this third step, listen to the four audio files of conversation again while you read
the transcription. Finally, read the glossary information, phrasal
verbs (highlighted in yellow) and notes at
the bottom. This step also means good practice for your reading
comprehension skills. To get information in Spanish, just place the
arrow of your mouse on any highlighted word without clicking.
Click on the audios below and
to this seminar conversation.
(Ms. Tomomi Moriwake, a Japanese consultant,
addresses to the seminarists)
Fundamental Principles of Japanese
I'm very glad to see
you are interested in learning more about Japan, because
never be able to do business with the Japanese unless you understand
some basic aspects of Japanese management and Japanese corporate
culture in general.
In my seminars, I usually talk about
three fundamental principles of Japanese management. The first is the
emphasis on the group in Japanese corporations. The second is the
importance of human or interpersonal relationships. And the last point
I discuss is the role of Japanese managers as generalists and
All right then, we'll talk about,
briefly, these three
principles. The first point then, the emphasis on
the group. This group orientation manifests itself in a following
example (you can yourself
conduct this experiment). If you ask any
Japanese businessman what he does, he will almost invariably answer by
saying, "I am a Sony man", or "I work for Mitsubishi", or
such and such company",
instead of telling you, if he's a... whether
he's an engineer or an accountant,
for instance, you see.
This point, this emphasis on the group -the group orientation- explains the other two principles as well. For
instance, Japan is geographically an island. It's an island nation,
it's like a boat with an
overcrowded homogeneous population. So, this
explains partially already why this group orientation is so important
and also necessary for the very survival of Japan and Japanese
corporations as well. You see,
by the way, the people are the only
possesses. It is an island nation without other natural
resources. So it's the question of
Human or Interpersonal Factors.
That leads us to the second question,
the second emphasis rather, namely the emphasis on human or
interpersonal factors or relationships. In this overcrowded island
nation, in order
to achieve or survive together, they have to learn,
like I said,
to get along, and in order to achieve this, there are
certain things they have to learn, like harmony. How do you achieve
harmony? By sacrificing a little bit of self-interest
for the sake of
the group. And also by compromising, by trying to have everybody agree,
namely, to achieve or to arrive at the
consensus of the group, you see.
Once you are employed, or
hired by the
company, you remain with this company until your retirement, the so-called
"lifetime employment". That explains a lot of things already, like
seniority order, because you enter the company along with your
the same age group. You graduated from the university together, so you
get promoted together, and so you climb this company,
ladder, little by little together, slowly but
In general, in a Japanese corporation,
everybody is more or less trained to be a generalist rather than a
specialist. Even if you are an engineer, when you have just joined the
company, you will have this orientation and you will be transferred
from one department to the other and you'll be
rotated in every
department of the company to familiarise yourself with the entire
company and for instance, since you are not narrowly specialising in
one field, you can
take over somebody else's role.
I also talk about ringisho, the so-called
ringisho, usually translated as 'the management by consensus'. That
means that all the employees participate in the process of
making. They form small groups in each department and they discuss the
matter with each other. They arrive at an agreement, the consensus,
and then the departmental chief or the executive will have to agree
himself or herself. And this way, the consensus is achieved. Everybody
is involved in the process. It's not like, say, an American way of
decision making by one big executive or the president.
This is just a brief description of my
seminars, but I think if you attend them, I can give you even more
insight into Japanese corporate culture, which I think will help you
greatly in your coming business trip to Japan.
you will never be able to do
You will never have the skills and know-how to do things well
(nunca podrá hacer o llevar a cabo).
Rule (principio, regla, norma).
To perform (realizar,
llevar a cabo).
As an alternative to,
in place of (en lugar de, en vez de).
For example. (por
Full of people
by the way
Here, human reserve (recurso).
To have, to own (tener,
to lead someone
To guide, to take someone somewhere (guiar, conducir, llevar).
(llegar, alcanzar los objetivos).
to get along
a friendly relationship; to
have smooth relations
for the sake of
For the purpose of achieving
(por el bien de).
That is to say
Agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole
(acuerdo, consenso general).
To employ or engage for work(contratar);
Higher rank than that of others especially
by reason of longer service(antigüedad por rango o años de trabajo);
Persons who are of equal standing with
another in a group(pares o similares);
To employ or engage for work(contratar);
Organizational structure(escalera o estructura organizativa);
Firmly(con seguridad y firmeza);
A modern scholar who is in a position to acquire more than superficial
knowledge about many different interests (generalista);
Someone who makes progress easier(facilitador);
To exchange work on a regular basis(rotar en las tareas);
to take over
assume control(hacerse cargo, asumir la
Administration(toma de decisiones, administración);