Friday, August 5, 2011

intercultural communication

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There are many factors between different cultures that lead to miscommunication.

Differences � body positions and movement

- walking, hands, eye movements, touching, handshaking

Differences � views and practices re human relationships

Write your intercultural communication research paper

- time, space, odors, frankness, intimacy of relationships, values, emotions

(Lecture 8, Intercultural communication, V.Mccabe)

In the situation where George Rowe, an Australian sales representative is trying to

meet with Abdullah Sayid, the owner of a large hotel chain in the middle east the

cultural differences which lead to miscommunication are

Australians regard time as something that must be planned for the most efficient use

and in the middle east people view time in a more relaxed way. This is evident and

has caused miscommunication for both parties as Mr. Sahid turns up half an hour late

which frustrates Mr. Rowe. This is because George is used to the Australian culture

where it is important to be on time. Abdullah does not view this as a problem

because this is normal for people of his culture. Especially when the person is viewed

as important as this shows the person that he has been busy and has had other matters

to attend to.

As George tries to get on to the meeting Sayid chats about his family and asks George

about his. George feels that this is wasting time and keeps trying to get on the

business side of things but Sayid keeps chatting about non-business related issues.

George feels that this is irrelevant as he is used to the Australian culture of conducting

business quickly, but on the other hand the people of the middle east have business

ethics of moving at a slow pace and engaging in casual talk before getting to the main


In this scenario the difference between the way the two cultures perceive time has

caused miscommunication problems between the businesses.

Another factor that has caused problems is Values. It is evident that in the middle east

mixing family, socialising , hospitality and business is popular and very important in

their culture. This is conveyed in the case study as people keep bringing George cups

of coffee, Sayids children come into the office, and he is always welcoming people.

Cross Cultural communication can be difficult, inaccurate and highly stressful. When

we are immersed in an environment where the language, attitudes, values and

bahaviours are alien to our own experience, we may suffer disorientation and

frustration - an experience known as “culture shock”.

In this case a loss of a potential business for both parties.

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