This essay is composed with the objective of focusing on helping Emily with having a proper business communication with Mr. Hamasaki by using Japanese business etiquette so that she can ensure a smooth collaboration with him for her business expansion. The main of this essay is highlighting the significance of cross-cultural business communication in the context of the scenario with Emily. This essay would be presenting the methodical steps which would be useful for Emily in carrying out a proper business meeting with Mr. Hamasaki with the goal of forming effective business communication. In this context, the essay would be presenting Hofstede’s cultural dimension model of Japan so that the social and cultural values of the Japanese people can be understood. This would be helpful for Emily as it would support her in carrying out a proper business meeting with someone who is from the same cultural background. Moreover, the essay would also be highlighting on cross-cultural miscommunication so that Emily can avoid any kind of unnecessary situations with Mr. Hamasaki.
Business communication is the foundation of business interactions of any organization. Business communication is referred to the dispersing of business information inside organizations having external business entities in the context of commercial benefits (Moshiri and Cardon 2014). The owner or management of the organization requires maintaining effective and proper communication with the stakeholders of the business for establishing a meaningful relationship. Conversely, effective business communication has the capability of deciding the profitability and sustainability of the business in the market. Thus, business communication considered as being one of the most significant element of businesses with regards to organizational success (Shen et al. 2016).
The first aspect for discussion is cross-cultural business communication and the first factor inside it is cross-cultural miscommunication. Discussions on cross-cultural miscommunication would be helpful for Emily in identifying the avoidance factor for her upcoming business meeting with Mr. Hamasaki. Cross-cultural miscommunication is the reference mentioned for describing the unawareness of the cultural, social and communicative practice of different cultures (Varner and Varner 2014). Emily is coming from an Australian background and she has fixed up a meeting with a Japanese businessman. There are high chances of her miscommunicating with him as she is not aware of the Japanese business etiquettes followed in that country. The cultural background of these two people are different with reference to the countries of Japan and Australia, posing a higher threat of miscommunication by Emily with Mr. Hamasaki. Conversely, business etiquettes of each culture in every country is founded on their particular cultural background. Thus, idea regarding cross-cultural communication is a must for such cross-cultural business meetings (Venaik and Brewer 2016).
For identifying the differences between the cultural dimensions of both Japan and Australia, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model is out to use. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model makes use of six types of dimensions besides scores that are calculated on the basis of the culture existing in different countries (Mazanec et al. 2015). The highlighting of the differences inside the cultural dimensions of Japan and Australia would be helpful in providing Emily with recommendations regarding the possible steps she can take and apply in terms of Japanese business etiquette.
The first cultural dimension is power distance. Power distance score of Japan is 54, indicating the existence of hierarchical society, which has a high impact on the businesses inside Japan. Inside Japanese organizations, the management exercises authority over the employees. The business decisions are carried out by the people having higher authority in the organization, with minimal influence seen from the side of the employees. On the other hand, Australia has a score of 36, referring to the easy and accessible communication among the employees and the management inside Australian organizations.
The cultural dimension of individualism refers to providing of value to individual opinion inside the society. The score index shows Japan just has 46, whereas, Australia has 90. This is reflecting that Australian organizations provide their employees with importance in regards to their opinion about any kind of business activities. On the other hand, Japan is a collective society, in which more emphasis is put on the decisions of the group instead of that of the individual.
The dimension of masculinity indicates the dominance of competition inside any culture. Japan has a high score of 91, proposing their society is extremely competitive, whereas, Australia has a score of 61, indicating that the nation is moderately competitive.
The dimension of uncertainty avoidance refers to the avoidance of any external circumstance that is considered as a threat by people. Japan has a score of 91 indicating that the nation is extremely threatened by uncertainty, whereas Australia has a score of 51 indicating it to be moderately threatened. Japanese society and their corporate entities are strict followers of business etiquette. Their corporate managers put high importance on facts and figures prior to starting of any project.
The dimension of long term orientation is concerned about the society’s orientation with its past whole dealing with present and future challenges. Japan has a score of 88, meaning having a pragmatic approach, whereas Australia has a normative approach.
The cultural dimension of indulgence defines the desires and impulses of people for specific things. Japan is pessimistic in nature with a score of 42, focusing more on work. Australia has a score of 71, giving priority to needs and reflecting an optimistic nature.
As a kind of recommendation, Emily can carry out a complete research on Japanese business etiquette, which would provide her with a generic idea regarding eth possible etiquettes that she can put to use in the meeting. She needs to learn the Japanese general greeting terms to have a good first impression on Mr. Hamasaki, as the Japanese people prioritizes business etiquette. Emily also needs to be concerned about her dress. She needs to be in proper formal attire while meeting Mr. Hamasaki. Business casuals are unacceptable in corporate Japan business meetings. Emily also needs to display conservative behavior, which is an important factor in Japanese business etiquettes. Emily must not be carrying anything flashy, as the Japanese do not like that (Eckard Marchiori, Carraher and Stiles 2014). Moreover, red ink writings are unacceptable. The most important thing that Emily must do for the first time she comes in front of Mr. Hamasaki is bowing head before him for honoring the Japanese culture. Next she must be conscious about the sitting position as in the Japanese culture sitting is symbolic of a person’s status and the arrangement is based on the situation of the individual in the organization. Emily must wait for instructions as to where she should sit. The highest ranking person in the room is generally at the head of the table and the people who are his subordinates sit close to him in accordance with their position. Thus, Emily needs to wait for Mr. Hamasaki to instruct her and ask her to sit.
The other etiquettes like eating, drinking and speaking must be following the rules of sitting in the Japanese culture. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions is suggesting that corporate organization of Japan gets dominated by the person having eth highest authority in the organization and the decisions taken by this person is followed by the other people inside the organization (Eckard Marchiori, Carraher and Stiles 2014). Thus, the activities mentioned in the business meeting is expected to get affected Mr. Hamasaki’s authority and it is important that Emily follows the etiquettes of waiting for him to be initiating everything inside the meeting. Gifting in Japanese business meeting is believed as being a respectful and nice gesture. However, it is not necessary. Only if the host is gifting Emily anything then she also must revert back with something similar in gesture.
In conclusion from the above essay, it can be said that business etiquette has a very significant role to play in maintaining effective business communication. The main of the essay was presenting a wide range of recommendations in the purview of Japanese business etiquette for carrying out successful business meetings. Cross cultural communication comes second in focus. The essay is also shedding light on communication and cross-cultural miscommunication in the context of carrying out effective business communication with people from a different culture. Since the essay is mostly emphasizing on the business meeting fixed between Mr. Hamasaki and Emily with regards to expansion of her condiment business in Japan, the essay also providing a range of cultural differences between Japan and Australia with the help of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. From the recognized differences in the comparison, the essay is proposing some relevant recommendations and some steps to be followed by Emily for using in the fixed business meeting with regards to comprehension of the Japanese business etiquettes, culture and communication.
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