intercultural communication

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  • 1. Intercultural Communication yvind KalnesHeld at the University of Wollongong 3. December 2007

2. Plan1. Some words on communication2. Culture and globalization3. Challenges and opportunities for the organization4. Intercultural competence and the dangers of culturalism 3. 1. Some words on communication 4. Communication Any behavior that isperceived by anotherperson Verbal (spoken, written),non-verbal or graphic Dynamic and interactiveprocess of encoding andsending a message, aswell as receiving anddecoding it Feedback: The receiverFeedbackresponds by encoding andsending a message to thesender. The roles arereversed 5. Transmission modelHow do you encode a message?Examples of channels and noise 6. A company using WWW as a channel 7. A speech in a film..Who is the sender? What is his channel?What is his message? Who are the receivers? 8. Perception The senders idea is not thesame as what the receiverunderstands Aspects of a message isselected (and othersdeselected), organized andinterpretated, to find themeaning Culture is regarded as acrucial in this process 9. 2. Culture and globalization 10. What is culture? Learned behaviour A deposit of collective knowledge accumulated overgenerations Collective programming of the mind (Hofstede)Does it matter? Always, although we often take it for granted. But it is most visible under variation (fast changes andmulticulturality)Analytical approach to organisations (KISS!): As rational systems under stable and homogenousconditions As natural systems under unstable and/or heterogenousconditions As open systems considering internal characteristics, as wellas environmental characteristics 11. Globalization Migration leads to culturaldiversity at home Multinational companiesoperate in diverse cultures Internationalization of trademakes for cultural diversity ofoverseas suppliers andcustomers Traveling and media 12. Learning culture Enculturation: Learning ones own culture Acculturation: Learning and adjusting to ahost cultureCulture as a condition for communicationIntercultural communication - Between individuals belonging to different culturesIntracultural communication - Between individuals belonging to different cultures 13. Culture creates Imagined communites A cultural group is an imagined community You feel part of a group, even though you havenever met and never will meet most of theother individuals in that group You imagine others that are not part of thegroup(Benedikt Anderson) 14. Perspectives on culture Ethnocentrism: The belief in theEthnocentrismsuperiority of ones own culture. Theother should learn and adjust. Cultural relativism: Each culture is asrelativismgood as the other culture. I should learnfrom and adjust to the other.Take up the White Mans burdenAnd reap his old reward:The blame of those ye betterThe hate of those ye guard Rudyard Kipling The White Mans Burden 1899 15. 3. Challenges and opportunities for the organization 16. Diversity in cultureHofstedes cultural dimensions Power distanceIndividualismUncertainty Masculine > collectivism avoidance > FemiNordic6266Germanic5431Anglo 4152Latin Eur.3315Latin Am. 2623Far East1544 Ronen and Shenkars Country Clusters using Hofstedes Culture Dimensions. Numbers indicate country clusters rank 17. Migration200 million international (firstgeneration) migrants. Cultural diversity in workforce Multicultural competenceAustralia: 25% born overseas 140 different countriesTamils in a sea food factory in 85% of workplaces more thanNorthern Norway 4 nationalities Acculturation, as learning and adjusting to host cultures Chinese in Australia differs from Chinese in the USA, in Singapore, as well as China. What are the challenges and opportunities for the multicultural organization? 18. Chelsea FC:7 Brits, 14 nationalitiesOwned by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich 19. Transnational companies 30,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. Global branding and standards in products and organisation (McDonaldization, McJob) Versus Adapting and adjusting to local culture in products and organisation 20. Glocalization: How can the global be local? Universalisation of the particularGlobalLocalParticularisation of the universalWhat were once the particular: a product of local cultures (hamburgers, pizza, football, production norms, TV-soaps etc.Becomes universalised at the global level But will still be adapted to local cultures or interpreted according to local culture. 21. 4. Intercultural competence and the dangers of culturalism 22. Dangers of culturalismStereotyping Human beings are individuals with A capacity to act on a basis ofindependent reasoning Multiple and changing identitiesDeterminism Cultures develop and changethrough human interaction Or it may be locked in throughhuman interaction 23. Stereotyping others 24. Francis Fukuyama (1989): The End of History (and Diversity?)The triumph of the West canbe seen also in the ineluctableThe final victory of liberalism spread of consumerist Westernculture 1. Economy: The free marketThe end of history will be a very2. Politics: Representative sad time daring, courage, democracyimagination, and idealism, will bereplaced by economiccalculation, the endless solving.... and of technical problems ..thesatisfaction of sophisticatedconsumer demands. 25. Samuel Huntington:The Clash of Civilizations (1993) "We know only who we are when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against.. The velvet curtain of culture has replaced the iron curtain of ideology 26. Intercultural competenceKnow your own culture, as well as the other culture Culture specific: Facts and information specific Culture general: Awareness, flexibility,other-orientationSensitivity Success and cooperationInsensitivity Failure and conflict 27. The wrong codebook


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