SIEM / Spaces of International Economy and Management

Events & Conferences

Contact information

Professor Dr. Rolf D. Schlunze

Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Economic Geography / Ritsumeikan University, College of Business Administration

Manager training events

IHRM Workshop for international and R+ students

A workshop organized by Professor Rolf D. Schlunze and Professor William Baber (Kyoto University) was welcomed by international students as a unique learning experience.
Based on an article in the Ritsumeikan Business Journal entitled "Working towards Hybrid Solutions: The Possibility of an IHRM model in Japan" they sought to help professional managers implementing the hybrid model to improve international human resource management in Japan.

The first guest speaker the president of Höganäs Japan, Carl Eklund, delivered a speech to the students about his work in Japan as a corporate leader. He emphasized that it is important for an international manager in Japan to function as a link between one's home country and the host country. The key issue is that intercultural management needs to be balanced by cultural competence since the form is sometimes more important than the substance in Japan. He told us that he sees limitations for building hybrid organizations in Japan. The selection of suitable staff is most important since not stars but equal and skillful team members build towards a good cross-cultural work.

The second guest speaker, Karola Japke from Teijin Group, told us that the engagement of employees is an important aspect of cross-cultural management. Thus, Teijin Group promotes diversity and inclusion as an added value and a premise for success ensuring that all employees move into the same direction. To make this achievement open and trustworthy, communication needs to be established in the global network of the multinational company. Therefore, Teijin sources talented people worldwide regardless of their cultural background, gender or age providing cross-cultural understanding and leadership competencies.

The final guest speakers, Charles Vacher and Takashi Kasagami, who work as co-CEOs at BNP Paribas Securities Japan, gave a critical analysis of global trade, global finance, international human resources issues, global marketing strategies and also failure stories of Japanese and foreign companies in Japan. They found that hybrid organizations are needed to overcome national regulation and protectionist tendencies enabling cross-border integration.

Students told us that they enjoyed the occasion to have an exchange with professional managers. The students stated that they learned something concrete from participating in this workshop. The students learned that trust and respect are most important for cross-cultural management. They realized that it is also important to communicate a global vision among equals and to build communication strategies that enable integration of co-workers with diverse cultural backgrounds.

We asked the students if after the workshop they believe that the hybrid strategy provides a solution to international human resource management problems. About two-thirds, 21 out of 30, answered yes. Karola Japke (Teijin Ltd.) explained because the hybrid manager bridges the differences and focus on similarities, they will help policies and regulation on corporate and/or global goals. While there is high potential among the top management, to change you sometimes need a contrast. A Swedish student, Christian Sondell, told us that building a hybrid IHRM system contributes to a mutual understanding and brings people together, but the approach needs to become experienced in the process.

We also asked "Do you do you believe that Western and Eastern management approaches can be balanced". After the workshop 20 participants agreed; their statements follow.

Christian Sondell, a mature student with work experience in international business, emphasized that both approaches had some positive elements that contribute to successful intercultural management, and by combining these into one, you may arrive at a powerful solution that can balance the differences.
Mr. Shimizu, told us that it might be difficult to balance managerial practices, but the hybrid strategy could lead to corporate success.
Ms. Okudaira found that it is necessary to understand other cultures, especially when working as a global manager.
Mr. Sugimoto summarized saying it is important to communicate with an open mind, a global mind. Mr. Lin noticed that "Good business" is not divided by management style. Mr. Sugita saw the difficulty in balancing practices because each management system contains special points that might not easy to combine.
Jeremy Barbor from the USA found that much work is still needed to recognize the importance of culture and facilitate the option of diversity.

In the end, all participants emphasized that they would like to participate in similar workshops in the future because the interaction with the professionals was invaluable and the information in this workshop was highly motivating.

SIEM Workshop

Hybrid solutions introduced by Professor Rolf D. Schlunze

SIEM Workshop

Mr. Carl Eklund from Höganäs Japan with International R+ students

SIEM Workshop

Ms. Karola Japke from Teijin Group in a role play with R+ students

SIEM Workshop

Wrapping-up the results of the role play by Professor William Baber