• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

With a multicultural team, barriers to communication can be major obstacles. How can understanding the cultural values overcome this?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

With a multicultural team, barriers to communication can be major obstacles. How can understanding the cultural values overcome this? Course: International Business and Cultural Diversity 3034 words 22/01/2009 Business has changed significantly over the last decades. Nowadays, almost all of the 185 countries in the world buy from abroad a larger proportion of what they consume than they did 50 years ago (Mead, 1998). We are living in an interdependent world economy which requires organisations to think global and in companies that act on an international level multinational teams have become an everyday reality. However, international mergers or acquisitions that failed due to cultural differences or a lack of communication are often on the news. Communication plays an important role in building up successful or satisfying relationships, especially on the international level. But despite the highly praised and steadily increasing globalisation, we do not live in a completely borderless world yet, as cultural differences still play an important role (Edwards et al., 2006). This essay deals with the question as to how understanding the cultural values can help to overcome the barriers to communication within a multicultural team. As a starting point, a definition of a team will be given and it is to be clarified what exactly is meant by an individual's culture and cultural values. The connection between one's culture and its influence on the behavior will be drawn and communication barriers in intercultural communication will be presented. Finally, it will be evaluated how these barriers can be overcome and why the knowledge of each other's cultural values can be vital to successful communication. ...read more.

Middle

In numerous everyday issues the distinction between what is right and what is wrong belongs to the most natural things in the world in the individual person's mind. Frequently in basic respects, people do not need time to judge on whether something is right or wrong as they know the answer. Should they, however, meet someone who judges the very same situation contrarily they might, for the first time, be forced to open themselves to other perceptions. Especially very simple situations show how people automatically judge issues as right or wrong. For example, in the United Kingdom traffic regulations determine that cars have to drive on the left lane, whilst they have to drive on the right lane in Germany. In this case, the right and left lane are often referred to as the right and the wrong lane depending on the perspective of the speaker. Here, the speaker's perspective is due to the regulations within one country. This kind of knowledge can be perceived easily but most conflicts provoked by the different understanding of people with a differing idea of right and wrong are a result of a much more complex background. Another example is that in most Eastern Countries such as Japan or China it is common to read a book from left to right. If a European without any knowledge on this issue would go to China now, he would certainly say that the people are starting to read their books from the wrong side, while a Chinese who goes to Europe would probably say the same (Gesteland, 2001). The 'wrong' or 'right' always depends on the cultural perspective from which one is looking at something. ...read more.

Conclusion

These external factors build a framework that leads to joint patterns of thinking and acting within a community that share the same background. Basically, it can be said that an analysis of the things that seem natural, obvious and self-explanatory is the most difficult but also the most important part of a person's attempt to develop a sound self-reflection. Without this awareness people tend to generalise their perception and actions as normal and perceive everything that differs as foreign. This pattern of thoughts has to be broken so that, first, the knowledge and awareness of one's individual communication system, and second, the distance gained to it, provide the neutral ground to compare culturally based communicational diversities. Anyway, it should not be ignored that an individual's behaviour is not only influenced by its culture but also by personal experiences and its personality, and although the cultural background plays a great role, there also exist quiet and shy Italians and fully unorganised Germans. Reference List Adler, N. (2002) International dimensions of organizational behaviour. 4th edition, Cincinnati, Ohio Bate, P. (1994) Strategies for Cultural Change. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd, Oxford Boddy, D. (2005) Management. An Introduction. Financial Times Prentice Hall, Harlow Edwards, T., Rees, C. (2006) International Human Resource Management: Globalization, National Systems and Multinational Companies. Financial Times Prentice Hall, Harlow Gesteland, R. (2001) Cross-Cultural Business Behavior. Reproset, Copenhagen Harzing, A., Van Ruysseveldt, J. (2004) International Human Resource Management. SAGE Publications Ltd, London Hofstede, G. et al. (2002) Exploring Culture. Intercultural Press Inc., Yarmouth Mead, R. (1998) International Management. 2nd edition, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Oxford ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Management Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Management Studies essays

  1. Managing Teams

    good at solving problems as they always have al the solutions to everything. They are creative and can generate a lot of ideas but being a plant it is hard for them to communicate ideas. Resource Investigator - They have all the links in the outside world and at the

  2. This supports the contention that, "A champion team will always beat a team of ...

    performance objective (in Liverpool's case the objective would be to salvage some pride and 'win the second half' as a starting focus). The second stage should ensure that each team members' contribution is valued and recognised, keeping substitutes and reserves involved ([Zander 1975] this was arguably done when Benitez decided

  1. What is Empowered Team?

    Team chooses the degree of risk appropriate to the best chance of success. Team members felt greater ownership when they were in charge. This helped to keep interest focused.6 Raising the level of Employee's Commitments and Morale Accountability is absolutely essential to teams and it is virtually inescapable.

  2. Ethical issues in an intercultural context: Environmentalism and international companies

    which is understood as "the configuration in the business organization of principles of social responsibility, processes of response to social requirements, and policies, programs and tangible results that reflect the company's relations with society."4 This means business also has responsibilities for social problems created by business which includes ethical requirements

  1. Since many failures of cross-border acquisition assigns blame to the cultural differences, or precisely, ...

    They pursue short-term performance. In addition, the language as a part of national culture also posed a communication challenge in the cross-border cultural integration (Peng, 2008). Zhang Jin, Lenovo China' president of HR, frankly said "the most basic and direct challenge is from language difference, namely, the English communication ability" (Peng, 2008).

  2. General Management - organisation, leadership and theories.

    * Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they will sooner or later, do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.

  1. What are the observable artifacts, espoused values and basic assumptions associated with Ciscos culture? ...

    Clan organizations devote considerable resources to hiring and developing their employees and they view customers as partners (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010, p. 72). Cisco exhibits many of the attributes of a clan culture. Its main thrust is collaboration through teamwork.

  2. Managing Communication, Knowledge & Information, HND

    The resources according to the example are the employees and their productivity levels. The decision maker would be the Human Resources manager. Hence, by issuing incentives, employees tend to increase their productivity and thereby the production, which in the end proves an economically efficient tactical decision made.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work