Inter cultural communcation is the process of sending and receiving messages between people of different cultural background.

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  • Inter cultural is the process of sending and receiving messages between people of different cultural background.

Opportunities in a Global Marketplace

  • Opens borders and allows worldwide competition.
  • Domestic workforce becomes more diverse : people from different nationalities working in one company.  Companies can recruit workers from a broad pool of talent;  and benefit from broad range of viewpoints and ideas; and have better understanding of other markets.


  • Motivating workers from different countries and cultures.
  • Working with them in teams
  • Need to understand some of their culture to prevent mis-communication.

Definition  of  Culture

  • Is a shared system of symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations, and norms for behaviour.
  • Subcultures are distinct groups that exist within a major culture.

Culture includes the following :

  • Language
  • Non verbal signals
  • Word meanings
  • Time and space issues
  • Rules of human behavior ; what is acceptable and not.

How culture is learned

  • Listening to advice from family members, relatives, and elderly people (direct).
  • Also by observing other people’s behaviour (indirect)

Recognizing Cultural Differences

  1.  Social values
  • Formal rules of etiquette (exp table manners) are explicit and well defined.
  • Informal rules are learned through observation and imitation. Exp
  1. attitudes towards work and success – do they emphasize hard work and material success?
  2. Roles and status – the way top management is addressed eg Mr Roberts or using title ‘president’ ‘manager’
  3. Use of manners – exp ‘How was your weekend?’ is a common way of making small talk in U.S.  but sounds intrusive (busybody) to people where business and private lives are separate.
  4. Concepts of time – do they follow time very strictly and are very punctual (Japanese) or being late is considered acceptable.
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  1. Contextual differences
  • Some culture depend on words more than non verbal communication to communicate while other culture use less words and more non verbal communication.

  1. Legal and Ethical Differences
  • Legal systems differ from culture to culture
  • Ethical choices like bribing officials are seen differently from culture to culture.

  1. Non Verbal Differences
  • Greetings – do people shake hands, kiss lightly on both sides of the face?
  • Personal space – when people are talking do they stand close or far from each other.
  • Facial expressions – do people shake their ...

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