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Japanese Business Communication Practices in Thailand: Tales from an Electronic Components Manufacturer

Chau, Vinh Sum, Nacharoenkul, Thunjira (2023) Japanese Business Communication Practices in Thailand: Tales from an Electronic Components Manufacturer. Management Decision, 61 (8). pp. 2467-2490. ISSN 0025-1747. E-ISSN 1758-6070. (doi:10.1108/MD-08-2022-1092) (KAR id:100292)


This article reviews the practice of horenso (a mnemonic for hokoku/reporting, renraku/informing and sodan/consulting) – an under-documented Japanese communication methodology – at a Japanese-owned subsidiary in Thailand. It draws on a number of cultural theories to explore how horenso was influenced by the non-biculturality of individuals at a multinational corporation. This article draws on first-hand interviews with staff of varying responsibilities at a multinational electronic components manufacturer, Spin-eTech (a pseudonym) to understand how horenso has been utilized and perceived at this Japanese-owned subsidiary in Thailand differently from its original form and traditional use at its headquarters in Japan. This was a targeted case that captured the real time communication difficulties at the workplace. The themes of horenso’s rationale, motivation, style of communication, use for problem solving, information reporting, relation to superiority, and culture of communication emerged as prominent differences for how horenso was practiced at the Thai subsidiary. Using the emic perspective of cultural understanding, insights are offered into the impact of non-biculturality within the Asia Pacific region on the practice of horenso to extant knowledge on the under-explored ‘eastern vs eastern’ cultural differences.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/MD-08-2022-1092
Additional information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Uncontrolled keywords: horenso, Culture, Communication, eastern management, Japanese management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Vinh Chau
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2023 10:18 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2024 22:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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