High Context/ Low Context

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High/ Low context culture by Hall

International Business Cross Cultural Communication Teacher responsible for the course Yijie Wang Tsang Siu Ki Jaakko Soini Christian Fritz Philipp Gatzemeier

Assessment

Date Grade Teacher’s signature

CONTENTS
1 EDWARD T. HALL .................. FEHLER! TEXTMARKE NICHT DEFINIERT. 2 GESTELAND.............................................................................................................. 3 3 TROMPENAAR.......................................................................................................... 4 4 OUR CONCLUSION .................................................................................................. 5

SOURCES ........................................................................................................................ 6

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EDWARD HALL
Edward T. Hall was an anthropologist who made early discoveries of key cultural factors. In particular he is known for his high and low context cultural factors. Hall (1976) came to the field of cross-cultural analysis from the discipline of anthropology. He argued that all peoples interpret and create messages in reference to shared information. This information includes values in the culture, which link members of the culture group and influence how they refer to their contexts when maintaining relationships. Hall's goal was that people understand the effect of origin better on the language and use it for communication. A key factor in his theory is context. This relates to the framework, background, and surrounding circumstances in which communication or an event takes place. (http://www.marin.edu/buscom/index_files/Page605.htm) High Context: According to Hall people from a high context culture have intense interpersonal relationships. They are more relational, collectivist, intuitive and contemplative than people from low-context cultures. For doing business it is really important to create a good partnership based on trust. This step is necessary in order to get good results in negotiations. With known negotiating parties negotiations can be taken quit short when a high level confidence is reached. Also the decision making is different in these countries because people trust their feelings more than the facts and information. Moreover, the context is more important than words in these cultures. The context includes the speaker’s tone of voice, facial expression, gestures and posture. Even the family background plays a major role in these countries. Most of high-context countries are located in Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America for example Japan, China and Brazil. Below are two examples about people from Japan. The Japanese talk around the point. [They] think intelligent human beings should be able to discover the point of discourse from the context, which they are careful to provide. (Hall, 1983, p. 63) Non-word sounds, such as hissing, grunting, growling, and sighing, are just one more way that Japanese communicate without using actual words. (Kopp, 2001, p. 30)

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Low Context: The opposite applies to people from low-context countries that are more logical, linear and individualistic. People make decision because of facts and information. Good relationships are based on good performance and a high exchange of information. Moreover people use clearly structured sentence with easy but precise words. The context and the body language are not that important in these countries. Also negotiations take a long time because every point is negotiated and will be written down in words. Problems are solved in sequence with facts and evaluations. Interpersonal relationships are shorter than in highcontext cultures and not very deep. Also the family is not as important as it is in countries like Japan or China. Most of the low-context countries are in North America and Western Europe for example Germany, the US and...
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