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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 29 - December 5  > Corporate culture intolerant of criticism underlies recent scandals
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2017 November 29 - December 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Corporate culture intolerant of criticism underlies recent scandals

December 5, 2017
It has come to light that many major makers, including Toray and Nissan Motor, committed ethically as well as legally questionable acts. Such acts have long been the norm in some companies. In Nissan factories, many unqualified workers carried out final safety inspections of new cars and this practice started at least 40 years ago.

In the series of recent corporate scandals, all the executives of the scandal-tainted companies used their corporate culture lacking openness as an excuse for overlooking any problems. However, top company officials themselves created workplaces where no one can raise a voice of protest against corporate policies or wrongdoings.

Let’s take Toshiba, which is struggling hard with a huge loss from its role in the nuclear plant business, for example. In the late 1960s, Toshiba adopted a union busting tactic under which a labor relations section, called “Ougi kai”, consisting of workers who had been security policemen, was established.

The objective of the section was to remove workers involved in labor movements from Toshiba. The security section members investigated the relationships with others of such workers. They also shadowed and kept tabs on targeted workers even after work. Ougi kai collected private information of targeted workers as much as possible. Employees critical of the management were pressured to resign through threats and unfair treatment, including overt promotion discrimination.

Similar tactics spread to a wide range of industries such as electricity, coal mining, chemistry, steel, and shipbuilding.

It is the corporate executives themselves who destroyed public trust in their companies.

Past related article:
> Morals and values should matter most to corporate management [October 21, 2017]
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