Introducing Omotenashi to the World : Challenges to Japanese Customer Service in a Cross-cultural SettingIntroducing Omotenashi to the World : Challenges to Japanese Customer Service in a Cross-cultural SettingAA12308756 「おもてなし」を世界へ : 異文化の「場」における日本的顧客サービスの課題
This study uses the case of a Japanese fashion retailer (referred to by the pseudonym "Ichi") in Hong Kong to explore how the company introduced omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) in a cross-cultural setting and the challenges faced during the process. Omotenashi was examined from the viewpoint of its two core cultural elements: kate (cultural pattern) and the host-guest relationship. This paper suggests that the company interpreted kate as a superficial aspect of omotenashl, which was incorporated in their manual aiming to motivate employees through an evaluation system. Local employees subject to the manual were performing the way the company expected to gain merits from the evaluation system･ The challenges Ichi faced in Hone Kong mainly relate to identifying the best motivation mechanism for the company to find employees who serve customers in the desired manner･ This paper offers suggestions for companies for improving their strategies based on omotenashi, as well as on their diverse cultural aspects.