Internal Communication issue examination

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2nd Abstract 3rd Chapter 3 1.1 Introduction 3 1.2 Literature Review 4th Chapter 18 4.0 Discussion 18 To what extent are language hurdles affecting internal communication at ARIV? 19 Which communication routes are preferred, and what obstacles arise? 20 Are there any feasible solutions to the communication issues? 21 Restrictions 23. Chapter 5 Recommendations 24 24 citations 26 Internal Communication Issues to Consider

Internal communication continues to play a critical role in any firm. Firms that have a dependable communication system benefit from activities that execute smoothly and reliably. Breakdown of communication in any department of the organization results in various challenges. The execution of activities in the organization are greatly impaired since there is constant miscommunication. The role of communication in a departmental set up is one that cannot be underestimated. Issues that arise within the organization should be addressed through application of appropriate communication channels.

Keywords: communication, intercultural, organization

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

Intercultural communication entails passage of information between two individuals, or groups in an organization. The focus of the project is to analyze the role of communication in the Food and Beverage Department. Primarily, emphasis will be on intercultural communication. The concept of intercultural communication is of fundamental significance since it defines how individuals within a department can communicate. This is particularly essential in helping address the contentious issues likely to occur in the department. The study will entail the use of data collected and analyzed through SPSS and Excel. The study is about employees of Anantara. The analysis will draw from results provided by the workers in the questionnaires that they will have answered. Through the same, it will be possible to make recommendations on the aspect of intercultural communication in the Food and Beverage Department. This can be used by the organization to improve on the running of affairs in the firm. The understanding of intercultural communication will form the basis of analysis. Findings of the study are instrumental in ensuring forming the basis of recommendations on how best to address to uphold intercultural communication in the Food and Beverage department.

1.2 Literature Review

The following section provides information about the literature research which has been conducted on internal communication. The primary purpose was to explore to which extent research has been conducted about internal organizational communication. It will draw on diverse approaches and its changes during the last 60 years. Generally speaking, the most common findings for the internal communications purpose was to increase employee commitment and engagement and support in achieving strategic business goals. Furthermore intercultural communication is mentioned and language barriers based on cultural diversity.

Communication in the Course of Time

The concept of internal communication seems to experience and has experienced remarkable changes (Keenan & Hazelton, 2006; Yeomans, 2006). In the beginning it ranged from entertaining employees in the 40s, informing in the 50s and convincing in the 60s to open communication in the 80s till today. Nowadays the internal communication approach has changed from monitoring, directing and providing information to create a healthy work environment, sharing knowledge, supporting to adapt and to achieve a company’s strategies and objectives (Keenan & Hazelton, 2006). Seisselberg (2015) claims that internal communication focuses on engaging and stimulating the employees and creates mutual down- and upwards communication. It is about involving the employee and moreover not only increasing job engagement and commitment but also contributing to deliver the company’s vision, mission, strategies and its goals Seisselberg (2012) Yeomans (2006).

Communication as a Process and Its Channels

When one speaks of the communication process one has to narrow it down to a transfer and understanding of meaning between sender and receiver (Robins, 2012). Generally speaking formal channels are established to transmit related messages within an organization. It may be asserted, however, that informal channels are created, which happens rather spontaneously. These are related to socializing. The directions of how communication can flow has been described in different literature as vertically (Robins, 2012) .The downward communication flows from a higher level to a lower department to assign goals, provide job instructions or other activities. It is seen as one-way direction. On the other hand the upwards communication can be related to feedback about the company or conversations to superior. Smith (2005) observed with much truth that employees put much weight on the communication with their supervisors. Last but not least the lateral communication is a two-way flow and refers to communication within employees at the same level of a work group or similar position. The bigger the size of an organization the more difficult it is to deliver a message downwards accordingly. Therefor it needs be concerned about the numerous tools to ease communication. The e-mail is the fastest way in written communication from one person to another Allgäuer, J. E., & Larisch, M (2011). A great advantage is that the message can be reopened or printed anytime. On the one hand Robins (2012) agrees to the fact that it is fast, on the other hand it is asserted that it is likely to misinterpret an e-mail, plus to check a huge batch of e-mails in the morning can be time-consuming. Apart from that newsletters are commonly used to distribute information relevant for the entire labor force. Nowadays the technological improvement provides different ways to reach out to employees. The old-fashioned instruments are barely sufficient in an industrialized and modern society. A research from the University of Hohenheim (Huck-Sandhu ; Sprachmann 2011) claimed that more seven out of 10 companies have a web 2.0 intranet. It is important to choose the right channel to avoid miscommunication.

In conclusion, there is a discrepancy shared in the meaning of internal communication throughout the literature. The purpose and the image of internal communication has changed over the years. For a fact the employees gain more and more saying in an organization whereas the one-way communication downwards depreciates more. It has to be acknowledged that more openness and accountability is claimed by the employees and a proper way of vertical, lateral up- and downwards communication removes ambiguity simultaneously improves commitment and engagement. This will help the businesses to assign their strategies and objectives accordingly and ultimately succeed.

Intercultural Communication

It is a truism that no individual can exist without sharing meaning (Robins, 2012). Intercultural communication is a way of communication that aims to share information across different cultures Moran (2009). In some literature it is defined synonymously with cross-cultural communication however they all have the fact in common that it is the interaction between people of diverse cultures Jandt (2010) either verbal- or nonverbally. Furthermore it also contains social attributes and thought patters and is the foundation for international businesses and therefore plays a vital role in today’s business communication. Seymen (2006) outlines cultural diversity as a new trend in the hospitality therefore he claims the emphasis in considering it at as a part of corporate strategies. As a matter of fact this statement can be considered as true since the hospitality industry has been continuously growing worldwide. Over the last decade the workforce within our global village has become more diverse hence many employers are challenged by cross cultural issues.

Daune (2006) states cultural diversity refers to the difference between people based on a shared ideology and a value of a set of beliefs, norms, customs, and meanings evidenced in a way of life. This cultural diversity is critical for companies and particularly of great importance in the hospitality industry. For instance a diverse workforce could be a great asset to serve a multi-cultural customer base (Devine et al., 2007). Diverse employees can better understand guests which are from the same country since they share a similar cultural background. Apart from that Devine et al. (2007) argue a diverse workforce brings experience and a variety set of skills to the work place therefore different approaches in dealing with problems. Despite the benefits of a diverse workforce the flipside of the coin is that every culture has different norms and values. Likewise every human has different values and perceptions. Consequently it can be argued that cultural diversity can cause barriers. It would be naïve to suppose that everyone is able to speak the same language however it is far more likely to speak a similar one than understanding each other’s values and beliefs right away. The issue that occurs in intercultural communication is the message translation. The message that the receiver interprets might be intended differently by the sender based on different beliefs, attitudes and values. So called barriers can be separated into verbal and nonverbal barriers

It is significantly easy to misunderstand nonverbal communication such as postures, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact since their meaning varies across countries. Galance and Spence (2010) argue that non-verbal contact has 10 ten times more intensity as verbal contact. Edward Hall who is claimed to be the founder of intercultural communication suggests that 80-90 percent of a conversation is nonverbally. In order to avoid miscommunication in an intercultural communication Collier (2010) suggests to develop intercultural competences. It is not more than a mix of knowledge, cultural awareness and the capability to find a common ground in a conversation based on mutual respect of each other’s cultures.

At this point it is also interesting to consider high and low context cultures. Whereas low context cultures as for instance West Europeans tend to be direct, forceful and have a low use of non-verbal communication the very opposite may be true for high context cultures such as Asian countries. It is important to take cultural backgrounds into account in any organization since dissimilarities can negatively influence a company’s successful performance. Managers in low-context cultures are expected to have a dominant leadership style, whereas in high-context cultures manager are supposed to take the role of a guiding manager and rather provide suggestions than give orders, (Robin, 2012).

It is interesting that Thai people for instance have a strong commitment for social harmony therefor they are reluctance to start a conversation, because they do not want to disturb others. This is similar to Samovar (2007) who says that interpersonal problems can emerge when two parties of different cultures interact where one values assertiveness whereas the other values social harmony. The Thai value of social harmony differs significantly compared to the western idea. The fact, that a Thai speaker needs to choose from numerous forms for both the first person and second person pronoun depending on the status of the involved in the conversation, shows the complexity of social interaction. According to Marguire (2009) furthermore a difficult concept of this high context culture is called “kreng jai”, which can be translated to “consideration” or “deference”. On the one hand Thais are reluctant to impose on people and on the other hand to avoid confrontation. This has a major impact on personal behavior and language. Especially in a work environment Thai employees show difficulties in revealing true feelings, thoughts and honest opinions towards their colleagues. Winnuwat (2011) states that language barrier is a major concern for Thai employees in a mutli-cultural work space.

In previous research about cultural and language problems in a cross-cultural environment identified language skills and diverse cultures as the key obstacles in mutli cultural companies. The following findings are further indicators for the relevance of this research. Sriring (2005) examined in his research that the biggest impediment was the issue of assertiveness, likewise the language barrier, issues of providing and receiving feedback (as cited in Winnuwat, 2011, p.14). Similarly, Ampaipisut (2007) asserted in her research about foreign tourists with travel services in Thailand as the fundamental issue the inefficiency of language next cultural differences ( as cited in Winnuwat, 2011, p.14).

Moreover, Srisitanon (2009) conducted a research about intercultural communication problems of Thai workers at Precious Shipping. The conclusions drawn were both oral and written communication skills of the Thai workforce was the main barrier to correspond effectively (as cited in Winnuwat 2011, p. 15).

Especially the recent research cases help fundamentally for this research. It is essential to not only understand and manage the diversity in a multicultural workplace but also investigate the causes for cultural and language skill problems in order to avoid language barriers, which causes miscommunication.

1.3 Conceptual Model

Language barriers

High context culture

Multicultural workplace

Effective int. communication


Intercultural communication

Cultural diversity


Low context culture

The conceptual model represents the most important factors which leads to an effective internal communication within a multicultural workplace. The model starts with the multicultural workplace in which high and low context cultures exist. These different cultures create a cultural diversity based on different believes, values and language. In order to exchange meaning within these different groups intercultural communication emerges. Based on different cultural backgrounds in the cultural diversity simultaneously language barriers occur. By creating awareness of cultural differences an effective internal communication can be established which is essential within an organization to transfer meaning within all levels of the company. Further illustration.








Cultural Transmission


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Relativism

Cultural Heritage

Intercultural communication is based on various concepts. Notably, they include;

Acculturation entails the ability of an individual to communicate with people of a different culture.

Change is the alteration in how individuals behave or the restructuring of the society.

Communication is the exchange of messages and ideas between two people or groups of individuals.

Conflict is the result of a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of communication between two different cultures.

Continuity is the sense of stability that exists in society via maintained values, and traditions of the culture.

Cooperation focuses on strategies enacted to deal with misunderstandings that arise. It establishes the aspect of working together.

Cultural diversity is the tradition distinguishing one culture from the other.

Cultural heritage is the shared understanding giving every society a distinct way of life, and this is passed on from one generation to the other.

Cultural relativism is identified the need to ensure that one culture is not judged based on standards that may have been set by another.

Globalization is the other concept of intercultural communication, and it depicts the emergence of a global culture via existing world information systems that spread through consumerism.

Cultural transmission entails the passage of information or relevant skills, attitudes, and knowledge to others.

Multiculturalism depicts a society with people hailing from different cultural backgrounds.

Values, the other concept of intercultural communication entails the essential understanding forming the basis of typical behavior in a cultural group. Communicators need to understand and appreciate values for purposes of communicating successfully.

Conceptual Framework on Intercultural Communication

1.4 Project Definition

The problem statement for the proposed research was:

“How can the Food and Beverage Department at Anantara Riverside improve its internal communication while taking cultural differences and varying language proficiency into account.”

Research Questions

To which extent is the internal communication at Anantara Riverside affected by language barriers?

Which communication channels are preferably used and what impediments come along?

Are there possible solutions to reduce the communication problems?

Intercultural communication in departments in an organization continue to play a fundamental role in enhancing the operational activities in the firm. According to Mao and Hale (2015), the sensitivity toward intercultural communication is an essential part of any organization. The researchers conducted studies among Chinese workers who were of the opinion that intercultural sensitivity was critical in promoting organizational communication. According to the researchers, intercultural communication is particularly effective when it comes to enhancing the entire process through which the management conducts its activities. Particularly, the findings of the researchers depict the importance of intercultural communication in cases where there is a conflict in an organization.

According to Leonardi and Rodriguez-Lluesma, (2013), the lack of intercultural communication in an organization significantly impedes the working relationship among the employees. Notably, the researchers identified that individuals working in global organizations and lacked the ability for appropriate intercultural communication skills had the tendency of attributing certain types of behaviors to other workers. Leonardi and Rodriguez-Lluesma (2013) state that the lack of intercultural communication could result in the development of stereotypes against individuals of a particular region. The research was of the opinion that intercultural communication is of fundamental significance in the global workplace.

Intercultural communication remains to be a fundamental aspect in any organizational setting. However, despite the significance of the component in an organization, there is much evidence pointing to incompetence among individuals. Koester and Lustig (2015) state that it is critical to have individuals with skills in intercultural communication to support the development of core competencies related to the aspect of intercultural communication. According to the researchers, those who are competent when it comes to the aspect of intercultural communication are useful and can guide in the process of coming up with a theoretical framework related to the same concept.

Martin (2015) holds that the adoption of intercultural communication competence is essential in ensuring that healthy relations are built among individuals. The sentiments presented are particularly useful in an organizational set up where people working within a given department may be harboring from different cultures. It is essential to have mechanisms in place that would lead to the development of such skills. Martin (2015) indicates that individuals should move from a confined or national interaction setups to a broader setting which allows one to develop intercultural communication competence.

Collier (2015) reiterates that much as the concept of intercultural competence is held on to, contentious issues are not addressed. According to the researcher, challenges that relate to the aspect of intercultural communication should not be viewed from an individual perspective. The researcher holds that the adoption of contextual factors regarding the aspect of intercultural communication is of fundamental significance compared to evaluating the issue on an individual level.

Martin and Nakayama (2015) acknowledge the efforts put forth by different scholars regarding the need to promote intercultural communication. According to the researchers, different workers face challenges at the workplace because of lack of intercultural communication. The authors hold that there are individual traits among workers that can determine how one treats the others. Particularly, it is critical to acknowledge the fact that those characteristics are essential in enabling one to understand the opportunities and constraints that could be facing people in the workplace.

Holmes (2015) conducts a survey on immigrants’ intercultural communication experiences as they join the workforce in New Zealand. The researcher sought to understand communication challenges faced by immigrants during workplace placement, how to facilitate intercultural communication at the workplace and the possible hindrances to the same. Indeed, according to the researchers, workers faced significant challenges when it came to the entire concept of communication because of the difference in culture. The findings of the researchers are supported by Kunasegaran et al. (2016) who hold that intercultural communication is vital in ensuring that workers adapt effectively to the environment that they are operating from. The researchers state that employees may face significant challenges in an organization and fail to adjust to the prevailing conditions if they do not have adequate intercultural communication skills.

An organization is defined by the manner in which they perceive the entire concept of intercultural communication. Firms with an elaborate system that pertains to the concept of intercultural communication have the benefit of ensuring that workers in the organization execute their mandates in a professional way. Lauring (2011) states that competency in intercultural communication is particularly essential in promoting the handling of international activities of significance to the organization. The author identifies the need to ensure that the local organization is taken into context.

The benefit of intercultural communication in an organization is equally stressed when it comes to its role in ensuring that workers are able to cope with the stressful conditions that are present. According to Dinges and Lieberman (1989), competence in intercultural communication is a pivotal aspect in enabling the employees to execute the mandate assigned to them effectively. The significance of intercultural communication is particularly depicted in an employment setting including cases such as job interviews, seeking promotions or in the event of termination. The ability of an employee to depict signs of intercultural communication is manifested in situations that describe issues affecting the individual employee.

The application of intercultural communication is evident in a multinational organizational setting. According to Chitakornkijsil (2010), the researchers sought to understand the potential barriers to intercultural communication. Notably, the researchers acknowledge the fact that existence of barriers of communication can impede the execution of tasks in an organization. However, there is general agreement that intercultural communication is vital and should be adopted as part of the organization.

Chi and Suthers (2015) elaborate the significance of intercultural communication from a relational perspective through the application of social network analysis. The researchers define intercultural communication as one’s ability to develop meaningful relationships with the host and other nationals. According to the researchers, capacity to do so is essential since it guides on how best one can relate with others. In an organizational setting, the issue is of significance in promoting cohesion in the organization since it reiterates on the need to be accommodative to people of a different cultural background. Specifically, the researchers state that the concept of intercultural communication is a virtue that is distributed in the community and not confined to an individual level. In the findings, it is further stated that people with more social relations are well-equipped to avoid issues of acculturation. This is a vital issue, especially in an organization. The fact that workers come from different backgrounds is a confirmation that there is a need for each of the workers to have a better understanding of different cultures. This can be depicted in the manner in which they portray competence in intercultural communication. If employees in an organization are competent in terms of intercultural competition, there is a high chance that they would be able to execute their mandate in a professional way. Further, it would be easier to deal with issues that arise in the organization at any moment. Notably, Chi and Suthers (2015) reiterate that the aspect of intercultural communication is useful in building cohesion among individuals and this can be reflected in terms of the cohesion that emanates out of the same.

Georgescu, R. (2016) sought to investigate the impact of intercultural communication on organizational effectiveness. According to the researcher, internal communication is of critical significance in enhancing the performance of employees in an organization. Specifically, the researchers identify that the influence of internal communication in an organization contributes to its effectiveness. The conclusions made by the researcher are essential particularly as it relates to the concept of intercultural communication. Further, there is general agreement regarding the influence of intercultural management in an organization. This resonates from the fact that in situations where there are conflicts between people of different cultures, it is possible to address the same through the adequate management of intercultural communication. Nanshun et al. (2016) state that intercultural communication is essential toward organizational development. According to the researchers, the competency in intercultural communication enables one to attain skills of self-awareness while at the same time acknowledging the people from other cultures.

Organizations that are endowed with competency skills in intercultural communication are likely to evade crises arising from miscommunication among workers. According to findings by Ravazzani (2016), employees acknowledge the relevance of cultural backgrounds with regard to internal communication particularly in cases when there is a crisis. Notably, the researcher states that the cultural aspect affects the manner in which employees frame their messages and sense issues within the organization. Further, employees coming from different backgrounds may be sensitive towards their colleagues. However, the researcher states that line managers and the local communicators have a significant role in ensuring that employees from other cultural backgrounds adapt effectively. The findings of the researchers are essential in acknowledging the significance of intercultural communication.

The globalization of the economy has seen corporations venture into different parts of the world. Businesses continue to engage in the various countries. Because of the same, there is a tendency to hire employees from various countries. Studies by Tran (2016) have identified that people tend to rely on the first impression they get about a particular individual. The author states that an individual will reply to a message on their first impression. However, there is universal agreement that the analysis of behaviors among individuals varies markedly. The variations can be attributed to the differences in cultural backgrounds.

Chapter Four

4.0 Discussion

The objective of this research was to investigate the most striking factors of the dimension internal communication within the Food and Beverage department at Anantara Riverside, Bangkok. The data analysis showed that on average the employees were satisfied about how they receive information and its content in general, however what was more of a concern was the intercultural communication between colleagues with different cultural background. The following chapter discusses the research results through literature review and primary and secondary research. Secondly, an overall conclusion will reflect to the problem statement. Lastly, the research’s limitations will be outlined.

To which Extent Is the Internal Communication at ARIV Affected by Language Barriers?

In the following part it is discussed to which extent the internal communication at Anantara Riverside is affected by language barriers.

First of all the findings indicate that the majority of the staff agreed that they felt free to speak and share ideas with their foreign bosses or colleagues. This is in fact positive and should speak for an open communication. However, it seemed that the opinions were split in regards to being confident enough to disagree with their foreign bosses. Interesting to consider was that 87% of the staff would hide their true feelings if it affected either the work relationship- or environment. These findings reinforce Samovar (2007) that interpersonal problems can emerge when two parties of different cultures interact. Likewise, Marguire (2009) pointed out the “kreng jai” values in which Thai people rather restrain their own interest or desire for discomfort or conflicts in order to keep a good personal relationship and social harmony. This is highlighted by the fact that 88% agreed to rather maintain a good relationship with their colleagues than to finish the job. Taking this into consideration misunderstandings can easily occur especially in view of miscommunication and ultimately slow the process drastically within the company on a daily basis. This is similar to Siring (2005) who discovered a major issue was assertiveness which can be closely linked to social harmony and work relationships.

Devine, Baum, Hearns and Devine (2007) affirm a diverse workforce can cause language barriers. Looking at these findings it is undeniably true that the great majority professes the view that there is a language barrier when talking to a co-worker with a different cultural background. This is strengthens by the literature if one refers to Winnuwat (2011) who mentioned language barrier is a major concern for Thai employees in a mutli-cultural work space. Furthermore, the findings indicate that more than half of the respondents agree to lessen language barriers if they would learn more about the cultural background of their colleagues. This is related to Collier (2010) who advises to develop intercultural competences in order to find common ground in a conversation.

Which Communication Channels Are Preferably Used and What Impediments Come along

Based on the findings it can be established that it is overall a downward communication. The information stream flows to a lower department to assign goals and provide job instructions (Robins, 2012).

The great majority of the staff 78 % agrees to receive the necessary information to do their job from their managers whereas only 4 % disagreed. This could be correlated to the communication process within the company, since every day starts with a department head meeting chaired by the General Manager. Surprisingly, 52 % agreed that they would receive the necessary information to do their job from their co-workers, however 27 % disagreed with that.

This could be associated with the faced challenges due to operational constraints and timings of daily briefings. It occurs that information which is shared in the early morning is not cascaded to the line level staff in the evening.

Furthermore, research findings indicate that the most preferred communication tool was the phone, closely followed by electronic communication such as E-mail. This highlights partially prior research by Allgaeuer and Larisch (2011) who mentioned that e-mail is the fastest way in written communication. Despite that more than half of the respondents agreed positively about the quarterly town-hall meetings and f

June 12, 2023

Communication Workforce

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