BUS510 Organization and Management Theory
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Introduction: Interaction is the mechanism of sharing ideas, vision, and exchange of information across the community (and workplace). Interaction is usually done by communication, knowledge sharing and emotions to the one-another in a specific code or language. In the presentcompetitive scenario, communication is not limited to a confined nation or community, which creates the urgency for intercultural communication than ever before. This is referred as a prospect of globalization, where "intercultural communication" is defined as communication between peoples of the varying cultural and social groups, which is often oriented with organizational interest, individual perception and the social system (Holliday, Kullman, & Hyde, 2016). It is targeted for receiving a positive as well as productive interaction. It is basically a two-way approach, where individuals from both cultures try to understand each other and improve their understanding to build a trustworthy relationship and minimize the risk associated with it (Sorrells, 2015). To learn intercultural communication, employees not only gain language proficiency but also acquires detailed knowledge of action, behaviour, body language, and negotiation techniques. The present report has described the importance of intercultural communication in business practices. Further, some of the barriers associated with this communication system are also discussed, along with the necessary steps to be taken by the manager.
Question: Write a scholarly paper on this topic: Intercultural Communication.
Answer: Importance of intercultural communication in business: "Intercultural communication" is considered as an important topic in organization and management theory because it provides a scope of business expansion on an international level and increases customer base. The primary objective of communication is to express our feelings to the other side through different modes of language and expression (Ladegaard, & Jenks, 2015). In most of the organizations, there is a diverse range of employees from different social, religious, educational, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds. Working with a diverse range of employees often leads to communication issues, which must be negotiated with appropriate skills to maintain the operational flow and achieve organizational objectives (Martin, & Nakayama, 2015). Some of the major significance of adopting effective intercultural communication in a business environment includes, prospects of expansion of business, rendering positive environment at workplace, conflict and negotiation management, building team cohesion, and maintaining the social integration. The preceding section in this report, further details these concepts.
Business expansion - With the advent of globalization, it is imperative for companies to deal with international employees, customers, and business partners and achieve the organizational mission. However, poor communication can lead to the lacklustre of organizational performance which often leads to misunderstanding (Brannen, Piekkari, &Tietze, 2017). In the global environment, the ability to communicate effectively is undoubtedly a major challenge. Thus, incorporating intercultural communication helps to establish a competitive advantage, in which the company is able to explain more precisely about their products and services and expand its business across international borders.
Positive work atmosphere - Nowadays organizations comprises of employees from different cultural backgrounds. Each of the employees expects recognition and respect in their workplace, which provides a sense of motivation to perform better. They are a vital part of the organization, in terms of productivity and innovation. When the managers use cultural relating motivated language, it acts as a source of encouragement and builds a positive working atmosphere (Padhi, 2016). This also makes them feel homely and release their stress levels. In this way, the company is also able to keep its employees away from depression and minimize the rate of employee turnover.
Conflict elimination - Effect of globalization can be reflective with the increase in international migration facilities. As a result, companies send their employees to work in a diverse environment and culture. There is a higher risk of conflicts such as disagreement relationship conflict or argument taking place when people of different personalities and cultures work together. Therefore, intercultural communication acts as a preventive measure of conflict in a diverse cultural workplace.
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Teamwork and developing cohesion - Apart from creating a positive work environment, it also fosters teamwork in the organization. Knowing each other's cultural differences, employees are able to communicate efficiently and avoid misunderstanding. Moreover, they are able to understand each other communication and behavioural tendencies. Thus, they start to respect the unique talents of their colleagues and eventually strengthens teamwork.
Social interaction - The broader is the outlook of individuals, the more accommodating and tolerant they become (Crawford, 2016). By understanding intercultural communication, there is a greater chance of getting personal and close to those persons who are different in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, physical ability, and nationality. A culturally diverse relationship can help to know more about the world and acquire various types of skills.
Barriers in intercultural communication - As society is getting connected for better purposes, the requirement for intercultural communication is gaining increasing prominence. However, there are some barriers that restrict people from intercultural communication. Thus, the first step to overcome these barriers. In this section, we will be discussing the effective intercultural communication traits (or characteristics) that the critical for identifying the barriers.
Language difference - It is the obvious barrier in intercultural communication when both the employees speak different languages. Despite the fact that language interpreter is available physically and digitally, it is not able to resolve the problem fully. That exists some words or accents which cannot be translated from one language to the other in a clear meaning. In some cases, the translation even gives a different meaning to other culture and creates misunderstanding (Gut, Wilczewski, &Gorbaniuk, 2017).
Feelings and emotions - Employees from different cultures show their feelings and emotions differently. For example, individuals from France and Italy are more comfortable to discuss their feelings, on the other hand, personnel from Japan and the United Kingdom often hold control over their feelings. In this way, the British employee might not appreciate the loud behaviour of an Italian employee, which is actually a way of showing excitement for them. This difference in culture often pulls back people from various considerations that are essentialities of communication. As a result of which if affects the development of trust and partnership with each other.
Body language - Due to the difference in the body language of people in varying cultures, they have to face offense in the workplace. It is often seen that people belonging to Europe prefer to make eye contact than employees from Britain and America (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2017). Similarly, the French people remain silent and smile less, which is often perceived as being unfriendly. This difference in body language might create uncomfortableness and misunderstanding among the employees.
Value of time - Cultural differences also associated with the value of time. For example, for the US people, punctuality is foremost, while the European people are completely opposite to them. European people give more priority to result than time, on the contrary, for the Americans completing tasks within the deadline is most important. The difference in cultural views of time holds a great impact on how to perceive the deadline.
Stereotyping - Stereotyping occurs when an individual makes pre-assumption regarding some other person based on the characterization related to appearance. In such cases, people believe their culture superior to the other, which is known as ethnocentrism (Adekola, &Sergi, 2016). This kind of behavior within an organization often leads to communication problems and conflict. However, in order to reflect good communication skills, it is important to have knowledge of cultural diversity and pay attention to ‘listening' followed by speaking. As a matter of fact, such skills can enhance interpersonal communication skills, as well.
Level of context - There are basically two kinds of levels of context, that is, low context and high context culture. Employees having low context culture, are generally honest and straightforward. On the other hand, then please in the low context culture expect the listener to understand the meaning of their indirect words. When people of such a contrasting culture work together, that is a high risk of personal and professional misunderstanding.
Steps to be taken by the manager: Presently the companies are getting involved in the global business activities which cause the workforce to accommodate a diverse range of employees with varying cultural background. A multinational company has organizational offices across different parts of the glove, which is required to be managed effectively. The employees working in companies hold greater pressure to work with the employees of different backgrounds (Adekola, &Sergi, 2016). Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the manager to communicate cross-culturally and effectively with the workers, irrespective of the existing communication barriers. In order to achieve an effortless intercultural communication system, the manager should overcome these barriers. In this section, the discussion is based on identification of those barriers, which have opportunities to improve the effectiveness and performativity within an organization.
Value and beliefs - Each employee have their own expertise and skill based on their cultural background and they intend to complete the job by using this. Thus the manager should respect and understand the values and beliefs of a particular culture, in order to promote their growth (Noe, et al. 2017). This is a way of encouragement where each employee is recognized on the basis of their unique skills.
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Ignorance - It is generally assumed that people belonging to a particular demographic area should behave according to that culture. However, in some cases, an employee native to a particular country has spent most of his life in another country. The employee has adopted cultural practices and behavior of the local country. On the other hand, managers often assume employees belonging to a particular nation should behave accordingly and they carry out their communication in that way (Holliday, et al. 2016). Thus, the manager needs to adopt a new mode of communication for a different growth culture.
Apprehension - Ignorance of different cultural background employees needs to apprehension. A diverse range of workforce most often face conflict due to the lack of interaction between them. It is the responsibility of the manager to control these internal conflicts and manage the productivity of the organization (Ladegaard& Jenks, 2015). Hence, managers should learn intercultural communication skills to deal with employees with diverse cultural backgrounds.
Stereotyping - Most of the employees in an organization label their co-workers based on their cultural information. This consideration has also been discussed in the previous section. However, this act of stereotyping should we strongly opposed by the manager to avoid unfair practices (Gut, et al. 2017). It creates a fair workplace for each of its employees.
Ethnocentrism - the most important criteria required for effective intercultural communication is to avoid ethnocentric behaviour. Ethnocentric behaviour restricts manager from understanding and respecting different cultures and are engaged in judgmental behaviour towards others (Adekola, et al. 2016). Thus, managers should necessarily avoid ethnocentrism and treat each employee equally. This is not an easy task, as most of the individual holds pride for their community and culture, and believes to be superior from others. Thus, it is advisable for the managers to consider and give equal respect to all cultures, which in turn creates a good rapport with the employees.
Conclusion: In summary, the present report demonstrates the concept related to intercultural communication and its importance in business practices. The major advantages of being competent with intercultural communication skills in the globalized business practice are expansion, conflict elimination, positive work atmosphere, social interaction, and strong teamwork. However, the framework 9 intercultural communication) is also accompanied with certain barriers, such as language difference, body language, the value of time, and level of context. Thus, in the era of globalization and social media, intercultural communication is highly necessary. Further, we also discussed that it is the responsibility of the manager to resolve problems such as conflict and misunderstanding in the workplace and promote a healthy relationship with each other. For any individual, it is thus essential to identify the specific obstacle that stands in the path of communication and put the required effort to overcome it. Hence, effective intercultural communication provides a competitive advantage in business and personal life.
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