ABSTRACT

As Americans grapple with their tradition of the cognitive scope of public education, the Japanese school has sometimes been held up as a model by those who wish to see a more whole person-oriented education in American schools (Lewis 1995). Moreover, this Japanese and American pattern has relevant consequences for other organizational contexts as well, notably the workplace. For example, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), in their attempt to formulate a new corporate model, imply that Western companies have tended to rely on Cartesian dualism, which divides subject and object, mind and body, and relies excessively on explicit (rational and intellectual) knowledge, which has led them to underestimate the importance of tacit irrational and experience-based knowledge. According to these authors, there are definite advantages to adopting a more synthesized approach, a Japanese type of whole person approach, which brings together mind and body, other and self. Incorporating both experience and intuition can provide for a dynamic interplay between the tacit and explicit to formulate new knowledge.