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group report will outline the topic and discuss in more details More info on lecture slides HI 5013 Managing Across Borders Session 5 Communicating across cultures Review of last week’s session 4 Session 4, National culture and management behaviour ? National culture and its effects on organisations ? Cultural variables ? Cultural value dimensions ? Developing cultural profiles ? Culture and management styles Review: National culture and its effects on organisations ? The culture of a society comprises the shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals that are passed down through generations and imposed by members of the society ? Cultural and national differences strongly influence the attitudes and expectations and therefore the on-the-job behaviour of individuals and groups Review: Cultural variables ? Managers must develop cultural sensitivity to anticipate and accommodate behavioural differences in different societies ? Managers must avoid parochialism—an attitude that assumes one’s own management techniques are best in any situation or location and that other people should follow one’s patterns of behaviour Review: Cultural value dimensions ??From his research in fifty countries, Hofstede proposes five underlying value dimensions that help to identify and describe the cultural profile of a country and affect organisational processes: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity and long-term time orientation Review: Developing cultural profiles ??Through the research of Hofstede, Trompenaars, Schwartz and others, countries can be clustered according to intercultural similarities Review: Culture and management styles ? On-the-job conflicts in international management frequently arise out of conflicting values and orientations ? Managers can use research results and personal observations to anticipate to some extent how to motivate people and coordinate work processes in a particular international context Subject progression to date 1. Int. management: context and challenges 2. Environment of the international manager 3. The globally responsible corporate citizen 4. National culture and mgmt behaviour 5. Communicating across cultures 6. Negotiation and decision making 7. Strategy and globalisation 8. Operating across borders 9. Organisational issues in a global context 10. Staffing and training for global operations 11. Expatriates and employment relations 12. Motivating and leading across borders Session overview Session 5, Communicating across cultures How we communicate ? Cultural variables ? Communication links ? Information technology Opening Profile: Wars Of Words: Communicating Across Cultures ? In 2001 people read with interest the worldwide media coverage of the war of words between China and the US over the fate of a US spy plane grounded by the Chinese… ? Read the article in your textbook Deresky, pp. 124-126 ? Read the questions at the end of the article Discussion Discuss the questions ? Find yourself in groups of five ? Just 5 minutes, take notes ? Decide on a speaker for the group Discussion question 1 ? What do you think it means, in terms of cross cultural communication, that in US society -words don``t mean very much-? ? Can you think of a common saying in English that illustrates this comment? Possible answers for question 1 ? -Deeds, not words“ ? -It``s not what you say, it``s what you do“ ? -Actions speak louder than words“ ? -Don``t do what I say, do what I do“ Note that all these sayings are assertive, action- and task-oriented in theme Discussion question 2 What are the arguments for the importance of a formal apology in negotiating conflict? Possible answers for question 2 If we take Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as a guide, arguments might be as follows ? Uniqueness: take responsibility for your own actions (i.e. if you are wrong be prepared to admit it) ? Collectivism: maintain harmony – apologise for the inconvenience even if it wasn’t your fault Possible answers for question 2 (cont…) ? Power: formal apologies are rituals that validate and maintain power hierarchies ? Masculinity: “Never apologise, never explain” (However if members of a Masculine culture demand apology from others, they are more likely to insist on formalities than members of more Feminine cultures – where informal, mutual apologies are more common) Possible answers for question 2 (cont…) ? Uncertainty avoidance: low need for this, less need for formalities including formal apologies ? Time orientation: those who live in the present are more inclined to avoid formalities because they may have to be changed if circumstances change Discussion question 3 Can you summarise some major characteristics of US negotiation style, based on the above? Possible answers for question 3 ? Accepts compromise only in deadlock ? Takes firm initial and final stands ? Sets up principles, leaves details to subordinates ? Leaves many options open Discussion question 4 Can you suggest some reasons why this style might not be appropriate for all international negotiations? Possible answers for question 4 This style would be inappropriate if ? Compromise would avoid escalation of conflict ? The situation is ambiguous; thus taking a firm stand from the beginning could lead to everybody getting off on the wrong foot (e.g. US soldiers being killed by ‘friendly fire’ from their own side because an officer decided arbitrarily that they must be the enemy) ? The details are important (“The devil is in the fine print”) and should not be left to subordinates Possible answers for question 4 (cont…) ? An ethical principle is involved and many options are not morally acceptable (e.g. retention of the death penalty in some states of the US) ? Trust is essential (e.g. for effective teamwork) ? The negotiators have to go beyond their brief because of unforeseen events ? The negotiators’ position needs to be made clear to all concerned (e.g. in response to a terrorist threat) Discussion question 5 What are the strengths of this style? What are its weaknesses? Possible answers for question 5 Weaknesses are as described above. On the other hand this style may be the most effective if ? Comprise is likely to be seen as weakness and exploited ? A firm stand is likely to intimidate the opposition; ? The ‘big picture’ is the really important issue (e.g. are we going to invade Iraq?) Possible answers for question 5 ? Flexibility is essential to the negotiation (e.g. between a doctor and patient if they don’t share a language. The doctor has to negotiate meaning with a sick person ? Trust has not been established (e.g. before a relationship has developed) ? Knowledge is power, to be well briefed is essential ? The negotiators need to keep resources in reserve Outline ? Management challenge ? Communication ? Cultural noise in communication ? The culture–communication link ? The GLOBE project ? Communication context ? Information technology ? Cross-cultural communication ? Cultural sensitivity Introduction Communication is the critical factor in ? cross-cultural management, ? particularly of an interpersonal nature, ? involving motivation, ? leadership, ? group interactions, ? and negotiation Management challenge ? Writing, talking, listening are inherent in all management roles ? Most managers spend between 50 and 90 percent of their time talking to people. ? Thus a major challenge for managers in international contexts is to find the appropriate behaviour, verbal and nonverbal, that will most effectively communicate their wants and needs in any given situation The act of communication ? The exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another ? It involves sending a message to a receiver ? Effective only if the receiver understands what the sender intended to transmit The act of communication (cont…) ? Thoughts are encoded, in a particular language, culturally determined nonverbal behaviour and so on, via a selected ‘channel’ (face-to-face, telephone, internet, etc) ? Receivers decode the message and feedback their response Shannon (1948) Cultural noise ? ‘Noise’ that interferes with understanding ? Primary cause is that senders and receivers exist in their own unique life spaces ? Each filled with experiences and ideas based on unique combinations of cultural background and individual personality ? They filter messages to fit their own expectations, perceptions of reality, values and norms of behaviour Cultural noise (cont…) ? The more dissimilar the culture, the more the likelihood of ‘noise’ ? Communication is a complex process of linking up or sharing perceptions ? English as an international language reduces possibility of noise ? No grammatical distinctions in speaking to one or more people of different gender, age, status or degree of kinship: all are simply ‘you’ Cultural variables in communication ? Communication depends largely on similar cultural expectations ? Psychological variables include thought patterns, attribution, perception, stereotyping and attitude ? Other factors include social organisation and roles, language (verbal and nonverbal) and time Thought patterns and Attribution ? Reasoning varies widely around the world and different thought patterns affect communication ? Nobody should assume that other people will reason the same way they do ? Attribution happens when people look for explanations of others’ apparently incomprehensible behaviour ? On the other hand people may make external attributions – as religious people do when they attribute events to the will of God; or when they say: “Events were beyond my control” Perception and Stereotyping ? People perceive ‘reality’ from the perspective of their own ‘world’ of values ? Stereotyping occurs when people assume every member of a society or subculture has the same characteristics or traits ? It is a common cause of misunderstanding; an arbitrary, lazy and often destructive way to find out about people ? Socio-typing is more reliable, i.e. recognising cultural patterns of behaviour ? But in practice we should deal with each person as an individual Attitudes and Social Organisations ? Ethnocentric attitudes are a particular source of noise in cross-cultural communication ? Perceptions are influenced by differences in values, approach, social organisations ? These may consist of nation, tribe, sect or occupation - such as membership of a professional body Roles and Language ? Societies differ in perceptions of managers`` roles, e.g. who should make the decisions and who has responsibility for what ? Misunderstandings occur through poor translation, ignorance of idioms, lack of perception of the meaning of non-verbal language or symbols ? Even among countries that share the same language, problems can arise from subtleties and nuances in local uses – 4 media ? Kinesic behaviour ? Proxemics ? Paralanguage ? Object language - Behaviour Kinesic behaviour ? Body movements ? Posture ? Gestures ? Expressions ? Eye contact - Space Proxemics ? The influence of space on communication ? Personal space ? Exterior and interior designs Nonverbal communication – How we speak Paralanguage ? Vocal quality ? Loudness, and tempo ? Tone and inflection ? Laughing, whispering, shouting ? Silence Nonverbal communication – What we use Object language ? How we communicate through material artefacts ? Architecture, office design and furniture, clothing, cars, or cosmetics High-contact cultures ? For example, South Americans, Southern and Eastern Europeans, Indonesians, Indians and Arabs prefer to stand close, touch and experience ‘close’ sensory involvement Low-contact cultures ??Australians, Canadians, Chinese, South East Asians, and Northern Europeans belong to low-contact cultures and prefer much less sensory involvement, standing farther apart and touching far less: a more ‘distant’ style of body language High vs. low-contact cultures ? In general, people from individualistic cultures tend to adopt more remote and distant behaviour ? Whereas those from collectivist cultures are more likely to work in closer proximity High vs. low-contact cultures (cont…) This is noticeable in subcultures also ? young people tend to be like puppies in a basket, happy to huddle up to each other in confined spaces ? older people need more room Chronemics ? Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication ? Across cultures, time perception plays a large role in the nonverbal communication process Chronemics (cont…) ? Time perceptions include punctuality, willingness to wait, and interactions ? The use of time can affect lifestyles, daily agendas, speed of speech, movements and how long people are willing to listen Time – Mono-chronic cultures Mono-chronic cultures ? e.g. Switzerland, Germany, USA ? Time is experienced as linear ? past, present and future ? spent, saved or wasted Time – Poly-chronic cultures Poly-chronic cultures ? e.g. Latin, Asian, Eastern ? People are more likely to tolerate many things occurring simultaneously ? They emphasise involvement with people over worrying about deadlines Relationship between time and space ? Polychronic people hold open meetings, transacting with one party and then another ? Rather than compartmentalising topics, as do monochronic people Relationship between time and space (cont…) Sub-cultures of gender ? Even in monochronic cultures, women tend to be polychronic ? To work on a number of different tasks simultaneously ? As do managers! GLOBE project findings on communication Cultures high on ‘performance orientation’ ? Expect information to be presented ?Objectively ?Directly ?Explicitly ? E.g. the US GLOBE project findings on communication (cont…) ? In Russia or Greece facts and figures are related to subjective factor, e.g. trustworthiness of source ? Cultures low on ‘assertiveness’, e.g. Sweden, prefer two-way discourse and friendly relationships GLOBE project findings on communication (cont…) ? People ranking high on the ‘humane’ dimension, such as from Australia, Ireland and the Philippines, prefer to avoid direct confrontation and tend to be supportive of others and achieving objective end results ? But people from France and Spain tend to be more task and less relationshiporiented Trust ? Collaboration depends on some degree of trust developed between parties over time ? The meaning of trust varies across societies and between sub-cultures Trust (cont…) ? Perception of trustworthiness varies depending on culturally-based assumptions about what trust ‘is’ ? E.g. business transactions based on networks of long-standing relationships of trust or trust in formal contracts and connections Communication context ? The context in which communication takes place affects meaning and interpretation ? In cultures high in awareness of the total context of a communication, key information is embedded in the context as well as what is actually said Communication context (cont…) ? Receivers make assumptions about what messages ‘really’ mean through their knowledge of the context including the personalities and the surroundings ? Members of low-context cultures go more by what is actually said Interpersonal communication between members of different cultures ? See pp. 137-139 ? See handout Leadership styles that transcend context ? Key skills: listening, observing (and asking questions), communicating ideas ? Charisma goes with self-confidence Leadership styles that transcend context (cont…) ? Confidence-inducing behaviour to some extent can be learned, it can never be entirely faked ? There has to be some real ability. Natural charm is not enough by itself to ensure success Information systems ? Communication in organisations varies according to where and how it originates, the channels, and the speed at which it flows, whether it is formal or informal ? Organisational structure, staffing policies, and leadership style affect the information system In centralised structures information is passed down from top managers ? E.g. in China Information systems (cont…) Context also affects information flow ? In high-context cultures information spreads rapidly but informally because of constant close contact and ties within organisations ? E.g. in Thailand ? In low-context cultures information flows through formal, legitimised channels - memos, newsletters, emails from head office ? E.g. in Australia, Germany or the US Information systems (cont…) ? Managers on overseas postings need to know where to find reliable information ? Foreigners must rely on local informants, therefore it is essential to know who to trust ? Representatives of transnational companies such as IBM, who travel all the time, are constantly in touch with local IBM employees who are their mediators with the local environment the US ? US managers give and receive factual information by a wide range of media for fast messages France ? The French use slower and more formal message channels of relationships, culture, mediators to exchange information Australia ? Australian managers tend to be comfortable with more leisurely use of message media Information technology ? E-commerce and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is adapted to regional characteristics ? The Internet is not as personal as face-toface, but transactions must still be regionalised and personalised ? The growth in non-English- language sites means online strategies are multi-local Information technology (cont…) ? People interact with others through the Internet according to their own languages and cultures as well as local business practises and expectations Information technology (cont…) ? Not only cross-culturally but also intraculturally, the internet is proving to be more and more essential as a communication tool ? This is across a whole range of topics and uses from the most personal to the most factual Management in focus: Australia goes online Cross cultural communication Six fundamental patterns of cultural differences 1. Communication styles 2. Dealing with conflict 3. Completing tasks 4. Making decisions 5. Disclosing information 6. Acquiring knowledge Different communication styles The way people communicate varies widely between, and even within, cultures. One aspect of communication style is language use Different attitudes to conflict ? Some cultures view conflict as a positive thing, while others view it as something to be avoided ? Members of individualistic cultures, for example, whose organisational socialisation has been in a competitive business environment, will find conflict acceptable as a way of sorting out differences ? In more collectivist settings, organisational or otherwise, harmony is assumed to be the norm and conflict is something to be avoided Different approaches to completing tasks ? From culture to culture, there are different ways that people move toward completing tasks ? Members of western cultures almost intuitively seem to seek closure, i.e. to declare a task completed and to move on to the next ? Members of Asian cultures, equally apparently intuitively, seem to resist closure, preferring always to leave options open ? This does not mean that people from any one of these cultural backgrounds are more or less committed to the task, or value relationships more or less; it means they may pursue them differently Different decision styles ? Vary widely from culture to culture ? E.g., in most Australian business and government agencies decisions are made at all levels of the organisation depending on the importance of the matter ? In contrast, Asian models may be more or less hierarchical, depending on the size of the organisation and the relationships between the people within it Different attitudes towards disclosure ? In some cultures, it is not appropriate to be frank about emotions, about the reasons behind a conflict or a misunderstanding, or about personal information ? Questions such as ?What’s the trouble? ?What did you do? ?How did the problem arise in the first place? may seem intrusive to others with different cultural assumptions about disclosure Different approaches to knowing ? European-based cultures traditionally have valued theoretical reasoning above learning from experience ? On the other hand Asian, Middle Eastern and African cultures have always recognised the importance of experience and of describing the world in symbolic imagery as well as by facts and figures ? Music, drama, dance and rhythm are recognised as information as well as communication media Cultural sensitivity: encoding ? Use words, pictures, or gestures appropriate to receivers`` frames of reference ? Speak slowly and clearly, avoid long sentences and colloquialisms, explain things in different ways via several media Cultural sensitivity: encoding (cont…) ? Written summaries, verbal presentations ? A good general guide is to move slowly, wait and take cues from the receivers ? Non-verbal language must be congruent Cultural sensitivity: transmission ? Medium depends on nature of message, level of importance, context, expectations, timing and need for personal interaction ? Typical media: e-mails, letters or memos, reports, meetings, telephone calls, teleconferences, videoconferences, face-to-face Cultural sensitivity: transmission (cont…) ? Communication will be downward, upward, vertical, horizontal ? The organisational ‘grapevine’ will be weak or strong Cultural sensitivity: decoding feedback ? Feedback is best obtained face-to-face ? If not possible, follow-up phone calls, emails, consultation with third parties Use different words and different media ? E.g. follow up an email with a letter that rephrases the same information and asks for comment ? Then telephone the receiver Two-way communication essential ? Repeated efforts needed to ensure it ? And require as much listening as talking ??Leaders need presentation skills, listening and observation skills ? Trying to understand, without necessarily agreeing with, the speaker’s perspective ? Communication between far-flung operations includes efficient feedback systems and employment of competent liaison people Conclusion ??Breakdowns in mutual understanding are more likely to occur between people from different cultures and backgrounds. International managers need to know how culture is reflected in communication Conclusion (cont…) ??In particular the development of cultural sensitivity by all parties will raise awareness of potential sources of ``noise`` or interference that might distort intended meaning. Negotiators across cultures thus need to be flexible, to adjust their communication styles appropriately Summary of key points ? Interpersonal and other forms of communication (such as reports) take up most of managers`` time ? Depending of their efficiency, international transactions and the management of diversity will be more or less successful ? Culture is the foundation of communication, and communication transmits culture ? Cultural as well as personal variables including perception, attitudes, social organisations, thought patterns, roles, language, nonverbal language, and time ? Language conveys cultural understandings and social norms ? They are transmitted verbally and non-verbally from one generation to the next; and they vary between cultures ? Types of nonverbal communication are described as kinesics (physical contact), proxemics (use of space), paralanguage (faces and gestures), and object language (e.g. symbolic messages in architecture and art, clothing and personal adornment, furniture and furnishings, modes of transport, rites and rituals, and so on ? In monochronic cultures emphasis is on doing one task and completing it before moving on to the next ? In polychronic cultures priorities are less linear, more like intersecting circles ? Different views of time can be mutually infuriating if they are not negotiated satisfactorily ? Members of some cultures are highly conscious of the total context in which any communication takes place ? High-context cultures, such as those of China and the Middle East; and subcultures that share specific assumptions, such as academics, mechanics, the police, the military; and teenagers ? Members of other cultures are much less influenced by context and rely more on the actual words spoken ? As in general do Germans and US Americans ? Culture also influences the speed at which communication takes place, how information flows, and what media are chosen as communication channels ? From sensitivity to others`` needs (whatever their background) and for the sake of efficiency in general, message senders should always take care to encode their communication appropriately, transmit it selectively and monitor interpretation for accuracy ? Personal attributes such as patience, willingness to listen and to keep an open mind will overcome many communication problems ? Good presentational skills help also and competent managers will make sure they acquire them ? They include an appearance of openness and candour, confidence without arrogance, friendliness without humility; and knowledge in the relevant field ? Even without important connections (though these are always highly desirable because they denote power), skilful managers can reward with a smile, punish with a frown, and take the lead simply by knowing more than anybody else ? Internet communication is growing all the time ? Presently about a third of it is in English which puts that language in the lead, but Chinese comes a good second and other languages are catching up ? Cyberspace has been colonised by western ideologies but Asian cultures and models are gaining independence Looking ahead Session 6, Negotiation and decision making in international management ? Negotiation styles ? Using the Web to support negotiations ? Dealing with conflict ? Making decisions ? The influence of culture on decisions References ? Deresky, H. (2008) International Management, Managing across Borders and Cultures, 1st Australian ed., Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia. ? Hall, E.T.& Hall, M.R. (1990) Understanding cultural differences: Germans, French, and Americans, Intercultural Press, Boston. ? Harris, P.R. & Moran, R.T. (1996) Managing cultural differences, Gulf, Houston, USA. ? Hofstede, G. (1994) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind - Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival, Harper-Collins, London. ? Mintzberg, H., www.henrymintzberg.com ? Shannon, C. (1948) A Mathematical Theory of Communication, Bell System Technical Journal 27 (July and October), pp. 379– 423, 623–656.

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