Chapter 4 Lecture - Chapter 4 Communication across Cultures...

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Chapter 4 – Communication across Cultures The opening profile of Chapter 4 illustrates the challenges associated with communicating across culture by providing examples of several gaffes made by foreigners trying to exhibit language skill and cultural knowledge, but getting it wrong: The US executive calling the Taiwanese executive a woman in front of his subordinates. The British manager asking for a rubber in a US hotel and being misunderstood – he was asking for an eraser. The Russian using hostility in place of hospitality. US visitors in Bangkok pointing to their feet and offending a taxi driver. The US woman speaking with her hands on her hips (interpreted as defiance or rudeness) and touching a youngster head (taboo in Thailand due to cultural belief that the head is sacred). Given the complexity of getting all of the aspects of communication correct, things including: Words Behaviors Gestures Vocal tone Material artifacts Etc. It’s not surprising that communicating effectively across cultures is so difficult. First, it’s important to have trust within the interpersonal relationships so that communication mistakes aren’t blown out of proportion. 1
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Start with discussion of Greek employee with US manager interaction. Then explore the different Management Comparisons: Asian, Arab, and Indian. Use these examples to identify and discuss the different variables creating cultural noise. See table below… 2
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Use examples from the management focus sections: Attitudes Thought patterns Roles Language Non-Verbal Time Context General Ethnocentric attitude or stereotyping Thought process - logic Manager - Sub Language differences & interpretation Kinesic Proxemics Hi/low contact Object language Mono / Poly chronic Ho /Lo context Japanese or Asian Masked facial expressions and hidden emotions – hard to read; silent and calculating Consensus Style of decision making with high concern about pleasing the group Higher power distance – clear understandin g of the role of hierarchy and use of formalized decision making working up the hierarchy Large differences in language & communicati on style – Japanese emphasize listening and reading subtle signals; US emphasize speaking Indirect eye contact & bowed head – uncomfortable with direct eye contact; low contact – no touching, bows instead of handshakes, distance between speakers Collective
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