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Intercultural Communication for Business

We were given a video to study and had to analyze and provide recommendations for it. Bah.

Sabrina Chan

on 30 June 2013

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Transcript of Intercultural Communication for Business

Intercultural Communication for Business

- identify communication problems in the video
- relate problems to theories learnt in class
- provide recommendations

- Terry Jones, a British Engineer assigned to South Africa
- 2 Managers; Miguel Garcia and Carlos Fernandes
- Cultural and communication related problems arise
- Result into tension,miss communication & the business is in jeopardy
Literature Review
Verbal & Non-verbal
Literature Review
Literature Review
barriers to diffusion
Communication done orally
rate of speech
the voice that interrupts
direct link to the emotional state of speaker
The study of a person’s body movement
Facial expressions
Eye contact
Posture and stance
Literature Review
Business & Social Customs
Terry slams the door when entering Miguel’s office
Terry choose not to sit with Miguel, stands instead
Terry talks loudly & rudely, body is tense
Miguel seems uncomfortable and responds with silence in fear of disappointing his boss
Miguel diverts the topic in hopes of avoiding any conflict, Terry
interrupts him
Second Scene
Third Scene
Fourth Scene
Fifth Scene
Small Talk
different cultures have different approaches
submissive/ not submissive
conflict avoidance
First Scene
Terry & Carlos converse casually
Carlos tries to make small talk
Terry goes straight into business talk
Terry threatens Carlos when he replies with uncertainty
Terry surprises Carlos by asking him “How much it would take?” referring to her familiarity with corruption in Latin America
Carlos replies with silence
Terry shouts for Miguel who is nearby
Terry demands an explanation for the impounded equipment
Miguel who knew about this earlier but failed to inform Terry keeps silent.
Miguel’s body language shows that he is uncomfortable.

Miguel shares his
opinion about the situation
He looks up to Terry
He knows that the businesses would do better by hiring a customs broker but Terry turned down his advice.
In his culture, they would talk in circles to avoid conflict thus, he will not be direct to Terry
Advices Terry to ask more specific questions and less general questions

Carlos shares his
opinion about the situation
Is proud of his culture and their values
Proud to have little corruption in his country
Was offended and insulted by Terry’
“Much of what is said lies on what is unsaid; the tone of voice, silence, the face, the eyes and the body”
Low-context language culture : Terry
always goes straight to business talk in a conversation.
is task centered
expects Carlos and Miguel to respond the same way
ironically asks too many generalized questions instead of specific ones
High-context language culture: Carlos & Miguel
rely on non-verbal communication.
either beat around the bush or create a diversions.
emphasize on building relationship first like making small talk
When Terry Spoke in a high tone & an increased rate of speech,
interrupted Miguel
seems irritated & angry
Miguel responds in a low tone & deceased rate of speech
Shows lack of interest or intimidation
However when Terry first spoke to Carlos, she used a casual relaxed tone & moderate speed
Both parties were more comfortable
Terry: exaggerated gestures. Facial expressions show disappointment & disapproval (ex rolling eyes , frowns)
Miguel: Slouches, looks away to avoid eye contact, body language shows uneasiness, expressions show discomfort.
Carlos: happy and eager to talk to Terry in the beginning. Then detach after Terry made wrong assumptions.
- Latin America & Corruption
- All spanish speaking nations are alike
- interrupts
- does not listen to advice

Business & Social Customs
Carlos & Miguel shows respect for authority
Fear of disappointing Terry
Carlos & Miguel would not be direct
Linked to conflict avoidance
Reason behind their opt for silence
there is a clear cut of what is preferred or how some issues are wrong
fact of the matter is not who's wrong or right
but who should adapt to who's culture
at what degree?
Follow Bosrok’s 10 Commandments for Going International:
1.Be well prepared
2. Ask questions, be observant and listen
3.Be patient
4.Assume the best about people

For Terry
For Miguel & Garcia
develop a global mindset
- an intellectual capital
seeing the bigger picture
be global business savvy
- a psychological capital
have self-assurance
view change as opportunity
- a social capital
be open to surprises
have intercultural empathy
encourage teamwork
Full transcript