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Critical evaluation of cultural and Hrm issues for a Uk

  • 12 Pages
  • Published On: 08-11-2023


In the recent era of globalisation, all the multinational corporations try to expand their business over the international borders across the globe and in this regard, hiring the staff and local employees overseas is one of the practice through which the organisations try to manage their operational activities across the international countries (Ito et al., 2017). In the recent year, digitalisation and technological innovation influence the firms mainly the call centres to expand their services across the globe and manage the customers online efficiently. Hereby, it is mandatory for the organisations to manage international human resource to understand the culture of the overseas and manage the strong workforce efficiently, the organisational dears and management team, are concerned about managing human resource in order to fulfil the organisational objectives as well as achieve high competitive advantage over other competitive brands in the market by maximising the performance of the staff. As the employees are the major stakeholders of the organisations, it is the responsibility of the organisational leader to handle the staff and retain them for long through motivation and creating values for them


The study mainly focuses on identifying and evaluating the cultural differences and diversity in the human resource management strategic planning in the organisations across the international brooders, where the multinational corporations must manage the home country employees as well as handle the staff members overseas so that the international business activities can be managed efficiently. The study focuses on critically analysing the differences in the UK and Japanese culture in doing business successfully. The paper provides a scope to understand the cultural diversity raises for the UK business firms in doing their operations in Japan. The UK call centres run their operations in Japan and it is the role of the leader of the call centres to manage the employees in Japan in order to retain them and influence them to perform efficiently to handle the customers which is the major objective of the organisations. Through this study, it is also possible to evaluate the differences in human resource management as well as identifies the strategic planning of international human resource management so that the organisations can handle their operations and maximise its goal by managing the employees in Japan.

Analysing cultural issues UK companies need to take into consideration when locating a call centre operation in Japan

The multinational organisations acknowledges similarities and differences in doing their business in the international countries due to differences in language, culture, demographic background, values and ethics, ethnicity and race as well as the business practice and managerial style, which raise concern among the management eta and leaders of the multinational firms to manage their business overseas. Japanese culture is slight different from the western culture in terms of ideology, language business management, religion and behaviour. It is mandatory to analyse the cultural diversity among the UK and Japanese so that it would be possible to understand the tactics of UK call centres to run their centres in Japan. As per Hofstede’s model of cultural insight, it is possible to understand and differences in the western culture and the cultural perspectives in Japan. The model indicates the factors such as power distant, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence (Hofstede’s insight, 2020).

Hofstede’s cultural insight
Hofstede’s cultural insight
(Source: Hofstede’s insight, 2020)
Hofstede’s insight, 2020

As per the analysis above, it can be stated that, there is cultural differences between the British or western culture in the UK and Japanese culture where the business activities and management practice differs from each other to run the organisation efficiently. The Americans trend to discuss about facts and opinions in the discussion and general meeting held in the organisation. On the other hand, Japanese people do not discuss the conflicts and public dispute in front of others, rather they look forward to maintain harmony in the workplace and it is rare to speak out against the general consensus (Klüppel, Pierce and Snyder, 2018). In addition to this, the Japanese business people tend to very subtle while discussing the facts and expression their opinion and they trust the business personnel rather than judging them. Moreover, the Americans are very practical and they like to discuss the conflicts and issues as well as success factors openly with other business people while communicating with each other. Additionally, the perfectionism and quality are the reasons of slower decision making behaviour in Japan as compared to the UK where the Americans are fast and efficient to make decision and achieve their short term goals and objectives (UK trade and Investment, 2011). The slower decision making behaviour at Japan is good for resolving the error and risk factors while implementing the new decision and strategies in the organisation. The Japanese prefer to develop strong social bonding through developing relationship with each other, but the Americans are not interested to develop strong bonding outside of the organisation (Klüppel, Pierce and Snyder, 2018).

There are also some similarities which are the employees in both the countries work long and take break few hours. There is harmony and freedom in the organisation to work with efficiency and achieve the organisational objectives. The employees in both the countries follow the organisational rules and ethical practice to work efficiently and contribute positively to achieve the organisational vision. There are advantages of the UK call centre to run their business and manage employees in the Japan, as in the country Japan; there is high communication and cooperation among the employees. The staff members refer to develop strong bonding and trust which are effective to maximise their performance (Reiche, Lee and Quintanilla, 2018). Additionally, the UK leader can manage the employees through maintaining effective organisational hierarchy in Japan and lead them with communication and direction. The Japanese workplace is effective with harmony and freedom to work as well as there are team building activities and structured organisational activities which provide a scope to the business of the UK to manage their staff and lead them towards achieving success in Japan. However, there are certain issues of the UK call centre to run their business in Japan due to high collectivist society, team building activities, strict rules and stringent power, lack of flexibility. The UK people find the Japanese business culture more strict and structured and there is lack of flexibility to work and shoe their creativity. It is important for the UK call centre to adopt the Japanese culture and develop strong team work to achieve future success (Miller, 2013).

Evaluating of HRM issues UK companies need to take into consideration when locating a call centre operation in Japan

As per the above business culture of the UK and Japan, there are also differences in the human resource management practice which leads to contradiction for the UK call centre to manage their business in Japanese and handle the employees in the international country. The employment nature in Japan is long term talent oriented where the organisational leader is looking for the experienced and skilled workforce for long run if not lifetime (Merchant, 2018). Paternal approach and the strong long term talent pipeline are the characteristics of the Japanese employment. However, in the other hand, the UK employment nature is short term and the employment is continued at will individual responsibility and the short term talent pipeline strategy. Hereby, the diversity in employment nature may raise issue for the UK call centre to manage the employees at Japan. On the other hand, the compensation structure is also different in the UK from Japan. In the UK, the compensation and benefits are given to the staff as per their performance which is mainly known as performance related pay (Miller, 2013). However, in Japan, the compensation and benefits are given to the age or seniority and experience of the staff. Hence, it is difficult for the UK call centre to understand the compensation structure at Japan and there is lack of fair judgement of giving compensation on the basis of actual performance and contribution of the staff (Reiche, Lee and Quintanilla, 2018).

Japanese vs. western HRM
Klüppel, Pierce and Snyder
(Source: Klüppel, Pierce and Snyder, 2018)

Moreover, the training program is different, where in Japan the training and development program is more generalist as compared to the UK. The training and development program in the UK is practical based where the employees can gain more ideas and experience in the workplace through the practice and technical training program (Wan et al., 2016). It is one of the major issues for the UK firm to operate in Japan and develop strong and fruitful training program for the Japanese employees. The UK prefers to arrange specialist focused training program, but the Japanese employees refer to have generalist program, which is not fruitful for the organisational working activities. It is difficult for the UK to arrange technical based and experienced and speciality based training and motivate the staff for future personal and professional development. The Union relations are cooperative and passive in Japan but in the UK it is confrontational and aggressive.

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There are also advantages of the UK firms to operate in Japan and manage the employees in Japan as there is high communicative workplace, team working activities and cooperative behaviour at the workplace. The UK call centres also can manage the Japanese employees by developing motivational activities including maintaining workplace safety and security, encouraging team working activities and partnership working as well as recognition and clear responsibilities. On the other hand, the structured process and cultural training program promote the nationalised culture and diversity in the workplace (Robertson, Robinson and Stephens, 2017). The practice of non-discrimination practice and equality and fairness are also suitable for the UK call centre to operate in Japan and manage their employees in overseas. Societal and cultural values are also promoted through fairness and equal treatment. However, there are some major issues for the UK call centre to manage the Japanese employees and develop the business culture at Japan. In the Japanese business, the decision making behaviour of the firm depends on the leader and the management team and the employees are not empowered well and there is lack of fairness and open discussion in sharing own opinion in front of others (Brouthers, Marshall and Keig, 2016). As the UK call centre follows equal treatment of the employees, and there is effective empowerment of the staff and managers in the organisational decision making behaviour, it is difficult to adopt the Japanese couture and maintain hierarchy for making organisational decision. This may raise further issues related to lack of communication and cooperation, poor engagement with the staff members at the workplace of Japan, as well as internal conflicts, resistance to change and lack of motivation in the workplace.


As per the above analysis and evaluation, it can be stated that, the Japanese culture is different from the UK business culture and there are advantages and risk factors for the UK call centre to operate their business in Japan by following the Japanese business culture, as per the Hofstede’s cultural analysis, the Japanese culture prefer masculinity, power distant, long term orientation, low indulgence, high focus on working and social bonding which are different from the UK business culture. The UK call centre may suffering managing the workers in the workplace of Japan, as the UK leader and managers prefer to get empowered ion the organisational decision making behaviour, get equal treatment and fairness in the workplace and focus on short term achievements. There is recognition and clear responsibilities as well as quality supervision in the UK as compared to Japan as well as the negotiation style of the UK is also fair which would be helpful for the firm to operate fairly in Japan. The UK firm needs to manage the workers in Japan by reducing the risk factors through effective empowerment, managing internal conflicts, promote culture and values in Japan, as well as enhance communication and cooperation, fair compensation structure and flexible working activities in the workplace where the UK leader can run their business in Japan and manage the workers in the international place by adopting Japanese business practice.

Reference List

Brouthers, L.E., Marshall, V.B. and Keig, D.L., 2016. Solving the single-country sample problem in cultural distance studies. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(4), pp.471-479.

Hofstede’s insight, 2020. Country comparison Japan Ukraine. [online] Available at:,ukraine/ [Accessed on 2 August 2020].

Ito, E., Walker, G.J., Liu, H. and Mitas, O., 2017. A cross-cultural/national study of Canadian, Chinese, and Japanese university students' leisure satisfaction and subjective well-being. Leisure Sciences, 39(2), pp.186-204.

Klüppel, L.M., Pierce, L. and Snyder, J.A., 2018. Perspective—The deep historical roots of organization and strategy: traumatic shocks, culture, and institutions. Organization Science, 29(4), pp.702-721.

Merchant, Y. S., 2018. 5 ways Japanese work culture is drastically different from the US. [online] Available at: [Accessed on 2 August 2020].

Miller, A., 2013. Differences in business culture between Japan and West. [online] Available at: [Accessed on 2 August 2020].

Reiche, B.S., Lee, Y.T. and Quintanilla, J., 2018. Cultural perspectives on comparative HRM. In Handbook of research on comparative human resource management. London: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Robertson, O., Robinson, S.J. and Stephens, R., 2017. Swearing as a response to pain: A cross-cultural comparison of British and Japanese participants. Scandinavian Journal of pain, 17(1), pp.267-272.

UK trade and Investment, 2011. British business success in Japan. [online] Available at: [Accessed on 2 August 2020].

Wan, X., Woods, A.T., Jacquot, M., Knoeferle, K., Kikutani, M. and Spence, C., 2016. The effects of receptacle on the expected flavor of a colored beverage: cross‐cultural comparison among French, Japanese, and Norwegian consumers. Journal of Sensory Studies, 31(3), pp.233-244.

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