Multilingual Business Communication

October 22, 2008

Executives in crisis

Filed under: crisis communication, Trui Lagae — Tags: — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 9:12 am

While crisis, recession and economic measures dominate the news, a lot of criticism arises in Europe regarding the often extravagant salaries managers receive. Justifiably, some of them are therefore forced to give in benefits or are being dismissed.  Japanese managers however take it a step further: they often cut their own pay when the company’s performances are down.

Executive Yukio Sakamoto from Elpida (Elpida Memory, Inc. produces memory cards)  sent out an  unusual and even stronger signal, announcing on Monday that he would work for free in November and December. Afterwards he will continue to receive only half of his salary until the company has become profitable again. Yukio Sakamoto says this symbolic gesture should show the public his goodwill and determination to make the company sound again.

Although I  like his gesture very much, I do wonder whether it isn’t just that: a gesture as a strategy to gain popularity instead of a real effort to help the company… Is all this nothing more than smart communication or are Japanese executives truly that honourable?

(Trui Lagae)

http://www.tijd.be/nieuws/ondernemingen_technologie/Elpida-topman_gaat_gratis_werken_wegens_crisis.8093029-436.art

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bal-dayinpictures,0,1933887.photogallery?index=bal-afp_gettyfilesjapare20081020132604

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2 Comments »

  1. While crisis, recession and economy [economic] measures dominate the news, a lot of criticism arose [arises] in Europe regarding the often extravagant salaries managers receive. Some of them are therefore forced to give in benefits or are being dismissed. Japanese managers however go a step further: they often cut their own pay when the company’s performances are not well.

    Executive Yukio Sakamoto from Elpida (Elpida Memory, Inc. produces memory cards) sent out an unusual and even stronger signal, announcing on Monday that he would work for free in November and December. Afterwards he will continue to receive only half of his salary until the company has become profitable again. With this symbolic gesture Yukio Sakamoto wants to show the public his goodwill and determination to make the company sound again.

    Is this just an example of smart communication or are Japanese executives really that honourable?

    good topic choice and good writing style. I do feel that you could add a bit more of your personal opinion, though.

    Marilyn Michels

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — November 16, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  2. I don’t think this man wants to gain popularity. Of course, I am not a specialist, but with everything I have ever learnt about the Japanese culture, I really think that these employees are honourable. Furthermore, I think this is a clever gesture if you don’t want to lose your job within the following months. It might help the company to survive.
    Yesterday on the news I heard that the white-collar workers of Ford Genk are willing to be economically unemployed for at least three months.
    To survive the falling car sales, the system of economic unemployment is already set up for the blue-collar workers of Ford Genk. However, economic unemployment for white-collar workers doesn’t exist up to this moment. That’s why the management of Ford Genk let these employees vote on this matter. As much as 88% of the white-collar workers agreed to work 3 days a month less. Working less means less wage.
    As I said, I think this is a brotherly gesture toward the blue-collar workers and it might help the company to struggle to its feet.

    Comment by Charlotte De Ruytter — April 7, 2009 @ 9:58 am


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