For this assignment I reviewed the cultural dimension of individualism / collectivism as it relates to the United States and Japan. The United States is considered highly individualistic while Japan would be considered a more collective type of culture (Hyens 2011).
In the United States men and women, being more individualist, tend to express their opinions more and we advocate for our point of view. In a society that is more collective in nature there may be less expression of individual desires and more focus on the consensus decision making. In general, women in Japan may be more likely to defer to a males opinion which could impact businesses dealings between the genders in the two countries (Japanese, 2013). Similarly, Japanese men, when dealing with American women might not understand that women are equals in the US workplace and not value a women’s opinion the same as they would a man’s.
For example, an American male interacting in a business relationship with a Japanese woman may not realize the Japanese women would typically defer to the male position while expecting the women to respond as an American woman would (Women, 2013). This could lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings when dealing with each other in a business environment.
I love the example you used between the United States and Japan referring to Individualism and collectivism. I currently, employ about 20 people who are from Japan and they are so amazed to have the opportunity to express themselves. Most of them refer to Japan as being a place to just follow the trend and you’re raised to never be an outcast. However, like you stated were raised to dare to be different and take risk. Even getting into gender in America women nowadays will stand up run for top positions in companies and so forth, which is great but in other countries that’s seen as a form of disrespect.
Gender can influence business communication in each country’s workplace environment by relating to Hofstede’s cultural difference of masculinity/femininity. Mexico is considered a masculine society that includes assertiveness, the achievement of money and things and not caring about the quality of life. Norway is considered a feminine society that values family, children, and quality of life. Business communication between these two countries would differ by in Mexico, your communication would be more direct and to the point while in Norway you would want to have a soft tone, more explanation, and being available for questions.
Gender is defiantly different all over the world and that’s what makes business globally so challenging for companies. I believe that China fall into the same category as Mexico because they’re so focus on being the leaders in the world that the quality of life takes a back seat. However, I feel as though the United States does a good job tailoring both sides of the spectrum to keep us exceling and not be one sided. Moreover, by us understanding other cultures it makes us better prepared to conduct business globally and understand all Hofstede’s views.
Hynes, G. (2011). Managerial Communication: Strategies and Applications . New York: McGraw-Hill.
More and more American companies are offshoring parts of their operations to other countries. Likewise, foreign companies are setting up business in America. This means that managers can find themselves sent out to different parts of the world at any time. Respond to the following applying the concepts discussed in Chapter 9 of your textbook: