Inter cultural communication

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Inter cultural communication

  1. 1. Inter-cultural CommunicationManaging business globally has become a major challenge for managers of multi nationalcorporations. For successful operations of the company abroad managers need to understandthe cultural context of the country and its people. One of the reasons why US has a high rate ofexpatriate failure is that its managers find it hard to adapt to the cultural variations of othercountries. Culture refers to the behavioral characteristics typical of a group. Importantnational cultural variables are discussed below.EducationThe level of education varies from country to country. Western managers are considered to bemore qualified than their Eastern counterparts. Before drawing conclusions managers shouldassess the reasons behind low education in the country.Laws & RegulationsAll countries have their specific rules & regulations, which also create problems for globalmanagers. In certain countries advertisement is restricted for certain age groups. Somecountries do not allow fashion products & make-up items. While communicating organisationsmust be aware of strictness to the law.EconomicsMNCs operate in rich and poor countries. Availability of finance, infrastructure & standard ofliving vary from country to country. All these and other economic factors influence a businessto communicate with people of the country.LanguageUndoubtedly English is the international business language. For carrying business from onecountry to another it is the only means to get the message across to the target market. Eventhen managers have to adopt many of the local terms to make the message more appealing tothe local people.TimeAmerican and German executives are time focused whereas Eastern managers show flexibilityin their attitude toward time. Knowing people’s perception time can help manager’sunderstand why some responses are slow or fast.SpaceStanding close to one another is considered odd in one culture and a gesture of intimacy in theother.PoliticsPolitical environment of a country holds key importance for a company to make crucialbusiness decisions. A great number of MNCs have not taken their business to politically unstablecountries.ReligionSome countries in the global village are religiously tolerant whereas some are not. A Frenchwine manufacturing company will find it difficult to sell its product in Muslim countries. MacDonald’s for several years did not sell beef sandwiches in India due to religious values ofHindus. To communicate well the religious aspect has to be considered thoroughly.

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