Japan And It's Unique Culture

Introduction:

Culture of a nation often referred to as the identity of the nation; hence its importance cannot be missed out. Relation of any nature, will it be personal, corporate or the political relations, cultural traits are always present. The culture also provide the strength to survive for the humans, yet it is very vulnerable in regard that it keeps changing since the existence of this element is in minds, hence different things around us are the interpretations of what is in our minds, like languages, building, governments, and many other products reflects the same phenomenon.

These are some features which make it highly complicated to study, and there are some other complex elements that are involved in the development of culture. Within the broad scope of culture a nation has history, religion, ancestors which are referred to as the subculture. Then is the society which is made up of culture and tends to follow it. Society and culture as mostly they are thought as the same; culture represents the learnt patterns, behavior and perceptions etc. on the other hand society are referred to as a group existing for interacting. Society plays an important part in the development of culture and of nation. The different attributes of the society including language and the manner to govern the state also comes from the culture. This is the reason that influence of culture over the nation and its development cannot be neglected either in business sector, or in politics.

The following research report is based on the thorough analysis of cultural connections between Russia and Canada. The discussion provided in this research report is based on two main elements that are leisure and sports. The two nations are defined in terms of these two elements and also provide the overview of cultures in these countries.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions:

In order to examine the national culture of Japan, Hofstede’s cultural Dimensions are used. This frame reflects the most precise and accurate study for cross cultural examination, leaving the fact that there are other tools also present. The basis of this framework is built on five key elements extracted from culture. These are power distance describing the socio economic features of the society, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and collectivism, masculinity versus femininity and finally the long term orientation.

The analysis of national culture of Japan will therefore reflect the impact on the policy makers and on different entities. The following part discusses the important features of the Japanese national culture (Geert-hofstede, 2011).

Japan:

The population of Japan is more than 125 million almost all of which are literate as the literacy rate in Japan is very near to 100.  This official language is Japanese which is only spoken in Japan. This state comprises of one of the most complicated culture to understand.

Geert Hofstede Analysis:

The cultural study conducted through this tool on Japan has provided some amazing results if compared with other Asian countries like Korea and Japan. In Japan according to the Hofstede analysis the masculinity falls in the highest characteristics, most of the people tend to live collectively hence low rate of individualism can be found. Moreover this living style of the society increases the uncertainty avoidance ratio hence personal freedom is not much valued (Geert-hofstede, 2011).

Religion in Japan:

Since the uncertainty avoidance rate of the country is 92 which is much higher and is similar to western side of the world where normally  Catholic religion is followed which do have some similarities with the Buddhist, as this the most followed religion found in the country. The second most followers to be found in the country are Christian (Clearly culture, 2011)

Appearance:

According to the Hofstede Masculinity index, Japan has 95% favors for male in the society which also makes them dominating and also earner for the family. The Japanese national culture provides the society to have an appropriate dressing in order to reflect the personality, as men are very much acceptable and respected when wearing black, and for women less focus on the accessories and dress should also be very conservative. In the Japanese culture women should not be wearing pants during the business purpose as Japanese men would find it offensive and also women tend to wear low heeled shoes so that men are not towered. Unlike in other countries Japanese does not emphasize on hand movements while talking; in short they do not talk with their hands, as it distracts the host. The individualism rate in the state is 46% as the state is heavily populated therefore more importance is given to the personal space (Clearly culture, 2011).

Behavior:

The Power Index for the state is 54% which describes that across the country people are satisfied with power distribution. Unlike other parts of the world, Japanese would like to treat the guest outside the home, whenever Japanese invites someone home, it means great respect and honor. Moreover the drinking is an important part of the Japanese culture and to eat food not much manners are required to learn, but likewise in China the noodles stick are used and noodles is an important dish for the country. But the expression of affection is prohibited in public and touching other sex in public is highly inappropriate.

Communication:

The Japanese language is one of the most difficult languages to learn, and as the Japanese power index is so strong therefore at any level Japanese language has been made compulsory, even in the political meetings the leader of the nation also tends to speak in Japanese. This attitude towards the language has made it possible for the nation to keep the language and its features alive (Clearly culture, 2011).

Management and Organizational Behavior:

The above features which are discussed lead the followers to act in unique and particular patterns in their life routine. A very huge difference can be observed in the Japanese in the organization and other nationals in the organization. As it has already being discussed that Japanese are highly conservative and they tend to avoid the uncertain situations as much as possible, therefore the Japanese Executives in order to strategic decisions seek different and many alternatives and appropriate analysis is being conducted so that future implications can be found out about every possible alternatives. The Japanese leaders do have an approach towards the future, in other words it can be said that the Japanese often plan for a longer period of time as compared to other executives. On the other hand if taken as an example that US executives do not take so much time in terms of making decisions as they do not seek for high level of alternatives hence making short term situation delivering the best results. The both approach do have many differences, in US individualistic actions are accepted, but as discussed by the Hofstede that in Japanese Culture Individualism is not values moreover the collectivism is followed. This leads towards an observation that during the decision making the Japanese Leaders often takes and includes the participation of the employees and also tells them the actual situation so that they can realize better the current situation. This reflects the trend of collectivism in the organizational behavior of the employees as well as the leaders in the organization (Clearly culture, 2011).

As the genuine manners are the most important features of the Japanese culture, therefore the relationships with rest of the world are very effective, since Japanese employees are very hard working, and in Japan people are very much patriotic hence dedicated to the organization in which they work.

Japanese Management:

The trait derived from the Japanese Culture is the Japanese methods for management, which are very famous and rest of the world tends to copy the methods initiated by the Japanese management. the core trait found in the Japanese management is the fact that they value the employees most, employees are treated as the most important asset of the organization, therefore organization provide high level of salaries, adequate level of security to employment and flexible working conditions. The positive attitude of the government which has focused on the economy development has also provided a positive support to the business sector; therefore Japan has also made its mark in the technology sector. This is possible since employees are highly qualified and the placement of the employees throughout the business sector is based on the educational merit (Kalman, 2008). 

Moreover Japanese executives have played an important role in the development of management field, as they have provided with many concepts and methods which are used today like the total quality management and many more. One more different feature which can be identified is the fact that in Japanese management style the executives tend to involve every stake holder of the organization in order to reach a decision, moreover the top management is found to be supporter not authoritative. Many officers tend to develop a relation of harmony in between the employees and the organization which leads towards the best possible workforce for the organization (Varley, 2000).

Conclusion:

The importance of culture cannot be avoided as it is the most important element necessary for the man’s survival. The world comprises of many different countries each having its own distinct features and elements which contributes towards the social development of the human. In the business sector the behavior of employees and the management reflects to their culture buildup as culture is defined as the set of learnt patterns.

Japan is state which has one of the most ancient cultures and civilizations around the world; this makes the country very old. The Japanese culture is bit difficult and different from remaining cultures in the world. the above report is being discussed in logical manner that first it analyzes the national culture of the state by the famous framework called Hofstede cultural dimensions, than the organizational behavior of the employees and the important features of how the Japanese behave in the organization and in the business sector is discussed.

References:

Geert-hofstede, 2011, analysis of Japan, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_japan.shtml

Clearly culture, 2011, Power Index, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/

Clearly culture, 2011, Power Index, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/individualism/
Clearly culture, 2011, Power Index, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/masculinity/

Clearly culture, 2011, Power Index, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/uncertainty-avoidance-index/

Clearly culture, 2011, Power Index, accessed on 9th June 2011, available at: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/long-term-orientation/
Kalman B, 2008, Japan the Culture, Crabtree Publishing Company, UK

Varley H, 2000, Japanese Culture, University of Hawaii, US

Anthony Wheeler

Thinker. Student. Extreme analyst. Devoted food ninja. Infuriatingly humble reader. Explorer

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