MANAGING COMMUNICATIONMANAGING COMMUNICATION
IN CULTURAL DIVERSITYIN CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Meeting & dealing with people from different
countries & different culture is common things
today.Therefore, it is crucial for us to understand the
concept of communication across culture in order to
build an effective communication.
DEFINATION OF CULTURE
Trenholm’s (1996) = that set of values , belief, norms,
rules & codes that socially define groups of people,
giving them a sense of commonality.
Beebe,beebe & Redmond (1999)+ a learned knowledge,
behavior,attitudes, beliefs, & values also norms that is
shared by a group of people.
Example: We may perceive someone with a different hair
color to belong to a different group of people or race.
To increase our understanding of cross culture communication.
Every culture has its own cultural elements that make it unique.
Cultural elements are made up of the specific categories of thing & ideas
The elements are:
Material culture: eg. things or ideas
Social institutions:. eg. schools
Belief systems: eg. Ideas about individuals and the universe.
Aesthetic: eg. art or music
Language: eg. verbal & nonverbal communication system.
Culture influences the norms & character of an individuals.
Ex: Asians don’t like to communicate with Swiss because Swiss people
depend heavily on verbal cues
The occurrence of ineffective communication across culture is due to the fact
that communicators fail to identify the values of the different cultures.
Therefore, Hodstede (1980) presents four variables that are used to identify
the values observed in most culture.
MASCULINE & FEMININE
Masculine cultures usually value achievement, assertiveness, heroism, &
Feminine cultures value relationship, love, care, & quality of life.
Ex: women who exhibit traits of male values may be labeled unfavorably for
acting like men.
In a culture where uncertainty is avoided, people tend to feel
threatened when certain situations are ambiguous.
So we must understand their codes of behavior to not labeled as
For the people from higher tolerance of uncertainty , they more
Ex. When we communicate with low tolerance of ambiguity people
for the first time try not to stand too close to them.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWER
Hofstede (in Adler and Towne,1995) introduced “power distance” to
describe the degree to which members of a society are more willing
to accept unequal distribution of power.
Some cultures are low in power difference meaning that the people
strive to minimize the difference between various social classes .
Members from the high power distance society believe that a certain
institution must have the authority to control the people for the sake
of unity & harmony.
Ex: the person from the high power distance society may rely more
on the other person & the person from the low power distance
society harder to gather opinions & make a collective decision.
People from an individualistic culture tend to take full responsibility
in taking care of themselves & their immediate family.
They value individual achievements more than collective
accomplishments & take full responsibility for failures individually.
People from collective culture expect more support from others &
loyalty in the community.They share responsibility for achievements
& failures collectively.
The concept of individualism in culture must be acknowledged as it
has a significant impact on communication between people from two
Ex: a person from the collective culture will face great difficulties
working with people from individualism culture as he or she may
have difficulties getting help from his or her individualistic peers.
INTRODUCTION Formerly when communication was
not developed,people from many different countries were not
able to share their culture.Now with advancement of
communication technology such as internet and satellite
TV.communication to day has no boundary.Like wise,the world
is changing into a global village.
Marshall MC Luhan
=To describe how media could integrate people and share new form of
culture among them.It is new form of social organization that would
inheritably emerge, as the instantaneous, electronic media tied the
entire world into one great social system(Baren Davis,1995)
=The electronic media would become the extension of man which
literary mean the media would extend humans sense such as sight
hearing and touch , enabling people to be connected every where and
instantaneously across long distances thus “shrinking” space.
The internet or handphone , we can sent a message and greeting to
our friend to show that we a thinking of them.
HOT AND COOL MEDIA
HOT MEDIA Give information and do not leave so much to be
fill in or completed by the sense of the receiver
information in the hot media is assumed to be
more complete and though.Eg;radio,print
media as new paper. _
That provide less information and the receiver have to make
their own interpretation of the image and message delivered.
The received have to also fill missing sensory information which
they receive from the cool media.
Eg;television,telephone or speech.
THE POPULAR CULTURE
Definition=popular literature and broadcasting, popular , music,
popular dance,and theater ,sport and recreation and other
culture aspect of social life distinguished by their broad-based
presence across ethnic social and regional grouping .
Eg;coca-cola,Mc Donald,KFC and other.
Horance Newcomb(Baran and Daris,1995)
=It research that demonstrated popular television program could
have profound influence or large audiences.
=Eg;popular program or movie (Academy fantasia ,America idol
=Eg;commercial advertisement (Mc Donald ,coca-cola ,KFC and
The concept of global village coined
by MC Luhan was formerly just an
idea to describe the impact of
media tecnology to our present life.
Coding rules & cultural norm which
influence your pattern of communication.
They do not know much about other’s
cultural and lifestyle.
The differences is your cultural with the
other individuals culture is the variance
between the verbal and nonverbal codes,
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE
Ethnocentricsm is an attitude, which
focuses only on our own culture in
everything we do.
So, we will have difficulty communicating
interculturally if we do not have tolerance
towards other people's culture.
Ethnocentrism also promotes cultural superiority
where we think our culture is superior to others. With this
kind of an attitude there will be difficulty in
communication. This is because to have an effective cross-
cultural communication, we need to respect and accept
views from different cultural perspective.
we only believe in our cultural practices and we only
give views based on our culture. Apart from that, we will
also use our culture as a guideline in interpreting and
managing cross-cultural communication.
-Differences in communication codes and symbols also contribute to
barriers in cross cultural communication.
-to understand the language and symbols in order to
interpret it. However, it is difficult to interpret
communication codes from different culture as the
communication code might be different from our culture or
the interpretation might be different. So, we will not be able
to communicate interculturally as our understanding of
other culture's verbal and nonverbal codes is limited.
Stereotype is a point of view, which we
have in our mind about someone or
something. In communication, stereotype
affects our communication because we
have our own perspective on someone
based on his or her origin, race or religion
that will influence our communication
Prejudice also has more or less the
same kind of impact as stereotyping
. As you do not trust her it is kind of
difficult to have an effective
communication process with her, as you
will doubt all her view and actions. This
feeling will lead to misunderstandings and
misinterpretations in the communication
. The attitude of assuming other
people's behavior is a barrier in cross-
cultural communication. This is because in
assuming similarity you are focusing on
superficial factors in forming an
impression of the other person. Due to the
cultural differences, more time is needed to
explore the background and culture of
others before identifying their behavior.
A common problem in communicating
across culture is our failure to understand
the verbal & nonverbal codes in the
E.g. two communicators from different
cultures involved in a conversation may
convey & receive confusing messages that
constrain effective communication
Edward T.Hall, a renowned scholar in
sociology, culture can categorized into two
different context. They are:
THE HIGH CONTEXTT CULTURE
a culture that relies heavily on verbal & nonverbal cues to maintain social
Mostly consists of people from the Asian region .
Beebe,Beebe&Redmond(1999) – the people of the high-context culture
emphasize certain aspects, which they consider as important in a
The aspects are:
Nonverbal cues must accompany verbal messages to ensure the messages is
Information should flow freely.
Information conveyed&received is relied upon physical situations.
Environment, situation,gestures,mood are all taken into account in
encoding&decoding of messages.
Information networks are extensively maintained.
THE LOW – CONTEXT CULTURE
Adler,Rosenfeld&Towne = a culture that uses language primarily to
express thoughts, feelings &ideas as clearly &logically as possible.
Beebe,Beebe&Redmond = in low-context culture information must
be provided explicitly, usually in words.
Members of this context mostly from the European
The specific characteristic:
Less aware of nonverbal cues,environment &situation
Adopt information networks that are less developed.
Tend to segment information.
Control information flow.
Prefer explicit&careful directions from credible sources.
Value knowledge as a commodity.
COMMUNICATING IN DIFFERENT
We need to be competent verbally &
This is because when we deal with people from
high-high context &low-context cultures,the
communication process may not be effective if
the verbal & nonverbal codes are not
So, if you are able to speak a foreign language,it
will enable you to have an effective
communication process with the people
VERBAL COMMUNICATION STYLE
People from the low context culture often
emphasizes directness to speak out their
feelings,opinions&thoughts contrary to
people from the high-context culture who
are more comfortable with the less direct
Certain cultures demand elaboration in
verbal communication compared to others.
NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION STYLE
As we are well aware nonverbal
communication is emphasized in high
context culture,so it is importants to have
nonverbal cues together with verbal cues in
order to have effective communication
CONTEXT OF CULTURE
In addition, many nonverbal codes are
universally understood & shared by many
people from different cultures.
However some nonverbal codes are very
different from one culture to another.
We can say that understanding the culture
is an important aspect in cross cultural
communication . This is because the
context of culture plays an important role
in deciding whether your messages gets
across to the other person or not.