Companies Crossing Cultures: A Case Study of Motorola Japan, Ltd.
Marinucci, Jeffrey M.
MetadataShow full item record
The idea of studying international relations and business has been a growing interest of mine for a considerable amount of time. In 1998, I was preparing to study abroad in France, and I decided that I wanted to do an internship in Japan as well because I had studied both languages and cultures since high school. Consequently, I began my long search for a job in Japan, which was not an easy task. I received many rejection letters, but with a lot of persistence, at the last minute I received an offer to do an internship in Tokyo at what was then known as Nippon Motorola, Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of Motorola, Inc. I began working in the Japan Specialized Mobile Radio (JSMR) business section of the Land Mobile Products Division (LMPD) where I worked on two major projects. In doing the necessary research for these projects, I had the opportunity to work closely with my two American supervisors and a number of Japanese nationals. It is here where I got my first glimpse of two distinctive cultures interacting. Through observation and discussions with coworkers, I began to realize that working overseas (particularly in Japan) in an American firm was not as easy as it may have seemed. It required more than just knowing a bit of the language and Japanese business practices. There turned out to be a number of conflicts whose roots were in cultural differences, though this was not always apparent. This was when I decided to study this further in my Senior Individualized Project. I was fortunate to secure another position in the summer of 1999 at Motorola, and I once again was intrigued by the impact of cultural differences that I saw in the day-to- day operations of the company. With these observations and some additional research into this topic, I present the following project on Companies Crossing Cultures. It is a personal reflection, a product of my experiences working at Motorola. To better understand and interpret what I encountered, I have investigated this topic more fully and included scholarly data to identify more clearly the important aspects of what I observed.