Cross cultural/Intercultural Communication is a field of study that looks at how peoplefrom differing cultural backgroundscommunicate, in similar and different waysamong themselves, and how they endeavorto communicate across cultures.
Culture Cultures provide people with ways of thinking—ways of seeing, hearing, and interpretingthe world. Thus the same words can meandifferent things to people from differentcultures, even when they talk the "same"language. When the languages are different,and translation has to be used tocommunicate, the potential formisunderstandings increases
Culture- by Gert Jan Hofstede: Culture is theunwritten book with rules of the social gamethat is passed on to newcomers by itsmembers, nesting itself in their minds. Inother words, it is the sum of all the rules youhave learned when you were a kid withoutnecessary knowing you were learning them.They were just “the way to do things”.
Human NatureCulturePersonality Levels of human mental programmingCross cultural/Intercultural CommunicationUniversalSpecific toindividualsSpecific togroupsInherited andlearnedLearnedBiological
Constituents of Culture Value system: Shared assumptions of a group regarding whatis good bad, right or wrong, and important or unimportant. Norms: are guidelines or social rules that prescribe appropriatebehavior in a given situation. Cultural imperatives: norms to be followed or to be avoided Cultural exclusives: behavior patterns or social customsappropriate for locals and in which foreigners are expected not toparticipate. Cultural adiaphora : refers to social customs or behavior in whicha foreigner may conform to or participate but it is not imperativeto do so. Aesthetics: Ideas and perception that a cultural group upholdsin terms of beauty and good taste is referred to as aesthetics. Itincludes areas related to music, dance, painting, drama,architecture, etc.
Traditions and Customs: Tradition passed from onegeneration to another. An established pattern of behavior that isregulated informally by as a custom. Language: can be described as a ‘systematic means ofcommunicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalsigns, gestures, marks, or especially articulate vocal sounds’.Coping with translation problems Back translation: Parallel translation: Decentring: Religion:
World Religion PopulationFour major religion Adherents Percentage of worldpopulationChristianity 1.9 billion - 2.1 billion 29% - 32%Islam 1.3 billion - 1.6 billion 19% - 23%Hindu 900 million - 1 billion 14%Buddhism 500 million - 1.5 billion7% - 23%World population6.8 billion
Hofstede’s Dimensions of CulturePower Distance (Large or Small)– The extent to which less powerful members ofinstitutions accept that power is distributed unequally Large (Mexico, South Korea, India)– blindly obey order of superiors– hierarchical organizational structure Small (U.S., Denmark, Canada)– decentralized decision making– flat organizational structures
Power Distance Index020406080100Malaysia ArabNationsFrance USA G.Britain
Uncertainty Avoidance (High or Low)– The extent to which people feel threatened byambiguous situations High( Germany, Japan, Spain)– high need for security– strong beliefs in experts Low (Denmark, UK)– willing to accept risks– less structuring of activities
Uncertainty Avoidance Index020406080100Japan Mexico Germany India SwedenTable 3.1 in text
Individualism (vs. Collectivism)– The tendency of people to look afterthemselves and their immediate family only strong work ethic promotions based on merit• U.S., Canada, Australia Collectivism– The tendency of people to belong to groupsand to look after each other in exchange forloyalty weaker work ethic promotions based on seniority• China, South American cultures
Individualism Index020406080100USA France India ArabNations
Masculinity (Vs. Femininity)– the dominant values in society are success,money and things emphasis on earning and recognition high stress workplace• JapanFemininity– the dominant values in society are caring forothers and the quality of life employment security employee freedom• Scandinavian cultures
Masculinity Index020406080100Japan G.Britain USA ArabNationsSwedenTable 3.1 in text
COUNTRY EXAMPLES NEW ZEALAND - INDIVIDUALISTIC, LOW UNCERTAINTY,EQUALITY & MALE VALUES ITALY - INDIVIDUALISTIC, LOW UNCERTAINTY, & EQUALITY(QUALIFIED) AND MALE VALUES SINGAPORE - COLLECTIVIST, HIGH UNCERTAINTY, LOWMASCULINITY, RELATIVELY HIGH POWER DISTANCE JAPAN - COLLECTIVIST, HIGH UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE &MASCULINITY, RELATIVELY HIGH POWER DISTANCE
Hofstede - Caution! Assumes one-to-one relationship between cultureand the nation-state– Note that many nation-states contain variouscultures (often extremely different from eachother). The research may have been culturally bound. Survey respondents were from a single industry(computer) and a single company (IBM).
APPLYING TO MANAGEMENTPROCESSES PLANNING & DECISION-MAKING - individualism &collectivism? STRUCTURING & ORGANIZING - high or lowuncertainty avoidance? STAFFING & DIRECTING - masculinity & femininity? COMMUNICATING & CONTROLLING - powerdistance?
Cultural Dimensions by TrompenaarsUniversalism vs. ParticularismUniversalism: the belief that ideas andpractices can be applied everywhere withoutmodification– U. S., Germany, and SwedenParticularism: the belief thatcircumstances dictate how ideas andpractices should be applied.– Spain and Japan
Neutral Vs. AffectiveNeutral: emotions are held in check– Japan and the U.S.Affective: emotions are openly and naturally expressed– Mexico, Netherlands, and SwitzerlandSpecific Vs. DiffuseSpecific: individuals have a large public space and asmall private space– UK, U. S., and SwitzerlandDiffuse: both public and private space are similar in size
Achievement Vs. AscriptionAchievement: people areaccorded status based on howwell they perform their functions– U.S., Switzerland, and UKAscription: status is attributedbased on who or what a person is– Venezuela and China
TimePast or Present-Oriented Vs. Future-Oriented– Past or present-oriented : emphasize the history andtradition of the culture Venezuela, Indonesia, and Spain– Future-oriented: emphasize the opportunities and limitlessscopethat any agreement can have U. S., Italy, and Germany
Sequential Vs. Synchronous Time Sequential: time is prevalent, peopletend to do only one activity at a time, keepappointments strictly, and prefer to followplans–U.S. Synchronous: time is prevalent, peopletend to do more than one activity at a time,appointments are approximate, andschedules are not important– Mexico and France
EnvironmentInner DirectedBelieve in controlling outcomes– U.S.Outer DirectedBelieve in letting things take their own course– Asian Cultures
Individualism Vs. CollectivismIndividualism: refers to people regardingthemselves as individuals–U.S., UK, and SwedenCollectivism: refers to people regardingthemselves as part of a group– Japan and France
Other cross-culture classifications High-context vs low-context cultures Homophilous vs heterophilous cultures Relationship-focussed vs deal-focussed cultures Formal vs informal cultures Polychronic (fluid time) vs Monochronic (rigidtime) cultures Expressive vs reserved culture
Verbal Communication Styles Context is information that surrounds acommunication and helps convey the message Context plays a key role in explaining manycommunication differences Messages often highly coded and implicit in high-context society (e.g., Japan, many Arab countries) Messages often explicit and speaker says preciselywhat s/he means in low context society (e.g., U.S.and Canada)
Verbal Communication Styles Indirect and Direct Styles– High-context cultures: messages implicit andindirect; voice intonation, timing, facialexpressions play important roles in conveyinginformation– Low-context cultures: people often meet only toaccomplish objectives; tend to be direct andfocused in communications
Verbal Communication Styles Elaborate and Succinct Styles– Three degrees of communication quantity—elaborating,exacting, succinct– Elaborating style most popular in high- context cultures withmoderate degree of uncertainty avoidance– Exacting style focuses on precision and use of right amount ofwords to convey message; more common in low-context, low-uncertainty-avoidance cultures– Succinct style more common in high-context cultures withconsiderable uncertainty avoidance where people say few wordsand allow understatements, pauses, and silence to conveymeaning.
Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal communication– Transfer of meaning through means such as body languageand use of physical space– Chromatics Use of color to communicate messages– Kinesics Study of communication through body movement and facialexpression– Eye contact– Posture– Gestures
Nonverbal Communication Proxemics– Study of way people use physical space to conveymessages Intimate distance used for very confidential communications Personal distance used for talking with family/close friends Social distance used to handle most business transactions Public distance used when calling across room or giving talk togroup
Nonverbal Communication Chronemics: the way time is used in aculture. two types:– Monochronic time schedule: things done in linearfashion– Polychronic time schedule: people do severalthings at same time and place higher value onpersonal involvement than on getting things doneon time