The history of relationship between the United States and Japan is quite long. There were many different conflicts and fruitful cooperation. Nevertheless, business communication did not stop even in the most difficult times. Of course, many successful business decisions were made due to the understanding of the cultural peculiarities of the partners. Thus, it is essential for a US companies cooperating with Japanese partners to pay much attention to the development of cross-cultural negotiation patterns.
Admittedly, American and Japanese companies use different business strategies and methods due to their cultural peculiarities. Such strategies can be even opposite by nature since Americans and Japanese are representatives of opposite, western and eastern, cultures.
However, wise managers and leaders do not become frustrated because of these differences, but make use of adopting some techniques. For instance, Alston and Takei point out such difference in business strategies, as American “quick decision-making” and Japanese thoroughness (11).
Many Americans get impatient with such slow decision making process and regard it as partners’ weakness. However, this characteristic feature of Japanese business strategy can be successfully adopted by American companies which will lead to safer deals. Thus, Japanese first check whether they can trust their partner and only then “offer larger agreements” (Alston & Takei 11). American companies can also start with agreements of low value and when they are confident in their partner, they can start more close cooperation.
Of course, understanding of cultural peculiarities can not only give some successful examples of running business, but it can also develop business communication on different levels. It is very important to follow any changes in the society of business partners to develop business relationship.
At present the USA and Japan have good and fruitful relationship. Wall street journal even claims that Americans are “Japan’s best friends in the West” (Koh, “APEC Guest List”). These close connections can help develop even more comprehensive cooperation.
For instance, Americans can study the situation in Japan and take advantage of it. Thus, Goldman states that nowadays Japanese express their discontent with the development of “dreaded and outlawed” monopolies (Goldman 38).
This trend can be used by the entire American country since the USA can suggest many ways of diminishing the influence of such monopolies offering own methods. Of course, it can be also beneficial for American business to enter Japanese market as competitive companies to existing Japanese monopolies.
Apart from advantages of understanding cultural peculiarities on the international level it is possible to work out some useful strategies on the level of companies. Thus, American companies can learn a lot about running negotiations with their Japanese partners. Many researchers are already being held in this field.
Thus, a very interesting research depicted by Greene et al. revealed the cultural differences on the basis of the “print advertisement” (486). Of course, many useful techniques can be adopted on the basis of such data analysis. However, Goldman suggests a very useful strategy in running negotiations depicting the results of survey which shows that Japanese are “resistant to bullying or face-threatening negotiating tactics” (37). So, American companies should choose another tactic and be very patient.
Thus, American companies should understand that it is essential to take into account cultural differences when having negotiations with Japanese companies. Such cultural peculiarities can lead to a great success or a failure.
Alston, J.P., Takei, I. Japanese Business Culture and Practices: A Guide to Twenty-First Century Japanese Business. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2005.
Goldman, Alan. Doing Business with the Japanese: A Guide to Successful Communication, Management, and Diplomacy. New York: SUNY Press, 1994.
Greene, J.O., Burleson, B.R. Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Koh, Y. “APEC Guest List: Obama? Check. Clinton?… Maybe.” The Wall Street Journal, 21 Oct. 2010. Web. 21 October 2010.