Intercultural Business Communication The need for communication in business cannot be overemphasized. This speech will focus on intercultural business communication, its history, vitality, strategies to achieve it with relevant examples, and outline recommendations to its implementation.
In a global environment where globalization is expanding, one of the most vital factors that determine business success is intercultural communication. The workforce in most organizations is highly diverse today consisting of employees from different cultures and having different worldviews, globally. The existence of diverse knowledge, attitudes, competence, and concepts that are based on diverse cultures in today’s workforce necessitates competence in intercultural communication. When the knowledge is integrated with business, it constitutes intercultural business communication.
Intercultural communication study is not a new concept. It started in the 1920s with the study and teaching of linguistics. Linguistics constituted lessons on communication skills such as listening that enhanced understanding languages. In the 1950s, E.T. Hall introduced the terms, “intercultural tensions,” and “intercultural problems.” The terms created awareness on the diversity and differences that are evident among individuals from different cultures and worldviews. Furthermore, awareness of the existing tensions and problems created by cultural differences promoted the urge for different people to harmonize them through commonalities in communication. In 1958, Lederer and Burdick published “The Ugly American” that created mass awareness of intercultural issues and concerns. In 1959, Hall published “The Silent Language” that further promoted awareness on intercultural communication. Later, in 1961, Kluckhohn and Stodtback contributed greatly to the concept of intercultural communication. Oliver’s 1992 publication “Culture and Communication” and Smith’s 1996 “Communication and Culture” further enhanced understanding of the concept.
The period from 1971 to 1980 featured landmark and rapid development of intercultural communication. Three major publications were influential in enhancing understanding of the concept. “American Cultural Patterns” by Stewart, “Communication: A Reader” by Samorar and Porter, and Prosser’s ”Intercommunications among Nations and People” were notably influential publications that promoted understanding of intercultural communication as a concept. Since 1980 to present, there have been several studies and publications on intercultural communication. Condon and Yoursefs emphasize the necessity for cultural value orientations and communication behaviors parallels.
Intercultural communication is important in organizations of diverse employees because it helps represent and solve various communication problems. Individuals from different cultures, religions, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds in a business can solve their problem because of intercultural communication. Furthermore, intercultural communication allows people from diverse cultures to coordinate, cooperate, and work as a team as explained by Lan (88). That attained, it ultimately promotes international business.
Personnel serving in workplaces of diverse cultures, for instance, should understand other cultures. Understanding other cultures promotes better trading and conducting business with other nations. It is also necessitated by the current globalization of business. What should employees and the management do to ensure intercultural communication. Employees should avoid conflict, forecast respect, take cultural and local differences in to account and enhance team management. Examples of intercultural communication include understanding non-verbal communication across cultures, understanding writing styles in different languages, and mastering expressions or greetings in other languages.
There are different recommendations for intercultural communication. It promotes staff retention and lowers recruitment cot. It enhances togetherness, teamwork and promotes productivity. It promotes conflict resolution and proper team management. Intercultural business communication, therefore, constitutes a vital aspect of business success that must be emphasized.
Lan, Jiang. “Research on Intercultural Business Communication.” Canadian Social Science 3.2 (2007): 87-9.