What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Foreign Manager in Japan

uchimizu

先輩
Joined
12 Jan 2008
Messages
77
Reaction score
3
Hi,

I apologize if this is already treated in another post. While most people on this forum wish to go to Japan for the sake of it, there are also many expats who go to Japan for their career as they could find an opportunity there.

I had the chance to be in this situation, and I believe I learned a lot about the traps that are awaiting the westerners in Japan. I have tried to summarize a few key kessons there, and I would be happy to get your reactions.
 
Joined
19 May 2007
Messages
1,648
Reaction score
111
Hi,
I apologize if this is already treated in another post. While most people on this forum wish to go to Japan for the sake of it, there are also many expats who go to Japan for their career as they could find an opportunity there.
I had the chance to be in this situation, and I believe I learned a lot about the traps that are awaiting the westerners in Japan. I have tried to summarize a few key kessons there, and I would be happy to get your reactions.
Very interesting. I am what you would call the top dog or owner of a company here and I can relate to your experience.

I guess I have the advantage that I know to not be going back to where I came from which helps in some areas. However, I also found that I was being left out of the loop and although my Japanese is as good as theirs, it is widely thought that I will not understand the Japanese way of thinking and therefore people will not come and consult with me.(most of the time)

I fully agree with you on change, it is one of the hardest things to undertake, the proccess is long, hard and tedious. Your relationship with your employees is of uttermost importance, if there is no relationship then you are doomed to fail. Acceptance is something that will be very hard and may take someone who is not Japanese twice the time assuming everything is equal.

Another thing I am sure you can relate to is the relationships that each worker has outside of work, it is a lot more involved than what we are used to and turning down these invitations will only make your acceptance even more difficult due to being regarded as a non-team player.

Anyway, I would love to hear more stories that you have , b/c I can relate to them so much.

Dave
 

dreamer

Sempai
Joined
15 Aug 2003
Messages
2,037
Reaction score
24
Un article extrêmement interressant, j'ai pu constater des réactions similaires lorsque je travaillais en alternance avec une entreprise basée à Hong Kong.

Je me souviens encore qu'un des technicien m'a dit "Tout ce qu'on te demande c'est de traduire, le reste tu ne comprendrais pas même si je te l'expliquais" alors que je pointais sur des erreurs qui au final ont delayé la production de 24 heures.

Si jamais je suis envoyé Japon, je serais ravi de pouvoir échanger quelques remarques et observations avec vous.
 

JerseyBoy

Back in town
Joined
31 Dec 2005
Messages
510
Reaction score
9
I manage the office and facility matters at the large distribution center in Japan. The Japanese custom tends to call for the employees to participate in the after hours get-together. I know many cultures have this type of business etiquette. I've been in New York for many years and I am not really a Japanese in a true sense. As my principle, I don't force myself to attend the after-hours non-business meetings/get-together because I want to make my personal life totally separate from my work life. If I were working at the typical Japanese company, I won't last even for a day (Typically, Japanese cultures require you to attend those after-hour non business meetings). As I am working at a foreign owned company, I don't have to force feed myself to what is expected from the run-of-the-mill Japanese "salary men."

As far as my situation is concerned, I don't have problems managing more than 20 subordinates in Japan. As long as you can communicate with your teams, you don't have to fear too much about where you came from.
 
Last edited:

kiwi_wiki83

後輩
Joined
20 Apr 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Hmm...what a tremendous experience working in Japan...14 hours of meeting... i can sleep for 14hours non stop..probably i may not survive in Japan... >@<
 
Top Bottom