Building a Resilient Organizational Culture

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Organizational Culture: A Comparison between Japan and Colombia

Organizational culture or corporate culture is portrayed in the self-image, inner interactions, and future expectations of an organization. It entails an organization's philosophy, values, and expectations and is founded upon collective beliefs, customs, attitudes, and rules that have been reviewed over time and are valid to the organization as a reference point for the code of conduct. These values and conducts contribute significantly to the distinctive social and psychological environment of a particular organization as well as influence the organization's productivity and offer guidelines for customer care and product quality. Additionally, organizational culture is depicted in how an organization treats its employees, how it carries out its business, the flow of information, employee commitment towards communal objectives, and the degree of freedom in decision making. The GLOBE study conducted a research program across several nations, including Japan and Colombia to investigate culture, organizations, and leadership. This discourse seeks to compare and contrast the organizational culture that is common to a majority of organizations in Japan and the corporate culture in Colombia organizations.

Japanese Organizational Culture

Japanese organizational conduct and work culture are deeply entrenched in Japanese culture and tradition. The success of many companies in Japan is attributed to the dedication of workers which is manifested through few incidences of industrial conflict and absenteeism, coupled with high worker productivity. In Japanese organizations, there exists a fundamental model which advocates for interdependency between managers and their employees, accountability of managers for employees' well-being, and strong liaisons between employee and their corporation (Astakhova, 2016). It is a common practice that employees identify themselves in industrial terms through their workplaces and not by occupations. Furthermore, Japanese organizations lay much emphasis on group participation in making significant decisions affecting the organization, team building, and interpersonal communication. In Colombia, the organizational culture is completely different with organizations working under strict guidelines given directly by the authorities and the subordinates are not involved in making major decisions regarding the organization (Lee & Kramer, 2016).

Diligence and Teamwork in Japanese Companies

Diligence and details are very crucial in Japanese companies since they stress on high standards for performance. Duties are defined, and employees have a serious demeanor when doing their jobs (Astakhova, 2016). Working steadily is valued above quantity of work hence thoroughness is placed above creativity, skill, or speed. They are required to show dedication to details with a communal belief of never giving up till something is perfectly done. The other concept is teamwork and each individual believes that the companies' goals are their own goals too. Fostering teamwork in the work environment involves creating a culture where collaboration is highly valued and the interest of others are of equal importance. Individuals share the collective belief that planning actions and making decisions are more efficient when done communally instead of individual thinking. Additionally, managers are open and receptive to input from any member of the organization as long as it benefits the organization in the long run. Colombia, on the contrary, has a high-power distance with subtle communication according to the GLOBE study (Teagarden, 2017). Power distance is the degree to which the unfair distribution of power is expected by the less authoritative in any organization. Having a high-power distance implies that Colombia has power centralized in few hands in hierarchical organizations. Teamwork is unheard of and decision making is solely the role of top officials in organizations, hence subordinates are bound to concede the power of their superiors. Employees perceive themselves as immanently unequal, and they accept the differences which arise due to individuals' status, position, or role in the organization. Each person's position is well demarcated and attempting to challenge those in higher authority is not accepted. Furthermore, individuals are less sensitive, and they value their self-interest before others.

Harmony and Empathy in Japanese Organizations

Another critical value that governs the culture of organizations in Japan is harmony and empathy (Medina & Guerrero, 2017). This philosophy reigns over the work environment thus individuals are encouraged to act harmoniously and with concurrence while also giving the interests and needs of their customers top priority. Besides, Japan is adapted to sudden events happening due to tsunamis and earthquakes. Colombia has an uncertain cultural environment but portrays a very high tolerance for handling the uncertain situations. This translates to a predilection towards well-structured and formal rules in the workplace and less patience with individuals who act contrary to the rules. This strategy is beneficial to Colombians as they are more flexible, open-minded, creative, and more innovative in their jobs. Nonetheless, the laid-out guidelines have their fair share of disadvantages such as incapability to identify fixed rules and improper planning (Teagarden, 2017).

Importance of Long-Term Relationships

Japanese also value cultivation of long-term relationships which are vital to the company and themselves. Working in an organization calls for developing successful avenues of communication which revamp group interdependence as they believe in teamwork. Business relationships are expected to last for more extended periods thus much effort is put into founding and maintaining the stability of the former. In this aspect, Colombia has a similarity to Japan since collectivity in relationships and group loyalty is encouraged plus individuals show concern towards their fellows (Teagarden, 2017).

Non-Verbal Communication in Japanese and Colombian Organizations

Moreover, non-verbal communications such as tone, facial expressions, or posture are key factors that must be considered in Japan and Colombia organizations since the context in which a speech is made may alter the meaning of some words. For instance, frowning or grinning while someone is talking depicts disrespect. Employees in organizations are sensitized on the appropriate use of such cues to avoid conflicts in the workplace and uphold harmony (Astakhova, 2016).


Astakhova, M. N. (2016). Explaining the effects of perceived person-supervisor fit and person-organization fit on organizational commitment in the US and Japan. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 956-963.

Lee, Y., & Kramer, A. (2016). The role of purposeful diversity and inclusion strategy (PDIS) and cultural tightness/looseness in the relationship between national culture and organizational culture. Human Resource Management Review, 26(3), 198-208.

Medina, S. A. P., & Guerrero, N. A. (2017). Innovation and competitive advantage: Findings from organizational culture and business model. Dimensión empresarial, 15(2), 15-25.

Teagarden, M. B. (2017). Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies.

September 04, 2023

Business Culture Life



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