At the panel discussion entitled "CULTURECLASH," -- sponsored by Delta Sigma Pi, the coed business fraternity -- Bank of Japan executive Mitsuake Okabe related personal experiences to illustrate the differences in Japanese and American business cultures. Okabe emphasized the importance of "courtesy and sincerity" in helping to alleviate culture clash. For example, he explained that in Japan, business people politely exchange calling cards rather than merely shaking hands. Wharton senior Scott Moskowitz -- who has lived extensively in Japan -- also reiterated the importance of achieving positive personal relationships and reaching personal understandings. He said that Japan is "experience oriented" and that the U.S. should follow accepted Japanese business practices to compete in the Japanese market. It was Nancy Bauer, the President of Bauer Associates, however, who blasted both Okabe and Moskowwitz's idea that "when in Japan you should do as the Japanese do." She said that instead, people should continue the strong American belief in the value of assertiveness and independence, rather than conformity. Nearly 80 students attended the discussion in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall and some said afterward that they found the discussion "interesting" because the speakers gave both sides of an single issue. -- David BlackComments powered by Disqus
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