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Business Communication Between People With Different Cultural Backgrounds

3718 words - 15 pages

Conference of the International Journal of Arts and Sciences 1(19): 121 – 129 (2009) CD-ROM. ISSN: 1943-6114 ©

Business Communication between People with Different Cultural Backgrounds
Livia Ablonczy-Mihályka, Széchenyi István University, Hungary

Abstract At present every aspect of our social, scientific and mental life is subdued to accelerated development. In our globalised world, the amount of cross-national communication increases drastically and in recent years many researchers have emphasised the importance of awareness of different cultural norms as globalisation has brought about a growing trend to communicate with people from different cultural ...view middle of the document...

1. Introduction
Internationalization, trans-border trade and cross cultural business are all terms that have been coined over the past decade(s) to reflect the reality of the world economy. Growth and success in today’s global economy depend on being able to work internationally. The business environment has inreasingly expanded outside single nations or regions of the world to encompass many differing countries (Sims 2007). Understanding the globalisation of business practices is an important area and researchers and academics have been studying the subject of business in multicultural settings for decades. Researchers in applied linguistics, in cultural anthropology and/or sociology, therefore professionals working in multicultural environment have emphasised the importance of knowledge of different cultures and they agree that globalisation has brought about the growing trend to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds (Borgulya 2007, Bakacsi and Takács 2002). A greater understanding of differing nations and cultures leads to more positive interactions (Lin, 1999) and more successful business relationships (Palazzo, 2002).

Conference of the International Journal of Arts and Sciences 1(19): 121 – 129 (2009) CD-ROM. ISSN: 1943-6114 ©

It is important to work out what words mean in a particular and cultural context (Katan 1999). Different cultures have differing values, perceptions and philosophies. As a result, certain ideas may have very different connotations for people having different cultural backgrounds. Different cultures may have different rules and norms and favour different means of business communication. Cultural differences cause communication problems in every business interaction. The purpose of the present paper is to investigate business communication features of people with different cultural backgrounds. At the root of the argument is the hypothesis that there is an altering in communication rules and norms between these people. We communicate the way we do because we are raised in a particular culture and learn its language, rules, and norms.

2. Research questions
2.1Theoretical background
Globalisation is a term that provokes strong reactions, positive or negative but globalisation is praised for the new opportunities it brings (Cseh 2005, Ellwood 2001, Robertson 1992). Globalisation has created more and more multinational companies all over the world, including Hungary. The phenomena have been considered a promising means to link individuals with different backgrounds and experiences and have attracted the interests of researchers (Glaser – Kaar, 2007: 60) Consequently, globalisation has produced workforce with the diverse cultural backgrounds at the same workplace and/or business encounters who have to work at an international level. Most of the studies in the field of intercultural business communication have concentrated on differences in culture of several...

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