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Cross-Cultural Communication: the Nonverbal Components of the Communication - Research Paper Example

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This paper presents a set of recommended best practice guidelines aimed at improving cross-cultural communication. The guidelines offered to emerge from an analysis of an instance of cross-cultural communication that took place between myself and other members of staff following a lecture I delivered…
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Cross-Cultural Communication: the Nonverbal Components of the Communication
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Download file to see previous pages Several studies have confirmed the existence of these cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 2001). These characteristics are actually useful in describing different cultures to better understand and compare them and explain differences in behaviour and communication. This information can then be applied to conducting effective cross-cultural communication. Of these five dimensions, I shall describe all except for the fourth. Individualistic cultures are those in which people develop unique identities. They “express private opinions, and attach importance to self-actualisation” (Mooij, 2009). On the other hand, in collectivist cultures “identities are based on the social system to which people belong. People are fundamentally interdependent and harmony is a key virtue” (Mooij, 2009). In other words, they value the group above the individual and group commitment above personal interests (Ford, 2001). Generally, people in most Western counties are individualistic whereas Asians, Africans and Latin Americans are mostly collectivist. Power distance refers to the extent to which people accept the unequal distribution of power. It is a point of difference between less powerful and more powerful members of society. Again, most people in developing countries have a high power distance but this includes some nations in Southern and Eastern Europe. Countries with low power distance are the U.S. and some Northern European countries including the U.K. Uncertainty avoidance refers to “the extent to which people feel threatened by, and try to avoid, situations that give rise to uncertainty and ambiguity” (Mooij, 2009). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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