The aim of this assignment is to provide learners with a specific example of why it is important to understand the culture of a foreign country. A video interview database of Canadian managers in Japan is the forum for sharing this insight.
Aside from solid research and textual web based explanations, another means to understand the nuances of a nation’s culture is to listen to what people have to say about it. We travelled to Tokyo in the summer of 2006 and decided to ask a group of Canadian managers what they thought about working and living in a different culture. We were curious about their experiences, their struggles, their preparations, their prior misconceptions, the role of business networks and the advice that they might be able to offer others.
We also wanted to know about what made the culture of Japan unique from those of other countries. We asked these Canadians about the use of business cards, the role of silence, the set up of a business office, the etiquette surrounding dining, the role of seniority, the way to start a business relationship, the patterns of communication, the way to constructively criticize a Japanese colleague, the means to motivate a team and other important challenges such as maintaining the respect of colleagues. The collection of interviews is a fascinating look at a different culture from the perspective of outsiders. The interview responses were unscripted and respondents spoke from the heart.
This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “What are some of the cultural features specific to Japan that managers should pay attention to when operating in that country?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the answers offered by Canadian managers to questions posed in the video interview database.
In order to complete this assignment you will be using the AIEIS video interview database.
Note: This process provides you with a password to access the Acadia Multi-Media Case Management System (AMCMS) which includes AIEIS – this does not change your ACORN account information
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