Nowadays, if you greet somebody with a “Merry Christmas!”in New York, you’ll get frowned upon and criticized for lack of consideration towards people of different religious backgrounds. Most Japanese would wonder why go so far, but we need to remember that all people with their various ways of thinking have to coexist in this world. In order to do so, during Professor Satoshi Yoshii’s class we learn ethics applicable in economic society - one where we have to come up with solutions to problems like the above-mentioned one. The aim of this class is to teach students independent decision-making in accordance with the values they believe in, as well as effective communication skills like clear and concise speaking, through discussions on current news or economic problems occurring in the society.
Today’s cases questioned business ethics
- “Do we really have to follow business etiquette?: Thinking about Japanese business practices”
- “Can a company interfere with employee’s personal life?: Mission statement and code of ethics in business”
- “Wait, why we can’t blow the whistle!? : law and free organizational structure”
The “Ethics in economic society” course is targeted at first-year students, who today discussed business etiquette. The class started with video on Japanese business manners (the proper way to exchange business cards, to bow, etc.), then the Professor asked his pupils: “What comes to your mind when you hear a phrase ‘overly strict business etiquette’?”. They quickly replied with examples like: “When pouring beer, you need to face the beer label upwards and let your companion see it”, “You absolutely have to call back within three missed calls from the client”, and so on. These opinions prompted a question whether the students thought Japanese business manners were too strict, to which a lot of them answered truthfully: “Many of them are far too strict and hard to observe”, “Japan respects the elderly, which means that the voice of the young is not held in high regard”, but there were also somewhat opposing opinions, like: “If a Japanese does not conform to other people around him, he feels out of place, that’s why we have to observe at least some etiquette when becoming a full-fledged member of the society”, which pointed out that the manners are transforming into rules.
The Active Learning method utilized at our university makes all participants debate on problems without a right answer. Because the students are given multiple chances to speak out their mind, with time they learn how to convey their message in a clear and concise way. We can expect that through continuous, daily study with Active Learning method, our freshmen will gradually acquire all practical skills required in the business world.