Title: Japanese organisational decision making in 1941

Authors: Omi Hatashin

Addresses: SILS, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-8050, Japan

Abstract: This paper discusses a Japanese decision-making process leading to a decision to wage war against the USA and Great Britain in December 1941. A hypothesis, which is based on solid sources, as shown in this paper, is that the Japanese leaders did not really want the war, but for a number of organisational and bureaucratic reasons, they failed to stop the movement towards it. These reasons, including the chain of command issues, are capable of explaining what has been happening in recent years, for example, at Olympus and in Japan's nuclear power industries. Just as banks and energy companies are overprotected and their reckless conduct indulged because they are seen to be too big to fail, so were the imperial army and navy.

Keywords: Japanese organisational behaviour; decision making; decision to go to war; World War II; crisis management; chain of command; Emperor Hirohito; Tojo; constitutional conventions; paternalism dependence; Japan; Japanese armed forces.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2012.051046

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2012 Vol.12 No.1, pp.69 - 84

Available online: 15 Dec 2012 *

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