Intercultural Business Communication

Topics: Bangladesh, Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 9 (3185 words) Published: November 23, 2007

Page Introduction 3

Cultural profile of Bangladesh 4

Cultural profile of United Kingdom 5

Business Scenario 7 Conclusion 10 References 11

Everyone is shaped by their own culture whether they know it or not. Our very thoughts and actions are dependent on our culture. These thoughts and actions are so ingrained that we don't even think about them until we are confronted with another culture and another way of doing things. Upon first confronting a new culture a businessperson's first reaction is to think, "My way is best." A businessman or woman may experience a 'culture clash'. This can be avoided with some study that may lead to a realization that he/she was wrong and that others have a better way of doing things. Finally the businessperson may experience a new awakening to the problems in his/her culture. The following issues are explanation of the different value orientation of Bangladeshi and British that might affect cross-cultural communication. Cultural profiles of Bangladesh and United Kingdom are drawn upon the basis of the work of Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars and Edward Hall to analysis the factors which are likely to affect communication between these two countries.

Cultural profile of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has a power distance index score of 80. Bangladesh is a hierarchical society. People are respected because of their age and position. Older people are naturally viewed as wise and are granted respect. Bangladeshis expect the most senior male, by age or position, to make decisions that are in the best interest of the group. This is also valid in businesses, the majority of which will be family owned/run. Despite the distinguished hierarchical system, the relationship between a Bangladeshi boss and his employee can be similar to that of close relatives. This is a direct influence of the community life experienced for many years in Bangladesh. Within the system of hierarchy in the Bangladeshi work place, senior colleagues and especially elders are obeyed and respected. Discussions are almost always lead by the most senior person. Final decisions rest with the highest-ranking business executives, therefore it is important to maintain strong relationships with such senior figures in Bangladeshi business. In the index of Individualism Bangladesh has a score of 20.This indicates that Bangladesh is a country who believes in colletivitism.The society is characterized by rigid social framework that distinguishes between in-groups and out-groups. People count on their in-group (relatives, clans, organizations) to look after them and in exchange for that they believe they owe absolute loyalty to the group. A ‘we' consciousness prevails. Bangladeshis believe in team work. Bangladesh has a masculinity index score of 55 and therefore has both feminine and masculine values. Therefore caring for others and perseveration prevails side by side with material success and progress in the society. In Bangladeshi culture people are always important. Women are treated with respect in the work place. They feel quite safe and secure in most organizations. Foreign women working here will find it easy to adapt to a Bangladeshi work environment. However, they need to plan their wardrobe carefully, keeping in mind the conservative dress codes in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has Uncertainty Avoidance index score 60. Bangladeshis easily accept the uncertainty inherent in life and are not...

References: 1. Samover, Larry A, and Richard E Porter, Communication Between Cultures (Wadsworth: 2001)
2. Ferraro, Gary P, The Cultural Dimensions of International Business,4TH Edition
(Prentice-Hall: 2002)
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