Culture Conflict Communication

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Culture Conflict Communication

  1. 1. CULTURE, CONFLICT AND COMMUICATION IN THE GLOBAL WORKFORCE March 27, 2008 University of Illinois Dr. Gary R. Weaver American University
  2. 2. WHY IS DIVERSITY IMPORTANT? Changing demographics Not just in urban areas “Globalization”
  3. 3. The American Culture Today • Not a Cultural Cookie Cutter or Melting Pot • Patchwork Quilt • Salad Bowl • Mosaic • Tapestry
  4. 4. Minorities in USA Today 12% African American 15% Hispanic 4% Asian and Pacific Islanders 1% American Indian
  5. 5. TO MORE EFFECTIVELY SERVE YOUR CLIENTS Conveying information Developing skills Overcoming barriers caused by differences Using differences to create synergy
  6. 6. TRAITS THAT CORRELATE WITH FAILURE IN CROSS- CULTURAL INTERACTIONS • Low tolerance to ambiguity or high uncertainty avoidance • Overly task-oriented or high need for individual achievement • Overly closed-minded and inflexible
  7. 7. What is “Culture?” • culture - the way of life (values, beliefs and behaviors) of a people passed down from one generation to the next through learning
  8. 8. Generalization vs. Stereotype • Cultural Generalization • Cultural Stereotype – Never applies to everyone – Applies to everyone in every situation in every situation – – Only a first “guess” no exceptions – Discard it when no longer – Retained even when accurate or useful no longer accurate or useful
  9. 9. Culture is like an Iceberg. Most of it is UNDER the water.
  10. 10. BEHAVIOR BELIEFS VALUES AND THOUGHT PATTERNS
  11. 11. As we interact, differences will become LESS important. • Leon Festinger – Theory of Cognitive Dissonance • Muzafir Sherif – Development of a “Superordinate Goal”
  12. 12. CULTURAL CONTINUUMS To Do To Be • Earned Status • Ascribed Status • Individual Achievement • Affiliation • Individual Action • Stability • Equality • Inequality • Immediate family • Extended Family • Self Reliance • Reliance on Others • Independence • Interdependence • Individual Competition • Cooperation • Individualism • Collectivism • Guilt • Shame • Future • Past or Heritage • Class Mobility • Caste Rigidity
  13. 13. CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION
  14. 14. What Doesn’t Fit? Nice weather we’re having! Sunny, high in the 70s. Haven’t we met before?
  15. 15. What Doesn’t Fit? • Nice weather we’re having! • Haven’t we met before? • High-Context - Relational - Associative • To Be - Poets • Sunny, high in the 70s. • Low Context - Abstractive - Analytical • To Do - Memo Writers/Lawyers
  16. 16. Communication Styles A B
  17. 17. Communication Styles A B
  18. 18. Communication Styles A B
  19. 19. Communication Styles A B
  20. 20. Project Timeline Stage One Stage Two Stage Three Stage Four 0-6 6 - 12 12 - 18 18 - 24 Months months Months months
  21. 21. Project Timeline Stage Stage Stage One Stage Two Three Four 0 - 12 12 - 18 18 - 22 22 -24 Months Months Months Months
  22. 22. NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION We send messages, not meaning To Do people tend to be verbally-oriented To Do people trust vision
  23. 23. Cross-Cultural Conflict
  24. 24. QUESTIONS: How do you know if it’s a conflict? Is it escalating or de-escalating? When do you resolve it? When it is beyond resolution? How do you resolve the conflict?
  25. 25. Resources • Hall, Edward. Beyond Culture. • Weaver, Gary R., ed. Culture, Communication and Conflict, 2nd edition. Boston, MA:Pearson Publishing, 2000. • Weaver, Gary R. and Adam Mendelson, America’s Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower, Boston, MA: Intercultural Press, 2008 • www.interculturalpress.com • www.imi.american.edu

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