Intercultural Communication Obstacles and Solutions
With frequent commercial transactions, the trend of globalization becomes obvious. In this process, in order to reduce the cost occurs in plant, payroll and other things such as transportation; international companies and multicultural workplaces are commonplace. However, although there are many benefits in multicultural corporate, one main obstacle is how to build an effective way to communicate between people from different culture background.
This report mainly focuses on misunderstanding in intercultural communication and possible solutions. The aim of the report is to analyse the theoretical cross-cultural management and intercultural communication issues raised by intercultural communication, and illustrate opinion with reference to Fred Bailey’s Expatriate Experience in Japan. Furthermore, the primary motivation to this report is to find main reasons causing misunderstanding in intercultural communication and take up with some possible solutions which can be samples for multinational corporations.
The structure of the report is outlined by following parts. The first part of the report is literature review including intercultural communication, high/low context, individualism/collectivism and discussion structure. There are some theoretical definitions which could make the report more understandable. Then the second part is the case analysis which consists of case summary (brief introduction of the company in the case), the misunderstanding caused by intercultural communication (application to a company), the possible solutions to solve the problems. Finally, a brief conclusion is stated in the end.
2 Literature Review
2.1 Intercultural Communication
What is meant by the word ‘communication’? It is not an easy question. Hodgetts thought that communication is the process of transferring meanings from sender to receiver (Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh, 2006). Oxford dictionary gives a popular definition of ‘communication’ which emphasizes that communication is the exchange of information. (Oxford dictionary) There are many people trying to interpret communication. However after doing some research, it is obvious that most of definitions of communication focus on giving a brief introduction about communication. Only few people reveal what has happened in this kind of process. It means that less definitions stress communication with how the information is interpersonal delivered. The information transfer model by Shannon and Weaver solves the question about how the communication works(Shannon and Weaver, 1996).
It is clear from the table above that communication is a process which transfers information through encoding and decoding. The misunderstandings derive from the differences between meanings from sender and the meanings after being decoded by receiver. The table above interprets the word ‘communication’, as to intercultural communication, it is a form of communication which is between different contents of culture. ‘Culture’ is an abstract and intricate word, so it is necessary to analyse this word so that intercultural communication can be well comprehended. Culture, from Triandis , is mean by ‘the subjective perception of the human-made part of the environment which includes the categorization of social stimuli, associations, beliefs, attitudes, and values that individuals share’ (Triandis, 1972). In addition, Hofstede (2001) defines culture as different corporate mental planning from different groups of people and this difference distinguishes one group or society from another. Even the range of the difference can be viewed as the closeness of relationship between difficult cultures.
2.2 High/low Context
As the essay mentioned below, the misunderstandings about communication derive from the differences between