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7.6 Concluding Remarks

I have tried to show briefly that one of the characteristics of Japan's basic management philosophy is an altruistic contributive or dedication to someone or something else to the ie, or the succession of the merchant family shops during the Edo era.

Bushidō corresponded to political values, according to which pursuing money for its own sake was regarded contemptuously as a selfish act. This partiality of values remained, even after Japan modernized. Glancing over studies in Japan's management philosophies revealed the absence of an ontological perspective. By determining the criteria by which one can confirm that an organization has a management philosophy, a new and critical aspect of the study of the dynamic interaction between management philosophies and daily management/business practices is brought into focus. More importantly, by looking at those dynamic interactions, the general nature of management philosophy becomes clear: it is both an accelerator and a brake for an organization. Further scrutiny suggests that while a vehicle's accelerator and brake are independent pedals, management philosophy is, paradoxically, the creative resource of the accelerator with which to pioneer new businesses precisely because of, not despite, its regulatory power over behavior. I thus describe management philosophy as spiritual capital, in view of its potential for generative power.

I feel that the study of Japanese management philosophy does not just explore the nature of management philosophy in Japan but also fosters an understanding of the nature of management philosophy in general. Japan has a long history of applying and observing management philosophies in business and has also accumulated a large archive of studies. As more corporations in developing countries are discovering the importance of having a management philosophy, more cross-cultural studies are necessary in order to understand its general nature. Our anthropology of administration group has already begun to explore this new horizon (see Mitsui 2013).

Finally, I have experimentally attempted to draw upon physiological findings in other studies (Sumihara 2012, 2014a), in which I referred to the clinical findings of neurologist Antonio Damasio concerning the relationship between emotion and reason (Damasio 1994). Damasio has found that emotion plays an indispensable role in the work of reasoning, or rational thinking, in the human brain and claims that emotion is the integral part of reasoning. This finding is relevant to our study because commitment to a company's management philosophy implies a belief in certain values, similar to faith in deity. Faith is a product of the brain's emotional work. It would thus be interesting to me to examine whether the difference between an organization with a strong commitment to its management philosophy and one without such a commitment affects aspects of the firms' management and business practices and, if so, in what way.

 
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