The Japanese Negotiator: Subtlety and Strategy Beyond Western Logic

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9780870118876: The Japanese Negotiator: Subtlety and Strategy Beyond Western Logic

This text explains negotiating tactics among the Japanese and provides case studies and practical advice that aims to give the Western executive the edge.

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From the Publisher:

ON-LINE INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Could you tell us a little about your background?

"After a career in business, I became an academic in Australia in 1967. The research for my Ph.D. in marketing took me to Japan in 1970, when I came across my friend and former client in Australia, George Fields, who invited me to work during academic recesses for his research company in Tokyo. In 1973, I accepted an invitation as visiting professor at the Institute of International Studies and Training (IIST) in Shizuoka Prefecture, working there, and at Sophia University, until 1981. I then took up a full-time, tenured position as professor of international business at Aoyama Gakuin University until 1988, when I returned to Australia."

What motivated you to write this book? / What got you started?

"I remember Robert Ballon asking me in 1974 what I intended to study in Japan. I said, 'How the Japanese negotiate.' He applauded my decision. From that point on, I devoted myself to studying negotiation academically and in real life in Japan, taught graduate and undergraduate courses on 'International Negotiation,' and led seminars for business people on 'International Negotiation.' I set my students projects studying how foreign and Japanese companies negotiated, and started to do some consulting for foreign companies. The PHP magazine, Intersect, asked me to write a monthly article on negotiation (which ran for 30 months), and an editor at KI read some of my articles and approached me to turn them into a book."

Could you tell us a little about the contents of the book?

"The book is full of case studies, and most reviewers and readers say they are the merit of the book. They are richly documented, and always arouse the interest of students, even today, because they do not date."

What do you see as the centerpiece of the book? Why is the book important?

"The case studies make the book important. It has been on the market since 1988, but is still being reprinted. It is used as a textbook in several universities in Australia, Denmark, and other countries. Many businesspeople dealing with the Japanese tell me that, every time they go to Japan on business, they re-read The Japanese Negotiator on the plane, to refresh themselves again for the very different experience that negotiating with the Japanese presents."

What did you yourself learn from writing the book?

"Readers like stories, not analytical or academic discussions."

What would you like readers to take away with them after reading this book?

"Negotiating with the Japanese is a dramatic and challenging event in their lives. It has to be planned, prepared for, and their role is very much a dramatic one."

What people or books were influential in the writing of your book?

"No one. Its origin lies in the series of articles I wrote."

What are your plans for the future, in terms of new books or other projects?

"I have written other books since then, but the manuscript I am currently preparing, tentatively called Managing Business Relationships with Japan and China, is like an updated version of The Japanese Negotiator. Today, international negotiations by the Japanese are less and less "one-off" events between parties with no other connections, more and more events between parties who have long-standing relationships with one another. Parties in negotiations are much more closely interconnected, are often members of the same 'networks,' which often extend across national boundaries. Western managers are more often dealing with a number of countries in East Asia, and recognize the need to understand the business cultures of a number of the countries, as well as of the cultures of the corporations they deal with."

Is there anything else the reader should know?

"Please visit my website."

About the Author:

Robert M. March, an Australian, lived for fifteen years in Japan, where he was a management consultant and professor at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. He now resides in Australia, traveling frequently throughout Asia and the United States as a consultant to leading corporations

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March, Robert M.
Published by Kodansha Amer Inc (1988)
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