(19) Business administration of the 21st century
Then, what are the characteristics of business administration of the 21st century and of the Great Collaboration society, particularly in comparison with that of the current era?
The first characteristic is leadership. Horizontal leadership will form the basis of the leadership in the era to come, replacing vertical leadership of the 20th century. In a society based on LOHAS or Great Collaboration, basically everyone stands on an equal footing. In other words, work in the coming era will not be bound by a pyramidal hierarchy or based on dominance through power and obedience thereto. Hence, with regards to leadership in such an era, as opposed to the vertical leadership of the 20th century, it is inconceivable that things get going simply by giving orders and receiving reports.
Leadership in the 21st century ought to act on all the members, so that they could form a horizontal network, on an equal footing and towards a common goal. This fabric [of horizontal network] applies not only to collaboration across corporate boundaries, but also equally to teamwork within a company. That is to say, each and every worker in the Great Collaboration society is a self-supporting professional, except for apprentices who have yet to gain experience. Hence, a corporate manager would not be able to use his/her privileged position to control employees against their will. Each individual will use his/her own judgment to participate in a job within a company or in a project that transcends corporate boundaries.
The specific mechanism of this horizontal leadership is explained in detail in my previously published book and elsewhere (*), so I will not elaborate on that here. While, on the surface, the methodology of horizontal leadership has been systematized in the United States, its essence was systematized by examining Japan’s success in the eighties. Hence, horizontal leadership is by no means extraneous to the Japanese people. Rather, it could be said to be a leadership based on a set of values that has been cherished in Japan since olden times. Moreover, it is a leadership that is very profound, having the potential to develop to an extremely high degree. A society based on LOHAS or Great Collaboration cannot be actually run, unless this horizontal leadership takes root in business management.
– Fujiwara, Naoya (2001). Daigyakuten-no-Leadership-Riron (Game-changing Leadership Theory (*2)). Published by Sangokan.
– Nahavandi, Afsaneh (2003). The Art and Science of Leadership. 3rd Ed. Published by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall.
(Japanese language edition published by BANRAISHA, 2004. Japanese translation supervised by Fujiwara, Naoya.)
– O’Reilly III, Charles A., et. al. (2000). Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People. Published by Harvard Business School Press. (Japanese language edition published by SHOEISHA, 2002. Japanese translation by Hirota, Satoko, et. al.)
Note by the translator:
(*2) Only Japanese edition is available.
(Date published / 公開日： 5/16/2021)
(Date last updated / 最終改訂日: 5/16/2021)