Comprehensiveness Versus Pragmatism: Consensus at the Japanesedutch Interface

22 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007

See all articles by Niels G. Noorderhaven

Niels G. Noorderhaven

Tilburg University - Center for Innovation Research

Jos Benders

Radboud University Nijmegen - Nijmegen School of Management

Arjan B. Keizer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

By comparing the views of managers working at the interface of two consensus-oriented societies, Japan and the Netherlands, we show important differences between the consensus decision-making processes as seen by Japanese and Dutch managers. These differences relate to how complete the agreement of opinion should be in order to speak of consensus, with the Japanese managers demanding a more complete consensus than the Dutch. The processes and conditions that Japanese and Dutch managers see as leading to consensus also differ. Japanese consensus is based on a more ordered, sequential process than Dutch consensus. Our respondents differed deeply regarding the role of the hierarchy in their own and the others consensus processes, with both Japanese and Dutch managers seeing their own consensus process as less hierarchical. Our findings show that the concept of consensus is interpreted quite differently by Japanese and Dutch managers. This is an important warning for companies operating at the interface of these two societies. More in general our research illustrates the usefulness for international management research of detailed comparative studies focusing not on stark contrasts but on more subtle differences between management practices.

Suggested Citation

Noorderhaven, Niels G. and Benders, Jos and Keizer, Arjan B., Comprehensiveness Versus Pragmatism: Consensus at the Japanesedutch Interface. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 44, Issue 8, pp. 1349-1370, December 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1065899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2007.00712.x

Niels G. Noorderhaven (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Innovation Research

Jos Benders

Radboud University Nijmegen - Nijmegen School of Management ( email )

Thomas van Aquinostraat 3
P.O. Box 9108
Nijmegen, 6500HK
Netherlands

Arjan B. Keizer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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