Intercultural communication and business

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Globalization and Intercultural Communication

Globalization has given people the opportunity to work everywhere in the world, which means they get to communicate with people from a society that is distinct from their own. Because of differing views on how it can be done, such an atmosphere has always fostered arguments. For example, in the scenario, an American woman has relocated to China and will be in the care of many Chinese employees, the vast majority of whom are men. Such a condition necessitates the development of intercultural contact skills in order to communicate with people from other cultures. In this way, cooperation can be accomplished, and conflicts minimized thereby having a successful project. By comparing the American and Chinese business cultures, an understanding of the way to improve communication between business persons from both sides can be realized.

American Business Culture

Just like the national constitution, there are three primary aspects that each American businessperson pursues. The first one is that of life, which entails having fun at work. Secondly, there is the liberty aspect, which translates to a workplace that accommodates control and freedom (Stewart-Allen, 2003). Another one is the pursuit of happiness, which is the pursuit of money. Cash is a huge motivator. These aspects indicate the way American business persons think. There is also competition, whereby they have a competitive nature since winning elicits sweet rewards (Stewart-Allen, 2003). It explains the reasons for the love of rankings such as the best worker or bosses. This value is promoted by the political fostering of a capitalist society. Hence, business persons from China can be assured that such factors will be witnessed during trade deals.

Chinese Business Culture

Conversely, the business setting in China is hugely different with it being the most reserved. Business deals take longer to finalize as the Chinese prefer first to develop relationships. When entering the room, greeting the most senior individual in addition to using appropriate titles is essential. There is also a marginal demonstration of emotion thus joking is discouraged. Women are also expected to be in a high neckline and should desist from wearing high heels if they lead to their being taller than the host (Bowie, 2008). Here, the political environment is different, most assets are not held privately, but at least 76 percent of them are owned by the government. Therefore, doing business may also entail negotiating with the government. However, competition is not a critical value since individualism is quite low whereby people are driven by collectivism. Business persons from the US that do not respect this different way of doing things tend to lose trade deals.

Adapting Behaviors and Culturally Sensitive Approaches

Doing business in China will thus necessitate adopting some behaviors. Exchanging business cards is very significant, and they should be accepted with both hands, read, and stored safely. Inappropriate touching is discouraged, which includes actions such as the squeezing of the arm or patting on the back. Touching is usually uncomfortable for the Chinese, especially for a first meeting. A light handshake is good, but the preference is bowing while facing each other. Eye contact should also not be maintained as it is seen as a form of disrespect (Bowie, 2008). Additionally, some culturally sensitive areas need to be looked into in any international setting. Language skills are significant, but they are not the only requisite. Other skills encompass the acknowledgment that different cultures have unique customs, thought patterns, social mores, and standards. There must also be a disposition to accept there are differences in addition to adapting to them.

Adopting Interpersonal Dynamics

It is clear that both cultures are incredibly different. In the American setting, trade deals are driven by the transaction in addition to tough and dominant stances being adopted. However, in China, strong social relationships are integral in any contract besides having a reserved nature and negotiations not being tough. Moreover, several steps will have to be adopted in dealing with the Chinese to ensure that one does not seem to be undermining their culture ethnocentrism does not occur. Forming a sense of superiority is natural, but it will have to be eradicated to promote intercultural communications (Li, 2011). A crucial step is that of learning about the culture through research and keeping an open mind. Secondly, there should be no assumptions due to their being different perspectives. Another one is that of being respectful.

Importance of Behavioral Change

Different steps may be adopted in assessing the interpersonal dynamics that exist in such a setting. Transformational leadership should be established since it facilitates support and encouragement of one’s subordinates, which fosters the making of social relationships, an essential part of any contract. Also, emotional intelligence needs to be promoted. It can be achieved through being proactive rather than being reactive and the ability to express emotions. Furthermore, one needs to nurture cultural intelligence by gaining the necessary knowledge to navigate the Chinese business world thereby modifying their verbal and non-verbal demeanor towards others.


In summary, significant behavioral change will have to be done. Firstly, it is clear that business transactions are only relevant if they are backed by strong social relationships. Secondly, undertakings are usually not dictated by individual objectives but to further the interests of everyone. Thirdly, business interactions also follow specific rules whereby touching is minimal, eye contact is discouraged, and business cards are to be treated with care. I will manage to see if the desired change has happened through various observations. Some vital features to have are cultural sensitivity, flexibility, curiosity, open-mindedness, and adventurousness. If any of them is missing from my interactions with the rest, then that aspect needs to be further developed.


Bowie, A. (2008). The Effect of Culture on Business Relationships. The Neumann business review: The Journal of the Division of Business and Information Management, 3(1), 1-19.

Li, Y. (2011). Cross-cultural communication within American and Chinese colleagues in multinational organizations. Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association, 2010(1), 7.

Stewart‐Allen, A. (2003). Doing business the American way. Business Strategy Review, 14(1), 53-57.

December 28, 2022

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