- Slides: 34
Intercultural Communication TOPIC 1 Intercultural Communication and Culture PREPARED BY: Khou Sam Ath (Master Candidate in English) UPDATED : 25 th February, 2012
TOPIC OUTLINE: § § § § WHY study intercultural communication? DEFINE what is intercultural communication? SOME definitions related to Culture. The meaning of Culture. WHAT is Culture? Cultural diversity. Affects of Culture on Management Approaches. Values in Culture. Differences between U. S & Japanese Cultural Values. Priorities of Cultural Values. Affects of Culture on Intercultural Communication. Theories of Culture – Hall, Hofstede & Trompennars. Stereotyping from Cultural extremes.
WHY STUDY INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION? 1. Learning about other people & their cultures. 2. Technology – for example, internet, SMS have revolutionized the human communication. 3. Demography – the changing demographic characteristics globally has contributed to heterogeneity & diversity in culture. 4. Globalization – the trend toward globalization has resulted in one world market & this means doing business with different cultures different from our own. 5. Self-awareness – by studying intercultural communication, it raises the awareness of our own cultural identity & background.
WHAT IS INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION? Hall, E. T. (1959) defined intercultural communication as communication between persons of different cultures. For examples, between a Cambodian & a Malaysian &/or between Vietnamese and an American. Intercultural business communication is defined as communication within & between businesses that involves people from more than one culture.
SOME DEFINITIONS: 1. Cross-cultural or multicultural management managing a workforce diversity by understanding & being sensitive to different cultures. 2. Intra-cultural communication - communication between and among members of the same culture. 3. Stereotypes - perceptions about certain groups of people or nationalities. 4. Melting pot – this means a socio-cultural assimilation of people of different backgrounds & nationalities.
SOME DEFINITIONS - CONTINUE 5. Enculturation - this is the socialization process you go through to adapt to your society. When you grow up in one culture, you learn one way of classifying, coding, prioritizing, and justifying reality. Cultural information that you are willing to share with outsiders is considered front-stage culture, while cultural information that is concealed from outsiders is considered backstage culture. 6. Acculturation - this is the process of adjusting & adapting to a new and different culture.
The Meaning of Culture CULTURE all the shared products of human groups Material Culture (explicit artifacts) Non material Culture (implicit) physical objects that people create and use abstract human creations Examples automobiles, books, buildings, clothing, computers, and cooking beliefs, family patterns, ideas, language, political and economic systems, and rules
A MODEL OF CULTURE Explicit artifacts and products of the society Norms and values that guide the society Implicit, basic assumptions that guide people’s behavior
5 Components of culture Technology Symbols Language Norms Values
WHAT IS CULTURE? § Culture is defined as acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior. This knowledge forms values, creates attitudes, and influences behavior. § The accepted characteristics of culture are: 1. Learned 2. Shared. 3. Patterned. 4. Adaptive.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY 1. There are many ways of examining cultural differences & their impact on intercultural communication. 2. Culture can affect technology transfer, managerial attitudes, managerial ideology, & even businessgovernment relations. 3. More importantly, culture affects how people think & behave. 4. For example: in the US, the cultural value is freedom, in Japan, it is belonging, & in the Arab countries, it is family security & in Cambodia, it is the importance of family.
AFFECTS OF CULTURE ON MANAGEMENT APPROACHES 1. Centralized vs. decentralized decision making – in some societies, top managers make all important organizational decisions. In others, these decisions are diffused throughout the enterprise, & middle-and lower-level managers actively participate in, & make, key decisions. 2. Safety vs. risk – in some societies, organizational decision makers are risk-averse & have great difficulty with conditions of uncertainty. In others, risk taking is encouraged, & decision making under uncertainty is common.
AFFECTS OF CULTURE ON MANAGEMENT APPROACHES - CONTINUE 3. Individual vs. group rewards – in some countries, personnel who do outstanding work are given individual rewards in the form of bonuses & commissions. In others, cultural norms require group rewards, & individual rewards are frowned on. 4. Informal vs. formal procedures – in some societies, much is accomplished through informal means. In others, formal procedures are set forth, & followed rigidly.
AFFECTS OF CULTURE ON MANAGEMENT APPROACHES - CONTINUE 5. High vs. low organizational loyalty – in some societies, people identify very strongly with their organization or employer. In others, people identify with their occupational group, such as engineer or mechanic. 6. Cooperation vs. competition – some societies encourage cooperation between their people. Others encourage competition between their people.
AFFECTS OF CULTURE ON MANAGEMENT APPROACHES - CONTINUE 7. Short-term vs. long-term horizons – some cultures focus most heavily on short term horizons, such as short-range goals of profit & efficiency. Others are more interested in long-range goals such as market share & technology development. 8. Stability vs. innovation – the culture of some countries encourages stability & resistance to change. The culture of others puts high value on innovation & change.
VALUES IN CULTURE 1. A major dimension in the study of culture is values. 2. Values are basic convictions that people have regarding what is right & wrong, good & bad, important, & unimportant. These values are learned from the culture in which the individual is reared, & they help to direct the person’s behavior. 3. Differences in cultural values often result in varying management practices.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN U. S. & JAPANESE CULTURAL VALUES U. S. Cultural Values Japanese Cultural Values * Individuals can influence the future. (when there is a will, there is way). * Individuals should be realistic in their aspirations. * We must work to accomplish our objectives. * A primary obligation is to the organization. * Employees can be removed if they do not perform well. * Company information should be available to anyone who needs it within the organization. * Competition stimulates high performance. * Lifetime employment is widely accepted. * Formal authority, obedience, & conformance to hierarchic position are very important. * Group orientation, cooperation, conformity, & compromise are important. * Organizational personnel often are rewarded based on seniority, not merit. * Paternalism, often measured by a manager’s involvement in both personal & off-the-job problems of subordinates.
PRIORITIES OF CULTURAL VALUES UNITED STATES 1. Freedom 2. Independence 3. Self-reliance 4. Equality 5. Individualism 6. Competition 7. Efficiency 8. Time 9. Directness 10. Openness JAPAN 1. Belonging 2. Group harmony 3. Collectiveness 4. Age/seniority 5. Group consensus 6. Cooperation 7. Quality 8. Patience 9. Indirectness 10. Go-between ARAB COUNTRIES 1. Family security 2. Family harmony 3. Parental guidance 4. Age 5. Authority 6. Compromise 7. Devotion 8. Patience 9. Indirectness 10. Hospitality
AFFECTS OF CULTURE ON INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION 1. A major challenge of doing business internationally is to adapt effectively to different cultures. 2. Such adaptation requires an understanding of cultural diversity, perceptions, stereotypes, and values. 3. Cultures and sub-cultures in different countries have an effect on crosscultural communication.
THEORIES ON CULTURES 1. Edward Hall’s High and Low Context Cultures. 2. Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions. 3. Fons Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions.
1: EDWARD HALL’S HIGH & LOW CONTEXT CULTURES HIGH CONTEXT CULTURES 1. Adopt a less direct form of communication: * kinesic (what is not being said may have the same degree of importance as what is being said. ) * implicit, and more detailed information is transmitted through a continuous and imprecise, sometimes through non-verbal format. * depends on extensive informal networks across various sectors of the society and this includes family, friends, associates & even clients. * as relationships are close and personal, information flows freely & people are kept well informed about the people who are important in their lives.
1: EDWARD HALL’S HIGH & LOW CONTEXT CULTURES - CONTINUE 2. Time orientation * look at time as more flexible * they tend to be more polychronic – allowing many things to happen simultaneously with no particular end in sight. * more accommodating to time change. Examples of high-context cultures includes: Cambodia, Malaysia, Burma.
1: EDWARD HALL’S HIGH & LOW CONTEXT CULTURES - CONTINUE LOW CONTEXT CULTURES 1. Adopt a more direct form of communication: * what is said is what is meant: “mean what you say, say what you mean”. * information is often conveyed in a direct manner, specific to the point. * people tend to compartmentalize their lives and relationships and permit little “interference” or “extraneous” relationships to the task at hand.
1: EDWARD HALL’S HIGH & LOW CONTEXT CULTURES - CONTINUE 2. Time orientation * regard time as a straight line - linear and sequential events, days, years or the rotation of the seasons. * time is monochronic - tightly compartmentalized and schedules are followed closely. * tasks and communications are dealt with sequentially. These cues are important and customers are served one at a time. * adhere closely to schedules and time tables in order to meet deadlines. * the emphasis on task and compartmentalized relationships requires a tight agenda in order to acquire information from various sources. Examples of low context cultures include: America, UK, Australia.
2: GEERT HOFSTEDE’S CULTURAL DIMENSIONS 1. Power distance - extent to which less powerful members of organizations accept the unequal power distribution. 2. Uncertainty avoidance - extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these. 3. Individualism - tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only.
2: GEERT HOFSTEDE’S CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE 4. Collectivism - tendency of people to belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty. 5. Masculinity - culture in which the dominant values are success, money, and things. 6. Femininity - dominant values are caring for others and quality of life.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS His research produced five cultural dimensions that are based on relationship orientations and attitudes toward both time and the environment. 1. Universalism vs. Particularism A Universalism - belief that ideas and practices can be applied everywhere in the world without modification. Focus on formal rules and rely on business contacts. A Particularism - belief that circumstances dictate how ideas and practices should be applied and something cannot be done the same everywhere. Focus on relationships, working things out to suit the parties.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE 2. Individualism vs. Communitarianism A Individualism - people regard themselves as individuals. Rely on individuals to make decisions. A Communitarianism - people regard themselves as part of a group. Seek consultation & mutual consent before making decisions.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE 3. Neutral vs. Emotional A Neutral - culture in which emotions are held in check. People try not to show their feelings A Emotional - culture in which emotions are expressed openly and naturally. People smile, talk loudly, greet each other with enthusiasm.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE 4. Specific vs. Diffuse A Specific - culture in which individuals have a large public space they readily share with others and a small private space they guard closely and share with only close friends and associates. A People often are open and extroverted. A Work and private life are separate. A Diffuse - culture in which both public and private space are similar in size and individuals guard their public space carefully, because entry into public space affords entry into private space as well. A People often appear indirect and introverted, and work and private life often are closely linked.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE 5. Achievement vs. Ascription A Achievement - culture in which people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions. A Ascription - culture in which status is attributed based on who or what a person is. For example, status may be accorded on the basis of age, gender, or social connections.
3: FONS TROMPENAARS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS - CONTINUE Approach towards time and the environment: 1. TIME A Sequential approach to time - people do one thing at a time, keep appointments strictly, follow plans strictly. A Synchronous approach to time - people do more than one thing at a time, appointments are approximate. 2. ENVIRONMENT A Inner-directed - people believe in controlling environmental outcomes. A Outer-directed - people believe in allowing things to take their natural course.
Stereotyping from the Cultural Extremes How Americans see the French • arrogant • flamboyant • hierarchical • emotional French Culture How French see Americans • naive • aggressive • unprincipled • workaholic U. S. Culture
REFERENCES : 1. Linda Beamer and Iris Varner (2001), Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace, Second edition Mc. Graw-Hill, Singapore. [ Read chapter 1, pages 1 to 29 ]. 2. Geert Hofstede and Gert Jan Hofstede (2005), Cultures and Organizations, Software of the Mind, 2 nd edition, Mc. Graw-Hill, USA. [Read chapters 1 and 2, in NU Library. ] 3. Fons Trompennars and Peter Woolliams (2003), Business Across Cultures, Capstone Publishing Limited, England. [Read chapters 1, 2, & 3, in NU Library. ] 4. Farid Elashmawi and Philip R. Harris (1994), Multicultural Management, New Skills for Global Success, S. Abdul Majeed & Co, KL. [ Read chapter 1, pages 1 to 20, in NU Library]. REVIEW QUESTIONS : 1. Explain what is culture and what is intercultural communication? 2. How does culture affects our attitudes? 3. Why do you need to bother with culture? 4. Is culture fixed? Explain your reasons. 5. How does culture affects communication in intercultural business? 6. Explain how culture will effect the cost of doing business in a foreign country? 7. Explain what is cross cultural literacy? 8. Explain how culture effect the workplace? 9. Explain how can culture can help a global firm to gain competitive advantage? 10. What are the determinants of culture? 11. Explain Hofstede and Trompennar dimensions of culture that affect intercultural communication. 12. How would the understanding of intercultural communication helps a manager in his or her work?