Gung Ho (1986) is such a wonderful film despite its biased depiction of the Japanese culture. The film gives the audience an opportunity to apply the four-frame model when trying to understand the process of change. The four frames, political, structural, symbolic, human resource have been amplified widely in the movie, giving the audience an ample to time of examining organizational change in the automobile plant. The film begins when an American worker, Michael Keaton goes to japan to find a buyer to help salvage a poorly performing local auto plant in his local town of Pennsylvania (Howard, 1986). Kazihiro, the new organizational leaders along with Keaton are charged with task of dealing with cultural conflicts between Americans and Japanese to help drive the needed change in the film.

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In a bid to change the fortunes of the poorly performing automobile plant, Kazihiro tries to employ the human resources frame by demanding from workers to work extra hours without proper remuneration and compensation. This becomes of the main reasons for conflict in the organization. Keaton, on the other hand, understands he understands the culture and needs of American workers; he uses this knowledge in a humane way to get them to giving their best (Gabbard, 2017). He also uses symbolic frame by sharing stories of how previous organizations excelled despite the turbulent times they faced.

Kazihiro uses the political frame in the film, as he tries to influence the Japanese culture on American workers. This would not have happened; the new leaders should not have used Keaton to impose his foreign culture on the Americans (Blanchard& Bowles, 2011). Instead, he should have learned first the American culture to blend in well with the workers.

Structurally, it is no doubt that Kazihiro understands well that the organization needs a pool of skilled work force, but his attempts to change everything at once is his undoing. For this reason, it would be ideal of Kazihiro would maintain the structural frame and reframe it gradually, by adopting human resource and symbolic frames (Bolman, 2003).

  • Bolman, L. G. (2003). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Howard, R. (Director). (1986). Gung Ho [Video file]. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from
  • Blanchard, K., & Bowles, S. (2011). Gung Ho! How to motivate people in any organisation. London: HARPER COLLINS.
  • Gabbard, G. W. (2017, August 22). On change and policy implementation [Course handout].