In order to understand the members of a particular society, it is required to have some idea of their daily lives , their tradition , their beliefs , their way of looking at the world , their value system. Values determine what is right and what is wrong for an individual , for a group of people ,for the people living in a particular nation. Individual’s value system decide the dos and the don’ts in their life. It forms the foundations of their characters. Depending on their value system , in a given situation they behave in a particular manner.
The culture of various countries differ. There may be some similarity, but they are not the same. The values, beliefs and notions of Japan differ that of America, china or India. An organization is a part of the society . therefore, as far as an organization in a particular nation is concerned, its value system also differs from another organization situated in some other country.
A comparison of the value system of Japan, china , America and India are given below:
- Dedicated to service: Japanese believe in hard work being totally dedicated and thus providing best quality products to the customers. It indicates that like Indians they treat work as worship. They believe in kaizen i.e. continuous, small improvements.
- Macro vision: Japanese value system is such that they are more oriented to look at things from macro perspective . Japanese are patriots by nature. They love their country and are honest and dedicated towards it .therefore, when a Japanese joins an organization he is totally dedicated and gives his best output because he knows this output will help in nation building, will contribute in economic growth and development of nation. Thus individual priority, goals and objectives become the second criteria for the Japanese.
- Emphasizes spiritualism: Another characteristic of Japanese is that they are inclined towards spirituality. They practice meditation, attend lectures on spiritualism, believe in intuition and six sense. Thus they lead a peaceful life which enhances their productivity level.
- Professional life kept away from personal life: Japanese also believe not to carry office work at home and external problems at home. They follow a custom. Before entering their home, they keep their shoes outside and enter inside bare footed to indicate that external stress and strain should be kept outside. External disturbances should not create disharmony in their personal life.
- Business ethics: Japanese believe in business ethics. They provide products and services to the customers and never ready to cheat them. Thus they provide service to the community and fulfill social responsibility. They do business fairly. They earn profit but not at the cost of quality.
- Team spirit: Japanese value system emphasizes on team spirit. In an organization or in society team spirit needs to be developed. It creates harmony and positive synergy. Therefore, team output becomes better compared to individual output. They believe in joint dicision making. It means employees should be involved in the decision making process along with management. Sometimes they might know better than management. Therefore, joint decision making will lead to better decision.
- Holistic approach: Japanese are ever ready to spend on the training of the employees, as they believe that the employees will be with the organization for the long time. They have holistic concern for employees.
- Self management: Japanese culture also give importance on self discipline and self control. The individuals are expected to control their ego, anger, hatred, greediness and maintain service attitude. It emphasizes more to give then to take from professional life.
- Japanese value system: They are courteous and generous people. Japanese value system emphasizes not to express one’s opinion directly. Japanese have 2 concepts about the opinion, One is ‘honne’ (real opinion) and other is ‘tatemae’ (public opinion). It is flexible in approach and emphasizes in agreeing with people around as much as possible.
- Non interruptions: Japanese also insist to avoid interrupting when someone is thinking or speaking. They do not believe in using mobile phones in trains unless it is allowed to do so as it disturbs the fellow passengers.
- Informal relationships: People in Japan believe in informal relationships. For example, in an organization employees can communicate directly with higher authorities.
- Long term relationships: Japanese look at things from long term perspective. They give the best service not only to nation but also the whole world. They provide best quality service to the customer. They believe in continuous improvement and ever ready to work hard with sincerity and dedication. They know due to this attitude, customers will be loyal to them. They employees also feel that they are not mere employees, but a part of organization and work accordingly.
- Materialistic: As compared to Japan, American value system differs to great extent. American are more materialistic in their approach as compared to Japanese. Now a days many Americans are getting attracted towards spiritualism, because they have realized the emptiness of mere materialism. Generally Americans are focused to earn more and more money and enjoy all the luxuries in life. They are achievement oriented, interested to attain challenging goals, ambitious and hard working.
- Relationship based in give and take: American culture believes in developing relationship of give and take in work life. They regard that relationship should be mutually beneficial. They believe the relationship to be formal in professional life.
- Believe in non-interference: Americans are not much inclined to the family. After becoming adult, individuals can take the decision on their own without bothering about their parents.
- Equity and co-operation: They believe in equity and co-operation. They are focused in building the team spirit to attain organization goals and objectives. But while encouraging the team spirit, individual’s performance is also rewarded.
- Generally preferred top-down approach: As far as decision making is concerned, generally major decisions are taken at the top and communicated at the lower level to take action.
- No job security: Americans believe that if today, an employee’s performance is good, he must be rewarded, if tomorrow he is not required or his performance is not up to the mark he need to be sacked. It indicates they do value job security unlike Japanese
- Loyal to the profession: Americans are more loyal not to the organization but to the profession. If they get better opportunity they will leave the organization and join somewhere else.
Chinese value system that emphasizes that people should be truthful, generous, sincere, kind hearted and selfless by nature.
- Thought counts: One short story will help us to understand Chinese culture. Once upon a time a man went on a long journey to visit his friend with a swan as a gift. On the way the swan escaped and the man tried to catch it. But in his efforts he got hold of nothing but a feather. He reached his destination and gifted his friend that feather and told him what happened. His friend became moved by the story and his sincerity. For him it was a priceless gift. The saying in Chinese is ‘The gift is nothing much, but it is the thought that counts and spreads everywhere.’ In business world Chinese people emphasizes on punctuality.
- Jen and yi: Chinese are keen to use the words, Jen and yi. Jean means love and friendship whereas yi means righteousness. These two qualities should be there in the people. They emphasize to maintain a life full of love, harmony and peace. Chinese culture believes in wu wei. It means doing without forcing. It emphasizes on accepting and harmonizing with the flow.
- Emphasize on gunaxi: Guanxi or relationship is an important Chinese business element. It helps to minimize the risk, frustration and disappointments. It will help in insuring that business will be successful. It will help in determining the competitive standing of an organization in the long run. Unlike western culture, Chinese prefer to deal with people they know and trust. Trustworthiness is a very important component in Chinese tradition.
- Co-operation: Indian philosophy instead of killer instinct and tough competition focuses more towards co-operation.
- Family oriented, more emotional: The value system of India is oriented towards family. Even grown ups while taking any decision consult with seniors. Indian ethos emphasizes to respect the elders specially the parent and teachers
- Humility and respect for others: Indian ethos emphasizes on humility and respect for others. Therefore, getting passes Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar commented ‘Heroes are heroes forever, you cannot really get passed them’. This in Indian value system.
- Respect to others: It focuses to show respect to others. Others means not only the fellow human beings but objects as well.
- Self management: Indian Ethos believe that self management is the essence of management. Before managing others effectively, a person should know how to manage himself. Then only he can manage others effectively.