Management Integration through Software Applications: Japanese Manufacturing Firms in the UK Expert Control

Management Integration through Software Applications: Japanese Manufacturing Firms in the UK Expert Control

John Kidd (Aston Business School, UK) and Tessa Y. Yau (Aston Business School, UK)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2000100101


Through the 1970s to the present time the governance of the Japanese firm overseas has changed, moving towards a more international form of operation rather than operating as a peripheral organisation based solidly on the Japanese headquarters office. Notwithstanding the evolution of their formal and informal management structures this research questions in detail the nature of computer software that may have been imported from Japan to the UK to control imported production systems and/or to control management data flows. This research stems from noting in the 1980s that imported Japanese production machines contained Japanese language instructions beneath their cover plates, so when maintenance was to take place, the UK engineers became baffled, and then frustrated. In the research reported here we ask if the computer programs used to control this imported machinery carry embedded Japanese documentation which may prove difficult to interpret by software engineers in the UK? As an adjunct to this question, we note the origin of their control software (and other software used by the Japanese production subsidiaries in the UK), its modification (if any, and where, and by whom), and the natural language used to communicate with the HQs in Japan. As an emergent finding, we report on the tensions arising from the data-integration of the Japanese firms’ operations in Europe through the use of enterprise resource planning software.

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