You are on page 1of 6

GLOBAL STUMBLE

What obvious cultural differences between Nomura and Lehman do you see in this situation ?
First and foremost, the reorganization of Lehman by Namura has led to several consequences
of the policy of the company. Lehman’s employees have to adjust their working environment
policy to the Namura’s working environment policy which could prove to be constraining.
We can also observe that there are numerous occasions where there are issues that resulted in
the workers feeling extremely uncomfortable as a result of being pressurized deeply at work.
This could include the dressing code for the women whom have to adjust from the dressing
code in Lehman where their attire choices are based on climate or 4 different seasons to the
company that is captured by Nomura which demanded them to not go to the office with attire
that seems disrespectful to the people around them. As a result, an unconducive and hostile
working environment that is bound to make the women workers feeling uncomfortable in the
long haul. Furthermore, we can observe that there is a gender discrimination that took place
in those two companies. There are no specific rules for men during work but for women the
rules are very inhumane that they never take their attire choices for consideration and have to
adhere to a specific set of rules. In other cases, we can also observe that the issues faced are
handled differently between those two companies. It is understood that the quality of work in
Lehman falls from time to time till the progress remain stagnant while the workers are often
fired by Namura for profitability. Lastly, Namura is accentuated more towards being
relationship-oriented especially with the colleagues.

What global attitude do you think characterizes Nomura ? Be specific in your description. Do
you see any evidence of that changing ?
As we can see from the beginning, Namura initially practises ethnocentric attitude where they
believe that their own home ground workers are able to understand the whole system needed
in the working environment which could include career background, skills, ability to run
business well and knowledge to solve impending dilemmas. After some time, their businesses
evolved to geocentric attitude where the focus is towards the worldwide ideas and strategy.
The Japan-based company Namura expanded their businesses to Europe and Asia and even
sent the head of global investment banking to London and global of equities to New York.

Do some cultural research on Japan and the United States. Compare those cultural
characteristics. What similarities and differences exist ? How might these cultural differences
be affecting the situation at Namura ?
1. Japan focuses collectivism whereas the United States is heading more towards
individualism.
 Appreciation of work, loyalty and dedication during work are widely practised among
the Japanese workers whereas the Americans are more towards self-achievement
oriented and that there is a possibility of hoping from one job to another for their
advance career and their personal spiritual growth.
 The value of discipline is highly regarded among the Japanese where following the
schedule and rules are concerned.
2. Japanese are known to be more formal as compared to the Americans.
 During the conversations with the others, the Japanese converse to one another in a
formal tone at the same time maintaining some distance to signify respect towards the
person
 For Americans, they speak in a friendly manner and could continue for lengthy gossip
with the others as long as something intrigue them.

3. In terms of self-image, the Japanese are more upfront about them compared to the
Americans.
 The Japanese are never ashamed about the mistakes they have committed and learn
from them quickly whereas the Americans tend to supress all their pitfalls to
themselves, leaving everything unexpressed.
 When things go wrong, the Japanese would make the first move of acknowledge them
whereas the Americans tend to the blame from one to another continuously before an
ideal solution is found.

4. In terms of getting things done, the Japanese focus on consistency whereas the
American focus on getting things done as quick as possible.
 The managers as well as subordinates of the United States generally possess
information and decision quicker but tend to make mistakes in the process due to
hastiness.
 The Japanese are very systematic and consistent where solving specific issues are
concerned.

5. The Japanese are more risk adverse as compared to the Americans.


 When the Japanese feel that something has very high possibility of achieving 100%,
they never believe it and instead they perform further analysis of data from all
possible angles before a conclusion could be made to determine if the result could
achieved 100% efficiency or otherwise.
 Americans tend to adopt risk-taking attitudes with positive mindset. They often go for
something that is less than 100% success rate but should be at the acceptable rate of
achieving at least 50% and above with them silently wishing to achieve success of
100% or thinking about ways of achieving it after the last plan.

6. The Japanese are homogeneous culture oriented whereas the Americans are highly
dedicated towards the heterogeneous culture.
 For Americans, they emphasize ideas with different kind of different background that
could come in so many forms since the American companies consist of various of
different nationalities.
 Japanese workers have the ability to understand and communicate with the others
through non-verbal communication, in other words, by body language itself.
7. In terms of lifestyle, Americans appreciate personal life whereas Japanese are
dedicated towards their professional life.
 Americans strongly place work-life balance and family time as priority.
 Japanese see their careers as god and see their professional life as the centre of their
spiritual and innovation development.

8. Skill training for the Japanese is more progressive as compared to the Americans.
 Job rotation is necessary for the Japanese in order to produce competitive workforce
in the society.
 The Americans generally rely other programs for training, though the training is
stagnant and not demanding.

9. The Japanese workers have easier managerial authorization as compared to the


American workers.
 Japanese workers have easier collaboration with other workers with open office
policy in the factory or plant. Everyone is able to give feedback, criticisms and ideas
freely towards one another without holding everyone back.
 American workers are aloof and dislike dependence on the others. Therefore,
everything is done by their own as they are entitled to their own far-sighted ideas as
long as it does not cause harm or negative results.

10. American workers are straightforward when it comes to expressing point of view,
criticisms, praise, anger and dissatisfaction whereas the Japanese workers are very
subtle and that leave the workers wonder if they are receiving praise or criticism in
doing a specific task.
 Americans are generally more outspoken with their body language, and usually their
eye contact towards the another when speaking with someone which is a complete
opposite to the Japanese who see such act as ill-mannered and inhumane.
 Japanese are generally more prudent with their words when talking to someone
whereas the Americans just speak out regardless of what the others think which could
hurt someone harshly in the process without them knowing about it.

11. Working style among the Americans are more flexible and lenient whereas for the
Japanese they are more organized and structured.
 Working hours for the Americans can be adjusted over time subject to the workers’
flexibility of schedule.
 They generally obey office hours rule which requires them to work from day to night,
including the weekends. They placed the working hours as their significant
importance in their work.
What could Nomura managers do to support, promote and encourage cultural awareness
among employees? Explain.
1. Celebrate different festive seasons.
 This is one of the best ways to acknowledge their presence in the workplace at the
same time appreciating their contribution to the company. Other races could join with
the specific races during the holiday break to celebrate with full of joy. Deeper
understanding of cultures and background could be as a result.

2. Organize an international charity event.


 By getting involved in volunteering in providing greater cause to the community,
someone else who are more unfortunate are able to enjoy privileges like the others.
For example, Citigroup which is a financial company originated from the United
States organize a special event called ‘Citi Global Community Day’ annually
worldwide as a way to get their colleagues to contribute to the society through
volunteering which could include helping the others in need, cleaning, teaching,
cooking, recycling and etc. By doing so, they are able to generate a lot of funds which
will be used to assist the poor ones who suffer from malnutrition or poor health. From
this experience, Nomura could follow their example by doing the same as what the
Citigroup does annually. This not only enrich the life of the others but in the process it
also make someone feel better about himself or herself. Further cultural awareness
can be realized due to the different cultural background that join the charity event
mainly for the greater good of the community.

3. Learning a new language.


 Learning a new language can be very fun at the beginning but it requires persistence,
dedication and hard work throughout the years to master the language. For example,
there are quite a lot of French workers working in a company and you are the
Japanese worker who is trying to figure out what they have been conversing
throughout the day. Therefore, with the presence of curiosity, the Japanese worker
chooses to learn the new language which is French and one day when they mingle
with those French workers, they will continue their conversations in spite of not being
fluent. The French workers will see this as a genuine interest of the Japanese worker
trying to get to know them and in turn they will learn their new language which is
Japanese. They will converse with the Japanese worker one day and the relationships
between them will strengthen. Language barriers which is common in cultural
differences in the workplace can be easily diminished.

4. Company’s employment opportunities.


 Bringing different races with different cultures can be done in the form of
employment positioning. For example, the individual race A takes charge of a senior
managerial position, the individual race B appointed as a human resource manager,
the individual race C appointed as the chief financial officer, the individual race D
appointed as the chief executive officer and the individual race E is appointed as
chairman of the company. The diversity of the company can be seen clearly with lots
of exchange of global ideas that could see the company expand internationally.

5. Engaging with the new employees at a deep level.


 The managers or supervisors of the company should provide the new employees
guidance especially when they have just entered to the new working environment for
less than two weeks as they can prove to be the most difficult period for the new
employees who are just welcomed by the human resource manager of the company as
they are attempting to blend in to the new working environment.

6. Never be afraid to ask for assistance when needed in the workplace.


 Too many colleagues are too afraid to ask for help from someone else at work due to
feeling uncomfortable with the others. Therefore, they supress their problems and
always keep those to themselves. By keeping your problems to your inner self, not
only you will cause your emotional well-being to be affected but also your job
performance. The way to forward this issue is to talk to someone you can trust and
share your concerns about the workplace and also about personal issues that have
been a source of issue at work.

7. Set an example to the others where diversity of workplace is concerned.


 A colleague can choose to be a role model to the others by being at his or her best
behaviour and attitude at work. Understanding the others can be an additional trait
that is admirable to the others as this shows that there is a sense of empathy and
concern from the colleague and often times could help strengthening the bond
between the colleagues. As a result, a harmonious working environment can be
achieved.

8. Never get involved with work politics


 This is one of the most common issue that takes place in any workplace and it is
generally unavoidable. Such issue always happens when favouritism takes place at
work where one person is favoured as compared to the others. Work politics often
damages relationships between colleagues especially one gets undeserved praise and
the other getting undeserved criticism from the others. Therefore, there is a fine line
between a genuine accomplishment with hard work and getting things done and
getting praise for not doing so much as compared to the one before. This will
eventually result in hatred among the colleagues that will eventually turn into
resentment and jealousy. The colleagues can avoid the uncertainty in workplace by
having a good relationship with higher authorities as they usually place first
impressions above everything else. In other words, if you want to be admired and
respected, your first impression must be firm and solid along with graceful
personalities.

9. Never believe in stereotypes from the norm.


 Stereotypes can often be a stumbling blocks among members of different cultural
background and could result in tense relationship between one another. To overcome
this unreasonable attitude, we need to understand that a bad deed from someone from
a specific race or culture need not represent the whole race or culture itself. Besides,
we can avoid falling the trap by taking the initiative to understand where someone is
coming from as well as their cultural background. This will reduce this negative
attitude on someone at an enormous scale.

10. Showing appreciation and gratitude to the colleagues.


 Being thankful to the guidance by the colleagues and higher authorities is one of the
best things that can be shared with them as this will make them feel valued, listened,
respected, admired and appreciated. Saying ‘Thank you’ to the colleagues should not
be difficult especially when they have offered a helping hand with their big hearts and
they deserve appreciation in return. An ideal working environment is when people are
able to appreciate the others without expecting someone in return and in turn the
others are doing favours to other workers to help propel the company’s name to
greater heights along with its vision and mission.

What do you think the statement “When your business is global, management needs to be
global” is saying ? In your opinion, is Nomura doing this ? Explain.
In order to expand the businesses well without many hindrances, we must be able to have an
open-minded mindset by learning to see through the perspectives of the others. Parochialism
is the attitude that must be demolished at all cost if the businesses are to be global as such
behaviour is egocentric and only thinking that own ideas are always better than the others or
thinking that others could not do a better job than you do. In order to be moving towards the
world-oriented view, a geocentric attitude must be mastered by the colleagues of the
company that allows open ideas and corporation with different parties worldwide at the same
time deciding if the decision made is the best for everyone or otherwise. Nomura has adopted
this attitude well until some colleagues were sent to London and New York.