With consistent Government policies, the country has opened the agricultural and services sector to foreign competition. The country faces several challenges: persistent deflation, reliance on exports for growth and an aging population. The paper tells about Power Distance Index, Individualism, Masculinity Index, Uncertainty Avoidance Index and Long-Term Orientation…
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In order to work and interact successfully in Japan, an understanding of its national culture is considered important. While businesses have been guided by Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture, this paper evaluates if changes have taken place since the 1960s and 1970s when data was collected by Hofstede. Hofstede defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another”.
Japan, with a PDI of 54, is a mildly hierarchical society. Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of the institutions expect that power is distributed unequally (Geert-Hofstede). However, the Japanese society is not as hierarchical as most Asian societies, according to Hofstede. Foreigners consider Japan as being extremely hierarchical because the decisions making goes through different layers of management but at the same time, this also demonstrates that there is no one single person in authority. In addition, Japan has been a meritocratic society and believes that everyone is born equal and anyone who is keen to attain higher levels of education, is free to do so, and move ahead.
This is the degree to which the society maintains interdependence. Japan’s score of 46 suggests a collectivist society where the harmony of the group is more important than the individual opinions. People in such societies have a strong sense of shame in losing face. However, the Japanese society is not as collectivist as the Chinese society. This is because the Japanese do not have extended family system where collectivism is prevalent. The eldest son in Japanese families carries on the father’s name and inherits assets while the others have to leave home and find their own way in life. The Japanese are more loyal to their company or the organization to which they are attached than to the family. Thus, by western standards they are called collectivists but by Asian standards they are individualistic. Masculinity Index (MAS) Japan has a high score of 95 on this dimension which indicates it is one of the most masculine societies in the world. This, according to Hofstede suggests that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success. However, the Japanese society does not demonstrate the behaviour expected in societies with high masculine scores, possibly because of their mild collectivist nature. There is severe competition but not between individuals; it is severe competition between groups which can be seen even at the primary school level. At the workplace also, employees are motivated when they are fighting against a team of competitors. The Japanese strive for excellence and perfection in
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