Why Intercultural Business Communication Matters
On Monday I have my 4th exam for the module ‘ET212: Intercultural Business Communication’ (https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/modules/undergraduate/et/et212/) and the reasons why I decided to dedicate a post entirely to this module and the underlying principles it is based upon are some of the readings I had to revise during the month of May. Among the topics discussed were: ‘The Global Business Landscape’, ‘Understanding Culture at Work’, ‘Communicating in Global Teams’, ‘Culture and Corporate Communication’, ‘Reputation Management’, ‘The Organisation in Crisis’, ‘Corporate Blogging in Social Media’.
Yoshida states that ‘the corporate strategy of going global is no longer a choice but rather a ‘must’ for survival. A lack of effective intercultural communication skills often causes misunderstandings. This leads to irritation and even distrust between the parties concerned. More often than not, problems arise from differences in communication styles.’ What Yoshida means by that is organisations can be said to have their own culture in that they can have assumed values, established practices, procedures, behavioural conventions that are different in low context cultures, and high context cultures respectively. Moreover, ‘communication style’ is a concept that can include elements such as tendencies towards directness, indirectness in communication, the organisation and presentation of information, the timing and manner of self-disclosure, preferences for agreement, disagreement, politeness, negotiating, and how decision are reached.
Intercultural Business Communication is directly linked to intercultural competence, “the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Dearderoff, 2006). In the new age, functioning as an intercultural mediator for others goes beyond the ability to describe superficial cultural differences. It involves a process of ‘translation’ based on your own sensitivity to the nature of the differences.
I believe that intercultural business communication matters and can be combined perfectly with culture and interpersonal relations to form the foundation of intercultural competence in corporate environments. Would I recommend to future LCC 2nd or 3rd-year students to take this module next year? Absolutely. It will expand your intercultural horizons and understanding of the corporate environment.
‘Recruitment, sales, management, marketing, and workplace environment are all affected by cultures within an organization.Misunderstandings can occur when employees are not knowledgeable on intercultural communication. These misunderstandings can result in poor employee moral, low retention, and low company cohesion’ (https://hubpages.com/business/What-is-Intercultural-Business-Communication). It is essential that companies comprehend the importance of intercultural business communication within their organisation, in order to obtain high performance, results while also satisfying the needs of their employees and making them feel comfortable, valued and helping them reach their full potential. It involves a blue behavior initiative (uses a win-win approach, cooperation, trust, pacifying, relations) to rebuild the organisational culture with concepts of intercultural communication, and by this, I mean implementing a Cultural Education department within the HR of any company.