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2.4 Initiation Ceremony of Sony

Sony was established immediately after World War II and has greatly expanded into a global enterprise. Sony is always ranked high in the lists of favorable companies for employment for college graduates (both males and females.)

Sony's characteristic initiation ceremonies are analyzed here with reference to the house organs, videotapes, and interviews at the Head Office. The focus is placed on Akio Morita. Morita and Masaru Ibuka are the founders of Sony. The period under consideration is from 1960 to 1993.

2.4.1 Place and Program of the Ceremony

During the 1960s, the initiation ceremony was held in the lecture hall at the Head Office. According to an employee who entered in 1961, 300 or more new employees sat in chairs while the president, vice president, and directors stood on the platform in a horizontal line.

The initiation ceremony in 1976 was held in the lecture hall at the Head Office on the first day of April. The president handed a new employee representative a written appointment as a trial employee after Chairman Morita gave an address.

However, the program order was changed in 1980. First of all, the president handed a written appointment as a trial employee and gave an address to finish the initiation ceremony. Then Chairman Morita, the Personnel Department Manager, and the Labor Policy Division Manager gave addresses in order. In 1983, the place was moved to the Green Center in Osaki Plant, where the president handed a written appointment as a trial employee and gave an address, then Chairman Morita, the Personnel Division Manager, and the Labor Manager talked in order. The place was returned to the lecture hall at the Head Office in 1984. Chairman Morita handed a written appointment and gave an address in place of the president, who was abroad on a business trip. In addition, Honorary Chairman Ibuka gave an address. In 1985, the ceremony was held in the lecture hall at the Head Office. After the President handed a written appointment and gave an address, Chairman Morita and Honorary Chairman Ibuka gave addresses of instructions. The next year, the location of the ceremony was moved back to the Green Center in Osaki Plant, and the president and chairman gave addresses. In 1987, the president, the chairman, and the honorary chairman made addresses. In 1988, the place was returned to the Head Office, and the Jumbo Tron, a large-scale television (VFD) display for concert venue and sports stadium developed by Sony, was used. The president, honorary chairman, and chairman gave addresses in order. In 1990, the initiation ceremony was held at the former Tokyo Yubin Chokin Kaikan (Mielparque) at Shiba. Addresses were given in the original order of the president, chairman, and honorary chairman. In 1991, the ceremony place was changed to “Youport” at Gotanda. These halls had capacity to hold 1,500–1,800 people. Addresses were made by the president, chairman, and Managing Director Tsunao Hashimoto. Michael P. Shulhoff, president of Sony Software, sent a video message. The next year, the place and the order of giving addresses were unchanged. However, the vice president gave an address instead of the managing director. No video messages were referred to. The initiation ceremony in 1993, which was the last ceremony for Chairman Morita, had no changes in place or program from the previous year.

The date of the initiation ceremony is fixed for the first day of April. If this date falls on a Sunday, the ceremony is held on the following Monday, the second day of April. The time was recorded only in 1980 as 9 o'clock in the morning.

 
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