Characteristics of Multicultural Workplaces in Local Companies in Japan


This study is part of our research project which aims to design an education programme. Through the programme, students are expected to develop their competence for working in multicultural workplaces in local companies in Japan. Due to expanding overseas business and workforce shortages in Japan, local companies in rural areas have begun to employ overseas students after graduating from Japanese universities. Under this circumstance, Japanese students after graduation will have more opportunities to work in multicultural workplaces even in rural areas. To fulfil the aim of our project, we need to examine characteristics of multicultural workplaces in rural areas. The purpose of this study is to find out characteristics of multicultural workplaces in rural areas. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Japanese senior members of local companies in one rural area and their foreign workers. The results of the analysis are as follows: (1) The main language used in the companies is Japanese. (2) There are few workshops organised by the companies to help their workers increase their understanding of different cultures. (3) Among senior members, those who are supervising foreign workers, cultivate their leadership through their own experience working with foreign workers, and try to make labour relationships comfortable. (4) Foreign workers, regardless of their nationalities, gain a better understanding of Japanese conventions through their stay in Japan, and try to adapt themselves to their workplaces. The results suggest that multicultural workplaces in the local companies are built up based on the local lifestyle and work style.

Author Information
Yoko Yamada, Niigata University, Japan
Yasuyuki Kishi, Niigata University, Japan
Akira Sawamura, Niigata University, Japan
Gunyung Lee, Niigata University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2018
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon