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  • 1. ES2002 Business Communication Intercultural Communication
  • 2. Definition of culture
    • “ Culture is the coherent, learned , shared view a group of people has about life’s concerns that ranks what is important, instills attitudes about what things are appropriate, and prescribes behaviour , given that some things have more significance than others.”
    Source: Beamer’s & Varner’s Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace
  • 3. Seven Years in Tibet
  • 4. Photo by Cliff Wassman Clothing Food Behaviour Attitudes Values Beliefs Meanings Norms
  • 5. “ Very often the way others do things is not different out of stupidity or carelessness or incompetence or malice … Most people do what seems the right thing to do at the time … And the judgment of what is right is rooted in beliefs, values, attitudes, as well as habit, tradition, and accepted norms.” Mole (1996)
  • 6. Different cultural groups
    • National
    • Ethnic group
    • Religious group
    • Gender
    • Economic
    • Profession
    • Statements made
    • mere generalizations
    • Norms of a culture
    • change
  • 7. Outline
    • Fundamental cultural orientations
    • Verbal communication
    • Nonverbal communication
    • Culture’s influence on written business communication
  • 8. Fundamental cultural orientations
    • How contexting and facesaving affect communication
    • How the individual is viewed in relation to the group
    • How time is perceived
    • How status is accorded
    • How decisions are made
  • 9. Contexting and face saving
    • Low context
      • High reliance on verbal communication
      • Less reliance on non-verbal communication
      • Direct, precise, and explicit
    • High context
      • Low reliance on verbal communication
      • More reliance on context, nonverbal cues, implicit information shared
      • Indirect and rather vague
    High context – High face saving Low context – Low face saving Cultural orientations Contexting and face saving
  • 10. Individual / group
    • Collectivist
      • The individual seen as part of the group
      • High degree of interdependence
      • Credit / blame goes to the group
    • Individualist
      • The individual takes centre stage
      • Independence highly valued
      • A single person can earn credit / blame
    Cultural orientations Individual / group
  • 11. Time
    • Polychronic-time cultures
      • Time viewed as more fluid and strict schedules not observed
      • Preset schedules are subordinate to interpersonal relations
    • Monochronic-time cultures
      • High emphasis on schedules, punctuality and promptness
      • Schedules take precedence over interpersonal relations
    Cultural orientations Time
  • 12. Status
    • Ascribed by virtue of age, family background, profession
      • Organizations more highly hierarchical
      • Extensive use of titles
    • Accorded based on individual achievements
      • Organizations less hierarchical
      • Titles used only when relevant to competence
    Cultural Orientations Status
  • 13. Decision making
    • Discussing points
    • Seeking group consensus
    • Consulting organisations in negotiations
    Cultural orientations Decision making
  • 14. Verbal communication
    • Choice of words & expressions
    • Organisation of messages
    • Clarity of pronunciation
    • Ambiguous words
    • Unfamiliar words
    • Acronyms
    • Idioms
    • Slang
  • 15. Non-verbal communication
    • Body language
      • Posture
      • Head movements
    • Eye contact
    • Laughter
    • Touch
    • Physical space
  • 16. Space between speakers Intimate Casual-personal Social-consultative Public Distance indicating degrees of intimacy Source: Goodman’s Working in a Global Environment
  • 17. Non-verbal communication
    • Tone, volume and speed
    • Turn-taking and silence
  • 18. Culture’s influence on written business communication
    • In most English- speaking countries – preferred writing style direct, clear and concise
    • In many oriental cultures – preferred writing style indirect
    In Japan – kishotenketsu organization Ki – the small talk Sho – raising the subject Ten – rolling the subject Ketsu – ending it beautifully
  • 19.
    • Mechanics and format also differ
      • How dates are written
      • How names are written
      • How addresses are written
    Culture’s influence on written business communication