Atrae: Human Resources with Humanity
Atrae Inc. was a Japanese software firm providing platform matching services for job recruitment in the software engineering industry. As compared to traditional Japanese firms, Atrae adopted a unique approach to managing its employees. Instead of the rigid hierarchy and top-down management approach that typified a Japanese firm, Atrae had a flat organizational structure and heavily relied on decentralized decision-making and individual motivation. The company's unique culture was viewed as a key driver of its business success-success that the company's founder and chief executive officer wanted to advance with a public listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, while the public listing would allow Atrae to grow substantially, it would also necessitate formal organizational checks and balances that could harm the company's organizational culture. Would a public listing propel Atrae to greater heights or would it result in the company's demise? Joel Goh is affiliated with National University of Singapore.