At the back of accelerated globalisation and increased movement of labour, philosophies, capital, media, and fast-paced technologies across transnational boundaries, cross-cultural communication has increasingly become one of the most essential factors that contribute to the development of businesses in the contemporary complex marketplaces. The ability of organisations to achieve intercultural competence is paramount to the accomplishment of goals in both low and high-context environments. It determines their chances to break even in increasingly competitive marketplaces especially in the international arena.
For this reason, many organisations have realised the importance of investing in the creation of cross-cultural awareness amongst their leaders and employees with a view of seizing potential markets around the world, especially in developing countries. Due to globalisation, even distinct countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have increasingly varied cultures with different languages. For instance, various studies have shown that London alone has several hundreds of cultural backgrounds.
Elsewhere, in the US, people of both Hispanic and Asian origins have continued to flock the country owing to globalisation and movement of labour across transcontinental frontiers. These situations have created a need for uniting people from diverse backgrounds to realise the importance of working together as a team to achieve common goals. This essay provides insight into the significance of transcultural communication for successful business transactions.
The importance of communication in any business that is deemed to proper cannot be underestimated in the presence of diverse workforce and the need for ensuring cultural inclusivity in modern organisations (Martin & Nakayama, 2015; Shenoy-Packer, 2015). Effective conveyance of information amongst the top leaders and employees provides a framework for advertising the business and public relations. Effective communication occurs when information is transferred timely and to the intended audience with a view of facilitating decision-making processes and promoting specified business transactions. According to Strawser and McCormick (2017), business communication is not only about writing memos to workers but also involves conducting subjective talks that are aimed at development both at the personal and organisational levels.
However, the need to embrace cultural diversity through various technologies and movement of people has brought about demands on preparing suitable business communication in the international market (Holmes, 2017; Jones, Moore, & Walton, 2016; Shenoy-Packer, 2015). The contemporary workplace is composed of people with a plethora of dissimilarities based on cultural backgrounds. This state of affairs creates a need for appreciating diversity, especially in the aspect of spoken language and home-grown values and beliefs (Martin & Nakayama, 2015; Jones et al., 2016). Thus, developing employees who have the ability to take none-essentialist cultures and who acknowledge the existence of multiple languages is paramount to the establishment of good business communication in transcultural workplaces.
Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace
Holmes (2017) acknowledges that there is no better place for spotting a culture in action than in an organisation. The need for transcultural communication is mostly realised in situations where individual human resources in terms of time and power are needed. This underpinning reveals that businesses are profoundly shaped by cultural values and attitudes towards work, power, prosperity, and/or transfer of information among other aspects (Strawser & McCormick, 2017; Holmes, 2015; Lahti, 2015). Since any business is seen as a collaborative activity, it follows that transcultural communication serves a fundamental function in the accomplishment of its goals and objectives. The workforce is deemed the greatest asset of any organisation.
For this reason, diversity has become the primary concern for most contemporary businesses. For organisations to rise above competitive challenges, they must recognise and manage workforce diversity effectively through sound intercultural communications in the workplace (Holmes, 2015). At the rear of today’s fast-tracked globalisation, there is a need for more interaction among people from varied cultures, philosophies, and upbringings.
Today, people have stopped living in an inward-looking marketplace. They constitute a part of the international economy where competition comes from every sphere (Holmes, 2017). Although diversity inclusion is a complex phenomenon, its management to improve organisational effectiveness cannot be belittled in the face of modern changes cutting across the world. The effect of changes in the composition of the global workplace has compelled most executives to believe that the industry will eventually become increasingly complex as more people continue to travel across the world whether in search of jobs, education, tourism, and/or marriage (Walton, 2016; Lahti, 2015).
However, this perspective has been challenged by conducting training in diversity management in work contexts. Currently, most organisations offer their workers specialised education on ethnic diversity issues that are centred on both social and business subjects.
The Importance of ensuring Effective Cross-Cultural Communication in the Workplace
Organisations often undermine the way in which people communicate with each other in work environments. This situation brings about assumptions and misinterpretations that arise from their cultural backgrounds. In multicultural workplaces, the manner in which employees communicate is highly linked to organisational development (Yusof, 2014). Business communication forms a framework for business support and the realisation of customer needs. Although various challenges arise in such businesses, it is important to promote unity and high employee morale. Effective cross-cultural communication fosters a productive environment that supports diversity (Walton, 2016). It enables the organisation to balance the pressures of time and cost management owing to the use of communication tactics foster cultural inclusivity.
However, the best way to understand such techniques for the universal transfer of information amongst employees in culturally diverse organisations is getting down to the basics of effective communication (Dziuba, Erlinghagen, Markocinski, Schuette, & Siebold, 2014). The four primary tips that should be followed while interacting with other people in the workplace include open-mindedness, understanding different cultures, practicing active listening, maintaining a personal touch, and watching out nonverbal communication (Oh & Owlett, 2017; Hepp, 2015).
Hooker and Simonds (2015) acknowledge that it is important to understand the way in which employees understand, communicate, and formulate decisions across diverse cultures. Despite some difficulties that may be encountered while doing so, emphasis should be placed on the concept of recognition and broad-mindedness. The comprehension of differences that arise amongst a multicultural team can help employees in the analysis and making of decisions. These practices underpin the organisational strategies that are set for achieving business objectives (Oh & Owlett, 2017).
People tend to be unaware of their biases, and often like placing stereotypes and cultural assumptions on other people. Thus, the creation of an organisational awareness by establishing diversity inclusion training provides the employees an opportunity to be culturally considerate and progressively adaptable when interacting with people from different backgrounds (Oh & Owlett, 2017; Gotlieb, McLaughlin, & Cummins, 2017; Hooker & Simonds, 2015). Every employee needs to feel recognised and valued in the organisation. Transcultural communication plays a significant role in promoting active listening to the concerns and opinions of others. People in the workplace need to pin their ears back to both verbal and nonverbal cues (Gotlieb et al., 2017; Walton, 2016; Dziuba, 2014).
This understanding of the existence of diversity in a workplace improves the confidence of employees, which, in turn, promotes the accomplishment of business transactions. Valero-Garcés (2014) reveals that high context cultures, especially in countries in Asia, Central Europe, and Latin America, tend to integrate their messages into the prevailing situation, analysis, and nonverbal cues. In contrast, low context cultures mostly from English-speaking countries anticipate one-on-one messages through direct communication. Organisation leaders who acknowledge the significance of transcultural training and appreciate their diverse employees benefit from increased cooperation towards the successfulness of business transactions (Gotlieb et al., 2017).
Besides creating active communication within the organisation, the expression of attention to various aspects of the employee’s life outside of the working environment builds a strong bond. Irrespective of the existing cultural differences, employees should be made to feel a sense of belonging to the community (Hepp, 2015). Effective business communication in a culturally diverse workplace is paramount to the creation of mutual mindfulness, esteem, and reliability. Thus, conducting diversity training with a view of fostering communication in the organisation is critical for ensuring improved production and return on investment (Valero-Garcés, 2014).
Organisational Approaches to Transcultural Communication
Communication is highly regarded in the context of work and professional interaction in organisations that are focused on the achievement of successful business transactions. The transformation of the social landscape coupled with intensified globalisation in the last decade has expanded the scope of inquiry into cross-cultural communication (Jin & Cortazzi, 2016). For instance, the transfer of information amongst people in the modern-day organisation now depends on both face-to-face and technological means to facilitate workplace relationships.
Culture is viewed from an essentialist rather than insular perspective. Businesses that aim at selling to or working with international clients greatly benefit from cross-cultural communications as it cuts across diverse employee backgrounds (Jin & Cortazzi, 2016). Managers, human resource directors, and sales personnel have to possess professional knowledge and skills to deal with both in-house and peripheral business relationships. As observed in any relationship, thorough communication skills serve a critical purpose. In the advertising industry, players ought to understand their target markets in addition to possession of sufficient its statistics, psychographics, and demographics to improve their chances of success (Jin & Cortazzi, 2016).
Communication amongst people in the work context has been enhanced by the development of versatile technology, which has created new approaches to information transfer processes (Savio & George, 2013; Timilsina Bhandari, Xiao, & Belan, 2015). Intercultural interactions are not only seen in physical organisations but also in virtual forums that are aided by the internet.
Thus, the extent of communication amongst people of diverse cultures surpasses physical boundaries to cybernetic environments, which further integrate people’s different perspectives to achieve common business goals. Lu (2017) asserts that business is a collaborative activity; hence, transcultural interaction is imperative to the transmission of information. Products and services are created sold or bought through the close interaction of many people, even in the shortest distances between the producer and consumer. Thus, coordination of this capacity calls for intense communication to deal with complex merchandise provisions, manufacturing plans, and their usage. These aspects ought to be well understood and negotiated amongst the producers, retailers, and end-product users (Martin, 2014; Savio & George, 2013). However, the accomplishment of such an objective amidst varied cultural inclinations requires the implementation of proper communication skills.
The development of business transactions also varies between low-context and high context cultures. Therefore, cross-cultural communication should be designed in a way that enables employees to understand these dissimilarities in a bid to make sound decisions (Martin, 2014; Savio & George, 2013). For instance, it is important to note that there is a fundamental peculiarity between rule-oriented and relationship-oriented cultures, which are based on diverse formations of human nature.
With the continued increase in movement of labour, values, capital, media, and fast-paced technologies in every corner of the world, it is ever more important to inaugurate and uphold effective cross-cultural communication. Studies have shown that diversity in the workplace can create more chances of success than challenges. Thus, business leaders should emphasise the development of a workforce that is consciously aware of the existence of cultural differences and takes advantage of such situations to seek further development opportunities.
Cultural variation has a profound effect on the behaviours of people and the way in which they interpret different phenomena. In this perspective, cross-cultural communication should be viewed as a tool for binding the interests of different people in an endeavour to accomplish common business transactions. This situation has forced many businesses to employ people from different cultures in a bid to thrive in competitive marketplaces at the international level.
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