Cross cultural business communication


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Cross cultural business communication - Unitedworld School of Business

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Cross cultural business communication

  1. 1. Cross Cultural Business Communication
  2. 2. Cross cultural/Intercultural Communication  is a field of study that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavor to communicate across cultures.
  3. 3. Culture  Cultures provide people with ways of thinking —ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the "same" language. When the languages are different, and translation has to be used to communicate, the potential for misunderstandings increases
  4. 4. Culture-  by Gert Jan Hofstede: Culture is the unwritten book with rules of the social game that is passed on to newcomers by its members, nesting itself in their minds. In other words, it is the sum of all the rules you have learned when you were a kid without necessary knowing you were learning them. They were just “the way to do things”.
  5. 5. Human Nature Culture Personality  Levels of human mental programming Cross cultural/Intercultural Communication Universal Specific to individuals Specific to groups Inherited and learned Learned Biological
  6. 6. Constituents of culture
  7. 7. Constituents of Culture  Value system: Shared assumptions of a group regarding what is good bad, right or wrong, and important or unimportant.  Norms: are guidelines or social rules that prescribe appropriate behavior in a given situation.  Cultural imperatives: norms to be followed or to be avoided  Cultural exclusives: behavior patterns or social customs appropriate for locals and in which foreigners are expected not to participate.  Cultural adiaphora : refers to social customs or behavior in which a foreigner may conform to or participate but it is not imperative to do so.  Aesthetics: Ideas and perception that a cultural group upholds in terms of beauty and good taste is referred to as aesthetics. It includes areas related to music, dance, painting, drama, architecture, etc.
  8. 8.  Traditions and Customs: Tradition passed from one generation to another. An established pattern of behavior that is regulated informally by as a custom.  Language: can be described as a ‘systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventional signs, gestures, marks, or especially articulate vocal sounds’. Coping with translation problems  Back translation:  Parallel translation:  Decentring:  Religion:
  9. 9. World Religion Population Four major religion Adherents Percentage of world population Christianity 1.9 billion - 2.1 billion 29% - 32% Islam 1.3 billion - 1.6 billion 19% - 23% Hindu 900 million - 1 billion 14% Buddhism 500 million - 1.5 billion 7% - 23% World population 6.8 billion
  10. 10. Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture Power Distance (Large or Small) – The extent to which less powerful members of institutions accept that power is distributed unequally  Large (Mexico, South Korea, India) – blindly obey order of superiors – hierarchical organizational structure  Small (U.S., Denmark, Canada) – decentralized decision making – flat organizational structures
  11. 11. Power Distance Index 0 20 40 60 80 100 Malaysia Arab Nations France USA G. Britain
  12. 12. Uncertainty Avoidance (High or Low) – The extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations  High( Germany, Japan, Spain) – high need for security – strong beliefs in experts  Low (Denmark, UK) – willing to accept risks – less structuring of activities
  13. 13. Uncertainty Avoidance Index 0 20 40 60 80 100 Japan Mexico Germany India Sweden Table 3.1 in text
  14. 14.  Individualism (vs. Collectivism) – The tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only  strong work ethic  promotions based on merit • U.S., Canada, Australia  Collectivism – The tendency of people to belong to groups and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty  weaker work ethic  promotions based on seniority • China, South American cultures
  15. 15. Individualism Index 0 20 40 60 80 100 USA France India Arab Nations
  16. 16. Masculinity (Vs. Femininity) – the dominant values in society are success, money and things  emphasis on earning and recognition  high stress workplace • Japan Femininity – the dominant values in society are caring for others and the quality of life  employment security  employee freedom • Scandinavian cultures
  17. 17. Masculinity Index 0 20 40 60 80 100 Japan G.Britain USA Arab Nations Sweden Table 3.1 in text
  19. 19. Hofstede - Caution!  Assumes one-to-one relationship between culture and the nation-state – Note that many nation-states contain various cultures (often extremely different from each other).  The research may have been culturally bound.  Survey respondents were from a single industry (computer) and a single company (IBM).
  20. 20. APPLYING TO MANAGEMENT PROCESSES  PLANNING & DECISION-MAKING - individualism & collectivism?  STRUCTURING & ORGANIZING - high or low uncertainty avoidance?  STAFFING & DIRECTING - masculinity & femininity?  COMMUNICATING & CONTROLLING - power distance?
  21. 21. Cultural Dimensions by Trompenaars Universalism vs. Particularism Universalism: the belief that ideas and practices can be applied everywhere without modification – U. S., Germany, and Sweden Particularism: the belief that circumstances dictate how ideas and practices should be applied. – Spain and Japan
  22. 22. Neutral Vs. Affective Neutral: emotions are held in check – Japan and the U.S. Affective: emotions are openly and naturally expressed – Mexico, Netherlands, and Switzerland Specific Vs. Diffuse Specific: individuals have a large public space and a small private space – UK, U. S., and Switzerland Diffuse: both public and private space are similar in size – Venezuela, China, and Spain
  23. 23. Achievement Vs. Ascription Achievement: people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions – U.S., Switzerland, and UK Ascription: status is attributed based on who or what a person is – Venezuela and China
  24. 24. Time Past or Present-Oriented Vs. Future-Oriented – Past or present-oriented : emphasize the history and tradition of the culture  Venezuela, Indonesia, and Spain – Future-oriented: emphasize the opportunities and limitless scope that any agreement can have  U. S., Italy, and Germany
  25. 25. Sequential Vs. Synchronous Time  Sequential: time is prevalent, people tend to do only one activity at a time, keep appointments strictly, and prefer to follow plans –U.S.  Synchronous: time is prevalent, people tend to do more than one activity at a time, appointments are approximate, and schedules are not important – Mexico and France
  26. 26. Environment Inner Directed Believe in controlling outcomes – U.S. Outer Directed Believe in letting things take their own course – Asian Cultures
  27. 27. Individualism Vs. Collectivism Individualism: refers to people regarding themselves as individuals –U.S., UK, and Sweden Collectivism: refers to people regarding themselves as part of a group – Japan and France
  28. 28. Other cross-culture classifications  High-context vs low-context cultures  Homophilous vs heterophilous cultures  Relationship-focussed vs deal-focussed cultures  Formal vs informal cultures  Polychronic (fluid time) vs Monochronic (rigid time) cultures  Expressive vs reserved culture
  29. 29. Verbal Communication Styles  Context is information that surrounds a communication and helps convey the message  Context plays a key role in explaining many communication differences  Messages often highly coded and implicit in high- context society (e.g., Japan, many Arab countries)  Messages often explicit and speaker says precisely what s/he means in low context society (e.g., U.S. and Canada)
  30. 30. Major Characteristics of Verbal Styles
  31. 31. Verbal Communication Styles  Indirect and Direct Styles – High-context cultures: messages implicit and indirect; voice intonation, timing, facial expressions play important roles in conveying information – Low-context cultures: people often meet only to accomplish objectives; tend to be direct and focused in communications
  32. 32. Verbal Communication Styles  Elaborate and Succinct Styles – Three degrees of communication quantity—elaborating, exacting, succinct – Elaborating style most popular in high- context cultures with moderate degree of uncertainty avoidance – Exacting style focuses on precision and use of right amount of words to convey message; more common in low-context, low- uncertainty-avoidance cultures – Succinct style more common in high-context cultures with considerable uncertainty avoidance where people say few words and allow understatements, pauses, and silence to convey meaning.
  33. 33. Explicit and Implicit Communication
  34. 34. Nonverbal Communication  Nonverbal communication – Transfer of meaning through means such as body language and use of physical space – Chromatics  Use of color to communicate messages – Kinesics  Study of communication through body movement and facial expression – Eye contact – Posture – Gestures
  35. 35. Nonverbal Communication  Proxemics – Study of way people use physical space to convey messages  Intimate distance used for very confidential communications  Personal distance used for talking with family/close friends  Social distance used to handle most business transactions  Public distance used when calling across room or giving talk to group
  36. 36. Nonverbal Communication  Chronemics: the way time is used in a culture.  two types: – Monochronic time schedule: things done in linear fashion – Polychronic time schedule: people do several things at same time and place higher value on personal involvement than on getting things done on time
  37. 37. Personal Space in U.S.
  38. 38. Cultural Orientation In International Business  Parochialism vs Simplification  EPRG Approach  Ethnocentric  Polycentric  Regiocentric  Geocentric  Emic and Etic Dilemma
  39. 39. Campus Overview 907/A Uvarshad, Gandhinagar Highway, Ahmedabad – 382422. Ahmedabad Kolkata Infinity Benchmark, 10th Floor, Plot G1, Block EP & GP, Sector V, Salt-Lake, Kolkata – 700091. Mumbai Goldline Business Centre Linkway Estate, Next to Chincholi Fire Brigade, Malad (West), Mumbai – 400 064.
  40. 40. Thank You