Nonverbal Behavior in Intercultural Business Communication on the Example of Nigeria
Team Authoritative Report
March 14, 2014
Negotiating in business requires taking into consideration numerous factors, and when it comes to cross-cultural business, an increasingly important role belongs to nonverbal communication. According to Hendon, Hendon, and Herbig (1996): "Nonverbal behavior may be defined as any behavior, intentional or unintentional, beyond the words themselves that can be interpreted by a receiver as having meaning". It may include eye contact, body movements, gestures, facial expressions, touch, time, and differs in various countries. The purpose of this paper is to analyze nonverbal behavior in intercultural communication between the managers or entrepreneurs of one country, on the example of Nigeria, and those of other countries, i.e. non-Nigerians, during business transactions. In order to understand better the nonverbal aspects of communication in Nigeria, it is crucial to have an idea of its cultural background in larger scale. Katz (2006, 2007, 2008) identifies more than 250 ethnic groups in the country's total population. Most of them have their own culture, language, and communication peculiarities, both with each other and non-Nigerians. But in each group a substantial part of business communication is nonverbal. The relationship between people, not companies, is the key to business success in Nigeria. It takes time to make Nigerians comfortable with you, and only if they find a partner's motivation for relationship building clear and satisfactory, one can proceed with business discussion. Following the number of ethnic groups, more than 250 languages exist in Nigeria. While the official language is English, less than half of the population speaks it (Katz, 2006, 2007, 2008). Under such conditions the nonverbal part of communication process gains more importance. People in Nigeria tend to...
References: Hendon, D. W., Hendon, R. A., & Herbig P. (1996). Cross-Cultural Business Negotiations. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from Google Scholar.
Katz, L. (2006, 2007, 2008). Negotiating International Business - Nigeria. Retrieved February 26, 2014, from Google Scholar.
Okoro, E. A., Day, C. R. (2013). Negotiating with Global Managers and Entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa - Nigeria: An Analysis of Nonverbal Behavior in Intercultural Business Communication. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(8), 239-250. Retrieved February 27, 2014, from Directory of Open Access Journals.
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