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nob seki

In an OB (Organizational Behavior) class I attended a couple of years ago, I found out that establishment and development of social networks vary between Japan and NA. It seems to me that American people prefer a casual conversation, which gets brain storming easier, so that space factor matters more than Japanese people do.

In that class, a university visiting professor as well as an IBM consultant talked about knowledge management. He said that they first draw a map of social networks of a company/division to analyze and find bottle necks of knowledge sharing/transfer. Then they propose such ways as changing the office layout to make key people communicate more often.

Well, I do think such analysis is also important to Japanese offices, but may be based upon a bit different philosophies, due to Japanese business customs such as the way of brain storming or the unique job rotation system that tie persons who enter their company at the same time, which may finally result in phenomena of "autonomous" knowledge tranfer, or Kaizen.


seki-san, many thanks for your comment! Your input is valuble.

Based on my limited experiences in brain storming sessions with North Americans and Japanese groups, North Americans seemed they were more relaxed, compared to Japanese regardless of location. Perhaps it is relative issue of method in expression.

Also, generally speaking, Japanese seems to be good at kaizen kind of brain storming, where North Americans good at starting with general, new ideas.

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