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Case Study: Global Stumble
Transcript of Case Study: Global Stumble
Case Study: Global Stumble
Q1: What obvious cultural differences between Nomura and Lehman do you see in this situation?
Work environment cultures
Tension over executive compensation
How quickly decisions were made
Treatment of women in the workplace
The process for getting approval on deals was slower and more difficult than before
Men and women were separated during training
Strict dress code especially for women
Previously, clients were categorized according to the fees paid
After Nomura took over, more emphasis on other factors like length of relationship
Q4: What could Nomura managers do to support, promote, and encourage cultural awareness among employees? Explain.
: building cultural knowledge and its benefits.
: Holidays Policies, hosting a staff dinner with the theme of cultural awareness.
: Seek out minority employees for leadership positions
: Can help employees to recognize prejudices and cultural assumptions.
Q3. Do some cultural research on Japan and the United States. Compare those cultural characteristics. What similarities and differences exist? How might these cultural differences be affecting the situation at Nomura?
When going global, organizations should do research and try to understand the way things are done at the new location before embarking on the journey.
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
encourages us as Muslims:
to be more alert and aware of the Western's idea of globalization and to also enlighten our brothers and sisters of Islam that might be disillusioned by the idea.
to strengthen our faith in Islam
to dominate the world economy
to acquire as much knowledge as we can
to fully utilize the facilities & technology advancements in our dakwah
Presented by: Musliza Musa & Siti Maisarah Sewandi
From Islamic POV
Islam ~ global in principle. Its eternal Message addresses the whole world.
Allah says to His Messenger (peace be upon him): “We did not send you except as a mercy to all the worlds.” [Surah al-Anbiya': 107]
Allah says about the Qur’an: “It is but a reminder for all the worlds.” [Surah Yusuf: 104]
Allah says: “And cling all together to the rope of Allah and do not become divided.” [Surah Al `Imran: 103]
The Case Study:
In late 2008, Lehman sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Nomura bought Lehman to expand its business
Cultural and business differences between the two organizations became a major stumbling block.
Speed vs. Consistency
Generally American companies are quick in decision making. Superiors give some great leeway to subordinates so that they can decide and make decisions quickly.
For Japanese companies decision making is done in stages. These stages are backed by plenty of meetings and documentation. There is a high level of bureaucracy. They are very cautious and conservative and sometimes slower than the Americans.
Roles & Responsibilities
The U.S. company’s roles are very individualized. Individual contribution is very important as linked to company goals.
Requires individual input towards the whole group but recognizes that the whole group must succeed otherwise the individual’s contribution has no meaning.
Risk Takers vs. Risk Averse cultures
If Americans are challenges to achieve a certain goal, they’ll say “We can do it!” even when they themselves believe that there is only a 50-70% chance of succeeding. After they have accepted the challenge, they will do what it takes to achieve as close to 100% success.
If the Japanese feel that it’s possible to achieve most likely 100%, they don’t say “Yes”. They are careful when making an agreement as they want to be accurate. They make sure it is exactly 100%.
Heterogeneous vs. Homogeneous cultures
Since U.S. is multicultural, the organizations usually consist of multinationalities, which means there are many different ways of thinking.
A Japanese organization is usually managed by only Japanese. Almost everyone has the same background so most of the time there is no need for spoken words in many situations. Everyone knows what is expected of them. This is one of the important communication skills in Japan.
Remote vs. Face-to-Face communications
Contacting clients by email or on the phone seems to be more natural when conducting business relationships.
They respect meeting each other face to face. It is important to them for conducting business relationships.
Personal Life vs. Professional Life
Family and personal time is the priority in the US. Work-Life balance is a must. There is some socializing outside of work but not as a group.
In Japan, priority is on the work life. There are many traditions that reinforce this. A newcomer to the company, will organize a Hanami to enjoy the cherry blossom in Spring by drinking with co-workers. Also a common after-work event is Nomikai (drinking party).
What they can learn from each other?
Americans from Japanese:
Respect for others
Never wear shoes into a home
Clean up after themselves
Recycling and caring about the environment
Japanese from Americans:
Q2: What global attitude do you think characterizes Nomura? Be specific in your description. Do you see any evidence of that changing?
Initially, Nomura adopted the
. They believed their own people are the best choice to run foreign operations and that the practices of the Tokyo HQ should be adopted at their overseas offices.
Progressively moving towards a
. Nomura started promoting a mixture of nationalities from Europe and Asia to their high-ranking positions. Also, transferred 2 of their Japanese heads of divisions to London and New York.
Q5: What do you think the statement, “When your business is global, management needs to be global,” is saying? In your opinion, is Nomura doing this? Explain.
It is the need to move towards a Geocentric Attitude that requires eliminating parochial attitudes and developing an understanding of cross-cultural differences.
Nomura is trying to apply this attitude and is in the progress of moving towards being Geocentric for a better working environment for its staff and for the business.