There are newer employer reviews for Matsushita Electric

Working at MEI

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Coordinator in Cupertino, CA
Former Employee - Coordinator in Cupertino, CA

I worked at Matsushita Electric

Pros

Stable company with decent benefits

Cons

No advancement, non-Japanese employees treated poorly.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Treat employees fairly.

No opinion of CEO
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  1. Very Japanese company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Newark, NJ
    Current Employee - Manager in Newark, NJ

    I have been working at Matsushita Electric

    Pros

    employee discounts on cool products

    Cons

    It's a Japanese company. If you are not one of "them", then you are wasting your life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to Japan and put some (new) Americans at the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Big, Traditional, Conservative Japanese Corporation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yokohama, Kanagawa (Japan)

    I worked at Matsushita Electric full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked for Panasonic (formerly Matsushita Electric) for a little less than a year, in the Panasonic Automotive and Industrial Systems Company.

     I want to qualify everything I write here with the fact that, if you are to work for a traditional Japanese company that has the history and reputation of Panasonic, then you should be prepared for what come with that. Also, I was in B2B sales, and I think the experience of engineers is quite different.
    The good things about Panasonic--they provide great benefits. As a new employee, I had excellent housing provided almost for free by the company . Panasonic also took care of health insurance, and all of the legal/tax stuff needed because I am American, not Japanese.
    --Panasonic has a very strong foundation. The founder, Konosuke Matsushita, is regarded as the "god of management" in Japan and created an extensive philosophy on which the company continues to heavily rely. Many employees really value his words and his legacy, and think it is great to have such values (fairness and honesty, gratitude, adaptability, etc.,) to fall back on in good times and bad.
    --Many days off!--24 sicks days plus many holidays!
    --As a foreigner totally new to the Japanese business world (though with experience living in Japan), I was thankful for all the kind coworkers who taught me things, explained things to me, etc. Many kind people willing to take the time.
    --Another pro (which can also be a con), is that, like most Japanese companies, Panasonic does not expect you to know anything going in. The idea is that they will train you over time in various roles in the company and as you gain more experience you will be promoted, etc.

    Cons

    The con of this, of course, is that it's incredibly one-size-fits-all, and so, unless you are an engineer or come in with special training of that sort, you will be placed in one group and moved around ever few years with very little regard to your individual strengths, preferences. etc.
    --Because of the lifetime employment model, where each employee is expected to be there until retirement, I had the unfortunate situation of being bored out of my mind. Everyone told me the first three years are hard and it gets better after that... but I felt like I was wasting my time so I left after the first year.
    --I was the only Western person in the entire building of 2,000 people. What surprised me the most was that, amidst the talk of how imperative it is for the company to globalize, so few people were interested in anything I had to say, suggest, etc.
    --You don't get to choose where you work, or in what field. I was assigned to the sales group in the AIS company, so I moved to Yokohama, but others who started with me were in Osaka working for other companies in Panasonic.
    --The bureaucracy is stifling. I bet that they could eliminate half of the tasks they do and still produce the same amount.
    --There are so many middle-level managers who either don't feel like they can change anything or do not want to change anything. Adhering to/falling back on the rules is so commonplace, I don't really understand how innovation happens. Probably very, very slowly, and almost always top-down.
    --The hierarchy. Some people didn't get into the elevator if the President of the company was in it. This is very Japanese. It isn't just Panasonic, it is probably any Japanese company of this size and with this history.
    --Best part of all--every morning at the beginning of the work day everyone stands up and sings the group song, the only line of which is "let's get together at Panasonic." I kid you not. And then someone gets up in front of each group of people and reads the company's Basic Management Objectives, with all the employees repeating after each line. I kid you not. It is not really a con, but it serves to illustrate how much Panasonic cherishes its history and traditional practices.
    --I personally felt like I had no opportunity to have any ideas I had see the light of day. It made me wonder why they brought in a foreigner like myself, just to have me sit at my desk feeling useless and bored, doing the occasional translation project. Not a good place to go to feel empowered, unless you are a 50 year old man or something.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't know if there is any advice I can give to management. All of the changes that need to take place are so huge and formidable. Okay, I will give it a shot.
    --Hire consultants (preferably not all Japanese, for a different perspective) to analyze the existing culture and help make in-depth and lasting changes toward a globalized, more liberal work environment.
    --Break down hierarchy, and make a more democratic workplace. As it is, I don't think the individual feels all that empowered to make a difference.
    --Hire an outside group to look at how the company treats women, and make an ACTIVE effort to seriously promote diversity, address bias, spark discussion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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