Managing Cultural Differences

Essay by KortEvanUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

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As the world grows smaller because of increasingly efficient global communications and multinational corporations, chance are good that your business will take you outside your home country. The key to a successful multiethnic multinational corporation is communication. Many groups are concerned about communication, business relationships, and development across cultural boundaries. These issues have been addressed in terms of ethical conflict and alternative strategies, organizational commitment and values, and problem solving approaches and cognitive styles. In all these contexts, it is clear that differences do exist among cultures, and that those difference can have a deleterious effect on personal and business interactions across cultural boundaries.

Within an intercultural setting, nonverbal and verbal communications are both prevalent in emphasizing the difference in cultures. The way we act and the things we say determine whether or not we belong in a certain culture. Nonverbal communication systems provide information about the meaning associated with the use of space, time, touch and gestures.

They help to define the boundaries between the members and nonmembers of a culture. In order to fully enjoy and benefit from interpersonal communication in an intercultural setting, one must first gain a full comprehensive knowledge of the determining factors of culture.

Every individual has a particular style of communication, which include both verbal and nonverbal approaches. With so many styles of communication and several different personalities, it is easy to have discrepancies and misunderstandings that result in communication. These products of poor communication create tension and hostility that could result in severed relationships and uncompleted goals. Poor communication can be fatal to the success of a business or organization.

To be effective in verbal communication, a manager must first be aware of communication barriers before approaching an employee. Communication barriers are disadvantages of verbally communicating, such as noise, hearsay, and a...