International Business Culture Communication

Culture affects the way people communicate in business.Culture affects the way people communicate in business.

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Responding effectively to different cultures when preparing for business communication is a key business survival strategy in a global economy, and permeates nearly all aspects of business afterward. Culture affects all areas of business communications, including contract negotiations, production operations, product sourcing, marketing campaigns and human resources decisions.

Definition of Culture

Culture is a set of attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and customs. Members of a community teach one another these learned cultural cues so that it becomes an ingrained, accepted part of their society. Common cultural elements include social structure, language, religion and communication. Beliefs about the role of business and how business activities should be carried out fall into this understanding of culture, since business partners interact within their own cultural context. Examples of cultural preferences in business might include the pacing of negotiations, level of formality between business partners and subtle versus direct conversation about money.

Smaller World

Modern technology, including the Internet, telephones, fax machines and cell phones, has facilitated more rapid communication between businesses around the world. While this greatly expands a business’s opportunity for growth and profitability, it does increase the chance that a communication misstep can result in an offended client or business partner. Such miscommunications can lead to the loss of partnerships and millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Related Reading: Business Etiquette, Vital Manners & Cross Cultural Communication

Culture in Business

Culture affects the way people think about business in their own society. An awareness of cultural attitudes toward business will help you communicate efficiently and effectively when working with people from other cultures. For example, Asian cultures, including Japan and China, promote teamwork and cooperation in business environments while Western businesses promote individual action and responsibility. Understanding these values will help you to create an effective communication strategy with partners from these regions.


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