Guide to Cross-Cultural Communication (Guide to Business Communication Series)

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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This concise, practical book will help you communicate successfully in culturally diverse workplaces at home and abroad. You will learn to... bull; bull;Use sensitive cross-cultural writing and speaking skills. bull;Communicate successfully in cultures with different use of eye contact, body language, personal space, and silence. bull;Interact effectively with people who seem to have a completely different sense of time. bull;Negotiate and build credibility in various cultures, using different legal concepts. Like all the books in the Prentice Hall Series in Advanced Business Communication, this book is... bull; bull;Brief: summarizes key ideas only bull;Practical: offers clear, straightforward useful tools bull;Reader-friendly: provides an easy-to-skim format

Table of Contents

Understanding Cultures
Relationships: Individual or Collective?
Social Framework: High Context or Low Context?
Time: Linear, Flexible, or Cyclical?
Power: Hierarchical or Democratic?
Communicating Across Cultures
Using Language
Communicating Nonverbally
Concluding Remarks
Cultural Questionnaire
Suggested Readings
Suggested Films
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU As U.S. companies become global entities and as the American workplace and American workers become increasingly multicultural, we face complex challenges in cross-cultural communication. For example, foreign direct investments in the United States are approaching $273 billion; because of these investments, millions of Americans now work for foreign employers. In addition, the United States has invested almost $125 billion abroad, which means that many Americans now work with foreign clients. Our workplaces also are becoming more and more diverse: The most recent Census Bureau statistics show that the total U.S. population of almost 300 million people includes over 35 million Latinos, over 34 million African-Americans, more than 12 million Asian and Pacific Islanders, and over 18 million people from a variety of races and ethnic groups. These groups represent many cultures, each with distinct preferences in communication styles. Unfortunately, our success rate working in this rich and demanding environment is not as high as it might be. Many instances of failure are caused not by inadequate management competencies or technical skills, but by lack of cultural sensitivity. Because the United States is geographically separate, Americans historically have been poor internationalists. We generally do not speak other languages (an indication that we don't take the international world seriously), and we often fail to recognize that people of other cultural backgrounds may have different goals, customs, thought patterns, management styles, and values. When we understand differences at all, we tend to be judgmental. Our attitude often is "If they knew better, they would do it our way." Even if we understand and attempt to work well with others in a multicultural context, we may suffer from tunnel vision based on experience acquired in purely American organizations. It's easy to find examples of this lack of ability to communicate cross culturally; miscommunication occurs every day in the American workplace: You think a contract deal is complete, yet it requires additional negotiation. "On-time delivery" seems to have no meaning for your vendor. An employee from a non-western culture is habitually late for meetings. A customer is offended by your direct approach to discussion of contract terms. Co-workers complain that a colleague "refuses" to offer ideas in meetings. If you have been puzzled by the beliefs, behaviors, and work ethic of others; if you plan to work abroad in the future; or if you wish to become a more successful communicator in culturally diverse workplaces both at home and abroad--this book will help by providing essential information and practical examples for these important aspects of intercultural communication. WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK If you are interested in understanding and improving cross-cultural communication both inside and outside your organization, you will benefit from the information presented here. Many readers will find this book useful: Managers, executives, and other business professionals who must communicate more effectively in an increasingly multicultural workplace; MBA students who can count up to a third of their classmates as international, who wish to improve their communication effectiveness in both academic and business settings, and who want to gain an edge in entering a global workplace; Instructors in graduate communication courses who wish to incorporate knowledge of intercultural communication into their syllabus; Corporate HR staff who educate workers about intercultural communication. WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN We have taught thousands of business professionals and MBA students at corporations and universities in the United States and abroad, and have been both surprised and dismayed at the lack of awareness

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