Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

Develop ‘Younger Sons’

Those who move from the country to the city must be stronger and more able to maintain ‘autonomous identity’. Such individuals are often the younger son(s) in the family (where traditionally the oldest son must follow in his father’s footsteps).

Who are the people in your organization who feel obliged to follow in the footsteps of their superiors? Why? Is this necessary? What kinds of employees don’t feel this pressure (part-time staff? Women? Foreign employees?).

These ‘younger sons’ may have more creative ideas so give them a voice.

Example: From an examination of differences in attitudes towards traditional relationships within social groups between workers from rural and urban backgrounds in large Japanese industrial firms.

Source: Abegglen, J.C. (1957). Subordination and autonomy attitudes of Japanese workers. The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 181-189.