Welcome to post six of our study abroad experience at Reitaku University in Japan! Today’s discussion was all about the way people work in Japan. We covered topics regarding protocol, relationships in the office, economy, and business philosophy in Japan. There are many great differences between American and Japanese business procedures. Let’s explore these variations.
As far as protocol goes in the office, employees within the same department may have discourse about the work, however, inquiries made outside of the department must be done so in paperwork. Having a proper paper trail is important in order to know at what point in an operation something went awry. People that work for Japanese companies are slow in the deciding process so as to not make mistakes out of hasty decisions. This seems to be almost opposite of the way Americans make decisions in business. They want answers quickly so as to be able to move to the next phase of the process in less time. I feel like a huge reason for this could be because American companies really compete against each other, and it’s always a race to the finish. In conducting business this way, lots of mistakes are made. However, in Japanese business this is not so. They have more of a support system than American corporations do. Japanese businesses strive to empower and reinforce each other for the betterment of the country as a whole. Now doesn’t that make more sense? Apologies for the boldness, but the way in which Japanese employees feel about their companies speaks volumes about the way they operate in contrast to the way America operates. American employees hate Mondays and really only have a job because they are told they have to do so to survive. Japanese employees always work overtime and are happy to do other types of work unpaid for the company. I’ve never really come across the same kind of attitude in America that Japanese people have as far as being diligent workers in order to humbly be of service to the country and progress society. Only very recently have citizens in America begun to come up with ways to build businesses around progressive thinking and doing something for the advancement of society as a whole. On an individual basis I think we are starting to realize that changes need to be implemented so that we don’t end up terminating our species. With that being said, I am extremely excited to see how society moves in the coming years. Indeed it will be a compelling time.