Mid-level Managers in Japan’s multinational pharmaceutical companies seek greater guidance and global opportunities from senior managementFor a recent study, Morunda KK and the International Executive Search Federation (IESF) surveyed 72 Japanese managers working for European and American pharmaceutical companies in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The survey asked the participants to rank, on a scale from one to five, how important specific aspects of training and development were to them and to what degree their companies provided support and guidance (see Table 1, below).Our survey asked the participants to what degree they received mentoring, coaching, training, and support from their direct supervisors in senior management. We also asked this group of Japanese pharmaceutical managers how important it was for them to work as part of a global team, work on new products, or work in a new division.
Our findings show that the managers feel that their needs are being met in terms of coaching, training, and support from their direct managers. However, a gap seems to exist between what the managers are looking for and what their companies are providing, with regard to mentoring and support from senior management. Does this mean that senior directors need to be more hands-on with their managers? Are they spending too much time in their offices and not enough time in the trenches?
The most common request from our clients is for candidates who can work as a part of a global team. According to our survey, managers are looking for such opportunities but feel that they are not being provided such opportunities by their companies. Is this because the managers are not capable or because they are being overlooked for such positions?
In addition to their desire to be a part of a global team, managers suggest that they would like to work on new products and projects. Some companies simply do not have a large number of new products to launch and others are looking to reduce headcounts and allocate resources into business units focused on maintaining as much market share as possible for established, mature and off patent products.
In summary, the survey tells a positive story for mid-level managers, in terms of their immediate career needs, but suggests that more direction and leadership initiative should be taken by Directors, in order to provide support, career guidance and opportunities.