You are on page 1of 19

Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 1

Transmittal Memorandum
To: All Employees
From: Nina Dorman, Project Leader
Date: 9/23/2017
Re: Mandatory Reading
______________________________________________________________________________

Hello,

We are all excited about the recent news regarding the expansion of our company, and as we
begin to merge with our newest business partners in Japan we will notice several differences in
the way we communicate. Effective communication is the key to the success with this merger
and the productivity and continued growth of the company.

After anticipating and discussing the difficulties that could arise as individuals or groups from
different cultures begin to communicate, our CEO Mr. Tac Ocatt has requested that a team of
experienced analysts and researchers (listed below) put together a research report that could
be distributed to the entire company.

Nina Dorman Project Manager


Hugh Drexler Video / Visual Communications
Paula Garcia Quality Assurance
Matt Muller Research / Analysis Expert

Within this file you will find a report with the results of our research, as well as an executive
summary and tip sheet. The executive summary will include a summary of our research that
highlights the main points of our study. The tip sheet is an infographic dedicated to effective
Japanese-American business communication, with details on etiquette that each employee will
need to adopt. Understanding these practices and customs is important in building a healthy
professional relationship with our newest business partners.

Each employee will need to communicate with our new business associates. Whether it is
directly or indirectly, written, verbally, or orally, it is imperative that you understand our cultural
differences and how it affects our communication styles. Reading the following research report
will teach you what you need to know to help prevent unnecessary misunderstandings and
conflicts that may arise due to poor communication.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Nina Dorman
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Verbal Communication

Most Japanese business associates you will verbally communicate with will speak English ,however, their
fluency in English may affect how they communicate with you. Those less fluent in English will be less
likely to speak during meetings, and will be less active or vocal when making plans, forming contracts, or
voicing opinions. You will need to keep this in mind when communicating with them. While we encourage
our employees to try and learn a few common phrases in Japanese, we do not recommend attempting to
give formal presentations or speeches in Japanese, as poor language skills will appear unprofessional or
even insulting. As a solution to this issue, use interpreters when needed, keep all correspondence
precise, and be mindful of your associates fluency level.

Etiquette

Learning how to properly address your Japanese business associate will ensure you appear professional
and respectful. Most Japanese businessman will want you to address them by their surname first and
their first name second. It is in poor taste to refer to someone by their first name without their permission,
as this is too personal and will seem unprofessional.

Written and Visual Communication

The Japanese are a high context culture and have a low dependence on written communication, relying
more heavily on visual communication. Their documents are short and concise, expecting the reader to
be able to interpret the hidden or implicit meaning with fewer details. One way the Japanese add meaning
to a document without using words is through visual cues. Using visual communications such as images,
logos, slogans, and graphs to impart meaning.

Physical Communication

One means of physical communication is through the sharing of a business card. This is a very important
gesture with its own etiquette to follow. When presenting someone with a business card, it should be
given with both hands and a slight bow. This is used to convey respect and is used to strengthen
relationships. Also, when being given a business card, it is important to look the card over closely to show
that you notice all the implicit details that the individual has included. This is important since Japanese
businessmen take great care in choosing every detail of their business card, so that it represents their
ideals and what their company values.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 3

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful team members, who often worked tirelessly
into the night in order to meet our strict deadlines. They often say it takes a small village to raise a
child...well it took a small army to research, present, and report on this project.

We would first and most importantly like to thank our leader and our backbone, Nina Dorman. Nina is our
Project Manager, whom without, this project would have likely never been completed. She took it upon
herself to assign responsibility, ensure that the group stayed focused and on track, and held us all
accountable for the work delegated to us. We are indebted to you.

We would like to express our special gratitude and thanks to Matt Muller, our resident research and
analysis expert who carried the paramount responsibility of not only providing data critical to our research,
but also analyzing all of the data provided by the entire group. Matt worked incessantly to establish key
data and statistics, and correlate those within our research in order to present a compelling yet easily
understandable research report. We are appreciative of your efforts.

Furthermore, we would like to extend out many thanks and appreciation to Paula Garcia. Paula is our
quality assurance supervisor who was assigned to safeguard our data and cross check our reporting with
proper peer reviewed research, and their sources. We appreciate your opinion and your ability to improve
our projects overall quality of work.

Lastly, we want to extend our appreciation to Hugh Drexler. Hugh is the video and visual communication
specialist, who also assisted in diverse project areas, that required special attention. His ability to fill in,
and step up where needed was uncanny, and his positivity and constructive criticism will never be
forgotten.

This report has been produced by the conscientious effort of four individuals with different schedules,
career paths, and goals to achieve a common goal. We worked together to create something that we can
all take pride in. An enormous thank you to everyone involved.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Transmittal Memorandum - Pg. 1

Executive Summary - Pg. 2

Acknowledgements - Pg. 3

Introduction - Pg. 5

Formal Research Report - Pgs. 5-8

Problem Statement

Methods

Business Communication Between U.S and Japan

Verbal Communication

Etiquette

Written and Visual Communication

Physical Communication

Conclusion

Works Cited - Pgs. 9-10

Tip Sheet Infographic - Pgs. 11-12

Annotated Bibliography - Pgs. 13-17


Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 5

Introduction

As our company grows, becoming more diverse and spanning multiple cultures, it is important to research
and develop strong communication methods. Our goal is to make sure we understand the cultural
differences, possible language barriers, and diverse communication methods such as written, o ral, verbal,
physical, and visual so that w
e can effectively communicate with our new Japanese business partners. By
following cultural etiquette, and showing respect and tolerance towards their culture and values, we will
show our newest team members how important unity, and close healthy business relationships are to our
company.

FORMAL RESEARCH REPORT


Background

After the announcement of the expansion of Universal Acquisitions our team submitted a proposal to our
CEO, Mr. Tac Ocatt. In this proposal, we discussed our concerns and possible difficulties our company
might face when communicating with business partners in Japan. To h elp our company predict and
prepare for these possible complications, we proposed using a team of experienced researchers to study
the cultural differences between businesses in the U nited States and Japan. Mr. Ocatt was enthusiastic
about our research and requested that our group put together a research report about communication and
cultural differences with Japan that could be distributed throughout the company.

Problem Statement

Although the growth and expansion of Universal Acquisitions is an exciting time for most of us, it is also
an uncertain one. As we merge our business with our new partners in Japan, we will begin to see several
cultural and communicative differences. Having different cultures, cultural values, and communication
styles can i nhibit or cripple professional communication between individuals, groups, and companies.
Each member of Universal Acquisitions will communicate with our new Japanese business partners in
some way, a lbeit directly or indirectly. To alleviate issues with communication, and to keep from having
unnecessary conflicts or misunderstandings, we n eed to learn about: their culture, how they communicate
(Verbal, written, and visual), why they use certain communication methods, when they use different
methods of communication, and where they use different forms of communication.

Methods

Our group scrupulously searched for relevant sources of information. After finding sources that provided
material that would allow us to t horoughly understand differences in our c ultures and communication
styles, we began to scrutinize the credibility of each source. Each source was evaluated to be recent and
produced within the past ten years. We then researched whether the author was either well-known or
worked for a company / news source that was credible. Next we ensured each document was reliable by
determining the formality and tone of the source. Our sources were derived from business professionals,
whom have provided case study results and methods, and are unbiased, written without personal
agendas. By using only t he best, most relevant, and credible resources, and by thoroughly researching
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 6

each topic, we were able to tailor our research results i nto a reliable report on cultural and communication
differences between the U.S. and Japan.

Business Communication Between t he U.S. a


nd Japan

ommunication
Verbal C

Globalization is defined as the process by which businesses or other organizations develop


international influence or start operating on an i nternational scale. As UA stretches i ts boundaries, the
exchange of international and cultural business communication will become necessary. According to
Bertha Du-Babcock, an E nglish Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and author of Business
and Professional Communication in Asia ( Du-Babcock, 2013), variables such as culture and language
use and proficiency can affect the communication process ( Du-Babcock, 2013). I n her study of business
communications amongst A sians who spoke both their native language and their second language,
typically English, during business communications, she noticed major differences in t he individuals
communication styles depending upon the users proficiency level in English.

Du-Babcocks study showed that while the Japanese maintained their high-context
communication style, they were less direct in t heir i nteractions or with h andling disagreements in E nglish.
This suggests that while our Japanese associates may maintain their communication style, their fluency
in English may determine how active or vocal they will be w hen making plans, forming contracts, o r
voicing opinions. The same rule applies to American businessmen depending on t heir fluency in
Japanese. According to the h ead of corporate communications for Fidelity International in Japan, Mariko
Sanchanta states that learning a few phrases of Japanese is helpful, but it is important to not t ry to give
formal presentations or speeches in Japanese as the poor language skills will come o ff as unprofessional
and insulting (Sanchanta, 2007). To help alleviate tensions and avoid this issue, hiring an interpreter or
employees that are fluent in both English and Japanese can ensure documents and c ontracts are
interpreted the same way and understood by both parties. For those that a re more fluent in English and
wish to use it i n all correspondence, we can l imit the amount of v erbiage used in documents or
correspondence and keep all business meetings brief and to the point.

Etiquette

Another important aspect of verbal communication in Japan is how t o properly address


individuals in a formal business setting. When addressing a Japanese businessman, you begin with their
surname first and their first n
ame second. It is considered poor manners to refer to someone by their first
name in Japanese culture, unless you are e xtremely close with them (Export to Japan, 2015). T his is
another example of the i mportance of relationships in Japanese culture and how they live in a

high-context society that emphasizes relationships.

Upon meeting, b usinessmen may shake hands but there must be little to n o eye contact since it is
considered rude to make prolonged eye contact. Of course, although handshakes are an acceptable
greeting, the preferred gesture i s b owing (Bosrock, 2017). It is believed that t he lower you bow, the more
respect y ou are giving. Also, gift giving and r eceiving is a common p ractice during the initial business
meeting. If you fail to prepare a gift for your potential business partner or client, i t could ruin future
relations between parties ( Bosrock, 2017). Japans culture i s c onsidered to be quite conservative. They
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 7

dress respectfully and appropriately at all times. One is expected to dress professionally and modest
during all encounters.

Written and Visual Communication

While visual communication is the Japaneses main form of communication, our company will still
use many different forms of written communication. When choosing the format, layout, and design of
correspondence between UA and our Japanese business partners, it is important to understand their
different communication style. The United States is defined as having a Low-Context (LC) communication
style. As seen in Table 1, this mean that we prefer direct, clear messages, value deadlines over
relationships, and rely heavily on written communication. Japan, on the other hand, is classified as a
High-Context Community (HCC). They rely mostly on visual communication, value relationships over
schedules or deadlines, and use indirect and implicit messages (Maclachlan, 2010).

Table 1. High Context vs Low Context


High Context Low Context

Indirect and implicit messages Direct, simple and clear messages

Polycrhonic Monochronic

High use of non-verbal Low use of non-verbal


communication communication

Low reliance on written High reliance on written


communication communication

Use intuition and feelings to make Rely on facts and evidence for
decisions decisions

Long-term relationships Short-term relationships

Relationships are more important than Schedules are more important than
schedules relationships

Strong distinction between in-group Flexible and open


and out-group
Note. Reproduced from Cross-cultural Communication Styles: High and Low
Context, by M. Maclachlan, 2010, Communicaid.com

High-Context Communities are defined by their communication style where the receiver or interpreter of
the message assumes the responsibility of inferring the hidden or contextual meaning of the message.
(Maclachlan, 2010). They are also defined by their low reliance on written communication, relying instead
on visual communication. Michel Mestre, Professor of Business and Economics at Trinity Western
University in Canada and author of the article Visual Communications The Japanese Experience
(Mestre, 2000), quotes Takeo Fujisaw, co-founder of Honda Mothers, stating that Japanese and Western
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 8

management systems a re 95 percent the same y et differ in all important respects especially
communication (Mestre, 2 000). Mestre believes that i t is Japan's special way of communicating with its
employees that accounts for t heir success. By involving them in every step of corporate life, they cause
their team members to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Knowing that Japanese
companies like to keep their employees involved in every aspect of corporate life, we can tailor our
correspondence to keep them updated as well. Showing that we want them to be involved in our business
and showing interest in t heir own helps build a relationship that they will value. Treating them the way
they treat their employees will help us feel like a
unified team member with the same goals.

ommunication
Physical C

The high-context communication style of Japanese b usiness c ultures also promote non-verbal
physical c ommunication (Sanchanto, 2007). For example, t he very common business p ractice of g
iving
an associate your business card is an important event in Japanese business etiquette. The sharing of a
business c ard is k nown as Meishi in Japanese, and should be presented with both hands and a slight
bow at about a 45 degree angle with a straight back (Sanchanto, 2007). This t ype o
f high-text, nonverbal
communication is used to convey respect and help strengthen the relationships that a re integral to
Japanese business culture. In addition to the proper sharing of business cards, t here are very specific
guidelines for choosing the proper place to sit when attending a business meeting. For e xample, it is
tradition for the most important person in the meeting, such as the boss or guests if they are present, to
sit in the position farthest from the door (Sanchanta, 2017). This type of nonverbal c ommunication is
another example of how Japanese business culture exists in a high-context environment.

ultural H
Japanese C istory

Japans communication p ractices are influenced by the countrys history. Previous and current
leaders o f the nation brought Japan to a t hreshold of economical and political supremacy in t he world
(Klopf, 2009). The Japanese tend to say very few words and are often perceived as silent people
compared to others. Their communication practices tend to be vague and they spend significantly less
time on verbal communication (Klopf, 2009). As a society, they are less likely to be a ggressive and
assertive. Nonverbal communication plays a huge impact in their society. These communication practices
that havent seemed to change throughout t he years in the Japanese culture are considered to be a
downfall for diplomatic relations and all other encounters with o ther nations (Klopf, 2009). Other countries
rely more on verbal communication rather than nonverbal. However, if the J apanese dont adapt to
communication practices o f other countries they may l ose their credibility to economical and political
supremacy in the world. If they continue their current communication practices, it will create
misinterpretations and conflicts with their p olitical and economical relations with other countries (Klopf,
2009).

Conclusion

When evaluating our different forms of communicating, we must remember that the Japanese
cherish relationships over strict schedules and, according to Mestre, f ormal a nd impersonal approaches
are frequently perceived as major obstacles to effective c ommunication (Mestre, 2 000). The Japanese
believe that peoples attitudes and behaviors are influenced by how we c ommunicate. By u sing visual
cues such as signs, charts, banners, color schemes, o r name tags, w
e can affect the way our employees,
and therefore our company and our business partners, are perceived. By following J apanese business
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 9

etiquette, we can show our partners we respect them, their business, and their culture. By ensuring our
documents are brief and professional, but not too impersonal, we can mimic their style of communication
and avoid misunderstandings. Using these will not only make employees feel connected, it will show that
we value building relationships as much as they do.

WORKS CITED

Alston, J. P., & Takei, I. (2005). Japanese business culture and practices: a guide to
twenty-first century Japanese business. New York: IUniverse.

Bosrock, M. M. (2017). Cultural Etiquette. Retrieved from


http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_jp.htm

Du-Babcock, B., Bhatia, V. (2013). Business and Professional Communication in Asia.


Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 27(3), pp. 239-242.
doi:/full/10.1177/1050651913479911

E. (n.d.). Japanese Business Etiquette. Retrieved from


http://www.exporttojapan.co.uk/doing-business-in-japan/business-etiquette

Jwa,S. (2017). Facework among L2 speakers: a close look at intercultural


communication. Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development, 38(6),
517-529. Retrieved from
http://ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.asp
x?direct=true&db=hsi&AN=124895770&site=ehost-live

Kapur, N. (2017). Mending the Broken Dialogue: U.S.-Japan Alliance Diplomacy in the
Aftermath of the 1960 Security Treaty Crisis. Diplomatic History, 41(3), 489-517.
Retrieved from September 14, 2017, from https://doi.org/10.1093/dh/dhwo53.

Klopf, D. W. (2009, May 21). Japanese communication practices: Recent comparative


research. Retrieved September 15, 2017, from
http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy4.library.arizona.edu/doi/pdf/10.1080/014633
79109369791?needAccess=true

Kobayashi, J., & Viswat, L. (2011, July 26). Intercultural Communication Competence in
Business: Communication between Japanese and Americans. Retrieved
September 16, 2017, from http://mail.immi.se/intercultural/nr26/kobayashi-26.htm

Maclachlan, M. (2010, February 12). Cross-cultural Communication Styles: High and


Low Context. Retrieved from
https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/high-and-low-context/
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 10

Mestre, M., Stainer, A., Stainer, L., Strom, B. (2000). Visual communications the
Japanese experience. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 5(1),
pp.34-41. doi:10.1108/13563280010317569

Midooka, K. (1990). Characteristics of Japanese-style communication. Media, Culture &


Society,12(4), 477-489. doi:10.1177/016344390012004004

Sanchanta, M. (2007). FT.com site: Business etiquette: Japanese value relationships


and quality time. FT.com. Retrieved from
http://ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy3
.library.arizona.edu/docview/229035959?accountid=8360
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 11

TIP SHEET (INFOGRAPHIC)


Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 12
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 13

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alston, J. P., & Takei, I. (2005). Japanese business culture and practices: a guide
to twenty-first century Japanese business. New York: IUniverse.

This book provides valuable information on conducting business in Japan. This


book focuses on, not only Japanese culture, but also how that culture affects business
behavior and proper procedures for negotiations. The authors rely on personal
experience to explain how the Japanese work, make decisions, use language, and
conduct business. The authors have also used cultural facts and descriptions of
behavior in order to simplify conducting business in Japan.

This is a wonderful source that is rich with useful information for our topic. It
contains all the necessary tools with which to learn about conducting business in Japan.
From the culture, behavior, and communication, this book addresses how to simplify
success by explaining social etiquette and business protocol.

Bosrock, M. M. (n.d.). Cultural Etiquette. Retrieved from


http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_jp.htm

This article discusses the cultural etiquette in Japan. It goes over the different
aspects that make up the acceptable behavior in Japan. The article provides information
on the following topics: meeting and greeting, body language, corporate culture, dining
and entertainment, attire, and gifting. It also provides helpful hints regarding general
Japanese etiquette and what foreign women should expect.

This article is a useful resource to use towards our project because it breaks down
the cultural etiquette in Japan. It will help us learn about the people and their culture. The
information provided in this article will help reduce the chances of miscommunication
and conflicts from arising between our company and potential Japanese clients. The
article is very concise and easy to comprehend.

Du-Babcock, B., Bhatia, V. (2013). Business and Professional Communication in


Asia. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 27(3), pp.
239-242. doi:/full/10.1177/1050651913479911

In her online article Business and Professional Communication in Asia (2013),


Bertha Du-Babcock asserts that most research on business communications has
focused on the United States and Europe. She first hopes to provide balance by
researching business communication in Asia; she then explains differences between
Asian and European communication by providing information on each cultures
communication style and how they are affected by their fluency in other languages. To
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 14

conclude, she explains why it is important to thoroughly understand which culture you
are communicating with by researching the company and its employees.

This article helps readers understand how different Asian cultures can be from
Western ones. This helps to increase the knowledge of Asian cultures. The author
seems to have a professional audience in mind because titled his article in a way that
would attract those interested in learning more about business communications with
other cultures.

E. (n.d.). Japanese Business Etiquette. Retrieved from


http://www.exporttojapan.co.uk/doing-business-in-japan/business-etiquette

This article does a fantastic job of outlining some of the most important aspects
of creating successful business relations with Japanese professionals. It takes a
bulleted approach to outlining the most common aspects of Japanese business
etiquette, while adding tips and other extremely useful examples. It also gives a brief
background on why these are the most important aspects of business etiquette to focus
on so that you can create the most positive business relationships and impressions.

This article is a very useful resource due to its relevant nature and easily
explained and understood content. It focuses on easy to learn etiquette and
communication strategies to use when meeting Japanese business professionals. It
also highlights the differences between the Japanese and western business culture so
that you get an easy to understand comparison.

Jwa,S. (2017). Facework among L2 speakers: a close look at intercultural


communication. Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development, 38(6),
517-529. Retrieved from
http://ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/lo
gin.aspx?direct=true&db=hsi&AN=124895770&site=ehost-live

This scholarly research paper aims to discuss intercultural communication


strategies. The researchers focus on a term called facework to assess and measure
these communication strategies. Facework is defined as the ways people attempt to
promote others and ones self-esteem, autonomy, and solidarity in conversation. Jwa
(2017) defines Facework as the communication strategies people employ to promote
healthy and positive communication, and cooperation between individuals.

The researchers conduct an experiment to explore the intercultural discourse


between three ethnic groups, one of these being Japan. They focus on the verbal and
nonverbal communication strategies between the three groups to understand which
strategies promote positive self-esteem, cooperation, and good communication, and
those strategies that do not. This will be very helpful when we focus on the language
and communication aspect of Japanese business culture.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 15

Kapur, N. (2017). Mending the Broken Dialogue: U.S.-Japan Alliance Diplomacy


in the Aftermath of the 1960 Security Treaty Crisis. Diplomatic History,
41(3), 489-517. Retrieved from September 14, 2017, from
https://doi.org/10.1093/dh/dhwo53.

This article documents and depicts the Japan-US relations during the John F.
Kennedy presidency. This article goes into great detail regarding efforts to help repair
Japan-US relations after massive protesting in Japan following the US-Japan security
treaty. The author Nick Kapur challenges previous knowledge that downplayed these
efforts. This article also goes on to explicate the US-Japan relations that continue to
exist today.

This article would not be a useful source. The information in this article focuses
on the US-Japan relations dating back to the 1960s which depicts a completely
different US-Japan relation than the one that exists today. The article is a wealth of
knowledge but does not identify the specific information needed in order to improve or
identify US-Japan relations in the present.

Klopf, D. W. (2009, May 21). Japanese communication practices: Recent


comparative research. Retrieved September 15, 2017, from
http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy4.library.arizona.edu/doi/pdf/10.1080/01
463379109369791?needAccess=true

This article is a comparative research on Japanese communication practices. It


discusses various factors that impact communication in Japan. It also provides an
understanding on how the history of Japan affected the countrys communication
practices throughout the years.

This article provides reliable information regarding Japanese communication


practices. It discusses the factors that impact their communication in depth to provide
the reader a clear understanding of the topic. It also makes comparisons between the
American and Japanese communication that will help us distinguish the differences in
our communication practices.

Kobayashi, J., & Viswat, L. (2011, July 26). Intercultural Communication


Competence in Business: Communication between Japanese and
Americans. Retrieved September 16, 2017, from
http://mail.immi.se/intercultural/nr26/kobayashi-26.htm

This paper is a summary of results from interviews and questionnaires conducted


for 20 Americans who have experienced business with the Japanese. It discusses how
intercultural competence results in effective communication between both parties. It
serves as a guide for those who are seeking to carry out business with the Japanese.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 16

This paper can be used to give us insight on communication between Americans


and Japanese in the business aspect. We can learn about the experiences of
Americans who have previously dealt with business negotiations with the Japanese. It
will provide us information regarding things that we should and shouldnt do while
conducting business with them.

Maclachlan, M. (2010, February 12). Cross-cultural Communication Styles: High


and Low Context. Retrieved from
https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/high-and-low-c
ontext/

In his online article Cross-Cultural Communication Styles: High and Low


Context (2010), Matthew Maclachlan asserts that high and low-context cultures have
different values and communication styles that may cause issues when they interact.
Maclachlan first supports this claim by explaining the differences between high and
low-context cultures; then he gives examples by providing scenarios in which these
different values and communication styles create conflict. To conclude he gives a
solution to possible communication issues by expressing his support of creating training
materials for employees.

This article explains why understanding what a high-context culture like Japan
values is important and why working to mimic or consider those values will change how
we are perceived. This articles purpose is to help readers understand how different
cultures have different values and communication styles in order to cause a desire to
learn about interacting with individuals from different cultures. He seems to have a
professional audience in mind because he speaks mainly of business communication
issues.

Mestre, M., Stainer, A., Stainer, L., Strom, B. (2000). Visual communications the
Japanese experience. Corporate Communications: An International
Journal, 5(1), pp.34-41. doi:10.1108/13563280010317569

In his online article Visual Communications The Japanese Experience (2000),


Michel Mestre asserts that Japanese businesses utilize visual communications more
than written or verbal communication methods. Mestre first provides details about visual
communication by listing how they utilize it; he then explains why a business chooses
these uses of visual cues by explaining how each of them benefits relationships. To
conclude he analyzes why healthy interpersonal relationships are important by providing
details about how happier workers, who feel important in a teams success, can improve
a companys productivity. His purpose is to show the importance of valuing loyalty and
long-term relationships in order to enhance performance and continuously grow as a
company. He seems to have a professional audience in mind because he speaks
mostly of business communication and professional relationships.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 17

This article explains how visual communications can improve a companys


productivity by limiting the amount of money spent on creating and distributing different
forms of communication and by motivating and unifying workers. A company that uses
visual cues to make an employee feel as an important part of something bigger creates
a sense of belonging and pride into individuals. Causing each employee to feel more
pride in their work can improve their level of dedication, contentment at work, and
overall productivity.

Midooka, K. (1990). Characteristics of Japanese-style communication. Media,


Culture & Society,12(4), 477-489. doi:10.1177/016344390012004004

This article depicts the characteristics of Japanese style communication. The


article goes into great detail to explain the fundamental value related to Japanese
communication called wa which means to keep harmony with other people. Included in
the mantra are three main components of communication; the degree of intimacy
(friendship, relationship, etc), the mutual relationship (vertical hierarchy), and definition
of the situation (public or private). All of these factors have an enormous impact on
Japanese communication.

This article will be extremely useful in complementing one of the major


components of this project, and that deals with communication. This article compares
favorably against the other sources and provides more than sufficient information on
how to develop a line of communication with our Japanese counterparts. This is a peer
reviewed source which speaks to its reliability and my confidence in using it. The source
appears to be objective while discussing several sections of the communication process
and helps to explain the details behind proper communication according to Japanese
culture.

Sanchanta, M. (2007). FT.com site: Business etiquette: Japanese value


relationships and quality time. FT.com. Retrieved from
http://ezproxy.library.arizona.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ez
proxy3.library.arizona.edu/docview/229035959?accountid=8360

This article is a small case study about a U.S. air manufacturer dealing with
negative press after their plane suffered a mechanical malfunction as part of a fleet for a
Japanese Air line. The article discusses how the American Executives of the
manufacturing company went to Japan and tried to spin the event to create positive
press. This is not something that is done in Japanese Culture and according to
Sanchanta (2007), the Japanese businessmen told the American Executives their only
recourse is to face the press and apologize deeply to the public.

This article is very helpful because it works past the case study to explain which
aspects of Japanese business etiquette the American Executives violated. The article
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 18

also gives a brief history on Japanese business culture and explains many of the
mannerisms and cultural business practices that are important to Japanese etiquette.
Drexler, Dorman, Muller, Garcia 19