Intercultural communication is the process of sending and receiving messages between people whose cultural background leads them to interpret verbal and nonverbal signs differently. Two trends contributing to the rapidly increasing importance of intercultural communication in the workplace are market globalization and the multicultural workforce. Market globalization is the increasing tendency of the world to act as one market. Technological advances in travel and telecommunications are the driving force behind market globalization. For instance, new communication technologies allow teams from all over the world to work on projects and share information without leaving their desks. At the same time, advanced technologies allow manufacturers to produce their goods in foreign locations that offer an abundant supply of low-cost labor. The U.S. workforce is partly composed of immigrants (new arrivals from Europe, Canada, Latin America, India, Africa, and Asia) and people from various ethnic backgrounds (such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans), all of whom bring their own language and culture to the workplace. As a result, today’s workforce is made up of more and more people who differ in race, gender, age, culture, family structure, religion, and educational background. Such cultural diversity is the second trend contributing to the importance of intercultural communication. It affects how business messages are conceived, planned, sent, received, and interpreted in the workplace.
Lisi Aerospace A Case Study in Experiential Learning
This one-week residential program is designed for six groups of 25 executives, without distinction of age, position in the hierarchy, origin or function, who will come together once a year over three years to consolidate the foundations of our fast-growing industrial group.
Isabelle Carrere, Executive Vice President
Consolidate decision-making, communication and action abilities
Explore impact of cultural diversity on business ethos and practice
Learn to solve workplace problems caused by cultural differences
Intercultural Communication Two Drivers Market Globalization Multicultural Workforce
MERGING CORPORATE CULTURES Assimilation Deculturation Acquired company embraces acquiring firm’s culture Acquiring company imposes its culture on acquired firm Integration Both cultures combined into a new composite culture Separation Merging companies retain separate cultures
Corporate Debrief The trainer designed the program and conducted two modules on intercultural management and negotiation. Direct and relaxed, putting everybody at ease, handling intercultural principles in such a way as to break down the relational barriers within each group, these modules contributed in no small way to building our company’s team spirit, above and beyond the simple delivery of content the trainer was assigned to do. The learning experience was a real pleasure for all concerned . Isabelle Carrere, Executive Vice President