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Japanese Business Culture Blog

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On the Front Lines of Forging a Global Society: Japanese and American Coworkers in Japan
Rochelle Kopp
Jun 16, 2011 01:22 AM
Adam Komisarof, a member of the Japan Intercultural Consulting team in Tokyo and also an associate professor of intercultural communication at Reitaku University, has just published a new book, titled "On the Front Lines of Forging a Global Society: Japanese and American Coworkers in Japan."

As globalization advances and national borders become increasingly porous, Japan is now facing the human reality of these rapid changes: greater cultural diversity in the workforce, which brings the concomitant challenge of how to integrate multicultural workers into their organizations of employment. Japan is also admitting foreign workers to compensate for a labor shortage as its retiree population grows and birth rate declines—thus intensifying the demographic shift towards greater numbers of long-term and permanent economic migrants. To better facilitate this movement towards a more diverse society, it is critical to examine which factors have contributed thus far to creating smooth mutual acculturation processes for foreign workers and Japanese people vs. those which have not.
 
Therefore, the aim of this book is to assess the extent and manner in which the degree of compatibility of Japanese and American coworkers’ acculturation strategies affects their quality of intercultural relations (including job effectiveness), with the broader goal of building inclusive organizational spaces where both American and Japanese employees enjoy camaraderie, opportunities for advancement, and productive daily work lives.

On the Front Lines of Forging a Global Society contributes to both theoretical and methodological developments in the study of acculturation. On the theoretical level, revisions are made to the Interactive Acculturation Model—one of the premier theories in the acculturation field. New ground is broken in methodology by using the Vancouver Index of Acculturation (a leading acculturation strategy assessment instrument) as a tool to characterize perceptions of cultural outgroup members’ acculturation strategies. Furthermore, quantitative and qualitative methods are utilized to gain a more nuanced picture of the current state of American-Japanese intercultural relations and to generate numerous insights as to how they may be improved.

In the final chapter, practical advice is offered to cultivate better Japanese-American intercultural communication. Therefore, this book is intended for not only acculturation researchers, but also for administrators, teachers, and business people interested in promoting more effective American-Japanese communication. As the research findings are applicable to other cultural groups besides Americans (particularly Western ones), this work is also written for people from other nations who are curious about and/or professionally involved with Japan. The author’s hope is that this volume will aid both researchers and practitioners alike in their quests to facilitate smoother intercultural relations between Japanese and Americans, as well as Japanese and other non-Japanese ethnocultural groups.

The book can be ordered from Amazon.co.jp --- click here.

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