Barriers to Cross Cultural Communication and the steps needed to be taken for a MNC to Succeed in the Global Market

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Intercultural competence Pages: 9 (5032 words) Published: June 22, 2015
Barriers to Cross Cultural Communication and the steps needed to be taken for a MNC to Succeed in the Global Market

Dinuk Arseculeratne
Center of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Programs
HELP College of Arts and Technology
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
dinuk.arseculeratne@gmail.com

Rashad Yazdanifard
Center of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Programs
HELP College of Arts and Technology
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
rashadyazdanifard@yahoo.com

1

Abstract

Business firms such as Multinational Companies (MNC) will inevitably have to be accustomed to different working styles of their workers who are drawn from different cultural backgrounds. It is imperative for business firms to understand the cross cultural differences in their operations & this understanding acquires more importance in the sphere of communicating with people hailing from diverse cultures. The communication system of a business organization is interspersed with values, rules, practices & philosophy of the business. Communication system acts as link in transmitting values & norms associated with different cultures in an organization. Since the communication system holds the key to transcending the differences in cultures an MNC would regard its communication system as a mechanism to transfer knowledge. Hence an MNC will have to ensure that steps are taken to overcome the barriers to cross cultural communication in order to attaining organizational objectives effectively & efficiently.The paper dwells on understanding the concept of cultures, the significance of cross cultural communication, different underlying ethos of national culture, barriers to cross cultural communication & measures to overcome these cross cultural barriers by developing intercultural competence in the organizational set up. Keywords: Multinational Company, Culture, High Context and Low Context Cultures,

1. Introduction
Globalization has resulted in people living across borders being intermingled in varied ways. Business firms such as Multinational Companies (MNC) will inevitably have to be accustomed to different working styles of their workers who are drawn from different cultural backgrounds. It is imperative for business firms to understand the cross cultural differences in their operations & this understanding acquires more importance in the sphere of communicating with people hailing from diverse cultures. It has to be noted that many business firms have become responsive towards accommodating different cultural perspectives & some business entities have shaped their organizational settings so as to be in harmony with sensitivities in different cultures. MNC’s operate in different countries & they cater to the needs of customers sharing different cultural meanings. In communicating with customers belonging to multitude of cultures, MNC’s will have to develop & shape their policies especially in communication to reflect this responsiveness towards cultural diversity. (Ambos &Schlegelmilch, 2008) Intercultural communication that takes place in business entities will have to take cognizance of the differences but at the same time it has become a challenge for them to develop a synthesis whereby unity is brought about in the midst of diversity. The obsession to overemphasize the differences between different cultures may result in stereotypes being conceived & such perceived notions may prove to be a hindrance in communicating with people. (Erez & Miriam, 1992)

The concept of culture has been defined in numerous ways. A generally accepted view would be: culture is a shared collective of beliefs, norms, attitudes & notions of mindsets. A close examination of any culture would indicate that culture is a phenomenon that has bound societies which share similar beliefs, norms, attitudes & notions of mindsets together. Hence a culture creates a sense of unity & cohesion among people who identify themselves with it. Culture plays a major role in shaping &...

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