When international businesses’ operate in other cultures, what advantages do they enjoy when they learn to adequately communicate? NOTE – Please do not forget to utilize/apply Hofstede’s framework if necessary Culture is defined as the set of values, beliefs, rules, and institutions held by a specific group of people. It can also be defined, according to anthropologist Edward Taylor in 1870s as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, customs and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society” ( Oguneme 2009).
One very important component of culture recognized by all international businesses is communication. The effectiveness of the communication process depends on the degree to which the receiver understands the message the sender intended to convey. In order to effectively communicate managers must know how to overcome the barriers involved in the communication process”. Using the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as a starting point, you can evaluate the approach taken, the decisions and actions based on a general overview of how society might think and react to you.
Therefore international business must be able to master the art of the spoken and the unspoken language in order to enjoy the advantages such as increased productivity and staff loyalty, minimal employee conflict and increased market sales. Productivity is enhanced when people learn to communicate effectively. This is so because the organization will feel more empowered as they are better able to execute tasks and jobs with shared objectives, confidence in the process and one direction. This in turn also brings about staff loyalty as the shared goal creates bonds between employees and the organization.
According to Hofstede Framework, collectivist cultures feel a strong association to groups, including family and work units. The goal is to maintain group harmony and work toward collective rather than personal goals” (Papa n. d. ). Most conflict is the result of misunderstood communication. When you become an effective communicator, you can resolve conflict and create harmony by bridging the communication gaps that create conflict and overcoming the difficulties of misperception, misinterpretation and misevaluation.
Hofstede’s (1980) cultural value of Individualism-Collectivism has been widely applied as a theoretical framework for conflict management from a cross-cultural perspective. His theory presents the view of seeing things through the eyes of the other party, understanding and appreciating how each other function thus learning how to amicably handle and apply conflict resolution whether compromising, accommodating, avoiding, competing or collaborating (Yuen 2001).
Finally, international business aim to gain market share and increase sales with the help of powerful and careful marketing campaigns. In order to accomplish this, international businesses must recognize cultural differences; understand these differences accurately and adjust communication strategies according to the differences. For example, using Hofstede’s fourth value dimension, masculinity verse femininity, some Middle East countries ad campaigns must be specific to the gender to ensure success (Shao n. d. ).
Without a doubt it is evident that effective communication builds strong business and personal relationships because you learn to understand exactly what people want and the methods necessary to make provisions for them. Communication makes formidable demands, such that it ultimately rewards both the individual and or the organization in providing an environment where the people thrive and the enterprise flourishes. Once the international businesses learn to communicate effectively, breaking down the cross- cultural barriers, they stand to create a win- win outcome for all involved (Mindtools. com).