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The Importance of Business Etiquettes in a Cross-cultural Environment

Question:

Discuss about the Business Informatics for Ideological Origins of Symbolic.

Business etiquette is the minimum behavior that a person is expected to keep in a business and within a society. Business etiquettes can be in various forms. Within the organization, it is necessary to treat the employees and coworkers nicely and ethically. Similarly, there are few etiquettes that a person needs to maintain during a meeting such as addressing the issue politely, being gentle, maintaining time and others. However, the approach to business etiquettes differs from one region to the other depending on the type of lifestyle they live and follow (Mukherjee and Ramos-Salazar 2014). Maintaining right etiquette in a business is essential and leads to a lot of advantage. A right approach in a meeting by addressing all the etiquettes well, will help the business to succeed any time. Right knowledge about business etiquettes of various regions helps the organization to expand their operations in other countries easily. The main hindrance that while maintaining business etiquettes in different regions around the globe in the cross-cultural communication gap (OPEN Forum 2017). The essay discusses about the business etiquettes of Japan that Emily needs to maintain in order be successful in expanding its business in that region. Further, there will be some recommendations about the type of behavior she needs to maintain in order to impress the manager of a popular store in Japan.

Japan is a land that maintains high business etiquettes and principles in their business environment, whether it is small or a big organization. They want a right amount of respect from their employees and other higher authorities while conducting business. The major etiquettes that they expect from people while meeting is maintain a proper dress code and behave formally. They like a formal approach while conducting a formal affair in the business. However, except meeting, they do allow casual dress code while conducting fun activities within the office premises (Mukherjee and Ramos-Salazar 2014). There are some principles that a person needs to follow while meeting Japanese people in a meeting. At first, it is important in a meeting with a Japanese person, to appreciate and honor Japanese tradition and culture. Bowing is one of the oldest traditions that Japanese follow while meeting for the first time.  Moreover, there are other behaviors that one needs to maintain while meeting a Japanese person for the first time such as one should not sit first, acknowledge and others. Thus, observing such business etiquettes helps them to open various doors for the expansion of business. It is very important to keep a strong cultural knowledge and ethics while taking decision and developing business relationship with Japan (OPEN Forum 2017).

Insights into Business Etiquettes in Japan

Emily should also be well aware of the etiquettes that she will have to maintain while meeting the manager of the store through which she will expand her business to Japan. She should be very careful about the type of sophistication that she will have to maintain while meeting the manager in Japan. She should be well informed about the cultural norms of the country before visiting the place (He 2017).

Maintaining right etiquettes is a challenge and arises because of differences in cultural norms and communication practices (Verma 2015). There are many differences in the cultural values of Australians and Japanese. This creates an issue for people that plan to travel from Australia to Japan for business reasons.

Hofstede cultural dimensions

Figure 1: Hofstede cultural dimensions

Sources: (Hofstede Insights 2017)

From the above graph, it can be seen that there are many cultural differences between Japan and Australia based on various categories such as power distance, individuality, masculinity, long-term orientation, indulgence and uncertainty avoidance. Power distance is low in Australia compared to Japan, which shows that approaching higher authorities is much easier in Australia then in Japan (Hofstede Insights 2017). Thus, there are various protocols one should maintain in order to meet the higher authorities in Japan (Turner et al. 2017). Further, it can be said that individualism is very high in Australia compared to Japan, which means that in Japan, one needs to take decision by considering others in the society, and they maintain a strong bonding among each other (Hofstede Insights 2017). Thus, Emily has to consider these facts that conducting a meeting with Japan with a Japanese person will not be an easy task due to large differences in their way of living. Cultural differences are also evident from the fact that such as Japan is a highly masculine society in which people try to be the best in everything they do (Moran, Abramson and Moran 2014). Long-term orientation is high in Japan compared to Australia which states that Japan has is a modern society and carry out their business processes according to the modern norms. On the other hand, Australians has strong belief for traditions (Ferraro and Briody 2017). Thus, it can be seen that Emily will have to change a lot of her cultural belief that they follow in her hometown to deal with the manager in Japan to get her proposal accepted. This is because some of the culture in Australia is very different and might prove to be insulting for the manager if conducted according to Australians norms. Thus, it can be seen that issues that will arises while communicating with the Japanese manager will be because of the cross-cultural differences (Hosking 2015).

Cross-cultural Differences between Australia and Japan

There are certain guidelines and principles that Emily should follow in order to be successful in her meeting with the manager and gain approval of her proposal from him.

Firstly, she needs to know about Japan traditions, culture, language and types of food that they prefer eating. This will help her to know the right spices and condiments that her company will supply in the Japanese market. The Japanese manager will be impressed by knowing the knowledge Emily has about the eating habits of Japanese.

Secondly, while meeting with the manager the manager it is important that she greet him well with all the etiquettes that Japanese follow in a meeting such as bowing, handshake and others. This will create a formal atmosphere in the meeting that Japanese like.

Third protocol that Emily should maintain is by keeping silent and not being the first one to speak in eth meeting. She should allow the manager to proceed and talk only when necessary after analyzing the situation and approach of the manager. This is because silence has always been linked with creditability and the best type of formal approach and person can carry.

Fourthly, she should maintain a formal dress code while meeting with the manager, as they love to be in formal dress in such official meetings. This will help her to represent the type of company she maintains and the type of protocols she has in her business.

Emily should carry samples of the products her company produces according to Australian food style so that the manager gets an idea about the quality of product her company is supplying and the variations they follow according to the likes and dislike of cultures. This is because; Japanese has a strong belief that society is one and loves to consider the effects on society because of some business process. Thus, it is important that Emily consider the society and their demands before attending Japan for the meeting. For the purpose, she needs to carry out survey about the people and eating habits and estimate the demand for the type of condiments her company manufactures.

It is important to maintain such strong protocol while conducting a meeting in Japan because as seen above Japan has high power distance and it is not that easy to approach the higher authorities in that country. These steps will help not only to impress the manager; it will also help her to design the type of business model that she will carry out in Japan for forming strong customer base in few years.

Conclusion

From the above analysis, it can be deduced that Japan is a country where values and norms are strong and it is not easy to enter Japan with any business idea. Moreover, while conducting a meeting with a Japanese manager or higher authority, it is crucial to maintain a certain protocols and etiquettes. Thus, Emily is also facing problem, as she will be meeting a store manager in Japan for expanding her business in that country. She needs to consider a lot of facts before planning to conduct a meeting with that manger. Such issues arise due to cross cultural communication gap that exists between Australia and Japan. Cultural differences are visible from the Hofstede cross-cultural model, which shows that both the countries differ in various grounds such as power distance, individualism and others. Japan has low power distance, which means it is not easy to approach the higher authority and there are various protocols to reach them. Further, low individualism means that the country cares about society a lot and thus, it is necessary that the business proposal Emily is proposing should take like and dislikes of society into consideration. Thus, in order to impress the manager, the easiest way Emily can use is by knowing the Japanese culture.

References

Ferraro, G.P. and Briody, E.K., 2017. The cultural dimension of global business. Taylor & Francis.

He, X., 2017. Ideological Origins of Symbolic Culture of Japanese Diet.

Hofstede Insights. 2017. Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/australia,japan/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2017].

Hosking, R., 2015. Dictionary of Japanese Food: Ingredients & Culture. Tuttle publishing.

Moran, R.T., Abramson, N.R. and Moran, S.V., 2014. Managing cultural differences. Routledge.

Mukherjee, S. and Ramos-Salazar, L., 2014. " Excuse Us, Your Manners Are Missing!" The Role of Business Etiquette in Today's Era of Cross-Cultural Communication. TSM Business Review, 2(1), p.18.

OPEN Forum. 2017. Doing Business in Japan: 10 Etiquette Rules You Should Know. [online] Available at: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/doing-business-in-japan-10-etiquette-rules-you-should-know/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2017].

Turner, E., Norman-Conchas, G., O’Dell, D., Weis, A., Agha, R., Barahona, K., Barry, R., Chau, T., Jaradat, R., Lane, S. and Niu, C., 2017. China, Costa Rica, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, The Uae, And The Usa: Cutomer Service And Culutral Differences. Copyright 2017 by Institute for Global Business Research, Nashville, TN, USA, p.182.

Verma, D., 2015. Expectations of Corporate India on the Business Communication Skills of B School Campus Recruits.

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