Cross-Cultural Communication for Managers
In today’s world, with so many cultures so close together, it is necessary to look at the communication skills.It is not that easy to communicate with others who come from a complete different background and culture.You have to consider the difference in for instance language, methods, assumptions, values, attitude and beliefs.
For business people it is extremely important to know how to communicate, not only within a company, but also with the others in the world. Business are not only in the own country anymore. The businesses expanded and are more and more global.
Therefore it is necessary to study and understand the culture of the country that you do business with, or to understand the culture and differences of employees from other countries. The article read and discussed in this article critique is the article written by Mary Hunter, ‘Cross-Cultural Communication for managers’. She states especially managers should be very efficient communicators in today’s world of globalizations. The goal of the article is to give insight and examples for managers to use as a guide in these communications.
The use of the seven given points, the article intends to cover all major themes of problems that might occur in cross-cultural communication, specifically for managers. The Article The article begins with the purpose of the article and with a short description of what ‘culture’ is. The given description is short, but it gives the reader the basic knowledge of what we are looking at. It is not in the interest of the article to go into a full description of the word, but it does give the overall meaning clearly. Although the main focus is ‘communication’, a satisfactory explanation of the word is not given.
The article focuses on culture more than it does on the communication aspect. The article from Stefanescu and Popa does give the reader more insight in the communication aspect (p. 2). This makes the subject of communication more clear and more meaningful. Given in the article are the main seven points of discussion. These are setting communication objectives, choosing a communication style, assessing and enhancing credibility, selecting and motivating audiences, setting a message strategy, overcoming language difficulties and using appropriate nonverbal behaviours.
Every section of the article deals with one of these seven points. Hunter gives the reader a short introduction of each point and explains them through the use of questions. These questions make it easier for the reader to grasp the significance of the given subject. The questions are further explained through the use of examples from daily life. These examples are quite easy to understand and simply written. Although the article is written in a fairly explanatory way, the reader might have some difficulties with the words that are used.
It would be an easy article for an anthropologist, but for a manager it might be slightly different. The points given by Hunter, does have a short conclusion in the end, where she points out the importance of research. She does not put this as an eight discussion subject. This might not be enough information for the reader. Apparently, research in the differences is very important for good communication. Samovar and Porter give six discussion points and add psychological factors and research as their main focus points.
They focus on general concepts, social psychological factors, intercultural language, nonverbal language, practices and research. The use of figures and separate examples (in grey) do help to understand the purpose of the article. Examples and explanations are the way to make people understand a problem, there has to be something that they can relate to. Hunter also gives the reader a lot of references. These do not, however, say where she gets the cultural examples from; she only uses the references when she explains the theoretical parts.
This does make the reader wonder if the cultural examples are true. If the article is written for managers to read and learn from, it might have too much theory in it. Managers may not all be interested in where a theory comes from or who discussed it. The article is written as a guide and offers points where the manager should focus on, when dealing with other cultures. The theory parts are not long, but it breaks the concentration of the reader. The used cultural examples are not only about the ‘far’ cultures. It describes even the differences between German and Australian behaviours for instance.
Managers might not always immediately assume that there are any differences between two ‘western’ civilizations. Therefore, the author could be seen as quite objective in her discussion and explanations. She gives as many different examples as might occur and does not focus on one culture. References Stefanescu, C. & Popa, L. (2008). Managerial Communication. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from the Munich Personal RePEc Archive: http://mpra. ub. uni- muenchen. de/7172/ Samovar, L. (Ed. ) & Porter, R. (Ed. ). (1972). Intercultural Communication: A Reader. Belmont, CA. : Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc.