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cross‐cultural communication

John O'Connell


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Communication between cultures is one of the greatest challenges facing an international manager. Not only does the manager face the normal problems of creating a concise and clear communication, but also the communication must be accomplished in the context of another culture. The following discussion reviews a number of areas which must be considered in order to conduct successful cross‐cultural communication. 1 The medium of communication . The medium is the method by which a message is sent. Mediums of communication include writing (notes, email, annual statements, letters, etc.), speaking (telephone, videotape, public address system, face‐to‐face conversation, etc.), body language , tone of voice (high anxious tone, soft, aggressive and loud), depicting a message in pictures (directions for use, signs, etc.), or any combination of media. A very important aspect of cross‐cultural communications is knowledge of which medium is acceptable for different situations. For example, is a note sufficient to convey a message or do the formalities of a culture require a face‐to‐face meeting? Sending a note may be taken as a rude approach from someone who does not want to face the person receiving the message. On the other hand, a face‐to‐face meeting when a simple note would convey the same message may place more importance on the communication than intended by the sender. The medium ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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