Cross-Cultural Communications the Online Library Has Nothing Article Review

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Cross-Cultural Communications

The online library has nothing that matches a full-text search for "intercultural communication" or "cross-cultural communication" for the last 60 days. So the article used was Three Skills every 21st century manager needs, by Andrew Molinsky, published in the Harvard Business Review. The HBR is not a journal article but is a highly-respected article from business professors that is read by practitioners and academics alike.

The article outlines common scenarios in international business, where employees and managers from different parts of the world experienced difficulty in communicating with one another. This is phenomenon is becoming increasingly common in our globalized world, and firms needs to adapt effective intercultural communication strategies in order to maximize the effectiveness of communication within the company between agents of different cultural background.

The author outlines three steps, being "to diagnose the challenges you face," "to adapt your behavior to reduce your distress" and "to fully appreciate the value of code-switching," by which the author means shifting between different communication styles. The author fleshes out this basic advice a little bit, making a case that this is a vital skill for managers in the 21st century.

The author does not directly contradict the literature, but nor does the author offer significant depth in the article.
For example, the literature studies issues such as the role of not only national culture but organizational culture in intercultural communication challenges (Lauring, 2011). Molinsky's examples are internal communications, so he should have touched on this dimension. There are ample strong case studies illustrating how invoking a common corporate culture around the world can help to reduce the impact on intercultural communications. Lauring's work cites Danish firms working in Saudi Arabia. Another good example might be FedEx, which has had more trouble with corporate culture and communications between head office and its Kinko's subsidiary than it has at FedEx Express offices around the world.

Yu (2012) points out that assessing one's competence with intercultural communication is not as easy as it sounds. There are no established frameworks for this, so any self-assessment, as prescribed by Molinsky's first step, would be fraught with difficulty. A manager may have trouble realizing when there are communication problems, let alone be able to identify what those problems might be. Indeed, the manager who knows all of the potential pitfalls of communication between any two cultures is not likely to make mistakes. It is the manager who does not have awareness that makes mistakes, so as Yu points out a….....

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