Intercultural Communication in the Global. Workplace: The Case of Multicultural Teams in. Spainl. Ans~imcl': The aim of this article is to explore the role and. PDF | The aim of this article is to explore the role and characteristics of communicative interaction in an intercultural context and, more specifically, within . Dec 13, Therefore, preparing people for the global workplace requires understanding of intercultural communication informed by critical scholarship.
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Not long ago an elite of industrialized countries could more or less dictate economic practices. This is changing. Today those first-world countries must take into consideration the cultural values and practices of these new players.
As a result, understanding other cultures is more important than ever. If we consider that people from the same economic, political, and cultural background have problems communicating effectively, we can appreciate the difficulties and challenges that people from diverse cultures face when trying to communicate.
Misunderstandings will always be a part of intercultural communication. One of the goals of this book is to minimize misunderstandings through an awareness of the priorities and expectations of business partners. Yet until recently, the implications of intercultural communication skills for globalization were seldom addressed.
Managers talked about the need for faster and more efficient communication, as if speed guaranteed effective communication.
They paid lip service to the need for good cross-cultural communication, but staffing decisions were. With growing competition and increasing globalization, that attitude is beginning to change. International experience is becoming more important for making it to the top of the corporate ladder, but it will undoubtedly be more universally valued in the future. Consider the "world car" Ford produces in Europe and sells in 52 countries worldwide. An international team designed the car, the "Mondeo.
Seats are made in the United States and the moon roof is made in Canada. Air-conditioning is made in Charleville, France, and the catalytic converter comes from Brussels, Belgium.
Throughout the Ford Motor Company, intercultural business communication takes place constantly to get the job done. Ford uses a global sourcing procedure for choosing suppliers of the thousands of smaller parts, through an intense international competition.
Ford produced the global "Mondeo" in order to meet global competition. For the same reason Volvo, the national pride of Sweden, and Renault, a French firm owned largely by the government of France, combined forces to form the sixth largest automobile company in the world. Daimler-Benz, a German firm that produced top quality cars for decades, merged with Chrysler from the United States.
The new company, DaimlerChrysler, recently added a share of Mitsubishi from Japan and Hyundai from Korea to the ownership mix. The trend toward a global business environment is not restricted to the big industrialized countries such as the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and Great Britain. Nor is it restricted to large cities or, in. The salesperson won't have time to think about how to deal with a foreigner.
This approach means adding to one's own culture. In the process.
EBOOK: Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace
That doesn't mean turning one's back on one's own culture or denying its priorities. In attempting to understand another culture's perspective. It involves geographic locations that just a few years ago were considered to be wholly engaged in domestic business. That does not mean we have to agree with another culture's viewpoint.
For example. Local firms may export or import. People who never dreamed of going into international business may work side by side with recent immigrants from different cultures. The salesperson in a small business in a small town in any one of a hundred countries may have to answer inquiries from around the globe.
It does mean we and they examine our and their priorities and determine how we all can best work together. Many small towns in the landlocked states of Mexico. She or he must be ready to communicate on the spot. They call people from the United States Yanquis Yankees.
But no exclusive term exists for the people of the United States—such as Statesians— comparable to Mexicans or Canadians. The Japanese refer to people from the United States as america-jin. The French call the people of the United States les americains Americans. But occasionally. We have attempted to distinguish between other Americans and those of the United States. As residents of the United States.
An understanding of culture and how to know unfamiliar The application of intercultural communication skills to cultures for business. We are all culturally based and culturally biased. But this is not precisely accurate.
We use the United States when referring to the country. That is not always easy. Chapter 6 looks at the role of nonverbal communication across cultures. PART ONE This section begins with an introduction to culture followed by the first steps in developing intercultural communication skills and a look at the way culture affects communication.
Chapter 8 examines the impact of cultural priorities on information gathering. Then Chapter 2 examines the issue of language in communication with an unfamiliar culture and discusses the important role of the interpreter. A broad variety of examples illustrates the impact of structure on communication. Who should. The last chapter discusses the relationship among cultural awareness. Examples show how these priorities affect business transactions.
Chapter 7 discusses what happens when people from different cultures encounter one another in specific social contexts that have different meanings for each party. Chapter 9 concludes this section on the application of intercultural communication skills to business negotiations across cultures. Chapters 3 and 4 present a structure for understanding the dimensions of an unfamiliar culture through posing specific questions in five different categories.
Chapter 5 discusses the influences of cultural values and language patterns on the organization of business messages. These questions cover the priorities or values of any culture that are important for business. It probes the reasons for cultural priorities and behavior and identifies the major applications in intercultural business communication tasks.
May United States Institute of Peace. Discovers Diversity is Good for Business. Paul Gonzales. This book is based on many years of experience. Martha Groves. What are the appropriate channels? What is the appropriate level of cultural understanding? In short. In this process it establishes a framework that will help readers ask the right questions and identify cultural issues so they can communicate effectively in new cultural settings.
In connecting intercultural communication theory and international business concerns. The many examples make the book particularly valuable for anyone who wants to be an effective player in international business. As other scholars in this field have pointed out. Negotiating Across Cultures. Are Generalizations Productive or Perilous? Category 1: Does Knowledge Have Limits? Category 2: Do Results or Relationships Take Priority? Is Uncertainty Avoided or Tolerated?
Are Rules to Be Followed or Bent? Category 3: Our Place in the Universe Dominate Humans? Is Change Positive or Negative?
Category 4: The Self Collective? The Individual or the Obligation and Indebtedness: Is Seniority Valued or Discounted? Category 5: Social Organization Permanent? Are Women Equals or Subordinates? Group Membership: Temporary or Form: Important or Untrustworthy?
Personal Matters: Private or Public? Horizontal or Approach to Authority: Direct or Mediated? What Really Happened with Canwall. Donald Hastings had been chairman of Lincoln Electric. A fifth problem was that nobody in the executive jobs at Lincoln had had international experience or had lived abroad—the chief financial officer CFO didn't even have a passport.
The losses meant the company miglu not be able to pay U. Instead they follow pay scales thai. But according lo Hastings. This status issue arises from the cultural characteristic of hierarchy in German culture.
Another cultural issue is that workers in Germany. Lincoln Electric also learned that products not made in a European country would not easily be able to penetrate that country's market because of a cultural loyalty to domestically produced goods. The idea that individual workers might exceed or fall below the agreed amount of income depending on individual performance was unacceptable to European workers.
Since the bonus system was a key component of the manufacturer's success. A third problem was that executives of Lincoln's recently acquired European companies only wanted to deal with Lincoln's top executives. Lincoln Hleciric. Lor example. These are caveats against those potentially fatal faux pas—as if remembering not to cross your legs in Thailand and not to refuse a cup of coffee in Saudi Arabia is all you need to know in order to close a deal.
The story of how Lincoln Electric rallied and finally achieved success is a drama about the enormous efforts by the U. Along with the errors are lists of do's and taboos for businesspeople. The amount of adjusted behavior that occurs in their co-created. The blunders-and-bloops literature is full of instances in which the fall really was fatal and the deal came apart. The context of the interaction becomes more important for molding actions than the individuals' own cultural backgrounds.
It finally became clear to Hastings that he could not hope to bring Lincoln back to profitability without moving to Europe himself. It involves culturally identifiable actions such as shaking hands or bowing or kissing upon meeting. When interactants are sensitive to another culture and knowledgeable about it.
In this transactional culture. It is always because someone didn't understand the why rather than the what of culture. At the front of the stage. The list of errors is very long. It is also a cautionary tale of how the chairman and executives painfully learned the lessons of culture they needed to know to operate overseas.
Mistakes can be unconscious as well as unintentional. But lists can't cover everything. Front-stage culture is what people in contact with one another find easiest to observe and react to. And unless you understand the why. A whole body of literature has appeared that documents cultural blunders in international business efforts. Everything you may know and can say about a culture leads back to that: We find the metaphor of windows very appealing to describe culture: Culture is a mental set of windows through which all of life is viewed.
It is what enables us to process information in various specific applications. Individuals' own cultural backgrounds give rise to the back-stage cultural behaviors. You know what makes them the way they are. A Taiwanese businesswoman with experience of Brazilian culture may kiss the cheek of a Brazilian businessman on first meeting.
These people have adjusted their native cultural behavior and have learned to act as if members of the other culture. Usually people think their own back-stage behavior is simply normal. If you understand why they behave a certain way. Their counterparts may also exhibit adjusted behavior: The Japanese may offer his hand for a handshake and the Brazilian may keep a distance in deference to Taiwanese custom.
Once you have an insight into what people think is important and how they behave. If you understand why people value some things. The back-stage behaviors are usually unconscious.
For instance. If you understand the why of culture. Back-stage behaviors include the way people make decisions. These are not so easily observed by others as are the front-stage behaviors.
The why is the essence of a people's culture. Edward Hall. Responses to Other Cultures. If culture is mental programming. From among-ihe many definitions of culture. A culture is not usually discussed by the members who share it. Culture is the property of a community of people. It is in the air we breathe and as necessary to our understanding of who we are as air is to our physical life. Culture also tells us what ought to be.
Culture involves learned and shared behaviors. Societies are programmed by culture and that programming comes from similar life experiences and similar interpretations of what those experiences mean. Culture is the coherent. The rest of this chapter is divided into three sections: Understanding Culture. How the windows differ from society to society and how an outsider can learn to recognize what is essentially transparent to the individual member of a culture are the subject of this book.
It establishes codes for behavior and provides justification and legitimization for this behavior. It is difficult to define because it is a large and inclusive concept. It also encompasses what humans create to express values. It helps us in setting priorities. Edward Tylor. This definition deserves a closer examination. Regardless of how peculiar a fragment of a culture seems. But to their horror and dismay. It is a place where immigrants can acquire gold.
El Dia de Los Muertos. It emphasizes family ties that reach beyond the grave. In China. The pioneer researcher into the study of cultures. Culture Is Coherent Each culture.
It makes all our lives richer to glimpse and even claim a bit of this treasure of human achievement. The incredible richness of the variety of cultures fascinates historians. A boat full of southcoast Chinese decide to set sail for San Francisco. It is the last week of October. Consider a hypothetical case.
Somewhere along the way they are blown off course by a storm. You also need to recognize the likelihood that there will be gaps in comprehension—holes instead of connections—in your interaction. Understanding another culture is a legitimate concern of businesses. You need to understand the cultural values you transmit when you interact with someone from another culture.
An author speaking about the need for businesspeople to know about another's viewpoint says. The completeness of cultures also means members looking out from their own seamless view of the universe probably do not see anything lacking in their "unifying and consistent vision.
Or put it another way: If you know what people value and understand their attitudes. How can I see the possibility of something existing where I have always seen nothing? How can I know what I don't know? The response to these questions first recognizes that culture determines business practices.
This is not to say people can talk objectively about their own culture.
Intercultural Comunication in the Global Workplace
If the Chinese understood why the Mexicans display skulls and skeletons everywhere. Those who make the effort to understand another culture gain knowledge about how to behave in that culture. Much of what is learned about one's own culture is stored in mental categories that are recalled only when they are challenged by something different.
We all have to be taught our culture. In fact. More than that. The process begins immediately after birth—even earlier. But if all they have is the culture fragment—a bit of behavior—they will probably regard it as bizarre. Neither are business communication practices. Business practices are not neutral or value-free. When circumstances dictate. Cultures also share visual symbols.
Businesses don't have to accept failure in another culture simply because no representative of the organization grew up in that culture. Groups are motivated by common views. They agree about what the important things are that truly merit respect. Members of the society agree about the meanings of things and about the why. Members of a society probably agree without having to say so that something is necessary and important.
That means nobody has to remain for a lifetime locked inside only one culture. This book is about how to learn other cultures. If you want to understand other cultures. We believe it is not only possible to do so. The most obvious set of symbols is language. Along with everyone from whom they have learned their culture—older family members. Many people have learned more than one culture and move comfortably within them.
Much more will be said about the role of language Chapter 2 and communication later in this chapter. Company logos. If culture is learned. People in a given culture share symbols of that culture. When identification.
The salesperson a insisted he needed to show department store in Manhattan. In one Pacific Island culture. Culture Ranks What Is Important What is of paramount importance to one group may be virtually meaningless to another.
The term values crops up frequently in books about intercultural business. But explain that to a businessperson in the United States or Hong Kong or Italy who has spent his or her life amassing wealth! Usually in these cultures resources are to be husbanded and increased.
A quick-thinking he made a download. A story is told of the Sultan of Brunei. Thus defined. In other words. To be sure. To be able to entertain this way is the real meaning of wealth because it means the giver is owed and therefore has great prestige.
So does the term attitude. What is the difference?
In distinguishing between attitudes and values. Cultures rank what is important. Priorities vary from culture to culture: Progress reports about the delivery of a component from a joint-venture may be of great value to a Dutch firm doing business with Japan. The variety of responses to these questions can astonish and enrich us all.
Values are what people go to war over or conduct business by. They enable us to evaluate what matters to us or to apply standards to our attitudes and beliefs. How should we organize so we can get along? How can we know our spiritual dimension?
What does the best life include? In business contexts. Within a culture. In order to communicate about business in another culture.
We all can recognize and make a claim to some elements of all cultures because we understand the fundamental need that is behind them. Cultures enable people to find answers to their recurring questions: Where did we come from? What is the meaning of our being here. Because values tell us how to weigh the worth of something. They also shape beliefs. We can talk about values as cultural priorities. It involves asking certain questions about a culture—and continuing to ask them without being content that the whole answer has ever been received.
You will constantly be building your knowledge structures about cultures. The strategy can be applied to any culture. Attitudes are feelings about things. When you understand the priorities people have.
Culture Furnishes Attitudes An attitude is learned. You can have an attitude toward eating raw fish. But where to begin? What do you need to know to cover all necessary bases in order to do business? Chapters 3 and 4 present a strategy for learning about another culture. The questions are in five general areas: How is their society organized? How do they see the individual self in relation to the rest of the How do people in this culture think and know?
What do they consider achievement? What is the relation of members of this culture to time and spiritual These categories and subquestions within them can give enough information for a learner of the culture to become fluent in that culture. In order to understand how to do business with members of another culture.
No list of do's and taboos tells you that. Attitudes can change. Or you may have an attitude that is negative. Belief systems or religions are powerful sources of values and attitudes in cultures. Reports should come in on '. Behavior comes directly from the attitudes about how significant something is—how it is valued.
We will look at religions in more detail in Chapter 3. If the association is longstanding. In Britain. Attitudes vary according to how important something is reckoned to be value. In Mexican culture. Culture Dictates How to Behave To continue the example of the previous discussion. Business associates may attend the funeral.
You can even hold both attitudes at the same time. Business is a composite of actions. Values drive actions. Beliefs are convictions or certainties based on subjective and often personal ideas rather than on proof or fact.
So we're back at the point made earlier: Cultural priorities motivate business behavior. In Mexico. If you do. Attitudes are based on beliefs as well as values.
Behaviors by the employee and the superior in Japan and the United States are different. The result is a raging hangover that makes him unable to concentrate on writing the report. Generally speaking. In business. The superior's behavior is probably to counsel the employee and to inquire into the domestic situation in subsequent weeks. All these differences can be traced to the root difference: The cultural priority placed on submitting a report on time is different. He may call in saying he's ill.
For the Japanese worker. In Japan. The employee in the United States may be no less debilitated by a hangover than his Japanese counterpart. A Japanese employee in Tokyo whose report is not ready by the deadline goes to his superior and explains that problems at home with his wife have driven him to drinking more than he should and going home very late after the employees' evenings out.
He would be criticized for drinking too much and also for not completing the report on time. Take the case of an overdue report in the following scenario. But when this scenario is presented to Japanese and American groups. History shows that a common response is to clash and to struggle for the dominance of one set of values over another. In the United States.
Natives is thought the idea absurd that humans. This is what happened in the early history of the United States. Of course. The history of would try to own land. The immigrants wanted to own land.
Immigration tremendously increased has the the Priorities in the Native cultures of United States included and population of the United States traditionally still include today some within the past years. The models the founding Nevertheless. The immigrants were loud when the natives were silent. Behavior of the two groups was also very different. The slave owners thought they were offering the slaves an opportunity to believed God and reason were on.
The slave owners would have been astounded by the notion that the slaves possessed their own view—from their own cultural windows—of a whole and complete vision of the meaning of life. The immigrants bought and sold slaves that were not considered quite human. The slave owners had no appreciation for the complex.
They saw no ancestors who were endowed animal origins behind the superb apex of with significant spiritual creation they believed humankind to be. The European immigrants be less than human. The United States historically afforded a home to more people of diverse cultures than any other country. But even in the United States, with its ideals of equality and tolerance, the advantages and disadvantages of acknowledging diversity are hotly debated.
Recently some social critics in the United States have voiced opposition to measures that preserve immigrants' cultural differences. They say the insistence on diversity actually separates Americans from one another by forcing them to focus on what differentiates them. Some authors argue that the "melting pot" that describes American culture depends upon the fusing of all other cultural identities into one. They claim that efforts to preserve immigrant cultures actually divide immigrants into categories, instead of treating them all as one "American" group.
They suggest this is contrary to the American ideal of offering equal American-ness to everybody. Furthermore, they warn that multiculturalism may threaten the very characteristic that is so American: the union of one from many. Today in the United States, a longstanding tradition of tolerance coexists side by side with an aversion to difference. Uniformity for people of all cultures is easier to deal with than diversity.
Diversity is difficult. Often the impulse to deny cultural differences comes from an embarrassment at focusing on difference, since frequently to be different in the United States is to be excluded. It isn't polite to point out that someone looks different, talks differently, wears different clothes, or eats different food. So, many times out of a concern to avoid making someone feel uncomfortable, difference is played down. This attitude may be motivated by a sincere desire for equal behavior toward people, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background, under the all-encompassing umbrella of the ideal of equality.
After all, most people who call themselves "American" have ancestors who were immigrants. Today many still have a strong desire to include newcomers in a friendly and tolerant national embrace and to affirm the high priority of equality in American culture. But the truth is that people from different cultures really are different. That's a great strength of the human race and a potential source of delight and wonderment as much as of fear and suspicionthe choice is ours. People of different cultures begin with different databases, we use different operating environments, we run different software and process information differentlywe may even have different goals.
To pretend we're all alike underneath is wrong and can lead to ineffectual communication, or worse. While the debate is growing about how much to focus on cultural diversity, in fact cultural diversity is the reality. Businesses must deal with it. Individuals within organizations must also come to terms with diversity. The way to deal with diversity is not to deny it or ignore it, hut to learn about differences so they don't impair communication and successful business transactions.
The description of the United States as a "melting pot" is neither an accurate description of the reality nor an ideal that many of the more recent immigrants embrace. Even the European immigrants of a previous century did not totally "melt"; they created a new culture with distinct differences based on cultural heritage. As the new immigrants arrive, the United States culture becomes a "spicy stew.
This blending creates a unique combination that gains from each ingredient. The United States' value of tolerance allows immigrants the freedom to keep their own identities while becoming part of a new culture.
It is an ideal, but it is also achievable; in fact, it already exists to a degree in some communities in the United States. Cultural differences don't prevent us from working with each other or communicating with each other or having productive business transactions. Indeed, we must learn to work with each other. The future of any organization depends on it. The reality is that businesses will increasingly be spicy stews of cultures, and so increasingly will the whole globe they inhabit.
This fact is one reason why we must all acknowledge diversity and accept it. Another reason is that immigrants can add enormously to a society'sor an organization'sculture.
The biggest gain from accepting cultural differences is that cultural diversity enriches each one of us. People around the world and throughout history have developed a stunning variety of social systems and hierarchies of values. As a member of the human race, you can claim your rightful part-ownership of this richness, and you can celebrate the fertility of the human imagination along with its diverse products.
The essential ingredient for a successful cultural stew is skill in intercultural communication. Companies like Hewlett-Packard in the United States have discovered the value of intercultural communication skills and the increased productivity they bring, and they have instituted diversity programs to train employees. They understand that the first step in effective intercultural communication is acceptance of diversity. This means we examine our own values and the values of others, look at the implications of these values for business, determine where the differences lie, and see how we can best overcome the differences and work together.
International communication that only a few decades ago took days, if not weeks, now takes seconds. With E-mail, faxes, telephones, and the Web we can contact our international partners at a moment's notice. If we want a more personal exchange, teleconferencing can bring the other person right into our office. And if we want a true faceto-face discussion, jets can take us anywhere within hours.
The variety of channels of communication is amazing. The choice of which channel to use in a particular situation is itself influenced by cultural priorities and values. The changes in technology have facilitated the exchange of ideas, but they also have magnified the possibilities for cultural blunders.
It is so easy to assume that the person on the other end of the line communicates just as we do. After all, he or she uses the same technology and maybe even the same business terminology.
In addition to changes in technology, there have been massive political and economic changes in recent years that affect business communication internationally. Countries that once were part of the Soviet Block now struggle to define and realize national goals; China is adopting Western practices and experimenting with a market economy.
Small industrialized countries resent being bullied by the big ones.
Non-Western countries are becoming more assertive and protective of their cultural values and behaviors and do not quietly accept Western business practices any longer.
These new voices are increasingly powerful. Not long ago an elite of industrialized countries could more or less dictate economic practices. This is changing. Today those first-world countries must take into consideration the cultural values and practices of these new players. As a result, understanding other cultures is more important than ever. If we consider that people from the same economic, political, and cultural background have problems communicating effectively, we can appreciate the difficulties and challenges that people from diverse cultures face when trying to communicate.
Misunderstandings will always be a part of intercultural communication. One of the goals of this book is to minimize misunderstandings through an awareness of the priorities and expectations of business partners.
Yet until recently, the implications of intercultural communication skills for globalization were seldom addressed. Managers talked about the need for faster and more efficient communication, as if speed guaranteed effective communication. They paid lip service to the need for good cross-cultural communication, but staffing decisions were typically based on technical knowledge rather than good cross-cultural communication skills.
With growing competition and increasing globalization, that attitude is beginning to change. International experience is becoming more important for making it to the top of the corporate ladder, but it will undoubtedly be more universally valued in the future.
Consider the "world car" Ford produces in Europe and sells in 52 countries worldwide. An international team designed the car, the "Mondeo.
Seats are made in the United States and the moon roof is made in Canada. Science and Practice 5th Edition. Robert B. Manfred B. Product details Paperback: English ISBN Try the site edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention intercultural communication class pages course required global.
Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. D Hern Top Contributor: Paperback Verified download. This was a pretty good book. It's the international version of the book, but has all the same info as the US version. It helped me get an A in my Intercultural Communication class!! It was a bit detailed for my taste for the subject matter, but for those that like alot of detail, it's great!! The book is well written. There are plenty of examples.
My issue with the book is that it can be VERY repetitive. Each chapter contains about 50 pages and sometimes feel like a lot of "blah blah blah".
My point is that the subject in my opinion is not that important to spend so much time on it. This book will take a lot of your time. I been taking notes about each chapter and I can barely fill 1 page in my notebook after reading 50 pages. That book could have been reduced by half. Always worth the read! site Edition Verified download. It is an excellent book. It is very easy to read and comprehensive. I like it, I recommend this book.They examine how companies and individuals communicate, and concentrate on the underlying cultural reasons for behavior.
Ogbonna, E. Often the impulse to deny cultural differences comes from an embarrassment at focusing on difference, since frequently to be different in the United States is to be excluded.
Consider the "world car" Ford produces in Europe and sells in 52 countries worldwide. It probes the reasons for cultural priorities and behavior and identifies the major applications in intercultural business communication tasks.
They are dynamic and not can be altered to form new mental categories as necessarily bad.