessing collective energy, rather than empowering individual talent, which iscritical for success in the 21st century."
"And increased diversity in the workforce - especially with respect to women - is vital given long-accepted projections of demographic shrinkage in the coming years," Jansen continued. "The intriguing question is: what happens when Japan goes from harnessing people in conformity to empowering individual talents? What happens when we get diversity in management? I think we're going to see transformational changes from the Japanese business communityin the future. For change to happen most effectively, though, the debate needs to come out into the open. I hope our report can contribute to that."
The Association of Japanese Business Studies (AJBS) is an international association of professionals actively pursuing the exchange of information and ideas concerning the Japanese business system and its economic, social and cultural environment. Membership includes academic scholars doing research and teaching related to Japan, as well as government and business executives interested in those issues. The Association of Japan Business Studies annual conference provides an opportunity for discussion of current developments and research on a range of business, public policy, and teaching issues related to Japan.
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David Jansen, PwC Japan Business Network, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Tel: +1-917-562-1153 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Yoko Kato, Maki Nakazato, Edelman Japan (PR Agency) Tel: +81-3-6858-7741/7738 e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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