Japanese business culture

Japanese business culture

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Names in brackets are the dimensions’ (marked in italic) creator.

Communication style

  • High context (Hall)
    • indirect communication style
    • preserve harmony
    • politeness important
    • Humour important on social occasions
    • Seem withdrawn and stiff in negotiations
  • Neutral (Trompenaars)
    • Harmony and consensus
    • do not often interrupt

Management style

  • High power distance (Hofstede)
    • respect given to higher-ranking, older persons
    • whole staff involved in decision-making

Attitude to time

  • Sort of synchronic (Trompenaars)
    • long-term view
    • base decisions on long experience

Ethics – right or wrong

  • Sort of particular (Trompenaars)

Values – attitude to work

  • Masculine (Hofstede)
    • Working day extremely long
    • meetings drawn out
    • work more important than family
    • dedication expected

Impact of outer influence

  • Outer-directed (Trompenaars)

Social identity

  • Leans towards collective interest (Hofstede)
    • teamwork and cooperation


  • Ascription based (Trompenaars)
    • Promotion based on seniority

Attitude to risk

  • High uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede)

Business orientation

  • Relationship-focused (Gesteland)
    • dislike trading with strangers
    • socializing precedes business
    • loyalty and trust essential
    • relationship more important than contract


  • Formal (Gesteland)
    • dark suit, white shirt and a tie
    • Suit or dress for women
    • etiquette important
    • titles extremely important

Attitude to personal space

  • Touching someone when speaking to them is rare, and would likely make the other person uncomfortable
  • Speaking distance sort of the same as in Scandinavia
  • Used to cramped spaces, for example when taking public transport
Erik Persson

Om mig:

Arbetar med MRM, webb-orienterade projekt så som SEO och webb-utveckling samt läser till en Bachelor i Business Administration på Handelshøyskolen BI i Oslo.

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