Organizational Changes of a Japanese Firm in America

by Matt Amano



This article is a case report of a longitudinal study of M-3's sandwich structure and its transformation over twelve years. Unique organization called the sandwich structure has been used by the company to break the cultural barrier which exists between Japan and the U.S. It has made changes on this original organization structure to accommodate changing situations in terms of business expansion, organizational growth and personnel development. M-3 has demonstrated its flexibility to adapt to new situations which unfold themselves as time passes and has made necessary adjustments as new contingencies demanded it. M-3 showed rapid growth during the twelve years. The number of employees increased from less than 200 to over 1000 with substantial increases in sales It now produces its main products in the U.S. and markets its products not only in the U.S., but exports to other countries as well, helping in part to balance the U.S. trade. M-3 has been very successful in its business ventures in the U.S. Employees' attitudes were not measured in the last two follow-up studies which were conducted to determine if the firm retained the sandwich organizational structure. From this limited study, the sandwich structure and its effect on the employee productivity cannot be assessed.

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