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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

Second Advisor

Janet Bennett

First Committee Member

Kazuko Ikeda


This study investigated the influences of the Japanese sense of ba on their patterns of perceiving the working environment and work-related human~relations in the U.S. social context. Ba in this study refers to the frame of relationships that is shared among the individuals in a certain specific situation.

The goals of this heuristic qualitative study are: (I) to investigate whether Japanese working in the U.S. retain a sense of ba, (2) to examine how the sense of ba affects their perception of the problems that they face in dealing with work-related matters and relationships with their American colleagues, supervisors, and customers, and (3) to investigate whether and how ba functions as a facilitating factor in establishing collaborative relationships between Americans and Japanese in the workplace.

To pursue these study goals, I conducted in-depth interviews with twelve Japanese working in the U.S. The interviews were conducted in the form of focused interview and the obtained data were analyzed in reference to the characteristics of ba stated in the literature review.

The results indicated that the subjects retained and exercised their sense of ba in the - U.S. workplace context. The subjects' narratives also suggested that relationship building between Americans and Japanese based on the ba-principle was possible.



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