Guest lecture webinar held for Department of Asian Studies


Earlier this month, and for the first time online, the Department of Asian Studies hosted a guest webinar focused on Japanese culture and etiquette for students enrolled in the Negotiating Cultures course.

The course introduces students to key features of China, Japan and other Asian countries, with a focus on communication and negotiation strategies. Cultural differences, language, social interaction, management practices, government and diplomacy are topics that are covered through the semester, with the intention of developing students’ capability to be effective in a cultural and business sense in Asia.

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies, Dr Gerry Groot said the online webinar was a success.

"Eri Dennis and Paul Smith (both ex-UA though Eri came here as an exchange student) gave our students an introduction to business etiquette in Japan and showed how these issues can be of direct relevance to Australian business," he said.

"They stressed how both of them had benefitted from their time at the University of Adelaide. Paul, in particular, explained how he had gone from doing engineering to then undertake and MA and then a PhD in Japan. He has been active in maintaining his UA links and encourages any of our students who are interested, to apply for internships with Shinka Management."

Throughout the semester the department invites relevant guest speakers to share their experience working within an Asian context. As our guest speaker for Japan, Shinka Management Director and university alumni, Dr Paul Smith, led a discussion with students on the topic of doing business with the Japanese. The webinar introduced the key skills required for successfully negotiating Japan from a business perspective, including coverage of key characteristics of Japanese culture, management practices and business customs.

Paul completed his undergraduate studies in Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 1999 before completing Masters and PhD studies at the University of Kyoto through a Japanese Government scholarship. Paul has 26 years’ experience living, working and doing business with Japan, and previously chaired the Japan Australia Business Council of South Australia over a period of six years. Paul currently runs lean consulting company Shinka Management, supporting clients in 48 countries with consulting, training and study tours focused on Japanese management philosophy and competitive systems and practices.

Paul has spoken with students of the University of Adelaide’s Department of Asian Studies in previous years through the Departments’ Negotiating Asia: Surviving Cultural Differences course on the topics of Japanese business etiquette and Japanese communication and negotiation skills. 

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