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International Organizations and Operations: An Analysis of Cross-Cultural Communication Effectiveness and Management Orientation

Listed author(s):
  • Ephraim Okoro, PhD


    (Department of Marketing, School of Business, Howard University, 2600 – Sixth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20059)

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    The global environment of business has become exceedingly complex as more and more corporations and private entrepreneurs compete to expand their market-share and differentiate their brands in the world marketplace. Globalization has increased consumer awareness, created new demands and standards, and made nations more interdependent. It is now imperative that businesses in different countries increase their sensitivity and respect for one another’s cultural differences in order to benefit from the growth of international business in the twenty- first century. Studies indicate that effective cross-cultural management, communication, and negotiations should be emphasized by high-growth multinational corporations competing for global expansion. Corporations that have embraced appropriate acculturation strategies, employed effective cultural awareness model, and avoided ethnocentric management style in their expansion and growth efforts have been successful. Other studies identified the major causes of the demise of global business ventures, citing their managers’ lack of intercultural skills, failure to engage in cross-cultural exchange, inability to communicate effectively in the global marketplace, unacceptable practice of business ethics and etiquette, and absence of compromise agreement. Global managers should establish cross-cultural training in their facilities in order to increase effectiveness across cultures, become efficient cross-cultural negotiators, and sensitize to the values of counterparts. This study provides an analytical framework and recommendations for adaptation of multinational management strategies for sustainable business competitiveness in the current wake of global economy. Summary: As business organizations embark on global ventures and competitiveness, managing cultural differences, inter-cultural communication, and cross cultural negotiation and decision-making are the most common challenge to international management. Success or failure in managing a diverse or multicultural workforce largely depends on the ability of managers at all levels to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and nationalities, and showing respect for cultural differences. International business is the outgrowth of globalization which is driven primarily by economic interdependency and advances in technology, but the success in global business ventures will be affected by the inability of international managers to understand appropriate business etiquette, customs, and values needed to conduct business among nations of the world. Indeed, a number of management and communication studies strongly indicate that an understanding cultural differences as well as effective intercultural communication competence will not only help businesses to bridge the communication gap among countries involved in international trade negotiations, but it will also enable multinational and multicultural managers to succeed in their various foreign operations, global joint ventures, and strategic alliances. Because communication is culture-bound and culture specific, it is important that countries involved in international business devote adequate time to learn, understand, and appreciate the different ethical and cultural habits and appropriate etiquette for conducting business transactions on a global scale. The acquisition of these competitive global skills and competences will enable high-growth businesses establish lasting strategic relationships and retain their workforce for longer periods of time. In light of the advantages and complexities associated with globalization and multinational operations, cultivating cross-cultural awareness and skills, and developing multicultural sensitivity and global mindset by managers will lead to sustainable growth in international business.

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    Article provided by in its journal Journal of Business & Management (COES&RJ-JBM).

    Volume (Year): 1 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:jso:coejbm:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:1-13
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