|Type of paper:||Case study|
|Categories:||Globalization Culture Business communication|
Culture: Culture can be understood as a characteristic of a certain group of people; for instance, their language, religion, lifestyle and many other aspects used to characterize that group. Jameson (2007) defines culture as "an unseen but powerful force that holds everyone captive" (199). Culture varies in the above-highlighted aspects. However, culture can be shared, learned, or even adopted by someone who does not have root in that particular group.
Importance of culture: Culture is important because it is a way of identifying a group or an individual; it is the identity of that group. Without culture, it is impossible to identify a person or even a society. Since it is the way of the basic root of any society or group, culture provides its members with ways of life. It also provides a solution to critical issues that affect the group.
Culture and Communication: The importance of culture in relation to communication is that it promotes understanding between people from the same or different cultural backgrounds. Jameson (2007) explains that the intercultural communication is important especially in international business because it brings harmony between the different cultures.
Cross-cultural difficulties: Jameson highlights the following as some of the difficulties that may arise from cross-cultural communication; challenges arising from the ethnically diverse workforce, negotiation of contracts in another language, and taking a job at a firm with radically diverse organizational cultures (Jameson, 2007, p. 200).
Two views on learning intercultural communication: Jameson (2007) explains that people who depend on the ability to communicate effectively in the intercultural context need to learn about the hidden force of culture. First, the author explains that such people need to emphasize strongly on how to understand their own individual cultural identity. Secondly, one needs to highlight the components of culture that are in direct relationship with the business such as economic class, vocational affiliation, and show the connection between these concepts.
Beamer's (1995) model and Victor (1992) model: The difference between the two models is that Beamer's model advocates for intercultural communication through the concept of schemata; this approach involves analyzing the audience through the pre-existing mental structures that allows someone to understand the information. Victor's model, on the other hand, applies the ethnographic approach to understand the cross-cultural communication through close analysis of the components of another culture.
Aspects of Victor's Model: The seven (7) aspects of Victor's (1992) model include language, environment or technology, social organization, contexting, authority, non-verbal behavior, and conceptions of time (Jameson, p. 201).
The concept of "Self" in intercultural communication: Jameson explains that cultural identity plays a critical role in the intercultural business communication because it enhances the interpersonal relationship. In relation to the concept of "self," in relation to intercultural communication is considered as an internal state that also depends on an individual's "self-perception" (Jameson 209).
Knowledge about culture: Jameson (2007) explains that even though learning another culture may be important in communication, but it does not guarantee a successful communication. The communication model designed by Shannon and Weaver highlights various components of communication; for instance, sender, message, channel, noise or interference, and receives (McQuail & Windahl, 2015). However, in most cases people blame the receiver for the misunderstanding in communication and yet it is the communicator that may not have selected appropriate and applied the encoding processes or channels correctly. Wilbur Schramm's theory explains that communication is something people do; the message may not have any meaning except what is put into it (McQuail & Windahl, 2015). Therefore, understanding the communication process requires communicators must understand the relationship that exists between them.
Problems in Equating culture with the country: Jameson (2007) argues that equating culture with country minimizes people's understanding of the business issues, challenges, and strategies in the business context. Therefore, taking a broader view of the concepts involved in cultural identity may assist in understanding the contrasting outcomes emerging from cultural factors.
Importance of Hofstede's (1980) theory: Hofstede argued that the international movements such as Peace Corps were created because of international intercultural relationships and communication. Hofstede's theory is important because it tends to propose the importance of nationality and refutes the extent of ethnicity in relation to cultural identity. However, the limitation of this theory is that even though it aimed at promoting nationality, it also advances division at the international level. Hofstede's theory categorized employees based on nationality and nations in his units of analysis (Jameson, 2007). The theory has only reduced the concept of ethnicity at the local level but retained it at the international level.
Cultural Identity: Cultural identity can be understood as the individual's sense of self-derived from either formal or non-formal membership that enhances knowledge acquisition, inculcation of values and attitudes, transmits traditions and ways of life (Jameson, 2007). In relation to personal identity, cultural identity depicts the different layers of separate identities within a whole person. These layers isolate each fragment of personal identity; for instance, racial identity, ethnic identity, gender, and national identities.
Components of individual cultural identity: Jameson highlights the following as components of cultural identity; vocation, class, geography, philosophy, language as well as biology. According to Jameson, these components provide definitive concepts on group identity and its relation to a person's membership in the group (Jameson, 2007, p. 210).
Evaluation of Comment: The statement by Kuhn and Nelson (2002) that people who have worked in a certain organization for long often give into its values and cultural practices, which may help create strong cultural affiliations is realized because of knowledge sharing that promotes intercultural understanding. Riege (2005) explains that knowledge sharing is associated with commercial success and competitive advantage of business organizations. Johnson et al. (2006) explain that with the pace of globalization, many organizations have realized the need to understand other cultures. Creating a strong cultural affiliation is positive to the organization because it promotes cross-cultural communication and understanding.
Jameson, D. A. (2007). Reconceptualizing cultural identity and its role in intercultural business communication. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 44(3), 199-235.
Johnson, J. P., Lenartowicz, T., & Apud, S. (2006). Cross-cultural competence in international business: Toward a definition and a model. Journal of international business studies, 37(4), 525-543.
McQuail, D., & Windahl, S. (2015). Communication models for the study of mass communications. Routledge.Riege, A. (2005). Three-dozen knowledge-sharing barriers managers must consider. Journal of knowledge management, 9(3), 18-35.
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