intercultural communication

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Sociology Pages: 5 (1349 words) Published: February 4, 2014
At a recent conference on transnational marketing, a CEO commented that “In today’s increasingly globalised business world a knowledge of business alone is not sufficient to achieve success; a greater awareness of intercultural communication is also required.” Do you agree or disagree with his opinion? In a well-structured essay explain your ideas using clear examples to support your ideas.

Distance and time are no longer the biggest obstacles to doing business, as result of human innovation and technological progress. And with the development of communications and wide-spread cooperation all over world, more and more companies are exploring the international market. (Johnson 2012) Intercultural communication has become a crucial factor towards the success of Global business. Because different cultures have different values, conflicts and misunderstandings are unavoidable. Most dominant of the challenges in Global business is the communication. Companies realize that professional business knowledge is not sufficient to achieve success unless you were aware of the intercultural communication. Therefore, the thesis emphasizes different cultural values have different business behaviours. To be successful in intercultural communication, it is essential for us to know not only our own cultural characteristics but also that of other countries during the intercultural communication. Based on the analysis three basic cultural types –individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity and low power distance versus high power distance, which can help us find how important the culture impacts are on global business and how to turn cultural differences into a competitive advantage. There are many differences between individualism and collectivism, the most importance is the value orientation. Collectivism emphasizes the importance of the group over the individual and values conformity. Individualistic cultures stress personal values and independence. (Mitchell 2009) Different value orientation can lead to various misunderstandings during the intercultural communication. For example, one British consultant visiting a small family-owned Saudi Arabian lighting manufacturer investigating the possibility of becoming a public company and developing overseas markets. The consultant found that the workforce was terribly bloated and inefficient. Even though Output and revenue per employee was embarrassingly low, (Mitchell 2009,P.16) the company didn’t lay off workers. They choose cut pay across the board and reduce everybody’s hours to solve this situation, which made British consultant stunned. Every single detail can show that the company place far greater value on the loyalty of employees than they do on efficiency. However, most business in British—where the individualist culture is dominant— enhances self-worth and pays more attention to the work efficiency. To increase efficiency, companies usually cut jobs and stress individual values. Based on this case we can know that cultural values have an enormous impact on business communication. Another point is that different value orientation usually has their specific ways of making decisions in international business negotiations. For instance, American culture is an individualist culture in which independence is highly valued. A person is often responsible for the last decision in business negotiations. China is a collectivistic country. They would like to make decision through group agreement. (Chang 2001) Because the group decision can help them get different opinions and share responsibility. According to above cases we learned that it is significant for us to understand how different value orientation influences work on multi-national projects. Besides, in masculine cultures, people value competitiveness, assertiveness and material possessions. If you are working or doing business in a country with a higher masculinity score, you can see that the society will be driven...

References: 2. John F. 2001, Cross Cultural Conflict Resolution in Teams, accessed,2,Feb,2013,
3. Melany,G 2010, How Culture Affects Management Around the World, accessed,4,Feb,2013,
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