“You will never know a man till you do business with him” Scottish Proverb
Culture and Context Culture specifies the appropriate communicative behavior within a variety of social and physical contexts Internalized cultural rules Differences in intercultural communication
Communication and Context Three Basic Assumptions of Human Communication 1. Communication is rule governed 2. Context prescribes appropriate communication rules 3. Communication rules are culturally diverse
The Multinational Business Context 1. Business Protocol 2. Management 3. Negotiations 4. Decision Making 5. Conflict Management
Business Protocol Elements that help initiate business relationships 1. Initial Contacts 2. Greeting Behavior 3. Personal Appearance 4. Gift Giving 5. Office Spatial Design
China Appearance Subtle, neutral colors should be worn in business settings for both men and women. Behavior Do not use large hand movements Tipping in restaurants is considered insulting Bowing and nodding is the proper greeting Being on time is vital Most important person of your company should lead meeting, value rank and status
Russia Appearance Businessmen wear dark suits Do not take jackets off during negotiations Behavior Standing with hands in pockets is considered rude Business appointments begin one or two hours later (do not expect an apology from them) Patience is extremely important, punctuality is not Do not show the soles of your shoes, it is considered impolite
Saudi Arabia Appearance Never show shoulders, stomach, calves and thighs No matter the temperature, most of the body must remain covered Behavior Men shake hands with other men A businesswoman must wait for the man to initiate the handshake Do not cross legs while sitting The left hand is considered unclean and reserved for hygiene Must shake with right hand
New Zealand Appearance When conducting business, dress conservatively Men must wear dark suits with a white shirt underneath Behavior “Fashionably late” is not an option Punctuality is part of their culture Men generally wait for women to be the first to extend a handshake At the beginning of a meeting, it is vital to greet them with “How do you do?”
Words of Advice Every business has it’s own personality and culture. This, in turn, translates into unique sets of rules and norms, often unspoken and informal about how you should behave. It is critically important that you take the time to understand the culture of a workplace If you don’t, you are almost assured of making inappropriate and embarrassing mistakes.
Discussion Questions How do communication rules differ in particular environments? (classroom, interview, house) In a business setting have you experienced any trouble when dealing with a language barrier? How important is power in the U.S. and is it gender based?