Management and Japanese Business World

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Chapter 3:
1. What is the meant by culture of a society, and why is it important that international managers understand it ? Do you notice cultural differences among your classmates? How do those differences affect the class environment? How do they affect your group projects? 2. Discuss collectivism as it applies to Japanese workplace. What managerial functions does it affect? The work group is the essential element of the Japanese business world. When conducting business in Japan, strong relationships and loyalty to the group are critical for success. The Japanese tend to be withdrawn in their ways, and aren’t open to outsiders input. They are very relationship concerned and the group they belong to is their priority. According to Japanese belief, everyone gains when each member seeks to make the group more efficient, or when the individual works to help the group as a whole. In business terms, this means that all employees are forced to share the same set of attitudes and values .The Japanese emphasize teamwork, participation, cooperation, and loyalty. They also strongly discourage open expression and conflict because of the importance of avoiding embarrassment or shame. This refers to the loss of face (self-image) as a result of not fulfilling one's obligations. These elements of work culture generally result in a devotion to work, a collective responsibility for decisions and actions, and a degree of employee productivity. It is this culture of collectivism and shared responsibility that underlies the Japanese ring system of decision-making .It has been stated that collectivism has definite advantages for those social relationships that include small groups, such as family and co-workers, where people are dealing with face to face situations. Collectivism is also linked with a sense of harmony within a group setting, which in turn will sometimes reduce the stress level within the group
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