Cross Cultural Communication- Royal Dutch Shell's Approach

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Coss Cultural Communication: Perspective of Royal Dutch Shell Shell has over 100 different nationalities in its employee population. In a global organization like Shell, people need to constantly work with people from other nationalities as part of expatriate assignments. We had a candid interaction with company’s global learning head Manojit Sen. We are elucidating few interesting points from the discussion. Global organisations like Royal Dutch Shell face the constant challenge of cross cultural communication both when dealing with external customer as well as in dealing with colleagues internally. Some of these are:          Failure to Bond: Experience over years shows that customers like doing business who are like them. Equally Sales staff unconsciously look to do business with people they like and stay away from those they don’t like and bond with. The more pronounced the differences between two people, the slower the bonding process may be, especially if nothing is done to bridge the gap such as teaching people to communicate like ‘one of them’.  Hence the fate of multi billion dollar deals in oil majors such as Shell may often be tested on the strength of the ‘liking’ factor.          Stereotyping: Even with the best education, almost everyone consciously or unconsciously holds onto some unfair generalizations about a given group.  Recognizing and overcoming negative beliefs that we may have had since childhood can be challenging. These generalizations come in the way of truly listening to views and building on the best of ideas which have the potential to take the organization forward.          Assuming the same values: We all assume everyone shares the same values we do. This leads to judgments of what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. When the values are not actually the same, actions one party takes does not meet the expectations of the other leading to frustration, attribution of intent and breakdown of trust.          “Token”...
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