“intercultural communication occurs whenever a message produced in one culture must be processed in another”
Samovar and Porter (1997) cited in Arasaratnam andd Doerfel ((2005)
country to country
company to company
with Host Country Nationals, Third Country Nationals and local community
Across culturally diverse teams
With customers, clients and suppliers
Communication process model Adapted from Buchanan and Huczynski (2010)
Questions on context
Similarity/difference of the norms and values?
Level of language competence?
How formal is the interaction?
The politics of language
High and Low context Orientations
Context around culture is critical to meaning:
The degree to which information is explicit, vested in words, precise and unambiguous……… low context
= the listener know little and needs to be told all
The degree to which information is implicit, vested in shared experience and assumptions and conveyed through verbal and non verbal codes…. high context
= listener is already contextualised and needs to read cues carefully Hall, E (1976) Beyond Culture, Doubleday. New York IN Kakabadse, N.K and Kouzmin (2001) Low and High Context Communication patterns: Towards Mapping Cross Cultural Encounters. Cross Cultural Management. Vol 8 no 2
speaker says precisely what he or she means
people often meet only to accomplish objectives
message is explicit
Messages highly coded, indirect and implicit
voice intonation, timing, and facial expressions important in conveying information
Explicit and Implicit Communication
Verbal Communication Styles International Management: Culture Strategy and Behaviour (2005) Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh
Focus on precision
the right amount of words
high-context cultures few words and allow understatements, pauses, and silence to convey meaning.
Negotiations and Culture
Stages of Negotiation (Graham 1986) cited in Gulbro and Herbig (1999)
Non Task (building rapport…)
Negotiation style and Culture
Gulbro and Herbig (1999) found in their research, (using Hofstede’s dimensions) that
Collectivist cultures spend more time on non task and building rapport , positioning, planning before debriefing after negotiations
Higher power distance cultures spend less time in compromise
High masculine cultures spend less time persuasion stage
High uncertainty avoidance cultures spend more time in the agreement phase
Misinterpreted non Verbal cues
Non Verbal Communication
Body jewellery, tattoos
Eating, chewing, spitting, sneezing
Eye contact and gaze
Body movement and facial expression
Proxemics: your space or mine?
Personal Space in the U.S.
Non verbal communication
How time is used:
Monochronic…. linear chain of doing things
UK, USA Canada and Australia
Polychronic….many things at same time. Higher values on personal involvement than getting it done on time.
Latin America, Middle East
Time and timings
A “window of opportunity”
When to eat and drink
Private and public time
Non verbal communication
The use and meaning
Significance and symbolism
Clothing, flowers, décor
Implications for product design, advertising, gifts, dress
Observe this week…….
Identify non verbal behaviours which you usually find:
annoying hostile friendly loving neutral
Identify 3 specific examples of your own territorial behaviour
Think about the physical distance you are comfortable and uncomfortable with.
What meanings are conveyed through touch?
What meanings do you derive from others touching you.
Consider how this may be interpreted or misinterpreted in a business organisation
Spend the next week observing communication patterns, body language and watch your space!