The aspect of of globalization makes it critical to manage the human resources in an organization because of cultural diversity exist among workforce. This create human resources management issues for the corporation by which company face difficulty in achieving long as well as short term objectives. It is very important to study that impact of inter cultural communication on corporations expanding at global level. The reason behind studying the issues is to expand business without any kind of barriers and creating competitive edge at global space. At this juncture, it is very important to consider the integrative approach so that management can reduce to different with regards to cultural values and languages (Kutz, 2013). Furthermore, study is being done to assess the potential impact of cultural diversity on the productivity and profitability of business expanding. In this regard, African and western culture are considered. It facilitates to differentiate both culture and assess its potential impact on foreign subsidiaries.
Apart from this, last chapter of report will consists information related to tactics through which inter-cultural communication can be enhanced in foreign subsidiaries. Similarly, recommendation will be provided to ensure smooth flow of communication foreign subsidiaries. Therefore, study facilitates to propose valid suggestions to expand business with increased rate of return. Furthermore study will be done in accordance with following aim and objectives-
Aim and objectives
The aim and objectives of report has been prepared as follows through which detail information can be gathered in right direction. It aids to collect sufficient information and access quality sources for assessing the inter cultural communication in foreign subsidiaries.
To analyze the intercultural communication in foreign subsidiaries.
- To analyze the impact of cultural values and language on intercultural communication in MNCs
- To assess different communication barriers associated with cross culture.
- To provide effective suggestion through which cross culture can be managed.
The above formulated objectives contribute towards producing valid outcome and reaching at the aim of the study. This in turn researcher can access number of sources of information. Thus, formulated research objectives serve as the path of study.
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Culture is unique value and set pattern of people which is different from one to another group. This bring cultural diversity in the workplace when corporation start expanding itself at global level. Here, company need to ascertain the impact or influence of cultural diversity in the workplace. In this regard the first research objective is how cultural values, language affect inter cultural communication in multi-national organization (Al-Deen, 2013). Under this it can be said that set of primary, secondary and tertiary variables affect the cultural dimension of any society. Here, primary variables include race, ethnicity and they are highly influenced by secondary variables such as geographic origin, thinking style and religion as well as different belief systems. Not only this, cultural dimensions also get affected because of politics, economic realities, history and judiciary. It depicts that values and different language has direct impact on cross cultural communication.
On the other hand second research questions is about different communication barriers associated with cross cultural communication. It shows that both Western and African cultures have different language, religion and set pattern of working. Owing to this, problem is faced at the time of business expansion (Stringer and Cassiday, 2009). Here, African culture depicts that employees perceive that corporation is concerned for their own well being and they will be provided benefits by working in particular organization. On the other part, western culture focuses on individualism concept to take risk and work with growth and direction of company with any kind of expectations. Here, communication barriers are faced when western based HRM practices are sent to Africa then communication barriers are faced (Wellein, 2008). It create fear among people residents of Africa as western culture has casual aspects. Thus, cultural barriers, different religion, thinking style create communication barriers for corporation at the time of expansion. It lays emphasis on humanists aspect by which cross cultural could be managed and corporation can get increased rate of return in the marketplace.
As per the view of Kutz, (2013) there is huge difference between culture of western countries and local African nations (Kutz, 2013). One of the major difference in the management style between the two is that the Africans believes more in collectivism whereas western countries have always given preferences to individualism. It can be also stated that majority of people in Africa considered themselves as a member of a group rather than treating them as a separate individual. Maude, (2011) has explained that people in group or which prefers collectivism culture always expects that the other people of the group will be take care of them and protect them (Maude, 2011). This clearly explains the fact that the people which belong to African culture are more focused towards groups. Another difference which has been observed in western culture and African culture is that people in African culture never see themselves as or equal to management. On the other side of this, people which belong to western culture always consider themselves as a part and equal to management of an organization. As per the view of Al-Deen, (2013) the cultural values of Africa highlights the fact that people always prefer that the organization should interfere in their personal life also (Al-Deen, 2013). According to the western cultural values, individual have maintained a clear gap between their personal and professional life. Further they do not want organization or management to become a part of their personal life or interfere in the same. While working in MNC the people of Africa thinks always seeks for work quality and try to develop better relationship with other people in the organization. Has explained that African employees always expects organization develop effective communication system (Dalglish and Evans, 2010). Further there are more keen towards to become aware about what is going or happening in the management of organization. On the other hand, such characteristics are not observed in western culture as the people of this culture do not have any kind of interest in the news of management. Along with this, they are more focused on doing the assigned work in effective manner. The model of Hofstede which was developed to understand the framework of cross cultural communication can be used identify the impact of culture and its values on communication. On the basis of Hofstede study, cultural values are analysed in major parts which are uncertainty avoidance and power distance, individualism and collectivism , masculinity and femininity. As per the view of Stringer and Cassiday, 2009 power distance is termed as the degree to which less powerful members in organization feels that the power has been distributed equally (Stringer and Cassiday, 2009). On the other hand the culture of individual reflects that loss ties among society whereas collectivism demonstrate the a strong relationship and bond between all the people of the society. Some culture have uncertainty avoidance index which means that people always stay prepared regarding any kind of unexpected and unwanted events. Wellein, (2008) has explained that as per masculinity and femininity a strong preference is provided to achievement and material rewards to the society (Hurn and Tomalin, 2013). Further the women are empowered and always stay competitive (Wellein, 2008). Therefore, cultural values and knowledge have great impact on the entire process of inter-cultural communication. Different people belong to different culture and they have their own set of values and belies which they use at time of communicating with each other.
Communication barriers associated with cross culture.
As per the view of Dalglish and Evans, (2010) people often find it difficult to interact and communicate with a person which belongs to another culture (Dalglish and Evans, 2010). Along with this, at the time of cross-cultural communication, understanding speech and behaviour of a person is considered as one of the most complicated task for an individual. Most of the time, these challenges and issues in cross cultural communication are faced in organizations. Globalization has made the entire world as a very potential market place. Al-Deen, (2013) has explained that due to unlimited opportunities of growth and development many businesses have expanded their operations internationally (Al-Deen, 2013). Further one of the major challenge which has been faced by an organization is related to understanding cross cultural communication. However Wellein, (2008) argued that high and low context culture is considered as the major problem which has been faced during cross-cultural communication (Wellein, 2008.). Low context culture are more focused on individualism and trust among members do not play important role. On the otter hand, in high context culture more and more value is placed to trust. As per the view of the barrier in cross cultural communication is language. Although English is considered as common language all across the world, every culture or nation do not use the language on daily basis (Dalglish and Evans, 2010). Thus, when the language of one person differ from another one then, effective communication between them is not possible. On the other side of this, has explained that it is not the language but the cultural barriers which creates obstacles in cross culture communication. Further every culture has its own set of rules, values and ethics which person follows. Some signs or symbols can be considered as bad in one culture and good in another one. Even the gestures and facial expressions in one culture differs from another. Along with this the presentation style is also a major problem which can be faced at the time of cross-cultural communication (Fujimoto and et. al., 2007). It can be stated that people in culture have different style of interpreting and understanding the information. Effective communication can be done only when the receiver understand the message of sender as per his wants. Therefore, it can be evaluated that the language, cultural barriers and presentation styles are considered as the three major barriers which are associated with cross cultural communication. Organization are required to take corrective steps to overcome the barriers in cross cultural communication process. As per the view of Stringer and Cassiday, (2009) one of the best way to overcome barriers in communication is by arranging meetings at regular basis (Stringer and Cassiday, 2009). In such meetings, employees can be made aware about and can be exposed to other cultures. This will directly results in overcoming the cultural differences and enhancing communication process between all of them. In addition to this, organizations can also conduct activities such as a silent day in office which will demonstrate the people that how much dependent they have become on their respective languages (Kutz, 2013). Businesses are also required to provided all its employees with tips and suggestion regarding how they can improve their entire process of communication (Hsieh, 2011). Regular monitoring of the process can be also a very good option to overcome the issues and barriers in cross cultural communications. Thus, it can be stated that developing effective cross cultural communicative can be challenging for businesses and they will be required to put lots of efforts for the same.
DATA AND METHOD
A single method has been employed to analyze the intercultural communication in foreign subsidiaries. Here, emphasis has been laid on number of secondary sources such as journals, books and published material. These all sources contributed towards gaining in-depth knowledge regarding the concept of cross culture and its potential impact on HRM development in multicultural context. In this regard, descriptive research design has been selected to present the outcome of study in an effective manner and draw valid suggestions in the same direction (Yeganeh, 2011). Furthermore, the key focus behind selection of this method is to analyze the collected data by using thematic analysis through which valid outcome can derived in an effectual manner. On the other hand, case study method has been used where case has been referred while competing the overall study. The main reason behind selecting the case study method is to consider on certain aspect like HRM practices in context of multicultural by considering African and Western culture. Apart from this, case study method facilitates to develop alternative solution in context of given scenario and providing valid suggestions accordingly.
All formulated three research questions, secondary data and case study method has been referred by which detail discussion can be done for selected cultural aspect. Similarly, explanation will be provided in detail for each research questions in order to reach at the aim of the study in right manner.
RESULTS AND DICUSSION
Theme 1: Impact of cultural values and language on intercultural communication in MNCs
According the collection of secondary data it has been found that cultural values and language has direct impact on intercultural communication multinational organization. This is because African tend to focus on flexible culture whereas Western culture want to strong organizational culture. However, Western culture believes that management must have rules and regulation with regards to culture by which employees do not face problem when the come across global (Dalglish and Evans, 2010). For this purpose cross culture is maintained effectively to enhance level of satisfaction among employees and motivate them to work with integrity. However, due to cultural differences and different language cultural differences are invited in every organization where conflict easily take place. The reason behind that same is employees do not find favorable working condition and work satisfaction. Owing to this companies suffer from issues like low productivity, high employee turnover and customer dissatisfaction. Thus, it is very important for corporations to assess the barriers related to values and languages of employees and accordingly diversity is maintained. This in turn issues faced by the firm can be minimized to a great extent.
Theme 2: Different communication barriers associated with cross culture
According to the give case scenario and different secondary sources it has been found that there are several communication barriers. It consists of language barriers., cultural differences and presentation styles. The most common issue is related to language because all people who belong to different country, region tend to speak other type of language. It is the reason that employees cannot accomplish their objectives on right time (Barriers to Cross-Cultural Business Communication, 2015). However, English as common language is set to reduce the impact of such kind of barriers. In this regard, several practices are used by corporation expanding at global level so as to integrate workforce. On the other hand, every culture has its own business ethics, accepted behavior and decorum and set of values. In fact facial expression and gesture are also different for all religion owing to this people face communication barriers. For example, to shake hand it quite common in Western culture but the same may not be accepted in every culture. However, it might consider wrong in some situations. Apart from this, presentation style is also the fact which create communication barriers among respondents. Here, all people or country has different way of presentation and asking questions. For example, American like to have brisk pace whereas Latin American like speech with high emotional appeal. This way different communication barriers are associated with cross culture.
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Recommendations & conclusion
The collected information depicts that corporation expanding at global level should put efforts to reduce the barriers related to communication. At this juncture, language translator could be used at the initial stage. This aids to support African even after adopting Western culture. English as common language need to be adopted at workplace which in turn employees can work with integrity. Further, regular meeting and effective mode of communication like telephone and mail should be used on regular basis (Cross-Culture Communication, 2015). It will support employees to adjust with situation and cope up with changing scenario effectively. In addition to this, awareness need to be developed among employees and understanding must be developed with regards to cultural diversity. In short, emphasis is laid effective communication so as to enhance the level of motivation and satisfaction among existing workforce.
The entire study being carried out has supported in knowing that cultural difference has direct influence on the communication. Further, it is well known fact that culture and religion of individual plays significant role especially at the time when any individual interacts with other. Moreover, it acts as hurdle as sometime individual may not able to speak the language which is understandable by all. This directly lead to rise in situation such as communication barrier where individual may not prefer to interact with each other. Apart from this, companies which are operating at global level hires individuals who are from different background and areas. Due to this reason their way of interacting and other things are considered. In every business enterprise it is one of the main issue such as how to deal with multicultural workforce for the betterment of company as adoption of one single language is beneficial but it is quite difficult to manage. On the basis of culture and religion individual may speak different language and working style may also be different. Therefore, in this cultural difference acts as barrier due to which individual may not prefer to be a crucial part of the communication process. Apart from this, different theories along with models applied such as Hofstede model is effective enough to understand about the cultural dimensions. This model relies on six dimensions which are associated with national culture such as power distance, uncertainty avoidance index, long term vs short term orientation, masculinity vs femininity etc. These dimensions supports in knowing the overall behavior of the people living in the society and how they interact with one another. In short this model has enhanced the efficiency of the entire study and has supported to accomplish the aim of the study. Through this concept regarding cultural differences has been better understood.
Journals and books
- Al-Deen, N. H., 2013. Cross-cultural Communication and Aging in the United States. Routledge.
- Dalglish, C. and Evans, P., 2010. Teaching in the Global Business Classroom. Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Fujimoto, Y. and et. al., 2007. The global village: online cross‐cultural communication and HRM. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal.
- Hsieh, J. Y., 2011. Cross-cultural communication: East vs. West, in Shaoming Zou, Huifen Fu International Marketing (Advances in International Marketing). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- Hurn, J. B. and Tomalin, B., 2013. Cross-Cultural Communication: Theory and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Cross-Culture Communication. 2015. [Online]. Available trough: <https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/Cross-Cultural-communication.htm>.
- Barriers to Cross-Cultural Business Communication. 2015. [Online]. Available trough: <http://info.communispond.com/blog/bid/243299/Barriers-to-Cross-Cultural-Business-Communication>.