"We have 280,000 employees at the group, and less than 70,000 of those at the Japanese parent," says Mitsuo Kinoshita, executive VP of human resources.
The company has been taking steps to resolve the issue with alacrity. Materials that spell out "The Toyota Way" are distributed to workers. There is a school at the base of Mount Fuji, Japan to train foreign managers. The Global Production Center, which trains management handling the overseas plants, has expanded with branches for the North American and European markets. (Details are provided at the link.)
But the biggest issue is trusting foreign management to be more self-reliant, a tough proposition for this deeply-Japanese company. Says Kinoshita, "We're afraid of slipping, so we can't help but interfere. But we can't let this (stretched resources) go on much longer."