Understanding Japanese business culture

Understanding Japanese business culture

UNDERSTANDING JAPANESE BUSINESS CULTURE JAPANSEMINAR NTNU 07.09.2016 KRISTIN RYGG A typical description The Japanese are conditioned by exceptional historical and geographical constraints as well as by their thought processes in a language very different from any other. How does it affect foreign business people dealing with them?

Lewis, Richard (2006) When Cultures Collide, p. 512 2 The Japanese are conditioned by exceptional historical and geographical constraints as well as by their thought processes in a language very different from any other. 3

The Japanese are conditioned by exceptional historical and geographical constraints as well as by their thought processes in a language very different from any other. 4 The Japanese are conditioned by exceptional historical and geographical constraints as well as by their thought processes in a language very different from any other.

5 Sixteen ways to avoid saying no in Japan Hmm, a bit We will consider it further We will do our best We will check We will think about it difficult make effort

Not sure Nonverbal: Suck ones teeth, tip ones head Silence (Keiko Ueda 1974) How different are they, really? Rygg, Kristin (2012) Direct and Indirect Communicative Styles. A Study in Sociopragmatics and Intercultural Communication. Based

on Interview Discourses with Norwegian and Japanese Business Executives. PhD thesis. Bergen, Norway: University of Bergen. https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/handle/1 1250/164267 Problem area between Norwegian and Japanese business executives Sometimes we do not receive

clear answers from the Japanese clients, if the answer is negative. If they (the Japanese) are From: Harbom & Tsalapatis (1996) Skikk flge eller land fly? Roskilde Universitetsforlag subordinates, they are not going to say that it cant be done. When I finally get a hint about it being impossible, I think, why

didnt you say that at once? 8 However, half of the Norwegians said As a seller, it was very easy to understand what the Japanese buyers wanted, it went: cost down. Some of the buyers were very tough clients, yes, yes. Especially for the European workers it is ever so demotivating to be accused of doing a bad job by the Japanese client all the time. Then the Japanese client complain that I dont tell my subordinates exactly what they should do.

My (Japanese) colleagues are mostly direct When we are at these company outings, its just fantastic fun, Ive never experienced anything like the one we had last spring, they just become so different, so personal, incredibly cool. Japanese comment: The other day I met this fellow Japanese for the first time and he says to me, are you really 100% Japanese? 9 Problem area between Norwegian and Japanese business executives

The Western companies feel very impatient, all these meetings again and again with the Japanese in order for them to be able to reach a decision 10 However, from a Japanese point of view: Norwegians can make quick decisions, but it is not always sufficiently prepared. The advantage with the Japanese system

is that even if one spends some time on meetings, when decisions are reached, the implementation is relatively uncomplicated. 11 Problem area between Norwegian and Japanese business executives Yes its thorough, yes yes its so, yes, I can hardly bear to talk about it

Yes, they are so concerned with details, you dont even have to ask No, improvise doesnt exist, Ive never come across it, its, no. Norwegian quality is not good enough in Japan. 12 However, You and your friends are having a garden party tomorrow. However, according to the weather forecast, it might rain. How

should you proceed from here? Choose and defend either position a. or position b. a) Let us wait till tomorrow, and see what the weather is like b) Let us prepare both for the garden party and for an alternative plan today 13 Literature: Rygg, Kristin (2015) Japanese and Norwegian metapragmatic perceptions of contextual factors in intercultural

business communication. Journal of Intercultural Communication 38. http://www.immi.se/intercultural/nr38/rygg.html Casebank in collaboration with Innovasjon Norge, Oslo/Tokyo: We collect successful and unsuccessful stories, involving Norwegians and Japanese. Stories that might benefit from an outsiders perspective. Contact: [email protected] 14

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