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Culture’s Impact on Communication

Culture’s Impact on Communication

Understanding the challenges as well as opportunities of intercultural communication is
of major importance. A person will be able to develop effective intercultural communication
which will allow him/her to foster more respect and acceptance, dismiss myths, develop more
cooperative relationships with other people, and break down stereotypes (LeBaron, 2013).
Communicating with persons from dissimilar cultures could at times be rather challenging given
that unintentional offenses and misinterpretations are common.Understanding the challenges and
opportunities of intercultural communication will help to improve cross-cultural communication
within the organization. It will allow people to appreciate and know the differences in cultural
communication styles (LeBaron, 2013).


The ideas of low context and high context refer to the way that persons communicate in
dissimilar cultures. Low context basically means much information is exchanged clearly and
unequivocally through the message itself and rarely is anything hidden or unclear. Persons who
live in low-context cultures for instance Western cultures – Western Europe, Australia, New
Zealand, and North America– have the tendency of following standards and rules very closely,


being very task-oriented and having short-term relationships.Persons from low-context cultures
value directness, facts and logic, and decisions are not based upon intuition, but facts.
Communicators are expected to be efficient, forthright, and succinct in telling the action that is
anticipated. To be totally clear and unequivocal, people from low-context cultures endeavor to
utilize exact, specific words and expect them to be taken literally. Unambiguous, open contracts
conclude negotiations. This is particularly dissimilar from speakers in high-context cultures who
rely less on legal documents and language precision. High-context business persons might even
mistrust contracts and be affronted by the lack of trust which they suggest. High context
essentially means that considerable amount of unspoken information is indirectly, obliquely
transferred in the course of communication. Persons in high context cultures such as South
America, Asia, Middle East and Africa have the tendency of placing greater importance on
loyalty as well as long-term relationships, and they have less rules and structure implemented
(LeBaron, 2013). In essence, high-context cultures are contemplative, relational, intuitive and
collectivist meaning that these cultures highlight interpersonal relationships. A vital initial step to
any business transaction is to develop trust.
Responding well to dissimilar cultures when preparing for business communication is an
integral strategy for business survival in the current global economy, and it pervades virtually
every facet of business after that. Culture affects every area of business communication, which
include product sourcing, human resources decisions, contract negotiations, marketing
campaigns as well as production operations (Rush, 2011).
It is recommended that:


 When dealing with business with persons from different cultures, one should consider
overcoming language barriers and understanding cultural dissimilarities.
 Each party in a business deal should take time to learn about the cultures of each other
before interacting to reduce the chances of business deals being lost.
 Business persons should have an awareness of cultural attitudes towards business since
this would help the business person in communicating effectively when he/she works
with persons from different cultures.


In conclusion, understanding the challenges as well as opportunities of intercultural
communication helps one to develop effective intercultural communication which will allow
him/her to foster more respect and acceptance, dismiss myths and develop more cooperative
relationships with others people.Responding properly to dissimilar cultures when preparing for
business communication is vital for business survival in today’s global economy. For any
questions regarding the content of this memo, you may contact Joy Adamson on 442-85300-712.




LeBaron, M. (2013).Communication Tools for Understanding Cultural Differences. Boston,
MA: CRC Press.
Rush, M. (2011). Culture in Business Communication. Columbus, OH: Penguin Publishers.

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