Assessing the communications challenges in the global business
Effective communication is needed in the global business. While communication challenges and language differences exist and continue to face the international market, there are ways to address the issues. This paper aims to present the things needed in order to deal with the problems and to assess these communication obstacles in order to survive the worldwide trading setting.
Assessing the communications challenges in the global business
The importance of effective communication in various fields is an indisputable fact which faced the modern world. It has been proven in many ways that it is essential for any area such as the business sector or the economy to have a communication approach which will serve the interest of both the owners of the industry and its users. Additionally, an effective communication works best to the advantages of all concerned in the business. This is for the reason that an efficient communication approach and use results to tangible benefits. In effect, this means achieving the objective of the business with global operation as well as meeting the demands or challenges of the customers or clients and other sectors dealing with the industry such as related service providers or sub-contractors.
In fact, the principle of globalization requires a nation’s economy and its industries to reconsider their communication techniques hence the need to have an understanding of the issue of intercultural communication or multicultural communication skills. This means that communication expands its role as one of the necessities or components of worldwide businesses. This is where a restructured communication sets in where communication programs need to adapt and respond to the modifications resulting from globalization. Aside from the technicality of communication itself, globalization also demands people in the business to get hold of effective intercultural ability which can be manifested by having an effective communication. Ultimately, since the globalize market has eventually compelled industries to think in a macro level and integrate with other cultures or countries, an effective communication performs the very important function of preventing miscommunication or misunderstanding and eventually of avoiding business-related blunders.
Globalization, an Economic Aspect
The condition of globalization is very evident in today’s contemporary setting. This simply means the mounting mixing or merger of worldwide economies and societies (Dadush & Dollar, 2001). In particular, globalization paved the way for global industries to widen their reach or market with a general objective of increased profit. This is done through efforts of various countries to open their economies worldwide or in global market as well as the undertakings of big and even small businesses to compete globally while at the same time incorporate with other industries. Dadush and Dollar added that while globalization became one of the most-hotly argued issues particularly in international economy, the fast development and significant drop of poverty levels in identified countries such as China and India as well as other nations which were regarded as third world or poor countries for the past two decades served as its redeeming factor (Dadush & Dollar, 2001).
The Global Policy Forum, on the other hand, has specifically reported that globalization of the economy has resulted into progress in communication. Combined with the principle of free-market, these communication developments have provided the products, services and funds of many businesses an extraordinary flexibility in movement (Global Police Forum, n.d.). The evidence of the positive implication of effective communication advances is the opening of goods or products of Northern countries into world markets. In doing so, these countries are taking the rich and low-priced labor cost in the South to their advantage. The Forum also noted that the efforts of worldwide financial organizations as well as the various trade agreements, which require economies of various nations to integrate, definitely demand and recognize the need for an effective communication (Global Policy Forum, n.d.).
To better understand the requirement of having an effective communication in global operation as well as identify its challenges, it is essential to present the role of communication in worldwide economy and business discussions. In particular, Rudd and Lawson (2007) wrote on effective ways of communicating in worldwide business negotiations. It is where the function of intercultural communication was emphasized as a positive component which contributes to the proficient handling of business negotiations around the world. According to Rudd and Lawson, worldwide considerations or factors have direct effects in industry’s decision-making, both the big and small enterprise. In fact, economies and firms are conscious and have accepted that the requirement of a successful or progressing business field is the competency of the people within the industry to effectively communicate with their counterparts from other cultures and countries (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
Rudd and Lawrence added that while many foreign managers have previously relied on the general principles of other cultures in carrying out their intercultural business negotiations, the demands of globalization resulted into a more comprehensive communication approach as well as a rethinking of communication techniques. They further explained that the advancement of worldwide trade deals has paved the way in incorporated cultural discussions, fresh social alliances and distinctive cultural communication. In doing so, this has made previous and artificial sweeping statements less true (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
In their book titled “Communicating In Global Business Negotiations: A Geocentric Approach,” Rudd and Lawrence specifically discussed the communication challenges facing global businesses. These include the differences in languages or diversity of intercultural communication which have affected globalization or worldwide economies and industries. The authors stated that one of the impacts of language differences and multicultural interactions is the modification in homogenous cultures or the countries themselves. Rudd and Lawrence explained that this is because a fresh and modern civilization or society of global trade operation has emerged (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
Based from their study, the two learned that communication previously established from cultural generalities has proven to be useful and worked to the advantage of concerned industries and management. In the long run, however, they have also discovered that such kind of communication became out-of-date and no longer enough to give guidelines and principles for effectively negotiating with other businesses in other cultures (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
The Rudd and Lawrence book further stated that since multi-culture refers to set of socially conveyed principles, norms and customs, the procedure of intercultural communication requires exchanges of information and understandings of other people. This in essence where communication challenges set in because diversity of culture also means variety in communication approaches and languages. Due to this communication challenges, Rudd and Lawrence stressed the importance of effective intercultural negotiations in global business. Aside from this, they put more weight or emphasis on the necessity for people within the industries to exemplify intercultural abilities. They said that a successful multi-cultural business discussion is not only powered by the recognition of common cultural knowledge but most importantly, by means of the intercultural communication competency of the industry representative or mediator (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
Ultimately, culture diversity does not only pose communication challenges or does it places global business at risk. This is because differences in cultures, specifically in communication approaches or languages, put more burden to the responsibilities of business negotiators or communicators to protect the rights and advance the interests of their respective industries. Hence, this condition requires for business negotiator’s competency. This, in turn, stresses the important function which an effective intercultural communication plays in worldwide business discussions. Rudd and Lawrence concluded by saying that communication competency in the global or intercultural business setting is controlled by the negotiator’s communication skills; is based by culture of origin; significance of the business deal relationship; knowledge as well as respect and acceptance of other cultures representing the international business community; and the encouragement and abilities to discuss and offer particular industry to the worldwide market (Rudd & Lawrence, 2007).
Cultural differences result to diversity in language. During this condition, language differences may work to the advantage of a particular field or it can lead to obstacles. In global business, the number of worldwide enterprises is steadily rising. The international market is opening up or widening its setting with the incorporation of additional international companies. This results to fresh and mounting objectives which global industries are pushing. Additionally, due to the increased struggles and severed challenges, industries with international operations are exposed with much bigger obligations as compared to previous set-up. In going globally, the challenges that industries much deal with are fresh and strange which risk their operations and managements. In short, the challenges the international companies never experienced before are slowly becoming essential in their daily employments.
Communication is one of these challenges which can have implications in the entire operation and management of a specific industry. In effect, communication influences worldwide trade operation in many ways. Problems resulting from language differences along with pricing complexities and culture clashes are apparently expected when an industry begins to operate internationally. However, the worldwide business must be able to deal with these communication-related challenges in order to survive the global business trend. Hence, since language difference is characterized by what is initially perceived of the foreign culture or country, it is important to consider and remember that the new language as well as the foreign culture does no entail what the business has been doing in its country. Additionally, it will be useful to note that there is a need to respect, understand and even learn the new or different language in order for the business to survive and be competitive.
Language Families and their Effects
Ruhlen (1991) has provide the list of the basic language families which includes seven categories such as Africa and Southwest Asia; North and Europe and South Asia and West; Pacific, North East India, Southeast Asia and East Asia; New Guinea and its neighboring islands; the Australia; Mesoamerica and North America, as well as South America and Central America (Ruhlen, 1991). It is from these language families that the nature and operation of global business communication can be assessed.
Ihator (1999) deliberated that in public and industry communication, the speaking approach which has proven to be effective in the country may be totally different and even pose disaster internationally. Hence it is significant for business with worldwide market to learn and analyze the manner of public communication of each country or culture where the company will ventures. Ihator explained that in North America, there is emphasis on the spoken word or term thus the message needs to be clearly and effectively expressed through words. International industries and their respective personnel should avoid uncertainties because generally, what has been spoken already has its literal definition. In short, when clarity of words is not observed in negotiating business with North Americans, the deal may be jeopardized (Ihator, 1999).
In many non-Western countries, on other hand, what is perceived by the recipient of the business negotiation is implied. This means that it is likely that a meaning is interpreted from the message of the business deal. Additionally, unaddressed issues are likely to the filled-up by the parties of the discussion resulting to possible miscommunications or misunderstandings. In the United States in particular, it is noted that religion and related beliefs are purposely separated with other components of life. While business transactions are started and ended with prayer or God’s intervention in other cultures such as Arab and African countries, this is not the same as regards the business communication in an American setting. This is being done in order to look for common ground and establish a general business environment. Majority of the communicators of Western corporations, on the other hand, the issue of religion is regarded to be a shared exclusivity (Ihator, 1999).
Ultimately, Ihator said that in order that the implications, both good and bad, of language differences in global market are subdued, it is worthy to accept that diversity of culture and languages exist and will continue to influence international trading. While it is easy to blame other foreign businesses because of perceived language differences or communication challenges, respect and recognition of each culture and language is an effective way to start a business negation. In doing so, the discussion is led to more meaningful business undertakings due to the acceptance of the reality that differences in languages exist and even control global trade dealings (Ihator, 1999).
It is more advantageous to be aware and understand the culture and language of the other business instead of finding fault from it. In doing so, the negative impacts of language differences are prevented and a new international business partner and audience is achieved. Ihator added that the fresh worldwide business operation and obstacles as well as the requirement to negotiate differently but appropriately should be taken as a challenge instead of a hindrance. This is because in the progressing international economic and market integration, the business negotiator is left with no choice but to face the existing language differences and new challenges on engaging into a business deal. In effect, this business outlook will offer a positive effect because the obstacles will require hard work, dedication, enthusiasm to meet totally new business partners and ultimately to regard other industry partners in such manner they see themselves and not the manner which other business people regard them to be (Ihator, 1999).
Reflecting on communication challenges and language differences in the global business setting is a worthy effort. This is because the worldwide business community is offered with explanations and solutions to address the issues. While differences in languages, brought about by the various language families, already exist and may even continue to challenge the operations and managements of global markets, it can be considered in a way that the corresponding obstacles will work to the advantage of those belonging in the international industries.
The above discussions have presented the nature and significance of global trading in today’s world. Additionally, the said presentations have likewise opened a worthy negotiation on how to deal or address communication-related problems besetting the international business community as well as offered ways in which to effectively use these challenges to the advantage of the community in general and the various enterprises in particular.
Ultimately, this paper has allowed not only the business people but the public as well on the important role of the industry negotiator in boosting the concerns of a particular company in the global environment. This is where competency in multi-cultural of intercultural business dealings is requires from the company representatives. While the technicalities of business negotiation are important, the proficiency in identifying and accepting the presence of various communication approaches and languages is equally significant in advancing the objectives, goods, services and even the manpower of a local company into the global market. In fact, it is not only the specific business of a firm is offered to the world but also opened to the worldwide trading is what the economy of the country, where the business has its main office, can offer. An open-minded or flexible assessment of the effects of communication challenges in the global business is, therefore, an effective tool in embracing what the international trading operation holds for.
Dadush, U. & Dollar, D. (2001). Globalization. Economic Policy. Retrieved September 22, 2008 from World Bank database.
Global Policy Forum. (n.d.). Globalization of the Economy. Retrieved September19, 2008, from http://www.globalpolicy.org/globaliz/econ/index.htm
Ihator, A. (1999). When In ROME… – international business communication. Communication World. Retrieved September 22, 2008 from Find Articles database.
Rudd, J. E. & Lawson, D. R. (2007). Communicating In Global Business Negotiations: A Geocentric Approach. California: Sage Publications, Inc.
Ruhlen, M. (1991). A Guide to the World’s Languages. California: Stanford University Press.