Japanese Business Practices

Essay by superslayerHigh School, 11th grade April 2004

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Business traditions and practices are greatly influenced by the culture in which they function. The values of a culture help to define the underlying structure and philosophy of business. Many traditions and practices within a culture are often integrated into the country's businesses. To better understand the relationship between culture and business, a case study involving two contrasting cultures will be analyzed. Throughout this paper, the cultural impact on business practices will be evaluated between Japan and the United States. There are many similarities and differences between these two cultures with respect to business, ultimately influencing the business practices in each country.

The first major distinction between American and Japanese businesses is the influence on culture upon business. Japanese culture greatly affects its business practice on all levels. Japan is a unique country with many distinct cultural traditions. Japan has a population of approximately 125 million people packed tightly into a rather small geographic region.

(Internet Reference) As a result, cultural traditions tend to be uniform and community is central to daily life. Culturally, the Japanese are rather introverted in their ways, focusing on their own culture and traditions. A strong sense of community, family, and being part of a larger group and business family are central to the Japanese culture. The ritualistic traditions that are characteristic of the home environment typically spread to the social and work sphere of life. The Japanese culture maintains a very formal style of interactions. Even introducing oneself in Japan is formal in nature. In Japan, it is unacceptable to address acquaintances by their first name in most situations. The proper way to address someone is by using their last name only (www.itilanize.com/bja/jap.php). Japanese society demands people show respect to others during daily interactions. This is contrasted with American traditions where earning respect...