Japanese Culture Vs American Culture

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JAPANESE CULTURE Vs AMERICAN CULTURE TEAM I Diana P Ramesh R Sameer Chaubal Saurabh Singh Ferdinand J Deepak Chordia Venkatesh S Padmanabha G Johind M


GREETING Heightened sense of formality & professionalism. The bow is an integral part – meeting, getting attention, to show gratitude, to express sympathy or as an apology. Whilst doing business in Japan as a Westerner, you would not be expected to bow. You will most likely be greeted with a handshake combined with a slight nod of the head. Introduction – full name followed by your company name. Important to use proper titles when addressing someone.


EXCHANGING BUSINESS CARDS The exchanging of business cards – card is seen to represent the individual, so should be treated with respect. Before travelling to Japan, ensure you have ample cards and have one side translated into Japanese – include your position within the company on it. Offer card with both hands or just the right hand - with Japanese side up. Ensure there is no barrier between you and the recipient such as a table, chair or plant.  When accepting always use two hands as this shows deference.


COMMUNICATION Maintaining harmony – resulted in vague forms of expression. Clarify meanings, dig deeper for more information. Japanese - implicit communicators. "Say one, understand ten," i.e. you will be expected to understand nine additional points to every one made.


MEETINGS AND NEGOTIATIONS Team as opposed to an individual. Lesser ranking attendees will usually do the talking or negotiating.  Meetings usually take place for only one of three reasons- To build rapport To exchange information To confirm previously made decisions. Decisions are rarely made in a meeting. Group consensus is important. Very detail orientated. Like dealing with quiet, sincere and compromising individuals. Extroverts – seen as brash and arrogant. Silence is considered a virtue. Every meeting ends with food.


AMERICAN CULTURE Food and meals do not have the social significance found in many cultures. Family isn’t as important as in most cultures. Americans like change. American frequently change jobs and move. Employment is not tied to companies or industries or location. Getting ahead is usually done via changing jobs. Americans take pride in job achievements; i.e. my son the doctor. Most Americans actually pay their taxes. It's a legalistic society The understanding of other cultures is very low, as is the understanding of non-American history. There is little interest in foreign cultures in most areas of the country.


WORK Work comes first Being very clear in what is said Honesty is the best policy Logic rules over emotion Respecting the old guys Women are equal players Taboos: don’t go there Businessmen and sports Apt topics to talk about


APPEARANCE & BEHAVIOR Business suit and tie – Men Suit or dress with jacket – Women Gift giving – discouraged. A gracious written note is always appropriate and acceptable. An invitation for a meal or a modest gift is usually acceptable. If you are someplace with a line or queue, go to the end and wait your turn. Many public places and private homes do not allow smoking.


PROTOCOL Punctuality  Deadlines are strictly adhered to Famous for – individualism and diversity Negotiations and final decisions in the US are frequently made by one person who has chief authority Common for Americans to make clear distinctions between work colleagues and friends in their social life. Politeness.


NEGOTIATION American negotiators are selected based on their record of success Gender, age, and social class are not criteria for selection Individual characteristics are criteria for selection

HOW? : 

HOW? “Get the job done quick” Assess the situation and get results quickly Don’t spend too much time building relationships Message is conveyed through speech, not through gestures Time is money Set a schedule and prioritize Move through the process and control the time allotted Take risk Let the senior executive make the final decision Detailed contract will formalize negotiation




JAPANESE WOMEN Matrilineal prior to 15th century AD Confucianism, Buddhism, Samurai feudalism highly discriminatory to women Confucianism: “A woman is to obey her father as daughter, her husband as wife, and her son as aged mother.” Buddhism: “No salvation for a woman” Samurai feudalism: “A woman should look upon her husband as if he were heaven itself.”


JAPANESE ATTITUDE TO WORKING WOMEN Greater tendency to believe that women could be happy as full-time house-wives (especially the older women) Women are perceived as dependent and any display of independency is not welcomed by the society Working women were often given menial, secondary jobs and were often seen as “wallflowers” But in the household marriage changes the role of a woman – dominant with unquestioned authority, decision maker, controller of finances Mother-son relationship gives the son a taste for dependence Husband rarely at home


IMPEDIMENTS OF WOMEN TO PURSUE A CAREER Structure of Japanese Workplace Long work hours Accept transfers to different branches Less vacation days, unpaid overtime and company after hours Can fulfill cultural requirements and expectations without pursuing a career For working mothers: Constrained to fulfill expectations to take care of her child and husband


STATISTICS Women account for fewer than 0.8% of the CEOs at Japanese companies that have shares listed on the stock market. Just 3% of Japanese companies have a woman on their boards, vs. more than 86% for U.S. companies, according to Corporate Women Directors International


THE TOOTHLESS LAW Even with cases of blatant discrimination, lawsuits are rare – cultural aversion to litigation. Law includes no real punishment for companies that continue to discriminate. The worst that the Labor Ministry can do is to threaten to publish the names of violators, and the ministry has never done that.


AMERICAN WOMEN @ WORK Women comprised 46.5 percent of the total U.S. labor force. (2008) Women age 55 and over accounted for 18.2 percent of the total female labor force in 2008


STATISTICS 75% full-time jobs, 25% part-time. 38.5 million women aged 55 and over in the U.S. in 2008 – of these, 13.1 million were in the labor force. 1975 – International Women's Year UN General Assembly propounded by the US.


STATISTICS Women accounted for 50.8 percent of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. Outnumbered men – registered nurses insurance underwriters medical and health services managers social and community service managers human resource managers education administrators advertising and promotion managers accountants and auditors public relations managers budget analysts financial managers medical scientists By 2018, about 71 percent of men and 59 percent of women are expected to be in the labor force.


STATISTICS One survey of graduates carried out by Yale Law Women points to the growing numbers of women attorneys (25-35%) in American law firms. 13 is the number of female CEOs running the USA's largest 500 publicly traded companies. 1985, women held just 6.6 percent of all management jobs in Japanese companies and government, according to the ILO. 2005(long after the equal opportunity bill was passed in 1985), that number had risen to only 10.1 percent.




ERRORS COMMITTED Not sensitized to the Japanese style of engaging in new deals and decision making Wanted things to happen fast and in that one single meet Failed to build a relationship before coming to the point Curt in giving the specifics, got up and left which might have been perceived as lack of respect


ERRORS COMMITTED The hesitance of the translator/interpreter to follow suit after Oats had left should have been an indication that the meet was yet to be over Carol had directly approached a firm for a job as an attorney in a culture where women were rarely given critical jobs and were perceived as wallflowers and making tea

DOs : 

DOs DO address your American business colleagues with a title, such as “Dr”, “Ms”, “Mr”, or “Mrs”, and their last name when meeting someone for the first time. DO say “please” and “thank you” to everyone for even the smallest kindness. DO be prepared to partake in preliminary small talk with your American counterparts at the beginning of a business meeting

DOs : 

DOs Be punctual. Be professional. Treat women as equals. Be explicit in your views – be direct – don’t beat about the bush.


DON’TS DON’T expect all companies to be the same DON’T make any other form of physical contact such as hugging when greeting your American counterpart for the first time. DON’T be offended or surprised if your American colleagues cannot accept a gift.


DON’TS Don’t look to building relationships with people in the work place. Don’t be offended if your ideas are being criticized or disagreed to directly. Highly legalized society – resorts to courts for any problem.

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