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Company leaders should seek to make all their employees happy, both materially and intellectually. That's their purpose. It shouldn't be to work for shareholders.

13 Comments

Kazuo Inamori, 83, the founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp (Bloomberg)

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13 Comments
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Great words! I wish more would follow this basic idea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Then why organize yourself as a corporation? What's in it for the shareholders?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't see that it needs to be one or the other. Happy employees should lead to a better run company, and more profits, making for happy shareholders.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great idea, but the truth is the shareholders are ultimately the owners of the company....and every emplyee (including) the Chairman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cont. ...is working for them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Company leaders should seek to make all their employees happy, both materially and intellectually. That's their purpose. It shouldn't be to work for shareholders.

I hope this is aimed at dim-witted HR structures, too.

I've seen far too many generalists who, though materially comfortable, aren't too high up Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cardsfan5 nailed it. There are plenty of other organisational structures to choose from other than a corporation.

Inamori's actions at JAL clearly didn't tally with his words, as his brief was to restore profitability.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder what this old-guard businessman did to allow his employees a rich life both at work and at home. Were Kyocera better than the rest on his watch?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Old dudes generally change their tune once they get closer to death.

Shame he didn't feel this way when he was calling the shots.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This s not the culture of Japan. The shareholders are the initial investors and they will take precedence over the people who are actually giving their life blood to the company

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Were Kyocera better than the rest on his watch?

Possibly. I taught at various Japanese companies in the 1980s. Kyocera were probably a cut above most.

There was another company from the same period that said they put their employees before their customers. It was a jarring notion against the general idea that the customer is god. Shareholders never really entered into the general ethos. In answer to cardsfan5 above, a successful company is what's in it for shareholders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great words! I wish more would follow this basic idea.

Hogwash. As pointed out already, by cardfan5 and Duck70, those employees owe their jobs to those shareholders who Inamori-san wants to ignore. Without their capital, there is no company. IMO, this is just a thinly disguised way of rationailzing the Japan Inc. record of paper-thin profit margins, and poor ROI's. If Japanese corporations had to actually compete for capital, rather than rely on all the cross share-holdings and banks purchasing all their shares, there would be a much different situation there -- much more efficient and globally competitive. All those "happy" enmployees he gushes about have made Japan inefficient and gloabally uncompetitive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@jerseyboy

With all due respect, I don't think it's hogwash. I confess that I don't really understand economics and 'fiscal reality'. (quantum physics makes more sense, relatively speaking) But simple logic suggests that an idea that "those employees owe their jobs to those shareholders' can be turned to say, "those shareholders owe their wealth to those employees'. I don't think all Japanese corporations are so reliant on banks as you suggest. Weren't Toyota one of the first companies anywhere to be reliant on their own capital?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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