Craig 1979 Culture Shock

Topics: Communication, Cross-cultural communication, Culture Pages: 11 (3710 words) Published: August 3, 2015
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FL 017 342
Waltman, John L.
Culture Shock as a Barrier to Intercultural Business
Ccmmunication.
May 87
llp.; In: Languages and Communication for World
Business and the Professions. Conference Proceedings;
see FL 017 281.
Information Analyses (070) -- Viewpoints (120) -Speeches /Conference Papers (150)

MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
*Business Communication; *Communication Problems;
*Cross Cultural Studies; *Cross Cultural Training;
*Culture Conflict; Higher Euucation; Intercultural
Communication; Languages for Special Purposes;
Travel

ABSTRACT
The phenomenon of culture shock as it affects
intercultural business communication is examined. The symptoms of the syndrome and its effects on the business traveler and his/her business are discussed. Flaws in current training that increase rather than reduce the impact of culture shock are explored. It is suggested that much training prepares prospective international travelers for only the most basic functions without touching on the areas that will enhance or reduce communication, or equipping them to do business effectively and cope with an alien environment.

Recommendations for improving cross-cultural training are made. Information is drawn from research on culture shock and information theory and from personal experience with culture shock. (MSE)

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005

CULTURE SHOCK AS A BARRIER TO INTERCULTURAL
BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

by
John L. Waltman, Ph.D.
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Presented at the Sixth Annual Conference on Lang ,ages
and Communication for World Business and the Professions
sponsored by Eastern Michigan University
Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 7-9, 1987

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Office of Educational Research and Improvement

"PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE THIS
GRANTED BY
MATERIAL HAS BE

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION
CENTER (ERIC)

40,6 document has been reproduced as
received from the person or organization
originating 4
C Minor changes have been made to improve
reproduction quality
Points of view or opinions statedin this docu-

ment do not necessarily represent official
OERI position or policy

TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)."

2

CULT

C

A BA

IN ERCTJL

COMMUNICATION
John L. Waltman, Ph.D.
Eastern Michigan University

INTRODUCTION
Culture shock, the predictable result of immersion into a
new environment, represents a formidable barrier to
effective internaticnal business communication. To the
sojourner starting a lengthy tour of duty, culture shock is
too often the cause of premature termination or at least
markedly reduced efficiency.
It can be costly in both
tangible and intangible terms unless it is properly handled. This paper explorer the phenomenon of culture shock as it
impacts on intercultural business communication.
It first
sets out the symptomology of the syndrome and explores the
effects on the business sojourner and his/her communication. It then explores the flaws in most current training that
actually increase rather than reduce culture shock's impact
on sojourners, flaws that trainees are ironically in pert
responsible for perpetuating. Thus, rather than provid!vg
communication skills that will equip a sojourner to do
business effectively and cope with the alien environment,
much training prepares one merely for the most basic
functions without touching on the areas that will make for
break) one as a communicator.

The paper closes with suggestions for improved training
which can help sojourners achieve the appropriate
equilibrium and succeed in conducting business...

References: Communication Annual, 4 (1977), pp. 45-50.
Transaction-Interactional Communication Association, 1979,
p
Books
International, 1979.
Communications A Guide to Men of Action, ' fiuman
OraanizatIon, 19, (1966), pp
Hays, Richard D., Business Horizons, June,
1972, pp
Overseas, ' Personnel, 48 (January-February,
1971),
Environments," Practical Anthr000loov, 1961, pp. 177-182.
Rahlm, Afzalur, 'A Model for Developing Key Expatriate
Executives, ' Personnel Journal, April, 1983, pp
Publishing Co., Inc., 1976.
'Wadsworth. 1981.
Communication, ' International and Intercultural
Communication Annual, 4 (1977), pp
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