Multicultural Communication In a Global Business Community
The need for multicultural competency•The rise of globalization and fast technological advances.•Business professionals must be prepared to communicate quickly andsuccessfully with companies and organizations around the world.•Competitive business market is pushing us to be prepared to deal with thecommunication barriers that cultural diversity brings.•Language, culture, religion, ethics, customs, and business etiquette areamong the factors we must consider to have good business relationshipswith companies in other countries.•Tobecome culturally competent we have to welcome diversity into ourworkplaces.•Trainand long-lasting organizational cultural changes must follow to get usready to enter the global business community.
The Basics of CommunicationCommunication: "the act of transmitting. A giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc. to make known. To give information, messages. To have a systematic and meaningful relationship. A system for sending and receiving messages as by telephone, telegraph, radio, etc. A system of routes for moving one place to another. The art of expressing ideas, esp. in speech and writing"
Communication Process: Feedback Encoding Sending Channel Receiving Decoding Message Message Message Message Verbal/ No Verbal
Communication BarriersEncoding and decoding interruptions: Feedback Encoding Sending Channel Receiving Decoding Message Message Message Message Verbal/ No Verbal
Culture“culture refers to the cumulative depositof knowledge, experience, beliefs,values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies,religion, notions of time, roles, spatialrelations, concepts of the universe, andmaterial objects and possessionsacquired by a group of people in thecourse of generations through individualand group striving” (Samovar and Porter, p. 15).
Type of communicationsVerbal:Language, Words, Written.No Verbal:Any type of communication that does not include verbalcommunication.
North America Greetings Time Relationships Others•Shake hands •Value time •Work •In general relationships they expect•Address by •Are not late are distant others tolast name speak English•Equal •Want to talktreatment to only about •women business •Straight forward
Europe Greetings Time Relationships Others•Shake hands •Value time •Work •During relationships business•Address by •They are not are distant meal,last name late personal talks•Equal •Want to talk aretreatment to •High value of only about acceptablewomen time off business •In general •Straight they know forward several languages
Latin America Greetings Time Relationships Others•Shake hands •South •All relationships •They valueand America value time are close social status,sometimes age andkiss •Central •Want to ask traditions America is personal•Address by more flexible question before they do •They want tolast name and they can be late business get to know a•They are person beforespecially •They highly •Not straight doing value time off forward businessconsidered towomen
Asia Greetings Time Relationships Others•Shake hands •All •They value relationships •They value time and they are close social•Address by are not late status, agelast name or •Want to ask and traditionstitle personal •They highly question•Avoideye value time off before they do •They want tocontact business get to know a person before •Not straight doing forward business
Africa Greetings Time Relationships Others•Shake hands •All •They want to •Everything relationships increase takes time in are close foreign•Address by Africa business andlast name •Want to ask are happy to •They are late personal people coming•Not equal question sometimes to themtreatment to before they dowomen in business •During mealssome •They value they don’t talkcountries time off •Not straight about forward bussiness
EthicsEthics are a problem in some countries. But it is important tostudy each situation and not generalized.The BBC summaries corruption as“In sub-Saharan Africa, 67% of bribes were to avoid trouble withthe authorities. In the Arab world and Latin America most bribeswere paid to speed things up. In Asia-Pacific 35% of people werebribed to get a service they were entitle to. In North America andthe European Union, most bribe payers say they could notremember why they had paid” (www.bbc.co.uk).
General practices•Avoid ethnocentrism.•Avoid stereotyping.•Learn by listening and observing the possible business partner.•Avoid talking about politics and religion.•When speaking a second language speak in simple words
Improving Multicultural CommunicationTo improve an organization multicultural communication we mustchange the organizational culture:“Organizational Culture is the sum total of anorganizations’ past and current assumptions,experiences, philosophy, and values that hold ittogether, and is expressed in its self-image, innerworkings, interactions with the outside world, andfuture expectations” (www.businessdictionary.com)
Changing….•Add diversity to the organization.•Add contact with people of diverse background.•Diversity Competency training.•Understand the benefits of diversity: Problem solving Flexibility Unique insight to the world market
TrainingAny organization that is serious about diversity and must offertheir employees and managers’ diversity training.Customize diversity training that includes: •Meaning and importance of diversity •Organizational culture •Cultural differences •Acculturation; Affirmative action •Prejudice •Stereotyping •Group identity in hiring, promotions, and performance appraisal •Institutionalizing diversity competency (O’Neil, p. 80)
Conclusion• Globalization has brought us closer together.• Business knowledge is only the beginning.• We must understand the barriers that multicultural communication brings.• Learn how to deal with them.• We must be intentional in our training and in the implementation of the changes we have to make to our organizational culture in order to achieve long lasting cultural competency.
Reference• Communication. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from www.merriam-webster.com• Samovar L. and Porter R., (1994). Communication Between Cultures. Boston: Wadsworth,• Wood, Julia (2007). Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. Boston: Wadsworth• Tymkiw, C. (2012). Wal-Mart Ensnared in Mexican Bribery Probe. Retrieved July 20, 2012, from http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/22/news/companies/walmart-mexico-bribery/index.htm• Melik, J. (2010). The dilemma of bribes: to pay or not to pay. Retrieved July 20, 2012 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11957514• Organizational Culture. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture.html#ixzz22VTOk4rf• Harris P. & Moran R. (2000). Managing Cultural Differences. Houston: Butterworth Heinemann
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