Hidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese

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An analysis and explanation of the unstated rules  of Japanese-American business relations. By  drawing Western readers into the world in which they  must function, the Halls simplify the process of  adapting Western ways to a new environment.

World-renowned anthropologist Edward T. Hall and his wife Mildred Reed Hall have written a fascinating examination of the unstated rules of Japanese-American business relations. Hidden Differences identifies the major cultural patterns which could be potential problems for American business executives and helps them to avoid the hidden traps of intercultural communication.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The authors believe that by better understanding Japanese culture, American business people will become more successful. By interviewing successful American and Japanese business people, the authors gathered information about cultural patterns such as use of space and time, information flow and communication processes, interpersonal relationships in the home and at work, business philosophy and management styles. Edward T. Hall, who analyzed American culture in The Silent Language , now has taken his analytical expertise and effectively applied it to the Japanese. Recommended for business practitioners and students. Grace Klinefelter, Ft. Lauderdale Coll. Lib., Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385238847
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 701,361
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xv
Part I Key Concepts
Culture is Communication 3
Fast and Slow Messages: Finding the Appropriate Speed 5
High and Low Contexts: How Much Information is Enough? 7
Space 11
Territoriality 12
Personal Space 12
The Multisensory Spatial Experience 13
Unconscious Reactions to Spatial Differences 14
Time 15
Time as Structure 16
Monochronic and Polychronic Time 16
The Relation Between Time and Space 19
Polychronic Time and Information 20
Time as a Measure of Competence 22
Past- and Future-oriented Countries 22
Time as Communication 23
Tempo, Rhythm, and Synchrony 23
Scheduling and Lead Time 24
The Importance of Proper Timing 25
Appointments and Keeping People Waiting 26
Information Flow: Is it Fast or Slow and Where Does it Go? 28
Action Chains: The Importance of Completion 30
Interfacing: Communication One on One 33
Summary 35
Part II The Japanese
Introduction 39
Historical Background: Context for Japan Today 40
The Castle and the Village 41
Leadership: The Warrior 42
Modern Japan 44
Order and Rank 44
The Family: Absent Father, Omnipotent Mother 47
Territoriality: Crowding Without Contact 48
Education: Conformity in the Classroom 49
The Younger Generation Today: Loosening Up 51
The Sea of Information 52
The Vocabulary of Human Relationships 54
Amae 54
Giri and On 56
Ningen Kankei 58
Other High-Context Terms 60
Part III Japanese Business
Corporate Philosophy 65
The Team and the Work Ethic 65
Joining a Major Company 66
Japanese Workers: The Ultimate Team Players 68
Loyalty 69
Responsibility 70
Quality Control Circles 71
Service Orientation 72
The Organization 73
The Structure 73
The Information-based Organization 75
Promotions 76
Leadership 78
Hierarchy: Business Cards and Bows 80
Collective Decision-making and Consensus: The Ringi--Slow, Slow; Fast, Fast 81
Long-term Planning 83
Strikes 84
Women in Business 86
The Future 87
Why Japanese Business Is Successful 88
"Japan, Inc." 90
The Banks and the Company 92
Business, Large and Small 93
The Japanese Market 93
Part IV The American Company in Japan
Starting Business in Japan 97
Some Common American Expectations 97
The Need for a Long-term Plan 98
The Japanese Connection 103
Learning the Language 105
Friendships: Essential Relationships 107
Entertainment and Gifts 108
Establishing Japanese Operations 110
When Things Go Wrong 112
Communication and Negotiation 114
Time: Flexibility and Shifting Systems 114
Meetings: Getting to Know You 116
Negotiations: Everybody Wins Something 117
Presentations: Logic vs. Indirection 120
Saving Face: The Key to Successful Interactions 124
Contracts and Attorneys 128
Managing in Japan 130
Relating to Your Japanese Staff 130
The Importance of After-Hours Socializing 132
Problems with the Home Office 132
Marketing, Selling, and Distributing 135
Marketing: Learning from the Masters 135
Advertising: Releasing the Right Response 138
Public Relations 141
Sales: Time Well Spent 142
Distribution: Crucial Networks 143
Advice for Americans 145
Afterword 153
Glossary 157
Reading List 161
Index 167
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