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Intercultural communication: Japan - Case Study Example

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Canada Timber: Negotiating with the Japanese The study of organizational behavior encompasses a variety of inputs. Along with organizational culture, one of the most prominent areas of investigation is intercultural communication. As technology and globalization is increasingly bring people from disparate cultural backgrounds together, understanding intercultural communication, as well as the ways that different cultures function in the work environment is a core element of business success…
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Intercultural communication: Japan
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Download file to see previous pages There are tremendous differences in culture between the Japanese and Canadian teams. To a large degree it appears these cultural differences are indicative of broader differences between Japan and Western society. This particular case study explores these differences in the negotiation between the Canadian timbre makers and the Japanese furniture makers potentially interested in purchasing the wood as supplies Engel & Murakami (2000). The case study indicates that while the Canadian business team had little experience in Japanese society they decided to bring a man who was married to a Japanese woman Engel & Murakami (2000). Additionally, they ensured that the individuals most closely associated with the operation were included in the venture. Qualitatively one might argue that they prepared strongly for the specific ‘functional business’ aspects. As the Canadian team arrived in Japan to begin the negotiations their Japanese counterparts greeted them. As neither team spoke each other’s language a translator was necessary for verbal communication. While the verbal communication was an important aspect of the negotiation process perhaps the subtler element were the events that occurred in Japan outside the negotiations. The case study indicates that the Japanese faxed over a detailed agenda regarding the people they would meet and the places they would go. While the Canadian team was impressed by agenda, it seems they may have misunderstood the purpose for it being constructed. Stevens (2010) indicates that one of the primary intentions of Japanese negotiations is to establish a relationship with the people they are negotiating with. It seems that the Canadians viewed the agenda more as a formal business element than as a means of establishing a relationship. As the negotiations progressed it’s clear that further misunderstandings emerged between the Japanese and Canadian teams. One considers that the Japanese continued to work towards establishing a relationship when the Canadians arrived as they immediately presented them with a gift. While the Canadians refrained from opening the gift, it would have probably been better to open the gift, as this would have established a new connection between the two groups. When the discussions began Tim interpreted the Japanese interests in hearing about their experience in Japan as a sort of fishing for compliments, when in actuality it appears that this was the Japanese way of further attempting to establish a connection between the two groups. As the negotiations further advanced it seems that the Japanese silence can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Stevens (2010) notes that Japanese silence in negotiations is oftentimes associated with a desire to save face both for themselves, as well as for the people they are doing business with. In this specific instance one recognizes that it seems after receiving the initial contract the Japanese remained silent, as they did not feel that a proper relationship had been established between them and their Western counterparts. This is highlighted in the request that after the initial meeting that the Canadian team be given a tour of the Japanese production facilities. As ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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