There is an increasing demand for products that respect local market needs, traditions, habits, and lifestyles – in other words, culture.
While many global businesses are expanding their presence and adapting their products, services, and brands to those markets from an external perspective, it is critical that they simultaneously consider culture in the internal context of cross-border employee engagement.
Case study: the US’s largest foreign investor
The US-Japan relationship is a powerful case study to illustrate this point. Japan is the third-largest economy in the world and the largest foreign investor in the US, with direct investments of $721b USD over the last decade.
Though the US and Japan have much in common – their fundamental democratic values, geopolitical strategic interests, and free market economies – there remain significant culture barriers that continue to impact cross-border engagement. Companies should focus on addressing these issues to avoid unintentionally creating mistrust, derailing business or even extending risks across geographies.
To better understand these complexities, Brunswick Group partnered with Keidanren, the Japanese Business Federation, to conduct a study with the objective of improving our understanding of the differences between US and Japanese businesses.