Coming to America
The case “Moto: Coming to America” captures the essence of cultural differences between Japan and America. Moto, a project director of KKD (a Japanese auto parts supplier), was sent to America to decide which U. S contracting company to be used and check the price details. Before he went to America, a research on U. S building contractors had already finished by Moto’s company. The company found that Allmack is the best so Moto went to negotiate with the president of Allmack (Crowell).
Both Moto and Crowell are not familiar with each other’s culture. There are so many cultural and communication differences between them. As a result, a lot of misconceptions and problems generated throughout the business process between KKD and Allmack. This report is going to analysis how these problems generated and show the details of cultural differences between Japan and America. Problems analysis: Moto’s purpose and agenda: Moto expected that the first meeting with Crowell would be one where there they would get to know each other and establish good relationship.
Coming to America Essay Example
The efforts made by Moto in order to implement the agenda: Moto tried his best by arriving at the company in time, presenting his card to Crowell and sent the dolls as presents to Crowell. In the first place, with the purpose of building a good first impression, Moto arrived at the company in time since he knew that Americans cherish time and like punctual persons. In the second place, Moto presented his card to Crowell because he intended to impress Crowell with his social status. He expected that Crowell would read it and respect his achievements.
He thought Crowell would acknowledge that he was negotiating with an important person. However, this failed because Crowell put his card in his pocket without a glance. Moto was somewhat hurt since in Japan, people regard exchanging business cards as the very first thing that happens in the business meeting because this step establishes the seniority of the people in the meeting. Cards should be handled carefully and respectfully, as if you were handling the person. Cards should be read carefully. Placing the card in your pocket or wallet is considered extremely disrespectful.
Unfortunately, Crowell were not aware familiar with Japanese’ customs. Moto did not know Crowell’s indifference about the card is normal and typical in America, Crowell did not intend to hurt Moto’s feelings Because for Americans, partners’ status and achievements are not that important , what matters really is the business only. In the third place, Moto sent Kokeshi dolls to Crowell to show his attempt to build good relationship between Crowell and Moto. The significance of dolls and Crowell’s wrong responses:
The dolls were meant to convey a sincere attempt to strike up mutual trust and a good relationship between Crowell and Moto. Moto’s wife spent a great deal of effort in picking them out. These dolls were made from a special wood in a mountainous area that Moto live in. Both Crowell and Moto grew up in a hilly, snowy place. Thereby, the dolls were supposed to symbolize commonality between the two men. Crowell didn’t understand the significance of the gift. Crowell messed up by the stupid comments “They look like Russian dolls. Hey, thanks a lot, my daughter will love them”.
Moto was completely embarrassed because of this comment. Furthermore, gifts should not be opened at the time they are received since opening gifts in front of a person is regarded as a rude behavior in Japan. But as a westerner, Crowell opened it immediately to show his respect. All Crowell’s responses made Moto fell unpleasant. Noise in the communication: Multiple issues affected the communication between Moto and Crowell. For instance, Crowell’s lack of understanding of Japanese customs and the significance of business cards and gifts lead to a lot of embarrassing moments between Moto and him.
What is more, When Moto began with “KKD is pleased to do business with Allmack” and then talked about the history of the two companies, Crowell showed his impatience since as an America businessmen, he believes that time is money, all his focus is merely the deal, he tried to speed up the deal and sell Moto on the greatness of his company. Crowell did not realized Moto believes that the deal is mutually beneficial to both companies thus they should become close friends. Moto was esitated as he already knew Allmack was the best building contractors, but Crowell’s bragging and impatience betrays his belief that his company is the best and that clients were getting a favor by dealing with him.
Moreover, Crowell’s lack of interest in anything personal about Moto hindered them from being close friends. A loss of face because of Crowell’s remarks about Allmack: When Moto was talking about the history between KKD and Allmack, Crowell manifested his impatience and interrupted him by saying “we are the best in the business, ask anyone, we build the biggest and the best shopping malls in the country. In Japan, interruption is regarded as an extreme rude behavior, Moto felt that Crowell did not respect KKD and Crowell’s overconfident comment on Allmack showed his arrogant attitudes towards Moto’s company. Furthermore, Crowell told Moto “You won’t get a better price than from me.
You can go down the block to Zimmer or Casey, but you got the best deal right here”. This straightforward expression is unacceptable to the Japanese since they used to implicitly express their position. Crowell’s words seemed to tell Moto “Your company has no choice but accept the price if you want to make a deal with us. Crowell thought that Crowell’s remarks of Allmack implied that KKD is inferior to Allmack because Moto’s company even did not have the choice to negotiate the price with Allmack. All these threaten a loss of face from Moto’s perspective.
Moto’s feelings about Kobushevsky’s behavior early on: Early in the relationship, Kbushevsky’s behavior appeared to be aloof, rude, and dismissive. He was amiable and polite, but never intimate, he flatly refused an offer to go drinking after work, and he was reluctant to provide Moto with documented information on potential suppliers.
The way the relationship changed between Moto and Kobushevsky: The relationship changed during a trip to a bar, during which Kubushevsky drank enough to lose his inhibitions and speak about his first wife and two children. Both of them drank and talked with each other sincerely, they talked about their personal life. Since then, they became close friends. For four months they worked great together and Moto was supplied with any information that he needed.