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Chapter 13

Communicating Across Cultures

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Culture
Shapes values, priorities, and practices Modern business requires dealing with other cultures

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Successful Intercultural Communicator


Aware of ones preferred values Flexible and open to change Sensitive to verbal and nonverbal behavior Aware of values, beliefs, and practices in other cultures Sensitive to differences among individuals within a culture
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Importance of Global Business


Exports are essential to
Individual businesses Countrys economy

Many companies depend on vendors who are located in other countries Managers often find they need international experience for top-level jobs

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Sources of Workplace Diversity


Gender Race and ethnicity Regional and national origin Social class Religion Age Sexual orientation Physical ability
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High-Context and Low-Context Cultures


High-Context Low-Context
Rely little on relationships
Spell out most information Direct Value written Rely heavily on written signs
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Relationships
Information Politeness Agreements Signs
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Infer information from social relationships Convey little explicitly Indirect


Value oral Rely heavily on nonverbal signs

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Values, Beliefs & Practices


Often unconscious Affect response to people and situations Different cultures have different views of
Fairness Competition Success Social status

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Nonverbal Communication
Communication without words Signals such as smiles and gestures Can be misinterpreted as easily as words Important to be conscious of signals sent and received
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Time
Monochronic culture
People focus on clock Plan their time; avoid wasting it

Polychronic culture
People focus on relationships Disregard clocks and planners

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Other Nonverbal Symbols


Hair Clothing Colors Height Age

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Oral Communication
Understatement and exaggeration Compliments Voice qualities

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Voice Qualities: Tone & Pitch


Tonerising and falling that tells whether group of words is statement or question
More believable than actual words

Pitchlowness or highness of sounds

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Voice Qualities: Stress


Stressemphasis given to one or more words Volumemeasure of loudness or softness

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Writing to International Audiences


Write in English unless fluent in audiences language Buffer negative messages; make requests indirect Re-think audience benefits Allow extra response time

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Learning about International Business Communication


Beyond a set of rules International business practices are constantly evolving/changing Seek out and talk to people from other backgrounds
Enhance understanding of multiple perspectives
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