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Global Business Cultural Analysis

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This research paper looks into the cultural of the Japanese. The dimensions of culture to go over Japan’s history, religion, communication, and so forth, alongside Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture to determine the Japanese culture to that of the American culture. Also, this paper touches on the how business practices are conducted here in the United States and Japan. There were four questions that made up this research paper that helped to define culture, and how it impacts each country and there business practices. Those questions were: what are the major elements and dimensions of culture in this region; how are these elements and dimensions integrated by locals conducting business in the nation; how do both of the above items compare with US culture and business; what are the implications for United States businesses that wish to conduct business in that region?

Each question was referred to as a topic and then subtopics helped to give a better look inside the countries in order give detailed information in order to answer each question. By doing so it helps to give a better understanding of the culture, the implications that the countries have to go through when doing business and how to make better business relationships in order for a prosperous and excelled growth of the company and relationship. In the end, there was a well designated difference in the comparison in the two countries in culture, communication, ethical practices. But by being so different it gives both Japan and the United States an idea of how both countries need to understand each other in order to make careful business decisions for their corporations.

The objective of this paper is to make a comparison between the culture of the United States, and that of Japan. By doing so and answering four specific questions: What are the major elements and dimensions of culture in this region, how are these elements and dimensions integrated by locals conducting business, how do both of the above items compare with US culture and business, and what are the implications for US businesses that wish to conduct business in that region? Throughout the study, not only will the culture of the Japanese be discussed but how they conduct business and how they go about making sure that all customs and traditions are not broken when doing so. While looking into the cultural side of this country, each dimension of culture which are categorized by communication, religion, ethics, values and attitudes, manners, customs, social structures and organizations, and education (Satterlee, 2009).

Also, throughout the discussion of the research paper an in-depth look into to Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture will be broken down. Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture is categorized into five dimensions: Individualism vs. Collectivism, Masculinity vs. Femininity, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation. Hofstede’s information will compare his results of Japan’s cultural and business side to that of the United States. In the end, this research paper will give an interpretive insight of Japan’s country and how its business practices compare to that of the United States, and conclude how both countries have to make sure not to offend one another’s culture.

What are the major elements and dimensions of culture in this region?
This topic will go over the dimensions of culture and give a descriptive detail of Japan’s culture. It will discuss the components that make up culture and what makes each country different from one another. Each culture has a story to tell behind how it became to be the country it is, and what sets them apart from another on a global scale. Although some countries do have similar characteristics; no two countries will have the same cultural outlook.

Dimensions of Culture
Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, beliefs, values, religion, customs, and mores acquired by a group of people and passed on from generation to generation (Balsmeier & Heck, 1994). The dimension of culture may also be characterized as communication (verbal and nonverbal), religion, ethics, values and attitudes, manners, customs, social structures and organizations, and education (Satterlee, 2009). For global managers, in order to not offend the culture of a country they must make sure they are knowledgeable in all of these areas in a business sense. By being knowledgeable can make for positive business deals and growth.

Communication can be broken down into two parts: verbal and non-verbal. Communication is defined as a process of circular interaction, which involves a sender, receiver, and message (Balsmeier & Heck, 1994). Communication is a vital part of life, and can also be difficult because of different developmental timelines of the societies composing of these cultures (Stump, 2011). Communication between two cultures can be awkward if professionals do not conduct proper research. Cross-cultural and cross-language barriers exacerbate the misunderstandings that arise when trying to communicate a message (Satterlee, 2009). Cultural values influence linguistic styles in communication and how individuals understand messages, the meanings they have for their messages, and the conditions under which messages may or may not be sent, noticed and interpreted (Petlokorpi & Clausen, 2010). A number of communication barriers (relativism, ethnocentrism, stereotypes, lack of knowledge, and understanding of other cultures, discriminatory beliefs – harassment, and language differences) exist when interacting with people from cultures other than your own (Williams, Krizan, Logan & Merrier, 2011).

Nonverbal communication is verified as gestures made with one’s body language and facial expressions. American non-verbal communication differs significantly from that of other cultures (Kirch, 1979). Global professionals should study the body language requirements of the culture before arrival in that culture and the use inappropriate body language could be costly to any multi-national corporation (Satterlee, 2009). Communication can be a deal breaker for any organization if it is not used or interpreted incorrectly. Global managers must make sure that they and their employees are correctly, but that they are keeping up with new and different cultural patterns as times tend to change.

Over the centuries, religion has constantly developed creating new and different ways of finding the truth of evolution, mankind, and then some. Religion has several different categorical backgrounds such as: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Shinto. The term can be misunderstood amongst different cultures (Satterlee, 2009). Globalization changes and re-orders the social contexts in which people act and that define their identity – including their religious identity (Sengers, 2009). Sengers suggests that there are three themes for religion globalization: secularization, organization, and identities and boundaries. He notes that the theme of secularization has been constantly argued by authors over globalization and religion and that it is no longer useful in order to explain religion in today’s society. Organization has sociological studies that are carried with western-Christian ideas of religion however other religions have different ways of organizing in global society (Sengers, 2009). Lastly, identities and boundaries suggest that the globalization changes and re-orders the social contexts in which people act including their religious identity (Sengers, 2009).

Ethics is known as the moral concept when conducting business practices. Consumer ethics is the study of what constitutes right or wrong conduct in consumer behavior (Swaidan, 2012). Each country is known for their own business practices and ethics and what may be considered moral in some countries might not be the same for others. Some firms have employed consultants and experts to teach corporate (Satterlee, 2009). Nonetheless, whether the business is small, large, multinational, or domestic; all of the employees have an obligation to be morally responsible to the business and community but the moral obligation must first start with that person.

Values and Attitude
Values and attitude is something that can define someone, but is different throughout individuals and a society’s culture. They are learned behaviors that start at childhood through cognitive and environmental influences in the person’s. A person’s value’s is just as important as their morals and beliefs of what may be right or wrong. They are a basis for developing social norms and decision making (Satterlee, 2009). However, attitude is something of another matter. In a business setting, how an employer treats his employees can make for an either good or poor employee. Things that can affect a person’s attitude in the work environment could be pay and incentives, time, benefits, and so forth. Dimensional Culture of Japan

History of Japan
Japan is an archipelago – a large group or chain of islands – country formed of four large islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and about more than 3,000 small islands. It is known as the “Land of the Sun” hence the rising sun on the country’s flag (Jandt, 2006). Japanese legend maintains that Japan was founded in 600 BC by the Emperor Jimmu, a direct descendant of the sun goddess and ancestor of the present ruling imperial family (“Japan: History,” ). There are two key points that characterize Japan’s history and another two that helped to revolutionize the country which seems to go hand in hand. The ability to adapt to imported culture and technology to the traditional culture and it’s 10,000 years of history is what shaped the country’s background (Jandt, 2009); while the adoption of the Chinese writing system in 405 AD and the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century revolutionized the culture (“Japan: History,”). This example shows that long before business practices and multinational corporations; Japan has always been willing to learn and adapt for the greater good of its country.

Because Japan’s history and culture is built upon itself, it is known to be homogeneous – composed of parts or elements that are all of the same kind – culture. Due to its nature as an archipelago country, there were not many outside influences; this could explain as to why the Japanese believed that their race was one of a kind. However, later on in time, though still very much a predominately Japanese culture, a very small percentage of its population is made up of Koreans, Chinese, and the native Ainu (Jandt, 2009). This small change in population and culture over time helped to bring about other religions, customs, values, and mannerisms to the country.

Religion in the country isn’t big part to the lives of the people; however, this excludes that elderly who practice their faith (Jandt, 2006). Although, Japan is slightly diversed in population, a great deal of the population believes in different religion. To break down, 83.9% believe in Shintoism, 71.4% in Buddhism, 2% in Christianity, and 7.8% believe in some other form of religion (“Japan: Introduction,”). Shintoism is an ancient Japanese religion that originated circa 500 BC. Its name is derived from the Chinese words “shin tao” which means “The Way of the Gods” (Satterlee, 2009). Almost all of the Japanese born are to be Shinto. There are three types of Shino: Popular Shinto, Sect Shinto, and State Shinto. Popular Shinto believes that it is to strength the home. The people who practice Sect Shinto believe in reincarnation to humanity as service to God.

Lastly, State Shinto was taught to believe that the Japanese race is above all other races. However, the State Shinto was abolished in 1945 after the Second World War. Shinto has three dimensions: worship of the Gods of Japan, loyalty to Japan, and cultivation of a pure Japanese spirit (Jandt, 2009). Buddhism first came to Japan in the 6th century from Korea. The teachings of the religion are based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Gautama preached his religious views his entire life throughout South Asia with five principles of Buddhism (Satterlee, 2009). The five principles of Buddhism are as followed: Kill no living thing, do not steal, do not commit adultery, tell no lies, and do not drink intoxicant or take any drugs. The religion also has other principles; however they only apply to monks and nuns (Satterlee, 2009). Christianity was introduced to japan in 1549 by a Jesuit missionary. Although the population that practice Christian is less than five percent. The Japanese that practice a Christian lifestyle has made moral codes and ethics a part of their life (Jandt, 2009).

To conclude, the history of Japan helps to give an understanding of its culture and how it came to be the country it is today. How it has learned to adapt to outside cultures in a technological stance and thrive as a water country makes for good reason as to why businesspeople from different countries would want to the country and do business.

How Are These Elements and Dimensions Integrated By Locals Conducting Business?
This topic will give an in-depth look into Geert Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture. Hofstede’s Dimension of culture determines how a society is in managerial sense. Each dimension represents how close an individual might be to others, or whether or not the country is passive or aggressive. After reading the information and understanding, the study will then discuss Hofstede’s determination of Japan. Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture

Dr. Geert Hofstede, a Dutch management researcher is known for his study on cultural dimensions. He conducted a comprehensive study of how culture influences values in the workplace (Satterlee, 2009). In 1980, the Dutch management researcher Geert Hofstede first published the results of his study of more than 100,000 employees of the multinational IBM in 40 countries (Jandt, 2009). In Hofstede’s original study data was collected from a large multinational business corporation (IBM) with subsidiaries in 64 countries (Bergiel & Bergiel & Upson, 2012). He developed four theories and later added a fifth one and the results of Hofstede’s research led to the development of his models of Cultural Dimensions: Individualism, Masculinity, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-Term Orientation (Soare & Farhangmehr & Shoham, 2007).

Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualism is defined as individuals that take care of themselves and their immediate families only while on the other hand collectivism, represents a tightly-knit society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for loyalty (“The hofstede centre:,” ). There are four factors that help to determine a cultures society: wealth, geography, birth rates, and history. The wealth factory demonstrates a strong relationship between a nation’s wealth and individualism. The geography is moderate and cold climates tend to show more individualism (Jandt, 2009). The birth rate factor shows that countries with higher birth rates tend to be collectivist. The history factor notes that Confucian countries are collectivist. Migrants from Europe who populated North America, Australia, and New Zealand tended to be sufficiently individualist to leave their native countries (Jandt, 2009).

Masculinity vs. Femininity
Hofstede’s determination of masculine societies is those value achievement and success and in feminine countries the society is more caring for others and values quality of life (Soare & Farhangmehr & Shoham, 2007). For both men and women that live within this society, it is important to that the traits apply to both women and men in ambitious and competitive in masculine cultures, and both women and men learn to be modest in feminine cultures (Jandt, 2009).

Power Distance
This dimension expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally (“The hofstede centre,”). The influence of this dimension suggests that hierarchy and dependence relationships are in a family and in some organizational contexts (Soare & Farhangmehr & Shoham, 2007). In the article, Dimensions of Culture; author Fred Jandt had this to say about high power distance cultures and countries: “In high power distance cultures, children are expected to be obedient toward parents versus being treated more or less as equals… people are expected to display respect for those of higher status. Power distance also refers to the extent to which power, prestige, and wealth are distributed within a culture. Cultures with high power distance have power and influence concentrated in the hands of a few rather than distributed throughout the population. These countries tend to be more authoritarian and may communicate in a way to limit interaction and reinforce the differences between people.”

Uncertainty Avoidance
Uncertainty avoidance refers to “The extent to which people feel threatened by uncertainty and ambiguity and try to avoid these situations” which deals with the need for well-defined rules for prescribed behavior (Soare & Farhangmehr & Shoham, 2007). Cultures that are strong in uncertainty avoidance are described as being active, aggressive, emotional, compulsive, security seeking, and intolerant; while those that are weak are contemplative, less aggressive, unemotional, relaxed, accepting of personal risks, and relatively tolerant (Jandt, 2009). Countries exhibiting strong uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior, however, those that are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. The weak uncertainty avoidance societies maintain more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles (“The hofstede centre:,”).

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation
In 1987, Michael H. Bond and a group of others decided to extend Hofstede’s work by adding a new dimension that was labeled Confucian work dynamism. Confucian countries would be considered Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The work of this dimension was published in the Chinese Culture Connection (Jandt, 2009). Confucianism began over 2,000 years, and developed over time through the Classical Confucian, the Neo-Confucian, the reformist Confucian, and the Modern Confucian (Lin & Ho, 2009). Hofstede suggests that the Long-Term Orientation is has the ability to adapt to traditions, change conditions, a strong ability to save and invest, and achieve along with other traits (“The hofstede centre,”).

Hofstede’s Determination of the Japanese Culture
After reviewing Hofstede’s determination of the Japanese culture. While looking over the dimensions, Hofstede’s determination states that the Japanese culture has a collectivist and masculine society. Also, to state Japan is slightly high on the power distance index and is listed to be one of the highest on the uncertainty avoidance index. Lastly, as a Confucian country as listed from Bond’s research back in 1987; Japan has a high long-term orientation. For each dimension, will discuss how and why came to the conclusion and what helped to bring him to determine each one. Because Japan is high in long-term orientation, in corporations there are high rates of investment. In times of economic difficulties rates of capital increase with the intention to cause steady growth of market shares versus quarterly profits (“The hofstede centre,’). The purpose of this is to show that the companies are not only to serve the shareholders, but also its stake holders and society (The hofstede centre,”).

As discussed previously, collectivism countries are close-knit societies in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for loyalty. One of the major factors of Japan as a collectivist society was to provide full employment to its citizens (Bergiel & Bergiel & Upson, 2012). Japan has also been labeled as a paternalistic society; this means that the family name and assets is passed down from the father to the eldest son. Another major fact that Hofstede noted in his determination of the Japanese society is that the culture is experienced as collectivistic society by Western standards and experienced as an individualistic by Asian standards due to the fact are the Japanese are more private and reserved (“The hofstede centre,”). From the information gathered from Japan as a collectivist society as to how assets and the family name is passed down from the father to the eldest son; it is easy to determine that Japan is a very masculine society as well.

There is a theory of gender socialization provides a framework that effects of gender on attitude (Yamawaki, 2010). Hofstede’s dimension states that from a young age, children learn to compete in sports for their groups (“The hofstede centre,”). Hofstede study from 1980 determined that women’s social role deemed to be less from culture to culture than men’s (Jandt, 2009). Japanese are known for their loyalty to their companies. Being that the Japan is a collectivistic culture and the society is loyal to their inner group by birth. These inner groups can extend to immediate and extended family and their local community (“The hofstede culture,”). Power Distance from Hofstede’s determination is slightly over fifty. This is due to the fact that Japan is a hierarchical. Hofstede believes that power distance is learned early in families. In high power distance cultures, children are expected to be obedient toward parents versus being treated more or less as equals (Jandt, 2009). In a business setting, some tend to believe that Japan is highly hierarchical because they tend to make slow decision making process.

Although the decisions are not made at the discretion of the business partner, in Japan all decision have to be confirmed by each hierarchical layer and then finally the top management (“The hofstede centre, “). On Hofstede’s scale for determining Japan’s score for his uncertainty avoidance index; Japan is one of the highest scoring a 92. Japan is vulnerable to this because of it is an archipelago country. This is because of the fact that the country is constantly threatened by natural disasters from earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons to volcano eruptions (“The hofstede centre,”). Another thing that should be taken into consideration is the possible cause of change is that manufacturers are leaving Japan. Due to the fact that manufacturers are leaving the country; Japan has limited job opportunities domestically and has effectively made Japan a “one-shot society” (Bergiel & Bergiel & Upson, 2012). Every corporation wants to be able to motivate all of their employees so that they can meet productivity and keep turn over at an extreme low.

Japan is no different when it comes to motivating their employees. As stated before Japan is a very masculine society. In the workplace it is no different. Employees are motivated when they are fighting in a winning team against their competitors. However, it is still hard for women manage to hit the glass ceiling in the workplace even though they work just as hard and put in many hours (“The hofstede centre,”).

How Do Both Of The Above Items Compare With US Culture and Business?
This topic will compare all of the given information that we just learned about Japan to that of the United States. Thing that should be taken into discussion will be ethics, religion, and communication. This information will help to form a comparison. Also, the information from Hofstede’s Dimension of Culture will play into this topic helping to form a comparative analysis of the Japanese culture to that of the United States of how both countries may coincide with each other.

Communication in the United States is a mixture of so many different things. As a country that is made of so many different ethnicities, how people communicate with one another may differ depending on relationship and so forth. Many people are born learning two or more languages. This could be due to the fact that they have parents from an outside country that came to the United States in hopes of a better opportunity. Some choose to learn another language because of the positive effects it can have on their life in a career sense.

In the United States, everyone has their say as to what religion they choose to believe in if for any reason they believe in religion at all. There are many different views of religion. In a formal breakdown 51.3% of the population are Protestant, 23.9% are Roman Catholic, 1.7% are Mormon, 1.6%, believe in some other form of Christianity, while 1.7% are Jewish, 0.7% are Buddhist, 0.6% are Muslim. Another 2.5% are unspecified, 12.1% are unaffiliated, and lastly 4% do not practice any form of religion at all (“United states: Introduction,” ). This is due to the separation of church and state. This means that in no way can the United States government tell a person what religion that can practice in the sanctity of their home. Because a person may practice a religion different from someone they may know, it may be safe to suggest that people’s morals and values differ from one another.

The ethics of the United States is a topic that maybe determined differently from one person to another. Although everyone is born with the moral sense of what is right and wrong, a person may be able to determine how they may want to deal with a situation. In a business culture, they are many different ways a person may be able to handle an ethical situation. Even though a person may be in charge of a company, have great benefits, some may choose to steal from the company and its shareholders.

Hofstede’s Determination of the American Culture
After reviewing the dimensions of the United States, the finding concluded that Japan and the United States were similar in some areas but very different in others. Both countries show characteristics of being masculine and having a low power distance. However, the United States is considered to be individualistic, with a short-term orientation, and low uncertainty avoidance. America is known to be an individualistic country because of the society’s idea to look out for one’s personal well-being and their immediate family. Because the country is not as tight niched as that of Japan, it makes the country more prone to doing business with any and every one. However, Hofstede noted in his findings of the American culture is that in the business world, employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiative. Also, within the exchange-based world of work, hiring and promotion decisions are based on merit or evidence of what one has done or can do (“The hofstede centre,”).

As stated before, both countries are considered to be masculine societies. Hofstede’s determination that the United States was a masculine country was similar to his findings of the Japanese culture, but not completely the same. Although both are masculine, the United States is not as high up on this chart as Japan. Though it is very competitive and assertive, the American culture is also thoughtful and caring. Whether it is a school, work, and play setting they are all based on shared values that people share by telling others “to be all that you can be”, and to “always strive to reach your goals”. For Americans, success and achievements in their lives are greatly appreciated and noticed in one’s life. This also includes hiring and promotions in the workplace (The hofstede centre,”). The power distance index puts the United States at a 40. Hofstede’s determination for America’s low score is due to its consideration of its underscore of its statement “liberty and justice for all.” This is focused on the idea that there are equal rights in all aspects of American society and government (“The hofstede centre”,).

In American businesses, hierarchy is known to be a convenience. Supervisors are known to be on hand for managers in middle management and the same for low-level employees and their teams. All employees are asked to keep communication open with all employees making whether it be informal, direct, or participative (“The hofstede centre,”). The United States at one point was considered high on the uncertainty avoidance index. This was due to the culture being risk-seeking. However, this recently decreased due to the decline of the stock market, the decline in the housing market and recession of 2007-2009 (Bergiel & Bergeil & Upson, 2012). With that much financial “disaster” it caused more Americans to want to invest in better options in order to help them see a better return on their financial endeavors. The United States is always looking for the next new big thing with innovative products whether it happens to be technological, business practices, or restaurants. Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions from anyone and allow the freedom of expression (“The hofstede centre,”).

With a very diverse culture, the United States is rated at a 29 on the long-term orientation scale therefore making it short-term. Hofstede defines it as “dealing with a society search for virtue.” Also, businesses are measured on a short-term basis. This means a profitable loss or gain in its market (The hofstede centre,”). Overall, all of these facts tie into each other. Each traits plays hand in hand when understanding how a country determines another’s society and values. This also plays out when countries decide to do business in a foreign country. Before they can want to do business outside of their own domestic territory; the CEO of that business must first take into consideration what it is that he or she might have to take into accountability in order to be successful and thrive on an international and maybe even multinational level.

What Are The Implications For US Businesses That Wish To Conduct Business In That Region?
Lastly, this topic of the paper will discuss how the United States should go about doing business in Japan. This part of the discussion helps to make sense of how the United States has to make sure that when they are looking to expand their business and or take on a partner from. By doing so Americas have to take into consideration all of these facts of culture that were discussed so that they can have a clear understanding as to how to work together for the greater good for the business.

In 2002, Japan was determined to be the have the world’s second largest Gross Domestic Product. Although, the country is surrounded completely by water, it works to keep up with technological advances that are going on in the world by adapting. By doing so it keeps them the country on top because it can export the things that they produce and generate value for the country.

How America Conducts Business in Japan
In order for any country to conduct business outside of their own they must first understand the culture and be sensitive to the customs, ethics, values, and communication in that country. For the United States to conduct business in a country like Japan, they have to be cultural sensitive to the environment. Because of the traditional values of Japan, and values relationships; in order for a country like the United States to thrive in this country they have to be willing to build relationships and be knowledgable of communicating, values, and traditions.

Communication is a major part in the business aspect of the country. As stated before communication is broken down into two parts: verbal and non-verbal. Also, communication can differ from one country to the other depending on whether the country is considered to be a high-context or low-context. High-context countries place a high value on relationships and favor indirect communication when conducting business. Also, these cultures assign more meaning to shared history, nonverbal signals, and the context of the message (Williams, Kizan, Logan & Merrier, 2012). On the other hand, low-context countries suggest that they value productivity, prefer direct communication, and give minimal attention to building relationships. They prefer to communicate directly, getting straight to the matter at hand when sending messages (Williams, Kizan, Logan & Merrier, 2012). Japan is known as a high-context country.

As an example, in Japan, letters often begin with a comment about the season of the year, which is followed by compliments of prosperity within the firm, the health of the reader, gratitude for past business. After that point, the sender then proceeds with the business at hand (Johnston, 1980). The United States on the other hand is considered a low-context culture. In the United States, as stated before business letters are direct and to the point, sending the receiver a clear and to concise messages as to what it is that they are inquiring or notifying that person about. In face to face meetings business etiquette is important. Although, the Japanese are aware of Western culture in a business setting, it is important for very important that Americans in the situation understand what is proper business etiquette. In the United States, businesspeople greet each other with a firm handshake and also making sure that throughout the meeting eye contact is made.

However, in Japan it is more traditional to bow than to shake hands as a sign of respect. In every situation, the first impression is the most important for meeting someone that you may not know. For the Japanese first impressions are everything and a being understanding can determine which way the meeting will go. It is also important that when going into these meeting that a businessperson is sure to give a business card to everyone they meet (Bradley, 2001). Also, business leaders should only provide important documents to the senior Japanese executives at the beginning of a meeting, because if leaders don’t follow these protocols the Japanese executives take this as an insult and disrespect and end any negotiations that maybe in progress (Satterlee, 2009). Japanese firms tend to involve the senior officials of the business to negotiate major business agreements (Satterlee, 2009). Prior to any meetings with a Japanese firm, U.S. negotiators must be able to identify the senior executives of the Japanese firm to avoid any embarrassments (Satterlee, 2009).

The United States has been known for many different ethical scandals in the large corporation. Some examples would be Enron, Tyco, and Xerox to just name a few. Americans tend to get frustrated when they hear about CEO’s and their executives taking thousands and even millions of dollars. The ethical side of the Japan differs from here in the U.S. and that would have something to do with the power distance of both countries. Hofstede’s 2001 ranking for 50 countries and three regions ranked the U.S. at a 38 while Japan was at a 33 (Jandt, 2006). The reason that America’s power distance is so much higher compared to that of Japan has been the rising compensation of CEO’s over the years. However, compared to Japan, people started to worry when CEO’s were making more than 8 times of its factory worker’s wage (Jandt, 2006).

Ethical standards differ from one culture to another, making actions that may be considered ‘‘right’’ by one culture can cause a conflict and be judged unethical by another culture (Swaidan, 2011). Some corporations may hire someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in the area of ethics. This is so that it may be taught to the employees in order to ensure that the company is practices morals and values that will help keep the business running smooth and not cause damage to the reputation of the company.

One of the steps that the United States has implemented was the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This act was to ensure that companies were providing all financial records of business done that fiscal year. This act was enforced after the Enron scandal, which went bankrupt and failed to audit financial records. Shareholders were utterly applauded by the findings of the financial truths that the company tried to cover through loopholes.

In Japan, ethical scandals are just as relevant. In 1997, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation engaged in unethical practices, by allowing a third party to illegally hold “fixed” meetings with the shareholders of the company. Again in 2000, they worked to cover up defected vehicles that the company had produced (Nobuyuki, 2005). The people are more integrated and emphasize relationships to a greater extent (Jandt, 2006). Because traditions are greatly upheld, it would seem to me that values and attitude toward another would mean more to the people of Japan versus here in America where everyone is entitled to their opinions. In the end, it may be difficult for a company starting out in a global market. But once the company can learn to regulate their business practices in a different country it can be promising. For the United States, to be able to thrive in Japan and be successful they must be able to communicate, uphold traditions and values, and adhere to the culture aspect of the country.

In conclusion, in order for the United States or any country in general to do business within the Japan, they must make sure to study the culture, traditions, and values. By doing so and making sure that a strong relationship are built with a strong understanding of one another’s culture.

For businesses to be successful in Japan, they have to take all of those cultural facts into account and be sure to never offend. Also, they have to be sure to comply with labor and ethical standards in both the domestic and foreign lands to make sure that they are not tearing down those relationships with the businesspeople that they are working with in order to make the company grow and flourish.

In the end, this research paper should have given an interpretive insight of Japan’s culture and how its business practices compare to that of the United States, and conclude how both countries have to make sure not to offend one another’s culture.


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