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Rivalry With Japan

July 05, 1987

Warren Bennis' June 14 column ("Japan's Business Prowess More Myth Than Reality") struck me as a lengthy regurgitation of previously published opinions barely underscored with any supporting data.

I am not arguing with Bennis' comments, which I believe are generally accurate, nor do I feel compelled to point out already widely denounced Japanese economic and business practices. My source of dissatisfaction with more business press commentary on this subject is the total lack of significant discussion related to measures that Americans can implement to correct at least the shortcomings Bennis cited.

Now that the "Search for Excellence" wave has crashed on the American business beachhead and the last vestiges have disappeared into the sands, what can we do to create the climate in which competitive excellence flourishes? What economic structures, what penalties and rewards can be erected that promote the kind of behavior that we so frequently insist we desire?

We need to move beyond a recital of our transgressions and focus on constructive activities to improve our international competitive posture.

EDWARD L. PAQUETTE

Whittier

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