The Culture Factor




Hofstede Insights Japan のファシリテーター/コンサルタント 第10回 Andrew Robinson

2019.05.14 Andrew Robinson

文化とマネジメントの専門家集団であるHofstede Insights Japanのファシリテーター/コンサルタントは経歴も個性も様々。自身の異文化体験について、また日々感じていることをリレー形式で書いてまいります。



I’ve lived and worked in Japan for over 28 years, in both small and large companies, and with people from a variety of national cultures. I love living in Tokyo, and feel like I am a better person from all the inter-cultural experiences I’ve had over the years. But it wasn’t always easy!

Coming to Japan years ago, I found the amount of rules and procedures necessary to do things very different from what I was used to growing up in the United States. There were so many! It was exciting at first, and for a while I enjoyed it but fairly quickly I became tired, confused and frustrated — Why did I need to fill in my address TWICE in this HR form? Why did I HAVE to go to this health check? Why was the temperature in the office ALWAYS 27 degrees in summer? Why won’t people answer my QUESTIONS? I thought many of these rules were unnecessary, and I started to dislike my new home.

This was culture shock — when you work and live in an environment very different from the one you are used to the impact on your emotions is strong. It’s natural to feel things are too strange, too hard, too frustrating and the stress can make work and life difficult. I didn’t understand the need for structure and control; my home wasn’t like that and I didn’t understand why things were different.

The Hofstede 6-D Model helps people understand the *why* of cultural differences. It showed me that the high level of uncertainty avoidance and high drive for success and achievement here shaped a society that worked best when there was order, structure and rules present. People would identify with their company or team more than I did because they were more group-oriented than my home culture. Those people more easily put their group’s goals above their own personal needs or priorities. Different from what I felt but now that I knew about these differences I started to see how cultural values helped create the high level of quality found in Japan’s products and services — to contribute to the success of today’s Japan.

I learned how my own culture placed value on personal independence and individual initiative, and there was less emphasis on continuous improvement that’s important in Japan. I also learned that we valued short-term attitudes towards goals and milestones, contrasting with Japan and its emphasis on longer-term thinking.

It is still challenging to live in such a different place, but I’m not as frustrated because I know where the differences are, and I can understand more about my colleagues’ priorities and expectations. When I learned about the Hofstede’s model, it was easier to modify my own expectations and behavior — I had found some of the *why.*

I believe that the more we understand something, the more successful we become working with it. With understanding comes compassion and cooperation, and understanding comes from learning *why* something is like it is.



もう何年も前になりますが、日本にやってきて、膨大な量のルールや手続きに気づきました。それは、私が育ったアメリカとは全く違います。もう、本当にたくさん!はじめは興奮して、しばらくは楽しんでいましたが、すぐに疲れてきました。混乱して、いらだちも感じました。HRの用紙に記入する際に、なぜ、“2回も” 住所を記入しないといけないのか?なぜ、健康診断に “行かないといけない” のか?なぜ、夏のオフィスの温度は、“いつも” 27度なのか? 誰も私のこうした質問に答えられないのはなぜ??私は、このようなルールは必要ないと思いました。そして、私はこの国での新しい生活がイヤになっていきました。


Hofstede 6-Dモデルは、人々が文化の違いの「なぜ」を理解することを助けてくれます。この国における高レベルの不確実性回避と、成功と達成への高い意欲が、この国を形作っているのだと教えてくれました。秩序と構造と規則が存在することで、この国が最高の機能を見せるのです。この国の人々は、私よりも会社や所属チームにアイデンティティを見出します。私の国の文化よりも集団志向だからです。人々は、個人的なニーズや優先事項よりも所属集団の目標に重きを置くことを苦としません。それは、私自身の感じ方とは異なりますが、今ではこの国民文化の違いが日本の高品質の商品やサービスを作り出しているのだとわかるようになりました。





第9回 山原 享

第8回 Yoneko Shiraishi

第7回 廣﨑淳一

第6回 間瀬陽子

第5回 Erika Visser

第4回 MaryAnne Jorgensen

第3回 祖父江玲奈

第2回 宮崎百合子

第1回 渡辺 寧

Andrew Robinson


In the twenty-eight years Andrew Robinson has lived in Japan, he has worked in various areas — academics, business-executive training, teaching project management courses and most recently in information technology. In almost all cases, this work was with multicultural teams and in culturally diverse environments. At university in the United States, his dual majors were in Western Literature and History, with minors in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology. Over his career in Japan he has worked in a variety of business environments, ranging from large multinational corporations to small start-ups.

In addition to being certified as an Associate Partner by Hofstede Insights, Andrew has received training in other human capital methodologies like Lumina Learning, Human Synergistics and Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC), as well as IT-related certifications in various cloud systems, DevOps, Agile workflow design and for Google and Apple systems administration.