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Chapter 7
Communicating
across Cultures
Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.
Culture
 Shapes values, priorities, and practices
 Modern business requires dealing with
other cultures
7-2
Successful Intercultural
Communicator



Aware of values, beliefs, and practices
in other cultures
Sensitive to differences among
individuals within a culture
Aware that one’s preferred values

Are influenced by culture
 Are not always right
7-3
Successful Intercultural
Communicator, continued…
 Willing to ask questions
about preferences and
behaviors.
 Flexible and open to
change
 Sensitive to verbal and
nonverbal behavior
7-4
Importance of Global Business




Exports are essential to businesses and
the economy
Many companies depend on vendors
who are located in other countries
Companies adapt products and services
for local cultures
Managers often need international
experience for top-level jobs
7-5
Sources of Workplace Diversity








Gender
Race and ethnicity
Regional and national origin
Social class
Religion
Age
Sexual orientation
Physical ability
7-6
Ways to Look at Culture:
High-Context Cultures





Infer most information from social
relationships
Convey little information explicitly
Prefer indirectness, politeness,
ambiguity
Consider oral agreements more
binding than written ones
Rely heavily on nonverbal signs
7-7
Ways to Look at Culture:
Low-Context Cultures




Rely little on context
Spell out most information
Value directness: may see indirectness
as dishonest or manipulative
Value written word more than oral
statements
7-8
Ways to Look at Culture:
Cultural Dimensions





Power/Inequality
Individualism/Collectivism
Masculinity/Femininity
Uncertainty Avoidance
Long-term/Short-term Orientation
7-9
Values, Beliefs, and Practices
 Often unconscious
 Affect response to people and situations
 Different cultures have different views of





Fairness
Groups
Competition
Success
Social status
7-10
Nonverbal Communication
 Communication without
words
 Signals such as smiles
and gestures
 May be misinterpreted as
easily as words
 Important to be
conscious of signals sent
and received
7-11
Nonverbal Communication Types

Body language


Touch


how much – who touches whom
Space


eye contact – facial expressions – gestures
personal space
Time

being on time – measuring time
7-12
Time
 Monochronic culture
 People focus on clock
 Plan their time; avoid wasting it
 Polychronic culture
 People focus on relationships
 Disregard clocks and planners
X
7-13
Other Nonverbal Symbols




Clothing
Colors
Age
Height
7-14
Oral Communication
 Requires cultural understanding
 Be aware of
 Understatement and exaggeration
 Compliments
 Approaches to Negatives
7-15
Writing to International Audiences


Most cultures more formal than U.S.
Avoid

First names (use titles)
 Contractions
 Slang
 Idioms
 Sports metaphors
7-16
Writing to International Audiences,
continued…





Write in English unless fluent in
audience’s language
Reconsider patterns of organization
Buffer negative messages; make
requests indirect
Re-think audience benefits; ones that
motivate U.S. audience may not work
Allow extra response time
7-17
Learning about International Business
Communication
 Beyond a set of rules
 International business
practices are constantly
evolving/changing
 Seek and talk to people from
other backgrounds
 Enhance understanding of
multiple perspectives
7-18