Over the past four decades, Australians have witnessed a reorientation of Australians economic relations away from the United Kingdom and Europe towards Asia and the Pacific Region. In particular, Australia .slinks with Japan have intensified to the extent -that this Asian nation has become Australia's largest-t trading partner.
However, the Australia'-Japan economic relationship has not been confined to -trade alone. Since 1980, Japanese direct foreign investment-t and Japan' s role 1Il the international capital market-t have expanded significantly. Japan has become a major foreign investor in Australia' s resource, manufacturing and service sectors.
The heightened role in Japan's economy of direct overseas investment has challenged Japanese companies to reassess their existing management systems if they are to successfully diversify and globalize. This research report studies -the Daikyo Group of Companies 1n Australia. As the leading condominium developer and real-estate company in Japan, Daikyo has diversified its operations in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Daikyo is involved in hotels, golf course ownership and management~, real estate brokerage and consulting at the Gold Coast and Cairns.
This report focuses on the adaptation of Daikyo's management style to -the Australian environment and the way this has been perceived, accepted and contributed to by the Australian management and staff. The nature of -this working relationship is discussed. including its opportunities and constraints.
The report is based on interviews with Japanese and Australian General Managers within -the Daikyo Group in Australia. together with a survey questionnaire administered to randomly selected staff. The findings are reported within -the context of the relevant Literature. The report finds that Daikyo's Japanese management has encouraged the local operational management of Daikyo's subsidiaries in Australia and the formation of local personnel policies. Moreover. there has been no attempt-t to socialize Australian employees towards Japanese management philosophies and styles since the aim has been "to create an Australian company with a Japanese nuance".
However, communication patterns, job responsibilities. parallel positions held by expatriates and discrepancies between Japanese and Australian perceptions of company m1SS10n, strategy and objectives reflect the peripheral role of Australian managers in the company' s s-tra-tegic decision-making.
For -the Japanese expatriate manager. there is the constant need -to find a balance between -the individualistic pressures arising from the host country environment and the group oriented structure of the parent company in Japan. For the Australian managers and staff, there are the opportunities of working in an internationally successful, stable, expanding company and the constraints arising from language and cultural barriers, unclear reporting linkages and slow decision-making practices.
The report concludes by linking -the Daikyo study to research by Bartlett and Yoshihara (1988) who recommended three challenges for Japanese companies operating overseas: - (i) open up the organization system; (ii) develop the foreign operation role; and (iii) broaden managers' perspectives.