Topics: Communication, Tour de Georgia, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 7 (1259 words) Published: May 27, 2013
IIE Standard Development 2013

Business Communication C BUCOf020

Assignment Business Communication C 2013
DUE DATE: TIME ALLOWANCE: MARKS: TOTAL PAGES: INSTRUCTIONS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Assignments must be typed. Handwritten work will not be marked. All work must be adequately and correctly referenced. No more than 25% of the assignment may be copied from the original source(s) used, even if referenced correctly. Begin each section on a new page. Follow all instructions on the assignment cover sheet. This is an individual assignment. Make a copy of your assignment before handing it in. To be confirmed 10 Hours 100 Marks 5

TOPIC Learning Units: 2,6,7,8,9,10 However, you will need learning units 1, 3 and 4 as supporting evidence to be able to answer these questions. Therefore, 1-10 would be the scope.

© Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd 2013 Page 1 of 5

IIE Standard Development 2013

Business Communication C BUCOf020


[25 Marks]

(LU 6)

Read the content on intercultural communication in Learning Unit 6 AND the article below by Ron Glover and then answer the questions that follow.

Ensuring Success by Embracing Diversity The “I” in IBM stands for “International”, but it could just as easily stand for “Intercultural”, as a testament to the computer giant’s long standing commitment to embracing diversity. Ron Glover, IBM’s vice president of global workforce diversity, knows from years of experience that communicating successfully across cultures is no simple task; however, - particularly in a company that employs more than 325 000 people and sells to customers in roughly 175 countries around the world.

Language alone presents a formidable barrier to communication when you consider that IBM’s employees speak more than 165 languages. But language is just one of many elements that play a role in communication between cultures. Differences in age, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, and economic status can all affect the communication process. Glover emphasises that “to operate successfully, we must be especially mindful of how we respect and value differences among people in countries and regions.” He recognises that these differences represent both a challenge and an opportunity, and a key part of his job is helping IBM executives and employees work together in a way that transforms their cultural differences into a critical business strength. Diversity, he explains, is “an essential aspect of IBM’s broader business strategy”.

Throughout its long history of employing and working with people from a variety of cultures, IBM has learned some powerful lessons. Perhaps the most significant is its conclusion that successfully managing a diverse workforce and competing in a diverse marketplace start with embracing those differences, not trying to ignore them or pretending they don’t affect interpersonal communication.

© Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd 2013 Page 2 of 5

IIE Standard Development 2013

Business Communication C BUCOf020

Take Ron Glover’s advice when he says that even if your company never does business outside the United States, “you will need to effectively engage differences to remain viable in the economy of the future”.

(Source:, 2008)

1. Draw up a two-column table for this question, and label the left-hand column 1.1., and the right-hand column 1.2. Fill in your answers in the appropriate locations:


Ron Glover works in a multicultural environment. Identify any five (5) barriers to communication in the article above. (5)


In the right-hand column next to the barriers you have identified, indicate whether each of these barriers is physical or mental. Briefly motivate each of these answers with a reason. (10)


Despite the problems associated with intercultural barriers, there are a number of ways to tackle them. Describe Ron Glover’s solutions...

Bibliography: Write a letter of complaint to Robert Daniels, Manager of Wonder Web (20 Tission Road, Walmer, Cape St Francis, 7722). You may make up any other information that you need. Please remember to follow the correct format and letter structure.
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