Diversity and Intercultural
The International Cultural Battle
Composed by Daniel Plouffe
In our world of expanding technology and shrinking geography, people of different cultures have increasing frequency of contact and need for effective communication on a daily basis. Whether through travel, immigration, or international business, having the ability to communicate across many different cultures is an advantage in and of itself. Speaking a different language is an obvious obstacle to intercultural communication, but a greater and more difficult hurdle is to “speak” a different culture. To understand and comprehend and even apply these tiniest of differences is to truly communicate across cultures. Even though we may learn the words, the grammar, and the recognizable pronunciation of a language, we may still not know how to navigate around the greater obstacles to communication that are presented by cultural difference. What is culture?
Culture involves learned and shared behaviours, norms, values, and material objects. It also encompasses what people create to express values, attitudes, and norms. Culture is largely undiscussed by the people who share it. (Beamer and Varner (2008) Culture… (p. 5))
It is important to understand what makes up the basic elements of culture so that we may be able to compare and contrast different aspects of cultures in order to define and identify them as unique. This knowledge, when used correctly, will be the key to knowing how and why a culture communicates so that we, as a foreign culture, may be able to communicate with them. This paper will illustrate intercultural communication in an international and overseas workplace context. The scope of this research paper will explore and display research in working internationally, specifically expatriates, and their experience with culture shock, the importance of culture intelligence
Citations: Rose, R., Ramalu, S., Uli, J., Kumar, N. (2010). Expatriate Performance in International Assignments: The Role of Cultural Intelligence as Dynamic Intercultural Competency, International Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 5 (No. 8) Kupta, B., Everett, A., Atkins, S., Mertesacker, M., Walters, L., Walters, T., Graf, A., Hill, B., Dodd, C., Bolten, J. (2009). THE INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION MOTIVATION SCALE: AN INSTRUMENT TO ASSESS MOTIVATIONAL TRAINING NEEDS OF CANDIDATES FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS, Human Resource Management, Vol. 48 (No. 5) 717– 744 Planken, B., Hooft, A., Korzilius, H. (2004). PROMOTING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE THROUGH FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSES, Business Communication Quarterly, Volume 67 (Number 3) 308-315. DOI: 10.1177/1080569904268095 Hooker, J. (2003). Working Across Cultures. Stanford, CA Stanford University Press Novinger, T. (2001). Intercultural Communication: A practical Guide (1st ed.). Austin, TX University of Texas Press Cambie, S., Ooi, Y. (2009). International Communications Strategy: Developments in cross-cultural communications, PR and social media. London, UK Kogan Page Limited Beamer, L., Varner, I. (2008) Intercultural Communication: In The Global Workplace. New York, NY Mcgraw-Hill