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

More ‘Ura’ than ‘Omote’

‘Ura’ = behind the scenes/real life. ‘Omote’ = in front, ‘ceremonial function for the benefit of others’.

In Japanese companies announcements often follow, rather than precede action -  the announcement acts as confirmation of what has already happened.

In this light, organizational change happens incrementally, as opposed to a big announcement and then sudden shifts – making it easier for change to occur.

Example: From a large survey of manager attitudes in high performance Japanese companies.

Source: Pascale, R.T. (1978). Communication and decision making across cultures: Japanese and American comparisons. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 91-110.