intercultural management effective communication in a global environment

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  • Intercultural ManagementEffective Communication in a Global Environment

  • Global Business

  • Intercultural MythsThe Global Village Myth: the world is homogeneous;

    Universality Myth: underneath our differences, we are all really the same.

  • Can Most People be trusted?United States 55%

    United Kingdom 49%

    Mexico 30%

    West Germany 19%

    Italy 1%

  • Culture Influences Values and AttitudesValues and Attitudes influence Business Behavior

  • What is cultureObservable behaviourValues and assumptions

  • Layers of cultureLanguage, food, dress religion, buildings, fashion, art Right or wrongGood or BadAssumptions about existence

  • Levels of uniqueness in mental programming (Hosfstede)PersonalityCultureHuman natureSpecific to individualInherited and learnedSpecific to group or categoryLearnedUniversalInherited

  • Cultural differencesType of culture

    How we relate to people

    How we relate to time

  • Low contextHigh Context

  • High-Context CulturesNo clear separation of business and private lifeLong lasting relationshipsImplicit communicationLoyalty to people of authoritySpoken agreementsOutsiders do not gain entry easilyNegotiations slow and ritualistic

  • Low ContextBusiness is separate to private lifeRelationships are short in duration (functional)Explicit communicationAuthority is diffusedWritten agreements supported by lawOutsiders are encouraged to join inner circleNegotiations structured with participant roles clearly defined

  • A Context Continuum


  • Lewins CirclesPRIVATEPUBLICG- type high context EuropePRIVATEG- type high context China JapanPUBLIC

  • Lewins Circles ContinuedPUBLICPRIVATECarChambersTennisClubWorkChoirFridgeU-Type Low Context

  • Lewins Circles ContinuedPUBLICPRIVATEChambersTennisClubWorkChoirU-Type Low Context Europe

  • Relationship with people

    Individualism CommunitarianNeutral EmotionalUniversalism ParticularismAchievement Ascription

  • IndividualsUse of the I form in communicationInstant decision making by representativesAchievement is personalIndividual assumes responsibility for actionsJob Mobility and staff turnover highPay for performance and individual assessment acceptedRisk taking admired (link to entrepreneurship)

  • CommunitariansRisk avoidantUse of the we formDecisions referred back by delegates to organisationsAchievement is group based and joint responsibility is assumed for actionsLoyalty to organisation importantGroup incentives and team work expected

  • IndividualismEncouragesindividual freedom andresponsibilityHowever.. We dont want to degenerateInto self-centredness, so we Must

    CommunitarianismEncourage individuals toWork for consensus in the interestOf the group althoughWe need to avoidConformism and slowDecision making, so we must.

  • Verbal CommunicationLow-ContextA BHigh-ContextA BOrientalAB

  • Tone Of VoiceLow-Context



  • Neutral Cultures

    Hide emotionsCool and controlled behaviour is admiredPhysical contact and strong expression of body language is tabooTension and stress is often seen in body languageEmotions that are controlled may sometimes explode

  • Affective Cultures

    Thoughts and feelings are expressed verbally and non-verballyExpression of disagreement is uninhibitedLively discussion with lots of emotion admiredFrequent physical contact and open expression of body language permissible

  • UniversalistRules, regulations and procedures very importantAgreement is usually supported by legal contractThere is the law, and that is thatA persons trustworthiness is based on honouring their word or contract

  • Particularist

    Relationships more important than rulesLegal contracts and be easily modifiedThe law is relativeA persons trustworthiness is based on whether they respond to changing circumstances

  • Achievement Titles are only used when relevantRespect for hierarchy is based on effectiveness and ability of jobholderSenior managers may be of varying age and genderSenior managers hold their position based on competence and qualificationsLow power distance

  • AscriptionExtensive power distanceTitles used extensively to indicate status in organisationRespect for hierarchy is required to demonstrate commitment to the organisationSenior managers are usually male, middle-aged and qualified by background, formal qualifications and connections

  • TimeSequentiallySynchronically

    Past Present Future

  • Nonverbal Sensitivity

    Greetings Eye ContactSpace Touch PostureFacial expressionsTimingSilenceGestures

  • ResolutionRespectKnowledgeToleranceUnderstanding



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