Intercultural Communication in Global Business

Intercultural Communication in Global Business

Introduction

Intercultural communication happens between individuals or parties from different linguistic or cultural backgrounds. The description above is derived from the two definitions of intercultural and communication. Intercultural has been explained as the communicative relationships that transpire between individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. On the other hand, this is interpreted as any active relationship that is built between parties through language. Culture has been identified to be a structured manifestation in people’s behavior within their social lives in various specific contexts (Chen, 2012). Such circumstances might include linguistic, political, institutional, religious or economical facets. This paper will focus on how intercultural communication can be applied in a global business context. People interacting from different cultural backgrounds through communication ought to possess certain skills, knowledge, and attitudes that would make the communication more efficient (Ferraro & Briody, 2017).

Impact of cultural variation on intercultural, interpersonal relationships within the Global Business Industry

Global business brings together individuals from various cultural origins across the globe. For these people to interact efficiently and do business, they need to understand the basic concepts of intercultural communication. In the absence of this basic understanding of the particular norms, cultural beliefs and other communication components from the various cultural background, there would be no effective communication happening between the different groups. Intercultural variations have been found to have different impacts on the intercultural and interpersonal relationships that occur within the global business.

To start with changes in cross-cultural relationships, individuals from different cultures across the globe exhibit different behavior in the social interactions in the business context. The levels of cultural context in communication would for instance, influence the first impact of intercultural relations in the business context. According to Ferraro and Briody (2017), Eastern and South American cultures, for example, are inclined to the high context cultures, which require more explanations about orders and directions. Most Western countries on the other hand such as Europe, North America, Canada and New Zealand are more inclined on the low context culture, which require little or no explanation about some orders or directions. Individuals from these two diverse cultures would, therefore, be impacted by the levels of context in the event they interact with each other.

Secondly, cues also have a substantive impact on the nature of intercultural and interpersonal interaction in the global business context. The word “yes” for instance might have different meanings in the two high and low context cultures. In the high context culture such as the Eastern culture, it would mean that the person understands the message but does not necessarily agree with the proposal. In the western culture, on the other hand, the word “yes” would mean the other party is in agreement with what has been proposed (Okoro, 2012). Space between the communicating individuals is also determined by the nature of cultural orientation. The western culture would, for instance, allow kissing on the cheek for business relations while the Eastern culture would only prefer a handshake. Relationships in interpersonal communication can also be dictated by culture orientation in the sense that the western culture would refer to a business interaction as a relationship while the eastern culture only refers relationships in the context of having family ties.

Personal Dignity impacted in the Global Business Industry

Personal dignity in the business context can be referred to as the sense of self-respect that individuals develop in the course of their activities interactions.  Self-respect has a huge impact on the person’s self-confidence and self-esteem when it comes to business communications. This personal dignity in the global business context can be affected by intercultural communication in various ways. First, the low context cultures are known to be precise and authoritative. According to Ferraro and Briody (2017), an individual from Western Europe, for instance, would have confidence when communicating to another business party in the global business context because of various reasons.

One, by the fact that the western cultures colonized most Eastern countries, there is always a sense of superiority when parties from the two cultures interact. Secondly, the little culture believes in using fewer words and demonstrating most of the intentions and positive actions. If an individual from the western countries organizes for a meeting with a person from the eastern countries from the instance, the Western will arrive at the venue minutes before the scheduled time of the meeting. The person from the Eastern cultures, on the other hand, would tend running late. According to Okoro (2012), the matter would give the person from the western culture a sense of high personal dignity compared to the person from the culture of the west. This personal dignity would impact the nature of the conversation within the meaning that the person from the culture of the west would make most of the times have his or her opinion considered.

How might interpersonal relationships improve with the implementation of your strategy as a part of an intercultural experience?

Various strategies can be applied to improve interpersonal interactions in the global business context. In my case, I would propose the implementation of the strategy where individuals learn the basic principles of interacting with persons from diverse cultural backgrounds before the actual meeting (Chen, 2012). The first step that the people should take before the meeting understands the cultural differences that exist in the other party’s culture. The first step is to know how the other person’s culture dictates about the space or physical contact that should be allowed when they meet especially for the first time. When meeting an individual from the high culture, for instance, one should understand that kissing on the cheek is not allowed. He should, therefore, stick to a firm and brief handshake (Okoro, 2012). Secondly, meeting an individual from the high culture would also demand that the person should learn to explain himself more than he would have done in the case of interacting with someone from the low context culture.

The parties should also understand the communication cues that exist in the particular cultures before the meeting. Individuals from the western culture intend to have a business communication with another party from the Eastern culture, for instance, should understand that the word “yes” might not necessarily mean he or she is in agreement with the proposal might the person only knows the message being communicated. In the event this strategy is implemented, it would serve to improve the interpersonal relationships that happen between parties from different cultural origins.

What are a few of the setting specific roles of cultural variations in intercultural, interpersonal relationships?

Setting specific roles of cultural changes has a significant impact on the intercultural and interpersonal skills. The primary goal of interacting is to build a relationship between the individuals interacting. Communication through language has been identified to be the key factor in fostering and strengthening these relationships. It is important therefore for people to set specific roles of cultural variations that would facilitate the fostering of healthy relationships. Looking at the context, for instance, the high and low context play a major role in determining the nature of relationships that are formed through intercultural or interpersonal interactions.

The context of the culture should play a role in incorporating the different context so that individuals from different cultural backgrounds can learn the different circumstances. An individual from the western culture, for instance, would learn the benefits of giving a broader explain nation of his or her point, which is not normally the case in the culture of the west (Okoro, 2012). An individual from the eastern culture, on the other hand, would learn not to give additional explanations when dealing with people from the culture of the west. This would strike a balance between the interacting parties leading to the formation of rather strong intercultural and interpersonal relationships. Space or physical interaction between individuals from diverse cultures also play a role in communicating the ethics or conduct of individuals when interacting.

While a person from the western culture finds it appropriate to hug and kiss in a business interaction, people from the eastern culture find it inappropriate. Once these two parties learn the need to have or not to have a close physical interaction when meeting for business discussion, it would make both of them feel more comfortable when interacting. Understanding the meaning of different communication cues in the diverse cultures would also facilitate the formation of a stronger relationship. According to Victor (2012), two individuals from the western and eastern cultures interact, cues such as the meaning of some words, body language, and certain gestures would have various implications on the nature of the interaction. An American, for instance, would address a controversial point directly.

The party from the Eastern culture, on the other hand, would go round and use indirect language to address the same controversial points. When the two sides understand the implication of this cue, for instance, they would be able to tone down on the particular views on the controversial point leading to a mutual understanding (Chen, 2012). The cultural variations would, therefore, play distinct roles in the interaction leading to a mutual understanding between individuals interacting with each other.

Strategy to Improve Interpersonal Relationships within the Global Business and Foster Intercultural Competence

The plan that I proposed above serves a significant role in developing both the interpersonal and intercultural relationships in the global business setting in various ways. First, the approach would help in creating a mutual understanding between the individuals in their activities discussion. It is important to note that business conference comprises of business or contract proposals, which end up in agreement (Victor, 2012). Once people understand the cultural context, the appropriate physical space between each other, communication cues and relationships, there would be a conducive environment for discussion, and this would lead to reaching an agreement more effectively. In the case of global business, therefore, the two individuals will have to agree on doing business with each other, and this might further establish future relationships.

Secondly, the strategy also helps in understating the culture of people from diverse cultures making interactions easier. An individual who understands the culture of various parties from a global perspective would have to comfortably interact with people from the diverse culture across the globe. An individual from the western culture would, for instance, communicate with a Muslim woman from the Eastern culture who finds that physical contact with a man is inappropriate.

Lastly, the strategy would also foster intercultural competencies to the individuals intending to interact with people from other cultures across the globe. Intercultural interactions require people to have various competencies regarding skills, knowledge, and personal attitudes when interacting with individuals from diverse culture (Victor, 2012). Skills would, for instance, entail interpersonal relationships such as a firm handshake, a smile or use of certain cues when interacting with people from the other culture. Knowledge, on the other hand, would constitute understanding the cultural beliefs, attitudes, contexts, cues and physical spaces that people need to maintain while interacting with individuals from certain cultures. The reaction, on the other hand, comprises of the positive energy that once tries to create when interacting with people from another culture origin. Having a negative mindset would discourage productive interactions.

Conclusion

Communication plays a significant role in the global business culture. Intercultural communication happens between individuals or parties from different linguistic or cultural backgrounds. Variations in cross-cultural relationships crop from people of various cultures across the globe and exhibit different behavior in the social interactions in the business context. Personal dignity in the business context can be referred to as the sense of self-respect that individuals develop in the course of their activities interactions.  Self-respect has a tremendous impact on the person’s self-confidence and self-esteem when it comes to business communications. Setting specific roles of cultural variations has a significant impact on the intercultural and interpersonal relationships. The primary goal of interacting is to build a relationship between the individuals interacting. It is, therefore, important to consider the cultural backgrounds and impacts of the same in the global business settings.

References

Chen, G. M. (2012). The impact of new media on intercultural communication in global context. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=com_facpubs

Ferraro, G. P., & Briody, E. K. (2017). The cultural dimension of global business. Taylor & Francis. Obtained from http://www.academia.edu/download/50018345/READ_-_The_cultural_dimension_of_international_business_4th_edition.pdf

Okoro, E. (2012). Cross-cultural etiquette and communication in global business: Toward a strategic framework for managing corporate expansion. International journal of business and management7(16), 130.  Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijbm/article/viewFile/15811/13027

Victor, D. A. (2012). Global advances in business communication from multiple perspectives: A panel discussion from experts in the field. Global Advances in Business Communication1(1), 2.  Obtained from http://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=gabc

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