Hitachi Automotive: Organizational Culture
Hitachi Automotive Products, Los Angeles (HAP-LA), based in Torrance, is a major remanufacturer of alternators, starters, electronic control units, mass airflow sensors, distributors, and other automotive electronic parts. HAP-LA reports to a corporate office based in Harrodsburg, KY, which in turn reports to the main Hitachi Automotive plant in Katsuta, Japan. As a Japanese based company, HAP-LA's organizational structure and culture is very strongly influenced by the Japanese corporate office, as well as the general managers, both past and present, that are transferred to the Torrance facility from Japan.
In order to fully appreciate the strong influence from the Japanese way of business on HAP-LA's culture, an analysis must be broken down into five components: Business environment, Organizational values, Cultural role models, Organizational rites, rituals and customs, and, finally, Cultural transmitters. Each of these elements is a core part of the fundamental culture that both drives and guides the organization at HAP-LA.
HAP-LA's position within the automotive industry as a supplier to the major automobile manufacturers places it within a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment. As such, HAP-LA has developed what Goetsch and Davis refer to as a change-oriented culture (Davis, 2000). This culture requires HAP-LA to be aware of the current and future trends within the automotive industry and the requirements for supplying parts to this changing market, as well as the ability to change technology and product lines to meet this demand. In the past, HAP-LA was a major manufacturer for air conditioning units and car stereos for Toyota, Datsun and Ford. Today, the facility remanufactures alternators, starters and other mechanical-electrical components for the Big Three, both in the United States (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) and Japan (Toyota, Nissan, Honda). Future trends indicate that HAP-LA may need to upgrade the...