Intercultural Business Communication
Cross-cultural business communication is playing nowadays one of the most important roles in organizations and companies, because it is the only source of mutual understanding among employees and customers, directors and suppliers, etc. Effective cross-cultural communication arouses great interest compared with that of several decades ago. It means that the future success of an international company mainly depends on its ability to use language and to communicate effectively not only within organization/company, but also across cultural boundaries.
Nevertheless learning how to communicate effective isn’t limited only to one organization, because, for example, learning cross-cultural communication suggests how cultural traditions and patterns are understood and how cultural values may affect the process of communication. (Collins 2005) Learning cross-cultural business communication is nowadays not only necessity; it is not only an option. Understanding how to communicate cross-culturally will assist business developing in promoting creating smoothly working project teams; responding to customers, clients, and markets; living and working in a culturally diverse world.
In a modern swiftly changing world people and cultures are circulating and interacting as at a really dizzying speed. Those people who know how to use language and how to communicate cross-culturally have a crucial advantage over other businesses. Actually, the first step in learning how to communicate with other cultures is to learn the details of that culture. Company’s awareness in intercultural differences is useful in today’s world of business relations. Apparently, intercultural business communication affects: (Hargie 2003) 1.
Stability meaning that conditions of a particular country may change either rapidly or slowly and it is necessary to respond quickly to changes. 2. Complexity meaning that cultures “vary in the accessibility of information”. For example, in the USA information is presented as explicit codes involving words, whereas in China and Japan information is hidden in conveyed implicitly and progresses through physical context and body language. (DeVito 1995) 3. Composition meaning that that some cultures may consist of several subcultures and they may be ethnically diverse, whereas other cultures may tend to be homogenous. 4.
Acceptance meaning that cultures have different attitudes towards outsiders. For example, some cultures are openly hostile or they maintain detached aloofness, whereas others are ready to cooperate with strangers. It is known that the more differences exist between cultures, the more difficult is the process of intercultural communication, especially in business sphere. The main problems in business communication are language barriers, ethnocentric reactions and cultural differences. The magnitude of language barriers mostly depends on whether the company uses oral or written communication, because written is easier to handle.
Oral communication is more difficult because of different pronunciation and thus the voice sounds in different ways. Cultural differences are based on different background and usually they involve religion and values, roles and status, decision-making customs, concepts of time, concepts of personal space, body language, social behavior and manners, etc. (DeVito 1995) Concepts of social behavior are the most important in business communication, because what is considered polite in one country may be considered rude in another one.
For example, in some countries it is acceptable to make small gifts to partner’s wife, whereas in Germany presenting a woman a red is rose is associated with a romantic invitation and thus is inappropriate for establishing business relations. Therefore, the role of intercultural communication is very important for business, because it is the main core of future success. Failure to communicate effectively with foreign partners will inevitably lead to failure of business. (Smith 2005)
References Collins, Susie. (2005).How To Dramatically Improve Communication in Your Relationship and Start Getting More of The Love You Really Want In Just One Evening. Retrieved June, from http://www. communication-magic. com/ DeVito, J. (1995). The Interpersonal Communication Book. New York: Harper Collins. Hargie, Owen. (2003). Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory, and Practice. London: Routledge. Smith, Hilary. (2002, December 8). When Communication Breaks Down. Retrieved November 25, 2006, from http://www. relate. org. nz/print_article_000040. asp.