See the issues:
see also: The ability to support and understand the many different contexts/cultures in the developing world; Communication in its cultural context
In our global culture we
know that there are frequently language differences that affect how people communicate
with one another. However, there is often much more involved in communicating with
people of different nations than simply having information translated into the appropriate
language. Cultural differences, backgrounds, and frames of reference must be
considered, evaluated, and understood in order to make sure that a message is communicated
in a way that will best be understood. In addition the receiver of the message must
also be aware of these aspects of project/programme purpose interactions, so that effective communication
skills such as listening and feedback can be used to make the message that is received is
interpreted as closely as possible to the one that is sent.
Even when people from the same culture, speaking the same language interact, there are a number of possible barriers to understanding that may appear. These barriers are multiplied many fold when we communicate with someone from another culture.
Overview The emerging
challenges for communicating and organizing in a global/local marketplace (think globally,
act locally) are based on understanding the interrelationships among cultural differences,
communication behaviors, and organizational relationships both within and outside of the
Labeled the Global Village by Marshall McLuhan, this trend leads toward a greater and greater expansion of the local village to global proportions. Over the past few decades, the world has become smaller and smaller because of the rapid advances in communication and transportation technologies. Physical boundaries between people of different nations and cultures are fast disappearing as a result of the creation of the global village.
Rather than a purely global perspective, though, we also need to look at communication, production, marketing, and a whole variety of organizational tasks from a local or country level perspective as well, not just from the global level.
The Global Communication
Perspective There has been a meteoric rise of Multinational organizations (MNEs) and a
related increase in international trade and investment in the past few years. The
United Nations reports that transnational organizations have become central organizers of
economic activity in an increasingly integrated world economy.
When a organization has branches and subsidiaries in a number of countries, effective communication is not just a necessity between foreign divisions and organizational headquarters, it is imperative and will become an ever more present part of organizational life. In addition, MNEs need to communicate with investors, creditors, suppliers, governments and government agencies, and beneficiaries around the world. Also, annual and other organizational reports are prepared for audiences in many different countries.
With MNEs becoming an ever increasing aspect of international organizational life, it is more and more critical to understand the necessity and importance of communication in the global nature of project/programme purpose and organizational processes.
Backgrounds, and Frames of Reference Before we can explore cultural differences
and frames of referenceand how they affect our communication, we need to look at the
nature of culture itself.
Culture involves have shared beliefs, values, and norms, which means that members of the culture have a similar way of thinking about how the world operates and how people should behave in it.
Perception provides the way we receive information about the world around us. Our perceptions form the reality of what we see around us. Perception is active, ongoing, complex, concurrent and simultaneous; our perception of the world is based in large part on our cultural background. We see the world the way our culture teaches us to.
Organizational culture is the shared values, customs, traditions, rituals, behaviors, and beliefs shared in common by the members of that organization. Just as a nation generally has its own language or dialect, so too does an organization have its own language; that language consists of the jargon and ways of speaking that are particular to the people who work there.
Language and Verbal
InteractionAs humans we label our experiences and our perceptions. Then, we tend
to respond to the labels themselves, not to the actual experience. Labels are the
symbols we use to communicate with one another. Symbolswordsform the
basis for our communication interactions in any setting, whether it is with family or
friends, with acquaintances or strangers, or on the job.
All languages use symbols, which are arbitrary, ambiguous, and abstract. Symbols provide us a way of representing other things, ideas, and concepts. Words are symbols and thus their meanings are not obvious or indisputable.
We learn our first languageour mother tonguewith very little, if any conscious awareness, and it becomes one of those things we take for granted about our culture.
Nonverbal Cultural IssuesCommunication
isnt just what you say; it is also how you say it. A large part of our
communication interactions with others is nonverbal. Cultural nonverbal differences
There are a number of different categories of nonverbal behavior. They each provide contextual information that helps us interpret the messages that we receive in any communication interaction. Each carries with it a wide variety of intercultural implications.
Learning About Culture We are born into a culture. We are often
also born into an ethnic subculture.
Our cultureand subculturesprovides the basis for how we perceive our environment.
We selectively perceive the world based on our individual experiences, our culture background, our education, our religious upbringing, our work experience, and so forth; in sum, we perceive the world from out past experience. We look at the world, not necessarily through rose-colored glasses, but through whatever colored glasses our past experience has taught us to look at the world through. It is primarily our enculturation or cultural upbringing that provides the tint for our glasses; that is, for our perceptions.
Adjusting to Other Cultures Enculturation is the process by which we learn
about our first cultureand any subcultures that we are born into. It is how we
are socialized and how we learn about the culture where we are born and reared.
The culture and any subculture or subcultures we are born into are not necessarily the only ones we learn about. For any number of reasons, we may encounter a different culture. Part of that encounter is learning about the other culture.
While enculturation is the process of learning about our first culture or subcultures, acculturation is the process of learning about a new culture. Acculturation includes taking on the characteristics or attributes of the other culture. It means adopting new ways of doing things, new habits, and probably new frames of reference and attitude sets.
Encountering a new culture can be scary. We go through a process of culture shock during that encounter.
Dealing with External
Differences As more and more people
migrate around the world from one country to another, we will find ourselves working with
people from other countries and other culturesand subcultures. Others might
have moved to our county and culture from another culture that is similar to our own or
very different from ours. We might be posted at a branch of our organization in
their country. We might find ourselves using technology to work in an international
team composed of people from all around the globe.
We see the world from different perspectives and frames of reference, have different beliefs, values, and norms, probably speak different languages, send and perceive nonverbal cues differently, and have different ways of working and different values about work. Cultural differences are plentiful.
Whatever the reason we find ourselves working side by side with otherswhether physically or through technologywe need to know how to effectively communicate with them if we are to reach our goals and objectives and the organizations goals and objectives. We need to understand our differences and how to deal with them.
We also need to understand our commonalities and how we can use those to communicate effectively as well.
Dealing with Internal
Differences Working effectively in
an organizational setting involves understanding different cultural perspectives: the
organizations culture and societal culture, or more accurately, cultures.
Knowing how to effectively work with people from other cultures and subcultures is
critical. It is also important to know how to work with people from different
We need to understand other peoples perspectives and why they are different from ours. We need to know that there are nonverbal as well as language differences that can affect our interactions. It is important to know how people interpret their environments and what their values toward work are. Understanding how we are similar and how we are different in our cultural frameworks is crucial in being able to work with others. We need to know how to effectively work and communicate with them if we are to reach our goals and objectives and the goals and objectives of the organization that we are working for.
Working with People from
Different Cultures Knowing how to
effectively work with people from other cultures is also a critical part of understanding
communication from both the global and local perspectives. It is very important to
be aware of what is involved in working with people from other cultures, whether in
international teams or in an office setting, and how to manage the differences that arise
in these teams because of the greater integration of the world economy. We will
often be interacting with others from around the world when we carry out our normal
Every culture has a unique way of looking at work and work-related attitudes. We need to understand other peoples perspectives and why they are different from ours. We need to know that there are nonverbal as well as language differences that can affect our interactions. It is important to know how people interpret their environments and what their values toward work are.
Communicating Goals, Values and
Who Speaks to Different
Cultures For You? Within any organization, some employees are better trained and
equipped to deal with foreign cultures than others. This becomes important when you decide
to expand or grow into a foreign market because you will need people who know how to talk,
how to do project/programme purpose, and how to get along with the people there. Sometimes, however, you
have no one in-house, and you have to start looking outside of the organizational structure.
This could require going to consultants from or in that country, or finding organizations or
representatives there to partner with. The key element here is not so much
what you do, or even how you do it, but how it is seen in that foreign culture.
Targeting Messages About Products and Services to Different CulturesCommunication strategies, products, and service plans must reflect the differences of the cultures for which they are designed. These differences have to be discovered and recognized before they can be acknowledged. Before you can do any of this, however, you have to be able to communicate with the people in the foreign country or culture. This usually means communicating at a distance, sometimes a great distance, and figuring out exactly with whom you will be communicating.
Foreign Media Culture shapes the news media and what and how they report itand vice versa. So if you want to know how to deal with foreign media, you have to understand the culture it represents and serves, and at that cultures attitudes. But you also have to understand what news is, and how history gave it its current shape and developed its delivery systems.
See the issues:
See also: Communication in its cultural context
1. Introduction: Defining Culture in the Context of International project/programme purpose
2. Cultural Orientations and project/programme purpose Behavior: Individualism
3. Cultural Orientations and project/programme purpose Behavior: Human Relations
4. Cultural Orientations and project/programme purpose Behavior: Communication
5. Cultural Orientations and project/programme purpose Behavior: Use of Time
6. Cultural Orientations and project/programme purpose Behavior: Action and Space
7. International project/programme purpose Etiquette
8. Cross-Cultural project/programme purpose Communication
9. Cross-Cultural Negotiation and Deal-Making
10. Women in International project/programme purpose
12. Case Study: Doing project/programme purpose in the European Union
Study: Doing project/programme purpose in the
15. Troubleshooting and Review