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Differences in business culture between Japan and West Apr. It is an intriguing look at differences in business culture between Japan and the west. It makes one realize that there is no perfect business strategy as such but by incorporating the best parts from each culture, one can get pretty close to their own perfect business model.
Just the other day I had the privilege of liaising with several western businessmen who gave me some rather interesting views relating to differences in business customs between Japan and the West.
They mentioned having recently listened to a lecture before coming to Japan on how to conduct business the Japanese way. Something that really stood out to me were their impressions of the Japanese business culture as a whole: All four men worked in such high power roles as international manufacturing or as planning designers at construction companies.
They are the type of elite that upon coming to Japan enter into managerial positions giving Japanese workers orders and undertaking transactions with other high-ranking Japanese companies. Their period of employment is usually no longer than a year and a half, after which they often shift to positions in other countries.
Below, I would like to introduce the five most interesting things from the lecture imparted to me by the foreign businessmen. If a Japanese person says they can complete the job, it is best to take them on face value.
The businessman from England commented that in contrast to their foreign counterparts, the Japanese modestly accept the job at hand while delivering exceptional results. He went on to comment: Whether it be the person who places the order from the supplier, or those who deal with the transaction thereafter, from beginning to end the level of service is consistently high.
Thus, for the Western worker, one can, to some degree, avoid responsibility. The fact they carry out the job with consistency means they are easy to work with.
From a Japanese perspective, the customer is God. According to the American businessman: This takes root through the idea that one is exchanging money for a service and the view that both are equal components.
In this way, it is seen as fully acceptable for the person providing the service to declare from the outset that they refuse to do something as they see fit.
However, in Japan customer service is paramount, which also has the benefit of keeping the customer happy and maintaining healthy mutual relations. For the Japanese, the company conference room is not a place for discussion but rather somewhere to report progress. Many westerners find the idea that Japanese workers use the conference room simply to report findings rather bewildering.
However, one French businessman takes a more positive approach to this style of conduct. Rather, it has to do with a difference in the decision making process. Imagine that you have the option of considering four different companies. Company A estimates that it can complete the work in two months foryen.
Company B estimates 2. Company C estimates two months atyen. Lastly, company D estimates over a course of a month and a half that it can complete the project for 50, yen.
However, from a Japanese perspective one would consider each company on their individual merits.
Increase the budget byyen or extend the work for an extra two weeks, are factors that would also enter into the consideration process. Ultimately, the priority lies with the company that provides the best service.
Therefore for the Japanese, the entire decision making process takes considerably longer. The French therefore view paying too much attention to which company to use a waste of time.
In other words, a French company treats the job at hand with great importance and upon reaching a decision is reticent to negotiate or return to a previous deliberation process. However by looking back on their decisions and considering how it could affect the overall result, the Japanese demonstrate a clear focus on the end result rather than the decision-making process itself.
This same French businessman mentioned that after actually having worked with the Japanese, what the lecture taught him was correct.Here is a list of top 10 differences between Eastern and Western Cultures that show a few broad demarcations between them.
In the western civilization, the self is given preference over family. Below is an account from Sayaka, a reporter over at our sister site Pouch.
It is an intriguing look at differences in business culture between Japan and the west. It makes one realize that there is no perfect business strategy as such but by incorporating the best parts from each.
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