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Question 2

1. The Hofstede Scores of the two countries are compared below

1. POWER DISTANCE
Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of
institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is
distributed unequally. It has to do with the fact that a societys inequality is
endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.
Japan is near the world average in power distance, according to Hofstedes
studies. Japan is a borderline hierarchical society. Yes, Japanese are always
conscious of their hierarchical position in any social setting and act
accordingly.However, recent trends suggest that the Japanese are beginning to
question those in power more frequently. This change has occurred dramatically
in the political arena where there have been no fewer than 14 prime ministers in
the last 20 years (Economist, 2010). These displays of power change and
willingness to criticize suggest that Japan is becoming less tolerant of power
distance, a stance very reflective of the U.S.
United States is Power Distance (PDI) at 40, compared to the world Average of
55. This is indicative of a greater equality between societal levels, including
government, organizations, and even within families. This orientation reinforces
a cooperative interaction across power levels and creates a more stable cultural

environment. US culture considers use of power only when it is legitimate,


children are treated as equals, the education is student centered and
subordinates expect to be consulted as opposed to Japan where subordinates
expect to be told what to do.
2. INDIVIDUALISM
The high Individualism (IDV) ranking for the United States indicates a society
with a more individualistic attitude and relatively loose bonds with others.
The populace is more self-reliant and looks out for themselves and their close
family members. Japan scores 46 on the Individualism dimension.Japanese
society shows many of the characteristics of a collectivistic society: such as
putting harmony of group above the expression of individual opinions and
people have a strong sense of shame for losing face. People are loyal to their
inner group by birth, such as their extended family and their local
community. Individualistic traits imply that means that while a person in USA
would believe that speaking his mind is healthy a Japanese would keep quiet
in order to maintain harmony and any transgression of norms would lead to a
feeling of shame for him instead of guilt that an American might experience.
3. MASCULINITY-FEMINIYTY
At 95, Japan is one of the most Masculine societies in the world. However, in
combination with their mild collectivism, we do not see assertive and
competitive individual behaviors. Employees are most motivated when they
are fighting in a winning team against their competitors. USA on the other
hand is much less masculine, this situation generates a female population
that becomes more assertive and competitive, with women shifting toward
the male role model and away from their female role.
However, it is becoming much more acceptable in both countries for women
and men to perform the same tasks. The U.S. experienced a large part of this
change in the early 20th century, but it has just begun to surface in Japanese
culture. This may be part of a global cultural trend toward femininity that is
affecting both cultures.
4. UNCERTAINITY AVOIDANCE
USA scores fairly low on this parameter and here is a fair degree of
acceptance for new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try
something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business
practices or food. Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions
from anyone and allow the freedom of expression. In contrast Japan scores
very high on Uncertainty Avoidance possibly owing to its exposure to
distasters throughout history, the uncertainty inherent in life is felt as a
continuous threat that must be fought, therefore Japanese are more likely to
stay in jobs than americans.
5. LONG TERM ORIENTATION
At 88 Japan scores as one of the most Long Term Orientation oriented
societies. Japanese see their life as a very short moment in a long history of
mankind. People live their lives guided by virtues and practical good

examples. In corporate Japan, you see long term orientation in the constantly
high rate of investment in R&D even in economically difficult times, higher
own capital rate, priority to steady growth of market share rather than to a
quarterly profit, and so on. While American culture in contrast is short term
oriented, American businesses measure their performance on a short-term
basis, with profit and loss statements being issued on a quarterly basis. This
also drives individuals to strive for quick results within the work place.
6. INDULGENCE
The American society reflected by the following contradictory attitudes and
behaviour: Work hard and play hard. The States has waged a war against drugs and
is still very busy in doing so, yet drug addiction in the States is higher than in many
other wealthy countries. It is a prudish society yet even some well-known
televangelists appear to be immoral. With little interms of savings nd a dependency
on debt,this reflects a society thats high on indulgence. Japan on the other hand
has a culture of Restraint. Japanese society has a tendency to cynicism and
pessimism. Also, in contrast to Americans, Japanese do not put much emphasis on
leisure time and control the gratification of their desires