On Monday, June 22, 2009, leading authority on strategic management, organizational change and management/information systems, City University of Hong Kong Associate Professor Dr. Maris MARTINSONS delivered an RCAPS seminar on strategic decision making.
During his lecture entitled "International Differences in Strategic Decision Making: Contrasting American, Japanese and Chinese Business Leaders", he discussed the decision making styles and preferences of the business leaders of the current 3 economic world superpowers and the cultural, political and historical reasons behind them.
Using business logos of major American, Chinese and Japanese business, he clearly illustrated corporate preferences design decisions. His findings showed that of a sample of major US business listed on the Dow Jones, nearly 2 thirds were blue/navy and rectangular in shape, whereas almost the same promotion of Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Hang Seng were red and circular. To further illustrate the point, he pointed out that the logo for the 2004 Athens Olympics, held in the cradle of western civilization ?Greece, was blue and square, and that the 2008 Beijing Olympics logo was round and red. "Companies put a lot of thought into their logo design in terms of their target audience".
In the second half of his lecture, he went on to describe how his research had identified clear corporate decision making preferences. The US preferring a analytic, information based style; the Chinese a directive style based on power; and the Japanese behavioral, collective style which he attributed to social, political and also historical influences such as agriculture styles.
In the Q&A session at the conclusion of the lecture a question was posed by an audience member about the relevance of agriculture styles, Associate Professor answered, "Rice based agriculture of Japan has traditionally required a group effort, rather than an individual effort, to plant and harvest the crop. This collective influence may have influenced the current group-oriented decision making style of Japan."
The lecture was well received and attended many students eager to get a glimpse into the world of top-level strategic decision making.