I am Yoshida, president of Yamada Shusei Ltd., a professional apparel garment repair group in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.
The sexual victimization problem at the Johnny's office and the Big Motor fraud problem both have in common that a charismatic leader ran the organization and repeatedly abused his power and ignored social rules and ethics, but we must not forget that it would not be possible without "followers".
In terms of "control and dependence," I think we need to consider not only "top management responsibility" but also "executive responsibility."
Before I begin, I would like to briefly touch on some of the characteristics of Japan.
1) Japanese Soil Prone to Generate "Control and Dependence"
Psychologically, Japanese people are said to have a strong tendency toward collectivism and authoritarianism. This means that they suppress their own opinions and feelings and emphasize obedience to group norms and the commands of authority. Japanese are also said to have a high degree of instability avoidance. This means that they tend to feel fear and anxiety toward uncertain situations and changes.
Sociologically, Japanese society is said to be a high context culture. This means that meaning and information are conveyed not only through words, but also through nonverbal elements and situations. Japanese society is also said to be vertically hierarchical. This means that people's relationships are divided vertically according to their social status and roles.
The fact that these characteristics are the soil of Japanese culture means that the nature of being susceptible to suggestion and brainwashing, and the nature of being hard to object to a charismatic leader are by no means unique.
Incidentally, regarding the Big Motor issue, Sompo Japan has also developed a situation in which its president has been censured. As a related issue, the number and amount of damage caused by special frauds such as oleo fraud and investment fraud have been on the rise in recent years, linked to the coronavirus and the growing social unrest associated with instability in the global situation.
2) Joint Responsibility of Executives that "I didn't know" is not acceptable
The job responsibilities of executives in a corporate organization are to formulate, implement, and evaluate the company's management policies and strategies. Depending on the size and situation of the company, it may be a position in name only, but even so, once a scandal or other incident occurs, it is clear that it cannot be externally accepted that the company was unaware of the incident.
In addition, the strong leadership of the founder is one aspect of the company that has made it what it is today, so rather than denying charisma per se, the quality of leadership at the executive level that supports it is one major factor that makes the difference between the bright and dark sides of an organization.
In my opinion, the senior management is also jointly responsible in that they have maintained an organizational structure that is incapable of stopping the excesses of a charismatic leader.
It is also more natural to believe that the entire organization was sick. Therefore, I feel that in order to make a fresh start in the future, we must be prepared to dismantle the current organizational structure once and for all, otherwise it will be difficult to make fundamental changes.