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Organizational Training in Japan: A Case Study of the Spaces of Localization

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Purpose: The case study described in this article explores a U.S. team's adaptation of organizational training for Japanese audiences, with a particular focus on the team's management of social and physical spaces in which the training took place.

Method: Qualitative research was used in this study, specifically a case study based on ethnological methods including interviews, observations, and collection of relevant documents.

Results: Localization of the social and physical spaces that surround organizational training spaces includes recognizing their potential function as an important site for professional communication, especially in relationship-oriented cultures such as Japan. Beyond the need for this conceptual understanding, localization of organizational training also requires the practical navigation of these spaces. Such facility depends on professional communicators' understanding of proxemics, or the human use of space in cultural contexts, as well as wise reliance on the guidance of cultural insiders.

Conclusions: When professional communicators work to localize organizational training, they must include all relevant communication channels and work to actively manage the physical and social spaces through which relationships are built and information is passed. An awareness of how space is used as a means of communication across cultures is essential.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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