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Doing business in India, Japan & US : A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Presented By:

Ruchi Kumari

What is Culture?
Customary beliefs, social norms, values, material traits and behavior patterns Transmitted from generation to generation Distinguish groups of people Influences productivity, attitude and action

1) High-Context Culture
Infer information from message context, rather than from content. Prefer indirectness, politeness & ambiguity. Convey little information explicitly. Rely heavily on nonverbal signs. Groups are preferred for learning and problem solving

Asia Latin America Middle East

Low-Context Culture
Rely more on content rather than on context. Explicitly spell out information. Value directness. See indirectness as manipulative. Value written word more than oral statements. An individual is preferred for learning and problem solving

Europe North America

2) Monochromic Culture
One task at a time Work time is clearly separable from personal time Committed to the job Adhere religiously to plans Accustomed to short-term relationships

Germany Canada Switzerland U.S. Scandinavia

Polychronic Culture
Many tasks are handled simultaneously Work time is not clearly separable from personal time Committed to people and human relationships Change plans often and easily

Saudi Arabia Egypt Mexico India Japan


Past orientation
China Britain Japan India

Traditional Slow to change Conservative in management

Present orientation
Past as passed Future as uncertain Prefer short term benefits
Some part of Spanishspeaking Latin American countries

Future Orientation
Understand and shape the future Management planning, doing, controlling U.S. Brazil

4) Individualism
Individual uniqueness Selfdetermination Self-made man" Makes up their own mind" Universal values shared by all

U.S. Australia U.K.

People to identify with and work well in groups Protect the individuals in exchange for loyalty and compliance Different groups have different values

India Japan Indonesia

Hofstedes Cultural Factors

High Individualism : US, Australia, Great Britain, Canada Low Individualism: Japan, Venezuela, Thailand, Japan, Mexico, China Individualism vs collectivism

High : Korea, Japan, Mexico Low: India, Australia, US, Germany

Power Distance

Hofstedes Cultural Factors

Masculinity Vs Femininity

Feminine: Netherlands, France, Sweden Masculine: Japan, Mexico, Britain, Germany

Long term orientation Long Term: Hong Kong, Japan Short Term: Great Britain, US, Germany

Uncertainty avoidance High : France, Japan, Mexico Low: India, Hong Kong, US, Great Britain


World Average




Power Distance

55 43 50 65

40 91 62 46

77 48 56 40

54 46 95 92



Uncertainty avoidance Long term orientation





No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive M. K. Gandhi

The reasonable person adapts himself to the world, while the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. George Bernard Shaw

Greeting - India
Religion, education and social class all influence greetings in India. Greet the eldest or most senior person first. Shaking hands is common- Large cities, Educated Handshakes -Men to Men, Women to Women Seldom Handshakes between men and women

Greeting - Japan
Formal and Ritualized. Respect and deference based upon their status relative to your own. If possible, wait to be introduced. Can be seen as impolite to introduce yourself, even in a large gathering. Traditional form Bow, Bend depends upon relationship and situation. The deeper you bow, the more respect you show.

Greeting - US
Greetings are casual. A handshake, a smile, and a 'hello' are all that is needed. Smile! Use first names, and be sure to introduce everyone to each other.

Gift Giving
India not very crucial, not expected open infront of the giver. Japan very crucial, wrapping is even more important. US - not very crucial, but we are expected to open infront of the giver.

Meetings and Negotiations-India

Time flexibility is accepted Agenda is not strictly fixed Meetings are frequent

Meetings and NegotiationsJapan

Meetings usually take place for only one of three reasons To build rapport  To exchange information  To confirm previously made decisions.

Decisions are rarely made in a meeting. Group consensus is important. Every meeting ends with food.

Meetings and NegotiationsUS

Punctuality and time constraints Sticks to agenda Oral communication Common Individual characteristics are criteria for selection

Business Cards-India
Exchanged after the initial handshake and greeting. University degree/Honour - put it. Use the right hand to give and receive business cards. Always present your business card so the recipient may read the card as it is handed to them.

Business Cards-Japan
Always keep your business cards in pristine condition. Treat the business card you receive as you would the person. You may be given a business card that is only in Japanese. Make sure your business card includes your title. Business cards are given and received with two hands and a slight bow. Examine any business card you receive very carefully. During a meeting, place the business cards on the table in front of you in the order people are seated. When the meeting is over, put the business cards in a business card case or a portfolio.

Business Cards-US
Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. Common for the recipient to put your card in their wallet(even back pocket).

Snapshot - India
Relationships & Communication Titles Indians are non-confrontational. Decision making is a slow process. If you lose your temper you lose face and prove you are unworthy of respect and trust. Do not disagree publicly with members of your negotiating team. Successful negotiations are often celebrated by a meal.

Snapshot - Japan
They are extremely sensitive to and concerned about relationships. The nail that sticks out is hammered down (Russo, 2003-05) - Individualism is negatively viewed in Japanese society. First names are reserved for family and close friends. Use courtesy titles such as "Mr.", "Ms.", or the suffix "san", in addition to last names. Japanese - Implicit communicators, "Say one, understand ten,

Snapshot US
Use a title, such as Dr, Ms, Mr, or Mrs. Please and Thank you always expected. Be punctual. Be professional. Treat women as equals. Be explicit in your views American frequently change jobs and move. Americans take pride in job achievements; i.e. my son the doctor.

Cross-cultural communication Cultural sensitivity Acculturation Cultural synergy
Think Globally. Act Locally. ~ Derek Torrington, 1994

Managing Cultural Differences Harris, Moran and Moran (Butterworth-Heinemann) Effective Business Communication - Krizan, Merrier, Logan and Williams (Cengage Learning) dfviewer?vid=4&hid=125&sid=6ca3f1fd-a0844b6e-b9cd-5bf82e652023%40sessionmgr111 tml Docs_2007/Monochronic%20and%20Polychro nic%20Cultures.pdf