Culture and Communication

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With the expansion of business across so many borders there is a greater amount of interaction between cultures that previously, did not communicate. This can cause a great deal of confusion and require businesses to update their understanding and appreciation for the differences between cultures. Cultures vary widely throughout the world, and with these variations in culture come differences in communication style and expectations. Through a greater understanding of cultural differences and a greater sensitivity to unknown differences, many problems that can arise during cross-cultural communication can be ameliorated.

Culture can vary greatly not only between countries, but also within them. Overlooking these differences in culture can can cause very negative effects on a company in the now increasingly global business world. As Bachir Mihoubi explains, culture can affect everything from how companies conduct meetings to how these meetings are scheduled. It is important for businesses to recognize that culture can affect the holidays that observed as well as whether or not punctuality is a major concern (2008). He goes on to explain that culture can also effect the rules of etiquette and the language that is used to conduct business. It is a utterly necessary for businesspeople to be aware of these cultural differences, for they are vast and ultimately important.

The importance of being aware of cultural differences can sometimes mean the difference between doing business with someone or losing a deal. As Colin Farrington explains, there are many times that being ill-aware of cultural differences has led a professional to ostracize the executive board of a company from a foreign county. One of the examples he gives is of a presentation he once gave. He was referencing “The Ukraine” in his speech and not until later was he informed that the use of the word “The” indicates Ukraine under Soviet rule (2008). With this minor slip he may have been...
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