ABSTRACT

In this chapter I examine a set of Japanese corporate activities that Allison (1994: 100) terms "not-precisely-work." Specifically, I explore the place of three important activities - dining, drinking, and golf - in the lives of Japanese business expatriates in Singapore. Whereas in my other contribution to this volume I focused on the discursive and cognitive dimensions of the expatriate experience, here I direct my attention to the behavioral level. Dining, drinking and golfing belong to what I have called the "interstices" (Ben-Ari, 1990; 1994) of Japan's organizational life: i.e. to the narrow time-junctures in between "regular" periods of work activity. But they are not residual to, somehow unimportant aspects of, the dynamics of these enterprises. Rather, as a very long line of scholars have shown!, they are central to such matters as the creation of work-group solidarity, the actualization of managerial control, or the resolution of conflict.