The Organizational Role of the Translation of the Mission, Vision and Values: A Case Study of Japanese Companies in Spain


Japanese companies advocate their mission, vision and values as the three core elements of their organizations. The mission replies to the question “What does this company exist for?”. The mission advocates for the future in which the company aims to be in a lapse of time of 10 or 50 years later. While, the values are the crucial standards shared through all the company. In this research, from the point of view of international management of Japanese companies, we focused on their presence in Spain, and analyzed the translation to the Spanish language of the mission, vision and values of the 23 major Japanese companies listed in the CNN 500 Global Ranking which have local operations in Spain. We analyzed quantitatively the Spanish translations, comparing with their Japanese and English versions, and classified them in 5 levels of quality. Our results found that only one of the companies did a direct translation from Japanese to Spanish, while, even translating from English indirectly, only 8 of the 23 companies had an accurate translation of their mission, vision and values to Spanish. On the other side, 10 of the 23 companies had published an incomplete or wrong translation, and in some cases only the English text was available. These findings stand out the lack of investment and effort of Japanese companies to correctly convey these three core elements to their global operations, that we ponder can result in a miscommunication with their local shareholders (stakeholders, local managerial, local employees, local clients and local suppliers), and many others problems, such as the retaining of committed talent, from an organizational side.

Author Information
Carlos Naranjo Bejarano, Doshisha University, Japan
Philippe Byosiere, Doshisha University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2023
Stream: Globalization and Internationalization

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon