Japan Culture


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This document discusses about Japanese Culture and uses Hofstede's cultural dimensions.

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  • Some foreigners experience Japan as extremely hierarchical because of their business experience of painstakingly slow decision making process: all the decisions must be confirmed by each hierarchical layer and finally by the top management in Tokyo. Paradoxically, the exact example of their slow decision making process shows that in Japanese society there is no one top guy who can take decision like in more hierarchical societies.
  • Japan Culture

    1. 1. Studying the culture of Japan Highlights Section A Group 6 Abhay Sharm 1A Anirudh Shrivastava 9A Devansh Doshi 16A Manasi Jain 23A Sachin Gupta 42A Vidooshi Joshi 55A
    2. 2. Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) • Signify “transience in life” • Hanami • A thousand year old tradition • Yearly flower-viewing festival • Celebrated by feasts under the blooming cherry blossom trees • Also signify nationalism and patriotism • A fallen cherry blossom symbolizes a samurai who sacrificed his life for the emperor • Were also painted on Kamikaze warplanes in World War II • In 1912, Japan gave more than 3,000 cherry-blossom trees to the United States as a gift to honor the growing bond between the two countries Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)
    3. 3. Language - Nihongo • Japanese is the official language for many (usually smaller) businesses even today • Honorifics form an important part of a Japanese conversation • They are used everywhere from households to schools to professional scenarios with each setting demanding for a different tone and honorific for the same or different person • It is important to use the right suffixes else you might end up being disrespectful • As important as the honorifics are in themselves, the delivery – tone and emphasis are equally important • Using the wrong honorific, or the right honorific in the wrong way, can result in anything from simple disdain to (in feudal times, at least) clan warfare!
    4. 4. Food – The Hot pot • Deeply ingrained in the Japanese culture • Enjoyed specially in the winters • Keeps the body warm and is quite easy to make • But the best part of these hot pots is that it brings people together • Whether you are having it with family, friends or colleagues, you need to work together around the single pot throughout the meal – an inherent lesson of Organization Behavior • Another socializing spot are the Oden stalls seen from late nights to early mornings in winters providing hot food and alcohol to hungry passers-by Food – The Hot Pot
    5. 5. Clothing – The kimono • Japanese for 'clothing' originally • Different colors were used to signify political class, roles, etc. • Several different types of Kimono carry a significance and symbolism of their own (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/- tmPhDrBQYUs/UUY36T7TIUI/AAAAA AAAAWw/KhPc1Se6L84/s1600/kimon o+styles.jpg) • One of the most significant parts of a kimono is Obi • The height at which it is tied signifies the marital status of a woman • Original purpose is to conceal feminine parts • Today, they are reserved for special occasions such as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies or summer festivals • One rare use of kimonos today is by Escorts and Prostitutes in high-end parlours run by Japanese gangsters called yakuza. Dress – The Kimono
    6. 6. • Roughly translates to “whimsical pictures” • Comics written in Japanese style which originated in late 19th century • Form 25% of sales of print industry in Japan • Meant for all types and ages – its a phenomenon which has caught the fantasy of many across the world • The drawings are typically defined by the peculiar characters and their exaggerated emotions • An important link of the world to Japanese culture and history Art - Mangas
    7. 7. • Japanese animation • Generally derives the story from mangas • Started off in early 20th century • Led to making of “Otakus” - a derogatory term used for people who follow mangas and anime diligently Art - Anime
    8. 8. Japanese Organizations • Is wrongly perceived as the biggest obstacle to starting business in Japan for many foreign companies thinking of entering the Japanese market • Politeness is their biggest virtue – and also the most annoying one • Typically, the organizations are hierarchy-based which is decided on the basis of seniority • Lot of significance is on the appearance than the reality • Ring-sei or collective decision making is a practice followed across organizations • Consultative memorandums are circulated around the company for consensus • But, due to the hierarchy, most decisions are finally made by one individual • Traditionally, the Japanese place great importance on the concept of wa, or group harmony. • The value of the common greater good is more important than valuing one's own needs • This principle is applied in schools, as well as social groups and, later in life, the workplaceThe Organization
    9. 9. Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory • A framework for cross-cultural communication • Developed by Geert Hofstede • It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior • Widely used in several fields as a paradigm for research  cross-cultural psychology  international management  cross-cultural communication • Important for determining how values in a culture reflect the organizational behaviour
    10. 10. Japan’s Dimensions
    11. 11. Power distance Index (PDI) • Expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally • Attitude towards hierarchy • At a score of 54, Japan is a mildly hierarchical society • Japanese are always conscious of their hierarchical position in any organzational setting and act accordingly • Japan has always been a meritocratic society
    12. 12. Individualism (IDV) • The high side of this dimension can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only • Its opposite, Collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in- group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty • In simple terms: “I” or “we” • Japan scores 46 on the Individualism dimension. • Putting harmony of group above the expression of individual opinions and people have a strong sense of shame for losing face shows their collectivistic side • Japanese are famous for their loyalty to their companies, that explains their individualistic side
    13. 13. Masculinity / Femininity (MAS) • The masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success • A high score of 95 indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the best in field • With some mild collectivism, Japanese display sever competition in groups • Also displayed by drive for excellence and perfection in their material production and in material services and presentation in every aspect of life • Still hard for women to climb up the corporate ladders in Japan with their masculine norm of hard and long working hours
    14. 14. Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) • It expresses the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity • At 92 Japan is one of the most uncertainty avoiding countries on earth. • One could say that in Japan anything you do is prescribed for maximum predictability • In corporate Japan, a lot of time and effort is put into feasibility studies and all the risk factors must be worked out before any project can start • Managers ask for all the detailed facts and figures before taking any decision • This high need for uncertainty avoidance is one of the reasons why changes are so difficult to realize in Japan.
    15. 15. Long-term versus short-term orientation (LTO) • The extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view • At 80, Japan scores as one of the long term oriented societies • In corporate Japan, there is a constantly high rate of investment in R&D even in economically difficult times, priority to steady growth of market share rather than to a quarterly profit, and so on
    16. 16. Comparison between India and Japan
    17. 17. • Indians give a lot of importance to hierarchies than Japanese people • In Japan, paradoxically, there is no one top person who can take the decision • In India, there is always a wait for approval from the higher authorities Power Distance Index (PDI) Individualism (IDV) • Both show mild collectivism • Both believe there is a need to belong to a larger group • While Japan believes in meritocracy, in India hiring and promotion decisions are often made based on relationships
    18. 18. • Higher score by Japan indicates that it is a far more competitive society than India • Japanese workaholics is an expression of their masculinity • India is actually very masculine in terms of visual display of success and power Masculinity / Femininity (MAS) Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) • Indian are more tolerant towards uncertainty that Japanese • Indians are more tolerant towards imperfection than Japanese • While Japanese focus more towards feasibility analysis, Indians focus more on adjustment
    19. 19. • Higher score by Japan indicates that it is a far more far sighted society than India • Both countries believe in fatalism • The concept of Karma dominates ideologies Long-term versus short-term orientation (LTO)
    20. 20. Domo Arigatou (Thank you)