Using Geert Hofstede 's Six Dimensions Essay

Using Geert Hofstede 's Six Dimensions Essay

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The Japanese are well known for their unique culture, which has been established as a complex and multifaceted system since ancient times. Most importantly, they are known to set a high value of protocols and etiquette during any type of business affairs, which applies to foreigners as well. When an external company wishes to conduct business with any Japanese companies, it is crucial for them to firstly understand the major elements and dimensions of the Japanese culture, as well as their impact on the way Japanese companies conduct their business. Using Geert Hofstede’s six dimensions, the unique Japanese national culture can be exemplified to hold several unique characteristics.
Hierarchy. With a score of 54, Japan is considered as a mildly hierarchical society. The typical Japanese is aware of his own position in an organizational setting and will act accordingly. However, in the decision-making process, every employee, even the most junior ones, is encouraged to contribute his or her opinions and ideas, hence instilling the notion that he is valued within the company (Wolf 2013). However, this means that decision-making process is often slow as communication can be extensive. This is illustrated by Omron Electronics, which dispersed their organization system by establishing multiple divisions, each coming up with their own business plans (Omron 2010). However, information are not shared effectively among these divisions, hence double the efforts are required to identify offshore partners, which in turn causes considerable delays in their organization. The highly participative factor of the Japanese decision-making process, which requires obtaining a consensus from everyone who, in any way, will be affected by a certain action...


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...stede (2016) believes that a strict social norm may be the controlling factor, as Japan is a country with ubiquitous set of etiquette exposed to the society since a young age. For example, in Japanese schools, teachers are advised to discourage students from expressing their individual opinions and impulsive thoughts (Lebra and Lebra 1986). In this way, their characters are moulded to fit into the Japanese society. Moreover, there is the strongly ingrained common idea of ‘saving face’, which means people are less inclined to voice out their comments. This translates similarly within the corporate culture. According to Bebenroth (2015), employees would not complain about being transferred to a new location for their employment, even when it means he will be separated from his friends or family, as they would consider it a necessary move for the company’s greater good.

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