The essay is based on the business internationalization of ‘The aromatic condiment shop’, a small business owned by an Australian lady named Emily. The business model of ‘The aromatic condiment shop’ is based on the experimentation on various food items in order to create and sell new and exotic condiments. Some of the popular products of the organization are sauces, chutneys and pastes, which have a lot of chances of being popular in the Japanese markets. This in turn is the reason behind the decision of the business internationalization into the Japanese markets. This essay analyzes the difference in the business culture of Australia and Japan along with the Japanese business etiquettes to ensure the meeting to be successful.
Overview of the Japanese business etiquettes
The Japanese business etiquettes are based on a few very important factors like honesty, honor and punctuality. The Japanese put a lot of importance on maintaining full honesty in all of their business transactions and activities. The businessmen in Japan expect all of their business partners and market intermediaries to be absolutely honest in all of their activities. The Japanese businessmen also ensure the presence of honesty in all of their activities. Honor gets converted into business ethics in case of the business transactions and activities. This in turn allows the Japanese businessmen to have strong compliance to the core ethical values. All of these core ethical values of the Japanese businessmen allow business ethics to be a very strong component of their daily activities.
After honesty and honor, the Japanese businessmen put a lot of importance on punctuality. The Japanese believe in rules and following those rules in their daily activities (Tanaka, 2015). So, being in time and completing their activities on time has paramount importance to the Japanese businessmen. Another aspect of the Japanese business etiquettes is the importance provided to the relationship among the individuals. This in turn allows the Japanese businessmen to consider the mutual understanding, respect and relationship with their fellow colleagues to have utmost importance in their daily activities. The Japanese ensure that they show respect to their colleagues in all of their interactions and try to establish a close relationship with their colleagues. This in turn allows the Japanese to have a strong value towards human emotions and lives.
Apart from these factors, humbleness is another major component of the Japanese business etiquettes. The Japanese believe in being humble and down to earth in their daily activities and interactions. The Japanese don’t believe in being brash or arrogant in their business interactions and meetings. The Japanese business etiquettes also include a practice of providing more importance to the senior employees. The age of the businessman or employee is directly proportional to the value given to him or her in the business model. So the senior members in an organization are given a lot of importance in the organizational hierarchy both in terms of their expertise and experience (Hirschmeier, 2013).
Difference between Australian and Japanese business etiquettes
There are a number of differences between the Australian and Japanese business etiquette, which should be analyzed thoroughly for making the meeting between Emily and Mr. Hamasaki a success. The biggest difference between the Australian and Japanese business etiquettes is the style of meeting and greeting. The Australian business etiquettes allow the businessmen to greet each other with a casual handshake and a smile on the face. This casual style of greeting in the Australian business etiquettes is very different from the style of greeting in Japanese business etiquettes. The Japanese business etiquettes require the businessmen to greet each other very formally, which should include a customary bow to show respect.
The Australian business etiquettes allows the business dinners and lunches to have casual conversation with casual dining etiquettes. But the Japanese business etiquettes require the business meetings over lunch or dinner to be formal along with the usage of proper dining practices.
The Australian business etiquettes don’t require the businessmen to have a strong and close relationship for a successful business venture. But the Japanese business etiquettes put a lot of importance on the relationships with other individuals. All of these differences in the Australian and Japanese business etiquettes pose as a threat to the success of the meeting between Emily and Mr. Hamasaki (Eckard., 2014)
Areas of potential cross-cultural miscommunication
There a number of potential cross-cultural miscommunications possible during the meeting between Emily and Mr. Hamasaki. This section analyzes these possible cross-cultural miscommunications based on the HOFSTEDE cultural framework results for Australia and Japan. The figure 1 shows a comparison between the business etiquettes in Australia and Japan in terms of the HOFSTEDE cultural framework.
Japan has a value of 54 and Australia has 36 for the factor of ‘power distance’, which defines the power distribution in the corresponding countries (Rothlin, 2016). The Japanese businessmen put a lot of importance for the hierarchy in the organization and the hierarchies are defined in terms of age and experience of the individuals. In case of Australian business etiquettes, the hierarchy isn’t given a lot of importance and the individuals are put into various positions based on their capabilities and skills. This a potential factor for cultural miscommunication, as Mr. Hamasaki is 55 years old and expects his business partners to show him and his decision making process that much of respect. But Emily accustomed to Australian business etiquettes doesn’t give a lot of importance to the hierarchical structure and decision making process, which could lead to a miscommunication.
Figure 1 Comparison between Japan and Australia (HOFSTEDE’s cultural framework)
The factor of ‘individualism’ defines how much the individuals in the corresponding societies are dependent on others. The score of 90 for Australia defines the society and business environment in Australia to be highly individualistic, which means that the Australian business etiquettes don’t require the individuals to have close relationships with their business partners and colleagues. But the business etiquettes in Japan require the individuals to have close relations with their colleagues and business partners. For the meeting between Emily and Mr. Hamasaki, this could be a potential reason for cultural miscommunication as the importance of personal relationships are different for each of them as per their country’s business etiquettes (Nakano, 2017).
Recommendations for making the meeting a success
As per the analysis till now, there are a couple of differences between the business etiquettes and cultures in Australia and Japan. These differences in turn could lead to the failure of the meeting between Emily and Mr. Hamasaki. This section covers some recommendations for Emily to ensure that the meeting becomes successful.
The first thing to note is the value of honesty and humbleness in the Japanese business etiquettes. So Emily should ensure that she is clear, transparent and honest in all of her interactions with Mr. Hamasaki without being brash or arrogant. Being humble will be the key for Emily to have a successful meeting with Mr. Hamasaki. As Mr. Hamasaki is 55 years old, he would expect a lot of respect for his seniority, experience and decision making skills according to the Japanese business etiquettes (Dunn, 2013). So Emily should ensure that she’s respectful to Mr. Hamasaki during their meeting.
Being punctual is something else which Japanese business etiquettes put a lot of interest in. So Emily should ensure that the meeting is done with clear and concise agenda without going out of the scheduled time along with being on time for the meeting. Emily should consider carrying ample amount of business cards to the meeting as the Japanese business etiquettes put a lot of value in maintaining business cards. Other than these, Emily should learn the Japanese way of greeting in order to ensure that she follows the business etiquettes or custom in Japan (Craig, 2015). She should refrain from taking any gifts for Mr. Hamasaki as the Japanese business etiquettes
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