ELIZABETH VISITS GPC’S FRENCH SUBSIDIARYDiscussion Questions
1. What can Elizabeth Moreno do to establish a position of power in front of French managers tohelp her accomplish her assignment in five days? Explain.
The French tend to regard authority as residing in the role and not the person; Elizabeth willneed to find subtle ways to accentuate her expertise, her advanced degree in Chemistry, andher role as Vice President. Further, she will need to demonstrate an intellectual flexibilitywhile allowing the French to show their ability to grasp complex issues and evaluatesolutions.
2. What should Elizabeth know about “high-context” vs. “low-context” cultures in Europe? Explain.
Countries in Europe do not share the same cultural context; France is more high-context thanGermany. As a result, Elizabeth should pay especially close attention to the cultural contextof the communication including: the medium, the source, the setting, proxemics, paralanguageand object language.
3. What should Elizabeth include in her report so that future executives and scientists avoidcommunication pitfalls?
Elizabeth could help her peers by noting communications processes that worked and noting which processes failed. She should provide as much information about the communication context as possible.
4. How can technical language differ from everyday language in corporate communications?
Technical language is often shared across cultures (the Arabic word for computer is“computer”). Technical language is communicated through its own communication channels —papers, proceedings and journals. These journals are often, though not always, prepared inEnglish. While technical jargon creates a common or shared language on some levels, it doesnot eliminate the problems associated with cross-cultural communication
1. drawing from your understanding of verbal and nonverbal communication patterns from this chapter,explain what elizabeth moreno can do to establish her position in front of french managers. how can she get them to help her accomplish her assignment in five days
Since the only exposure elizabeth ever had before regarding her langauage barrier is her two weeks vacation in french. Elizabeth needs to develop her nonverbal communication instead with
the fellow employees in French subsidiary by being her friendly and flexible self, showing a good manners, and having easy-to-talk-with facial expression. Because it is very important for Elizabeth to maintain having a good relationships with the employees at the office, she should at least mastered the french organizational cultures.
2. what should elizabeth know about high context versus low context cultures in europe ? how can this knowledge help her be successful there?
First we need to know the definition of low context and high contex. Here are the brief explanations about it
A low context culture is one in which things are fully (though concisely) spelled out. Things are made explicit, and there is considerable dependence on what is actually said or written. A high context culture is one in which the communicators assume a great deal of commonality of knowledge and views, so that less is spelled out explicitly and much more is implicit or communicated in indirect ways. In a low context culture, more responsibility is placed on the listener to keep up their knowledge base and remain plugged into informal networks.
Low context cultures include Anglos, Germanics and Scandinavians. High context cultures include Japanese, Arabs and French.
Interactions between high and low context peoples can be problematic.
Japanese can find Westerners to be offensivelyblunt. Westerners can find Japanese to be secretive, devious and bafflingly unforthcoming with information
French can feel that Germans insult their intelligence by explaining the obvious, while Germans can feel that French managers provide no direction
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