The Rice-Paper Ceiling
IN THIS SUMMARY
The "rice-paper ceiling" is the phenomenon that frequently prevents non-Japanese employees from enjoying successful careers and rising to key managerial positions in Japanese firms. It is a combination of structural differences and mutual misunderstandings, including language, cross-cultural communication skills, communication patterns, leadership roles, internal management and decision-making patterns, ethnocentricity, employment system differences, Japanese personnel management, and corporate cultures. Although the common complaints about Japanese managers, and the inequities built into Japanese organizational structures are not glossed over, there is never any hint of "Japan-bashing"-just practical and revealing reporting. The author addresses differences in work style and culture so the employee can improve their working relationships and career prospects.