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Chapter 4 Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation. Chapter 4(1)- Cross-Cultural Communication…2 Chapter 4(2)- Conflict & Negotiation…27. Chapter 4(1)- Cross-Cultural Communication. Functions of Communication. Communication is the exchange of meaning.

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chapter 4 cross cultural communication and negotiation

Chapter 4 Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation

Chapter 4(1)- Cross-Cultural Communication…2

Chapter 4(2)- Conflict & Negotiation…27

functions of communication
Functions of Communication

Communication is the exchange of meaning.

In organizations, it has several functions:

  • Affecting Behavior – through both formal and informal channels
  • Emotional expression - fulfillment of social needs
  • Information - facilitating decision making
the communication process
The Communication Process











what do you see in the poster

What do you see in the poster?

A small class exercise



Process by which people organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment

Perception => Attitudes =>

Motivation & Behavior



Evaluative statements –

favorable or unfavorable –

about objects, people, or events;

reflect how one feels about something

perceiver effects on perception
Perceiver Effects on Perception
  • Culture
  • Personality
  • Values & Attitudes
  • Motives
  • Interests
  • Pastexperiences
  • Expectations

Perceptual Shortcuts








Shortcuts to Judging Others

  • Selectivity - choosing bits of data depending on the interests, background, experience, and attitudes of observer
  • Assumed Similarity - perceptions of others more influenced by what the observer is like or thinks
  • Stereotyping - basing perception on group membership or association
  • Halo Effect - drawing a general impression on the basis of a single characteristic, such as intelligence, sociability, or appearance
perception attitudes and personality
Perception, Attitudes,and Personality
  • Culturally based stereotypes
    • Swiss: punctual
    • Germans: task–oriented
    • Americans: energetic

People who hold these stereotypes experience surprises when they meet people from these countries who do not fit the stereotypes

perception attitudes and personality cont
Perception, Attitudes, and Personality (Cont.)
  • Culturally based stereotypes (cont.)
    • Project aspects of own culture onto people and situations in a different culture
    • Assumes that the new culture mirrors their own
    • Example: Korean manager visiting Sweden assumes all women seated behind desks are secretaries
    • Such behavior would be inappropriate and possibly dysfunctional in Sweden where many women hold management positions
helpful stereotyping
Helpful Stereotyping

A stereotype can become helpful when it is

  • Consciously held: people are aware it describes a group norm and not individual characteristic
  • Descriptive rather evaluative: how people are, not whether they’re good or bad
  • Accurate: based on data or sufficient experience
  • First best guess: about a group, before acquiring specific information on individuals
  • Dynamic & Flexible: modifiable according to further observation and experience with concrete situations
types of communication
Types of Communication


  • Oral
    • Face-to-face
    • Distant (phone, video)
  • Written
    • Print
    • Electronic


overall communication process
Overall Communication Process

Verbal Communication Styles

  • Context
    • Information that surrounds a communication and helps to convey the message
    • High-context societies
      • Messages often are coded and implicit
      • Rely on indirect style
overall communication process16
Overall Communication Process
    • Low-context societies
      • Message is explicit and the speaker says precisely what s/he means
      • Rely on direct style
  • Three degrees of communication quantity
    • Elaborate
    • Exacting
    • Succinct
high vs low context cultures



High- vs. Low-Context Cultures
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Arab
  • Greek
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • English
  • French
  • North American
  • Scandinavian
  • German
  • Swiss
overall communication process cont
Overall Communication Process (cont.)

Verbal Communication Styles (cont.)

  • Contextual style
    • Focuses on the speaker and relationship of the parties
  • Personal style
    • Focuses on the speaker and the reduction of barriers between the parties
overall communication process cont19
Overall Communication Process (cont.)
  • Affective style
    • Characterized by language which requires the listener to carefully note what is being said and to observe how the sender is presenting the message
  • Instrumental style
    • Goal-oriented and focuses on the sender
verbal styles used in 10 select countries
Verbal Styles Used in 10 SelectCountries














Australia Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

Canada Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

Denmark Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

Egypt Indirect Elaborate Contextual Affective

England Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

Japan Indirect Succinct Contextual Affective

Korea Indirect Succinct Contextual Affective

Saudi Arabia Indirect Elaborate Contextual Affective

Sweden Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

United States Direct Exacting Personal Instrumental

non verbal communication
Non-verbal Communication

Body movement (‘Body Language’) adds to, and often complicates, verbal communication

  • Kinesics - Gestures, facial configurations, and other movements of the body
  • Intonations - Change the meaning of the message
  • Facial expression - Characteristics that would never be communicated if you read a transcript of what is said
  • Physical distance - Proper spacing is largely dependent cultural norms
cross cultural communication
Cross-Cultural Communication

Nonverbal communication: a major role across cultures

  • Distance between people
      • North Americans: stand 5 1/2 to 8 feet apart
      • Latin American cultures: people stand much closer
  • Reactions
      • Latin American moves close to the North American
      • North American backs away
      • Latin American might perceive the North American as cold and distant
personal space categories for those in the united states

Intimate distance


Personal distance

18” to 4’

Social distance

4’ to 8’

8’ to 10’

Public distance

Personal Space Categories for Those In the United States
cross cultural communication24
Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Time orientation
    • Latin Americans view time more casually than North Americans
    • Swiss strongly emphasize promptness in keeping appointments
    • Egyptians usually do not look to the future
cross cultural communication25
Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Time orientation (cont.)
    • Southeast Asians view the long term as centuries
    • Sioux Indians of the United States do not have words for "time" or "wait" in their native language
    • Potential misunderstandings are large
emotions national culture
Emotions & National Culture

Cultural factors influence what is or is not considered emotionally appropriate

Seems to be high agreement of meaning by emotions within cultures

What’s acceptable in one culturemay seem extremely unusual or dysfunctional in another

a cultural guide to communication
A Cultural Guide to Communication
  • Look for the meaning behind the words
  • Assume differences until similarity is proved
  • Know what you don’t know
  • Emphasize description rather than interpretation or evaluation (of others)
  • Practice empathy & patience
  • Treat your interpretation as a working hypothesis
  • Always: Observe & Listen
trust culture
Trust & Culture
  • Collectivist
  • In-group membership based
  • Develops more through emotional bonds
  • Slow trusting out-group members
  • Context is important


  • Personal history & experience based
  • Develops through mutual interest (rational)
  • Quicker to trust out-group members
  • Consistency emphasized
  • Conflict is where one party perceives that another party acting purposefully in a way that upsets the first party or blocks its pursue of goals and interests
  • “Why can't the Jews and the Arabs just sit down together and settle this like good Christians?”

- Attributed to Arthur Balfour, 19th century British statesman, Prime Minister, and Foreign Secretary; speaking on the Middle-east Crisis

differences in attitudes
Differences in Attitudes
  • Italian managers: bypassing a manager to reach a subordinate employee is insubordination
  • Swedish and Austrian organizations: decentralized decision making
  • Philippine and Indian organizations: centralized decision making

Conclusion: organizations that cross national borders and draw managers from many different countries have high conflict potential.

international aspects of conflict
International Aspects of Conflict
  • Cultures that emphasize individualism and competition
    • Positively value conflict
    • English–speaking countries, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium
  • Cultures that emphasize collaboration, cooperation, conformity
    • Negatively value conflict
    • Many Asian and Latin American countries; Portugal, Greece, Turkey
international aspects of conflict34
International Aspects of Conflict
  • Cultural differences imply different functional conflict levels
  • Some cultures favour suppression of conflict with little discussion of people's feelings
  • Felt conflict likely part of some conflict episodes but hidden from public view
conflict cont
Conflict (Cont.)
  • Managers from an individualistic country operating in a less individualistic country
    • Acceptable to express feelings during a conflict episode. Suppression of feelings could baffle them
    • Increasing conflict can confuse local people. Almost immediate dysfunctional results


The process in which two or more parties communicate and exchange goods or services in an attempt to rich a mutually agreeable solution

cultural differences in negotiations
Cultural Differences in Negotiations

Negotiating styles vary among national cultures; for effective cross-cultural negotiation, you need to understand other party’s communication patterns, time orientations, social behavior and idiosyncratic national issues.

cultural differences in negotiations39
Cultural Differences in Negotiations

Cultural context significantly influences:

  • History & identity in relation to conflict
  • Time frame (short/long; deadlines)
  • Emphasis on rationality/emotion/ideals
  • The amount and type of preparation for bargaining
  • Participants: few essential or ‘the more the merrier’; young professional or respectable elder
  • The relative emphasis on task versus interpersonalrelationships and formal vs. informalmechanisms (e.g., lawyers)
differences in negotiations
Differences in Negotiations
  • Where the negotiation should be conducted (business/leisure) and emphasis on entertainment
  • Communication patterns (verbal/nonverbal); direct vs. non-direct rejection
  • The tactics used:
    • Extent of bargaining
    • Initial offers—extreme or moderate
    • Nonverbal behavior