Japanese National Character

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Subject Assignment Guided By Name Email Management in Asia and Japan National character

of Japan Prof. Victoria Rai Anod Kumar, (MBA, B.E. ) Anod.rai@gmail.com

Lots of research already being done by different researchers on Japanese national character and they used different methods and tools to determine and compare their characteristics but the one method developed by Dutch writer Gerard Hendrik

Hofstede is a standard and acceptable comparative approach to understand national character of any nation. He used five cultural factors evaluate differences between organizations and nations.

1. Power Distance Index. 2. Individualism vs. collectivism 3. Masculinity vs. femininity 4. Uncertainty avoidance 5. Long vs. short term orientation

To deeply understand the national character of Japan we need comparative analysis with character of other nations using these cultural factors.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Power Distance Index 120 100 80 60 Long Term Orientation 40 20 0 Individualism Japan India China US

Uncertainity avoidance index


source: http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions

Analysis of above graph:
1. Power Distance Index ±

PDI is the index shows the power distribution in society. Low PDI country Japan and high countries are India and China, this behavior shows that Japan has very less power concentration in society and People relate to one another more as equals regardless of formal positions. Subordinates are more comfortable with and demand the right to contribute to and critique the decision making of those in power. And In case of China and India High PDI countries less powerful accept power relations that are more autocratic and paternalistic. Subordinates acknowledge the power of others simply based on where they are situated in certain formal, hierarchical positions.

2. Individualism vs. collectivism ±

US scores highest and China scored lowest it means Chinese people are less individualistic they are good at team work but bad at entrepreneurship activity which

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University needs more individualism, on the other hand Japan and India have same level of Individualism and collectivism factors which means in Japanese society, people are born into extended families or clans, they protect themselves in exchange for loyalty, ³We´ consciousness holds sway (reigns), Identity is based on the social system, There is emotional dependence of individual on organizations and institutions, The involvement with organization is moral, Expertise, order, duty, and security are provided by organization or clan.

3. Masculinity vs. femininity ± Japan rate highest in Masculinity 95, it means in Japanese society men should be assertive. Women should be nurturing, Sex roles in society are clearly differentiated, men should dominate in society, Performance is what counts, you live in order to work Independence is the ideal.

4. Uncertainty avoidance Japan scored really high in this uncertainty avoidance index because they have very low level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity that is why Japanese people developed a process and structured approach for everything they face or do. They try to minimize the possibility of uncertain situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; µthere can only be one Truth and we have it¶. Japanese approach towards uncertainty inherent in life is felt as a continuous threat that must be fought, higher anxiety and stress, Time is money, there is inner urge to work, and Aggressive behavior of self and others is accepted.

5. Long vs. short term orientation (LTO)Japan scored 80 just below china, high LTO of Japan indicates their urge to build long term relationship with others. According to Hofstede, high LTO indicates persistence for building relationship, ordering relationships by status and observing this order, thrift and having a sense of shame is the basic characteristics of high LTO countries.

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