US-Japanese Project Team (Mini-Case Study: 9.1)

Q. What was the problem? Base your answer on the communication style as well as its underlying cultural dimensions explained in figure 9.4.

Japan is categorized as a high context culture. On the other side, low context cultures include the United States. In this case study, the American manager that comes from a low context culture needs to adapt and accommodate more, especially when shifting to a higher context culture. Here, the problem was that the American PM started working things out on her own rather than asking questions first or taking time to develop a relationship with her team to accomplish and do things together. Hence, an individual from a higher context culture like Japan expects many relationships and is more likely to ask for assistance rather than working out a solution independently. As a result, the Japanese people were apparently frustrated with the American PM because she didn't want to develop a relationship, and thus they discontinued helping her as a reaction.