SBCC ANTH 103 - Anthropology 103 (3 pages)

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Anthropology 103



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Anthropology 103

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Pages:
3
School:
Santa Barbara City College
Course:
Anth 103 - Intro To Cultural Anthropology
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Grade 40 00 40 00 Anthropology Doing Business in Japan 1 Japanese businessmen work in various positions within a company during their career but they rarely move to another company Once they are in leadership positions they make lateral moves within the company regardless of their expertise Therefore they need to consult with their subordinates when they are negotiating or making decisions in a meeting Contrarily American businessmen are usually in charge of departments in accordance with their field of specialization So it is natural for them to have extensive knowledge about the subject that is being negotiated Such difference in employment practice caused misunderstanding and confusion during the negotiation between the Japanese company and the American company Well done covered the reasoning behind their collective behavior thoroughly 2 During the break time in the meeting some of the American businessmen introduced themselves to their Japanese counterparts by their first name but it was neither successful in building rapport nor respectful to the Japanese businessmen In Japan people only call someone s first name if they are in close relationship such as families and relatives The Americans also invited the Japanese businessmen to have a dinner But the Americans did not know how to use chopsticks and familiar with eating sushi Such American businessmen s ignorance in Japanese culture only offended the Japanese businessmen Good review 3 One of the Americans tried to use a few words in Japanese in order to revitalize the Japanese team The silence Japanese team had displayed made the Americans very nervous and frustrated The attempt to break such awkward atmosphere by saying one phrase in Japanese which only created confusion and misunderstanding The Japanese team assumed that the Americans must have understood their conversation in Japanese I personally would be offended if someone said Do you understand in my own language if it were not his or her native tongue it sounds as if I am looked down and thought as inferior who is not even able to speak English that is considered as one of the most widely used languages in the world Good argument 4 Inviting a business partner to dinner requires a lot more than just showing the friendly attitude but the respect for not even mentioning the negotiation is what Japanese people would value Japanese people prefer the private reunion and businesslike meeting separated Having a dinner with Americans while discussing ongoing negotiation would be definitely uncomfortable because to them it is very upsetting and inappropriate I was surprised to see the portrayal of Japanese to be passive on hosting in the video In fact they do like hosting guests and inviting people to dinner nowadays Maybe it would have been better if it were the Japanese team who set up the dinner for Americans and themselves especially because they were in Tokyo Good observation I gather this is from your experience 5 American team tends to bargain the price after they suggest the highest price However Japanese team does not enjoy the process of bargaining They want to have the actual cost first since they are working as a group and negotiating prices takes a lot of time to discuss Japanese team feels less confidence and sincerity in their counterparts when American team presses them during the negotiation Interesting interpretation 6 First American team understands yes as an agreement However for Japanese team it does not mean that they are agreed Japanese people say yes but sometimes disagreement follows after that Second there is a word difference For instance responsibility is not a light word in Japan If one says he she will take the responsibility for something he she is in charge of all results There is no excuse In contrast in America the word responsibility is more flexible and casual These differences cause misunderstand and a failure in business Good point but what else For example understanding ball park figure 7 To American business team 1 Be familiar with the employment process in Japan In Japan a head of a department is not necessarily an expert of that department Japanese business leaders make horizontal movement within the business firm without any knowledge of the department therefore they must consult with their subordinates with appropriate expertise before making any decision 2 Be familiar with the Japanese culture In Japan using first name is based on the level of intimacy of a relationship Therefore using first names during a business negotiation is not appropriate 3 Bring your own interpreter By not bringing your own interpreter you are imposing unnecessary burden to the interpreter from the Japanese firm 4 Don t make a false impression that you speak Japanese fluently by throwing few Japanese words here and there This will make confusion and misunderstanding Let the interpreter do his her job 5 Don t mix business and entertainment In Japanese culture they do not discuss business in social setting because most Japanese people are not comfortable with high pressure of the social setting and prefer to separate business and entertainment To the Japanese business team 1 In America nodding usually means agreement Therefore unless you agree to what an American counterpart is saying do not nod and say anything If you need time to think about what the American counterpart suggested express verbally that you do not agree 100 percent but will think about it more deeply 2 Be familiar with the American bargaining practice The American negotiators are expecting you to do the same So do not be surprised the initial price that the Americans suggested becomes very flexible once the negotiation starts 3 In America yes means affirmative Therefore do not simply say yes if you are positive about the question in order to prevent any confusion and misunderstanding during the negotiation 4 Do not assume that the Americans speak fluent Japanese because they use one or two Japanese words during a conversation Use your interpreter and let him her do the job The Americans may incorporate few Japanese words to emphasize their points but this does not necessarily mean that they speak Japanese fluently 5 Be prepared to discuss business in social settings As much as Americans should respect your culture you should also respect the American business practice It is common that they discuss business in social settings in America Be prepared to discuss business while you are eating


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