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Cross cultural differences in business communication between German and Japan

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Diploma Cross cultural differences in business communication between German and Japan

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Rzeszów 2015

CONTENT

INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………….…………………………3

AIM…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...4

SECTION 1. THEORETICAL BASIS OF COMMUNICATIONS IN BUSINESS…………………………………5

SECTION 2. PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF COMMUNICATION USE IN BUSINESS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………14

2.1. Assessing the role of business communication in Germany……………………………………………………..14

2.2. Assessing the role of business communication in Japan ………………………………………………………...22

SECTION 3. Analysis of common and distinctive features of the business communication use in Germany and Japan……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….....30

CONCLUSIONS……………………………………………………………………………………………………...32

REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………………………………….33

INTRODUCTION

The current stage of development of international economic relations is characterized by the rapid growth of the number and volume of international operations, which is the reason to attract a growing number of resources, including information. The role of some of them is changing dramatically. Information will always be an important factor in the successful operation of the company. No wonder modern society is called information one, because today the information is not decisive in the fight against economic operators for recognition and economic results.

However, it is important to understand that the information itself is not a guarantee of success. Important information security in the enterprise is not only the correctness of its collection and processing, but it is also about sender, recipient, method, speed, quality and time of transmission line designed to transfer information described above. Therefore, a key element of modern enterprise information system must be regarded as business communication.

Business Communications of the economic operator are essential for the implementation of strategic and tactical goals of the company. This is especially actualized in the international sphere of activity and influenced by the rapid development of IT technology. But audiences, when there are international business communications with blurred boundaries, respectively convey the messages (changes in the product or pricing, the emergence of new loyalty programs, longer-warranty service, find business partners, such as dealers, etc.) becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore there is a need to develop models of international business communications in the information system of the company indicating possible links and obstacles that exist and can occur under the influence of a number of identifiable factors. Facts mentioned above determines the relevance of the chosen work’s topic.

In the period of globalization and integration in the international space, mastering the art of doing Business meetings takes increasingly important role for companies engaged in foreign economic activity. Moreover, the success of the negotiations will be determined by the national awareness of partners’ features. Cooperation with foreign partners is always a clash of different national cultures. Knowledge of specific national and psychological characteristics inherent in different countries, will help businesses to behave in each country in accordance with applicable rules and successfully implement their plans, while avoiding confusion and sometimes conflicts. Given the fact that national stereotypes are simplified, emotive idea of one nation to another or of itself should summarize individual specifications specific to individual countries.

International aspects of business communication can be analyzed deeper only in comparison with each other. In current work German and Japanese business communication cultures are discussed. These are two very much different areas of research but both of them are reach with authentically special elements of business culture.

The numerous amounts of works of foreign and domestic authors are devoted to the study of communication processes in economic activity, problems of organization, functioning and efficiency of communications. Among foreign are I. Aleshin, G. Bahiyev , P. Beynz, John. Burnett, S. Blake, B. Borisov, C. Botan, M. Horenburhov, John. Hruni, E. Hyummesson. D. Doty, J. Leyhiff, S. Katlip, Alexander Potapov, I. Singer, A. Ticker, V. Cherenk, A. Chumikov, R. Harlow, and others. Important contribution to the theory of communication was done in the works of Ukrainian scientists (B. Bebik, G. Crane, B. Korolko, V. Mazurenko, V. Moiseev, G. Pocheptsov, T. Primak, E. Romat, and others.).

The object of the work is relationships between entities arising from the use of business communications.

The subject of the work is business communication and comparison of its’ using in different societies.

Such research methods were used in the work:

  • analysis and synthesis (while describing the model of communication process (by K. Shannon and W. Waiver));
  • classification (while describing methods of communication and barriers in it);
  • deduction (while describing Japanese business communication culture with the help of facts and doing a general conclusion after);
  • induction (while describing German business communication culture in general facts and then confirming them with details);
  • modeling (while giving practical examples of conflicts that can be caused by misunderstanding in German and Japanese societies);
  • comparison (while contrasting German and Japanese cultures).

The work consists of two sections:

  • Section 1 gives general theoretical basis of communications in business (taking into consideration such topics as communication itself as a central concept of business and main types of communication in business);
  • Section 2 gives practical aspects in business communication process (taking into consideration analyses of both German and Japanese business communication cultures and making their comparison).

CONCLUSIONS

Business communication is a complex multifaceted process, the essence of which supports the establishment and development of communication between people, due to the needs of joint activities and exchange, information, knowledge, intellectual property. Its aim is to develop a common strategy for interaction, perception and understanding of the other person.

Good management requires building business communication management serving management system that is integrated through the communications with target audiences, contributes to the maximum efficiency in all areas of the organization in a changing environment.

Effective business is impossible without effective communication both within the organization and outside. Communicative competence of the manager allows him to understand the essence of the communication process, ensuring the ability of oral and written communication and understanding how the environment influences the exchange of information.

As business communication involves the interaction of two or more unique and complicated systems that occurs in different situations with different means and channels of communication, typology of types of business communication can be performed on different grounds by different criteria, namely the place, time of implementation, objectives on the basis of the subject of communication by means of communication, the source communications regulation and so on. This will be discussed in the next paragraph.

When it comes to Germany, they treat life with incredible seriousness, that why they note very negative any manifestation of frivolity, all sorts of chance and accident. For this reason, all their conversations are serious and significant; they are all right to discuss all sorts of problems, illness, stress, work overload and other palpitating themes. By their nature Germans are simply unable to request a lie or a mistake. A clear division between private and public life is a guarantee that in personal, private life Germans are open and sincere. The Germans are not very kind to communicate, considering it unnecessary chic, they keep foreigners not fairly closed and are not in a hurry to approach strangers, but if you manage to switch from “Sie” to "Du", it means you are now friends. Their unwavering belief in their right to interfere in whatever happens makes them irreconcilable to another's opinion if it differs from their own. And about their disagreement, German declares immediately, and may chose observations not caring about the form of presentation. When dealing Germans it is better to observe the highest degree of formality. However, they are very cautious and observe etiquette around, so sometimes they make impression of closed and unfriendly people. When making business every rush causes disapproval on their part. It is advisable not offer German entrepreneurs quickly "crank" of some sudden case. This will produce negative impression on them, they may decide that you do not calculate and act without any plan, while they make plans even for the vacations a year before it will appear. In Germany, the business relationship is very restrained, a leader’s time is painted by the minute, so do not break through to him bypassing the secretary.

On the opposite side, because of the collective nature of Japanese society and the need to maintain relationships, Japanese often make a distinction between their true feeling or personal opinion (honne) and what they know they should say in public because it is the appropriate thing to say in the situation (tatemae). In Japanese culture, behavior tends to be situational. Appropriate behavior is tied to many factors, including the place, the rank or relative status of other people who may be present, and one's relationship to those people. Understanding how these factors influence behavior can help the foreign businessperson avoid misunderstandings. When communicating with people from other cultures, with whom there may be little or no shared background, Japanese tend to either assume a higher level of shared understanding than actually exists, and communicate in a way that seems cryptic or ambiguous to foreigners, or they are acutely aware of the lack of shared understanding, and demonstrate a high need for contextual information in order to build this shared context. This can be exasperating for business counterparts who feel that they have provided enough information already. Japanese companies make decisions based on the cultural value of group orientation. Decisions tend to be made by group consensus rather than individual authority. In the process of forming a group consensus, all the possible repercussions of a decision are examined and taken into account, a holistic approach which maintains harmony within the organization.

It should be noticed that foreigners from low context cultures such as Germany or the U.S. often find Japanese explanations or presentations confusing. Rather than hearing a concise statement of key points supported by facts and examples, they may find themselves lost in a spiral of background information, with no explicitly expressed conclusion. In trying to communicate the whole context, Japanese often lead up to the point through a gradual accumulation of background details. When enough background has been given, it may even be felt redundant to verbalize the conclusion, as it should be obvious by that time.

So there are few common features of business communication in Germany and Japan (like high responsibility, high requirements to the appearance, slow process of decision making). But generally these cultures are really very different and in order for German partner to understand Japan one numerous of affords need to be done.

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