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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2009

Hiroko Noma

Literature and textbooks about intercultural communication and management often feature cultural differences rather than similarities. Japanese culture is frequently…

Abstract

Literature and textbooks about intercultural communication and management often feature cultural differences rather than similarities. Japanese culture is frequently distinguished in business and management contexts from Western culture. This process arguably leads to an overemphasis of the uniqueness of Japanese culture. A review of relevant literature, however, reveals that the tendency to overemphasise the uniqueness of Japanese culture is one shared by both Western and Japanese scholars. This paper discusses how the discourse has emerged in business and intercultural literature by tracing the influence of historical and economic factors. It also explores the implications of describing Japanese business culture in relation to practices in the West for both managers and students internationally. International students of business, who are grappling with intercultural communication literature as it pertains to Japan and the West, need to engage in critical ways with the discourse adopted in the literature. The intention therefore of the paper is to illuminate how a “differences‐focused” approach in texts could promote a stereotypical and potentially facile view of Japanese culture rather than one that encourages a more meaningful and informed understanding that appreciates the context in which the uniqueness of Japanese culture has hitherto been presented.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2007

Xinjian Li and Martin Putterill

To identify characteristics of Japanese business culture that differ from China, particularly in the dimensions of ‘high context’ versus ‘low context’’ and collectivism…

Abstract

Purpose

To identify characteristics of Japanese business culture that differ from China, particularly in the dimensions of ‘high context’ versus ‘low context’’ and collectivism versus individualism.

Design/methodology/approach

Application of the concepts in cross‐culture research suggested by Hall (1976), Hofstede (1980) and Trompenaar and Hampden‐Turner (1998) and on the base of comprehensive field visits and observation undertaken in China and Japan over the past several years.

Findings

The Japanese culture can be characterized as highly tacit and group‐centered, whereas Chinese culture is more explicit and individualistic.

Research limitations/implications

Arguably the absence of a large body of supporting data represents a limitation in the methodology of this article. Future survey based research and further conceptualization on different kinds of collectivisms and individualisms will supplement this article.

Practical implications

Very useful advice in aspects of communication, human relations management, recruitment, and management control systems for international business management developing business opportunities in Japan and China.

Originality/value

This article elucidates the differences in business culture between Japan and China and shows to the global business community that a differentiated view of international business management in Japan and China is necessary.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Fu Jia, Ruihong Gao, Richard Lamming and Richard Wilding

This paper aims to identify problems caused by cultural differences between Japan and China that face supply chain managers by applying Japanese-style supply management…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify problems caused by cultural differences between Japan and China that face supply chain managers by applying Japanese-style supply management practices within supply networks in China and present solutions to this problem.

Design/methodology/approach

A single, longitudinal case study conducting two waves of data collection (i.e. interviews and observation) plus the collection of much archival data was performed. It goes beyond the dyad by examining supply management of a Japanese company’s supply chain up to three tiers in China.

Findings

The four supply cultural differences between Japan and China, which caused the cultural clashes between JVCo and some of its suppliers were revealed and a model of adaptation of Japanese supply management to the Chinese business system was developed. Adaptation involves creating new supply management practices out of selective adaptation, innovation and change of existing Japanese and Chinese supply management practices rooted in different Japanese, Chinese and Western cultures. A list of organisational factors affecting the adaptation has also been provided.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the adoption of a single case study method, caution should be given to generalising the findings to all Japanese firms.

Practical implications

The Japanese, Chinese and Western managers were provided with insights on how to mitigate the problems caused by cultural differences within supply relationships in China and some innovative ideas on how managers from all three cultures could blend the elements of the three cultures to form a hybrid culture and reduce cultural clashes.

Originality/value

This is one of the few attempts to study the transfer of Japanese supply management practice to China. Organizational theory (i.e. transfer of organizational practice and hybridization) is applied and provides a robust framework to explain the supply management practice. This study also answers the call for a global supplier relationship management paradigm.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

Kathryn Campbell

The paper makes several linked proposals. First, women in North America have been socialized towards a subculture distinct and separate from the male culture which…

Abstract

The paper makes several linked proposals. First, women in North America have been socialized towards a subculture distinct and separate from the male culture which dominates the formal business economy. When we discuss women in management, we need to understand women as defined by their culture and not just their gender. Secondly, the subculture in which most North American women have been reared is shown to share many traits and characteristics with the eminently successful Japanese business culture. The Mary Kay Cosmetics Company is presented as a case study of a self‐professed feminist using management techniques comparable to those used by Japanese men. Next, examples of culturally‐based management paradigms (the indigenous North American and the polychronic Oriental) are discussed to extend the debate that culture is a more predictive parameter than gender when categorizing management behaviour. As well, the rewards of cross‐cultural comparison are noted. Finally, multicultural sensitivity rather than melting‐pot assimilation is recommended as beneficial for the individual woman, for the organization, and for society as a whole.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 10 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Naoko Oikawa and John F. Tanner

Explains that American managers often find negotiating with theirJapanese counterparts extremely difficult and frustrating due to a lackof understanding of the Japanese

Abstract

Explains that American managers often find negotiating with their Japanese counterparts extremely difficult and frustrating due to a lack of understanding of the Japanese negotiation style in particular and of the Japanese language and culture in general. Describes key features of the Buyer/Seller relationship as it is in Japan′s “vertical” society, later explaining the four stages of Japanese negotiation and post‐negotiation formalities. Emphasizes that Americans must not try to negotiate using their own negotiation practices, since this will make Japanese feel unduly pressured and the negotiations will be unsuccessful ‐success can only come if Americans learn to operate within the Japanese culture.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Cassandra Seow‐Ling Yee, Setsuo Otsuka, Kieran James and Jenny Kwai‐Sim Leung

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the impact that Japanese culture has on the budgeting process, using insights gained from the literature and from a single company…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the impact that Japanese culture has on the budgeting process, using insights gained from the literature and from a single company small‐sample pilot study. It provides a research agenda which links specific aspects of Japanese culture to predictions about Japanese groups' budgetary, performance evaluation and variance investigation practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a detailed literature review of the relevant literature in accounting, education and sociology, which considers how Japanese culture systematically differs from Western culture, and a small‐sample pilot study.

Findings

It was found that the Singaporean subsidiary of the Japanese MNC studied uses common Japanese budgeting practices, as previously documented by Ueno and Sekaran. Line managers are rewarded based on overall actual company‐wide profit, consistent with the Japanese collectivist group‐orientation which is itself a product of Confucianism. Although variances are used to rectify operational problems on a timely basis, line managers are not rewarded for outperforming the budget – the budget is a stick, but there is no offsetting carrot. An interviewed line manager (Chinese Singaporean, Purchasing) expressed mixed feelings about the current reward system and a preference for rewards based on outperforming his own budgetary target. This observation is consistent with some research in the educational literature suggesting that the Chinese tend to be less collectivist than the Japanese.

Originality/value

As a literature review the paper provides a synthesis of a diverse variety of sources. The literature review and pilot study findings add to the accounting literature by studying in greater detail than prior studies exactly how and why Japanese culture characteristics will and should affect budgetary practice. The paper should be of special value and interest to higher‐degree and early‐career researchers.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 23 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Om P. Kharbanda and Ernest A. Stallworthy

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management,the engineering manager has a crucial role to play. The history of theengineer is reviewed and his/her…

Abstract

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management, the engineering manager has a crucial role to play. The history of the engineer is reviewed and his/her possible present role in management is considered. Management objectives are outlined and defined and the specific role of the engineer emphasised. The best managers are leaders, in particular effective leaders of teams, and this is a management task well within the grasp of the engineer. The engineer′s specific training and initial experience give him/her special qualifications in this area. Indeed, there seems to be no reason why the engineer should not climb the management ladder right to the top, especially these days when technology is continually growing in importance. The demands made on the effective chief executive are outlined. It would seem that engineering management has come of age and that with the appropriate management training the engineer should be well capable of filling a senior management role.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

David Paper, Ray Chang and James A. Rodger

The purpose of the research is to explore the role of creativity (in business process improvement paradigms) among Japanese organizations and US organizations. Although…

Abstract

The purpose of the research is to explore the role of creativity (in business process improvement paradigms) among Japanese organizations and US organizations. Although US and Japanese organizations may use differently terminology, the general idea of process improvement (to add value to products and/or services that exceed customer expectations) is embraced by both. What is not clear is the way in which organizations in the two countries implement change. Eight organizations participated in the study: four organizations from Japan and four from the US. Results of the study revealed that US organizations tend to desire faster change to improve performance. They want to adopt state‐of‐the‐art methodologies and invest heavily in technology to transform their organizations quickly. In contrast, Japanese organizations prefer incremental change as it conforms to their culture and way of life. However, US organizations are beginning to realize that process improvement is greatly enhanced by changing the culture of the work place. Moreover, Japanese organizations are realizing that individual creativity is very important for future competitiveness in the world marketplace.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Naoki Kameda

Japanese business people face a unique situation in figuring out if and how to incorporate the use of e‐mail in their business practices. While e‐mail has many advantages…

Abstract

Japanese business people face a unique situation in figuring out if and how to incorporate the use of e‐mail in their business practices. While e‐mail has many advantages as a tool or corporate communication, Japanese people seem not to fully enjoy such advantages because of their language habits. E‐mail was born and developed in the US, and when we look into the reason, we can see why it collides with Japanese business customs and the language habits of Japanese. In e‐mail no immediate response from the receiver is expected, as it is in speech. In order to write effective e‐mail, one should put oneself in the shoes of the recipient.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Stephanie Slater and Matthew J. Robson

The purpose of this paper is to explain the culture‐driven role and effects of social capital in Japanese‐Western alliances. The authors move beyond narrow…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the culture‐driven role and effects of social capital in Japanese‐Western alliances. The authors move beyond narrow conceptualizations of relationship bonding (i.e. positive socio‐psychological aspects such as trust and commitment) to explore the broader role of social capital (e.g. in destructive act recovery processes) in such alliances.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual paper adopts a theory development approach.

Findings

The authors advance a process model and propositions that explain the way social capital networks and processes influence relationship‐based contracting and performance outcomes in alliances with the Japanese.

Research limitations/implications

The study assists international marketers in their efforts to overcome cultural barriers to success in Japanese‐Western alliance relationships.

Practical implications

It can be argued that erosion of Japanese business culture potentially clouds the picture for implementing governance through social capital. The study furnishes managers with an understanding of how to take the cultural context of the partnership into account to build appropriate and productive social capital with Japanese partners.

Originality/value

The study is novel in addressing the issue of how to implement relational bonding mechanisms in complex cultural situations. As a result of cultural erosion, different types of Japanese partner, eroded versus traditional, may require different alliance screening and management strategies.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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