Intercultural communication is a form of communication that aims to share information across different cultures and social groups. It is used to describe the wide range of communication processes and problems that naturally appear within an organization made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. In this paper I will attempt to understand and reciprocate the knowledge I learn about the Korean communication patterns through several sources. These sources include several credible researches and a personal interview conducted by myself. Intercultural communication is sometimes used synonymously with cross-cultural communication. In this sense it seeks to understand how people from different countries and cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them. Many people in intercultural business communication argue that culture determines how individuals encode messages, what medium they choose for transmitting them, and the way messages are interpreted. In a broader sense, Intercultural communication encompasses cross-cultural communication, international communication, and development communication. With regard to intercultural communication proper, it studies situations where people from different cultural backgrounds interact, such as when I interact with a foreign student from Trine University. Aside from language, intercultural communication focuses on social attributes, thought patterns, and the cultures of different groups of people. It also involves understanding the different cultures, languages and customs of people from other countries. Intercultural communication plays a role in social sciences such as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, psychology and communication studies. Intercultural communication is also referred to as the base for international businesses. There are several cross-cultural service providers around who can assist with the development of intercultural communication skills. Research is a major part of the development of intercultural communication skills. Globalization due to internet use, international markets, and outsourcing has increased contact between people from different cultures. This contact highlights the divergence of perspectives between members of different cultures such as Korea and the United States. For example, in the American workplace, Caucasian colleagues often mistake Asians’ reserved manner for a lack of assertiveness. It is inevitable that differences in cultural perspectives will be channeled through communication; and if this communication is to be productive, interactions based on cultural knowledge and mutual respect will be needed to encourage Korean and American relations to progress.
The South Korean economy has been the fastest growing economy in the world (Lydon & Wasik, 2008). Korea is also an important economic partner for America. However, Noland and Pack (2002) point out that South Koreans perceive American prominence in the merchandise trade to be eroding, especially in comparison with China. To help achieve an understanding, the purpose of this paper is to report on Korean and American communication practices. The most recent extant studies on Korean communication were carried out in the 1990’s (e.g., Park & Kim, 1992). Given the increased exposure of Korea to the world, this study carried out an updated test of present day communication practices in Korea as compared to the US. To do this, cross-cultural theories were used to underlie further analyses of hypothesized communication traits across Korea and the US. Research has shown that the degree of context and amount of information in a culture effectively differentiates between communications in Eastern cultures as opposed to Western cultures (Kim, Pan, et al., 1998; Cho, Kwon, et al., 1999). In particular, Hall (1973) categorized cultures into high-context cultures (where