Unit 8: Intercultural and International Communication
Because business is now truly international, you need to be prepared for when your role as a business communicator crosses cultures, languages, value and legal systems, and borders. This unit will explain the cultural characteristics that typify the business world, and review the effects of intercultural communication on management styles and the global marketplace.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- solve problems with intercultural miscommunication, prejudice, and ethnocentrism by using appropriate communication strategies;
- provide examples of divergent cultural characteristics;
- contrast different styles of management in terms of their influence on workplace culture; and
- create a plan for an international assignment and the acculturation process.
8.1: Intercultural Communication
The awareness of varying perspectives that stem from cultural differences is key to effective communication in global commerce. Read these sections. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
Ethnocentric tendencies, stereotyping, and assumptions of similarity can make it difficult to cope with cultural differences. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
8.2: Cultural Characteristics
All cultures have initiations, traditions, history, values and principles, purposes, symbols, and boundaries. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
These videos explain the cultural approach to communication, in which communication is viewed as the building block of culture and society. Review these examples of how communication and culture are intertwined and can produce distinct traits when cultures are compared.
- By the end of this video you will be able to name several common cultural characteristics that are expressed very differently across the world. You should be able to give several examples of these characteristics in your life.
Cultures have distinct orientations when it comes to rules, uncertainty, time, masculinity, directness, materialism, and power, and those traits influence their communication patterns. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
These videos discuss the cultural influences and pressures that result in unified characterstics among the members of a cultural group.
8.3: The Global Marketplace
Read this section, which takes a systems approach to describe the nature of global marketing, including political and legal systems, economics, ethics, and the global village. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
Read this section, which covers the challenges involved in taking on an international assignment, including the preparatory steps recommended to make acculturation more successful. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
8.4: Styles of Management
To explain how people and their relationships are a reflection of their culture and cultural viewpoints, this section describes three theories of management – referred to as X, Y, and Z – which are examples of distinct views on worker motivation, the need for supervision, and the possibility of collaboration. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
Watch this video about the five styles of management: micromanagement, management by objectives, management by exception, leadership, and management by wandering around. No business practices these styles exclusively or in isolation, and numerous aspects of management need to be considered when choosing the appropriate style.
Unit 8 Assessment
- Receive a grade
Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.
- This assessment does not count towards your grade. It is just for practice!
- You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.