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Intercultural Interaction - An Invaluable International Business Skill

Autor:   •  March 20, 2013  •  266 Words (2 Pages)  •  256 Views

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Intercultural interaction has become an invaluable competency especially in today’s teamwork based business environment (Gitimo 2010, 4; Lane et al 2006, 175). Paris et al (2000, 1) write that “As the scope and complexity of modern task demands exceed the capability of individuals to perform, teams are emerging to shoulder the burgeoning requirements”. In addition, teamwork is no longer confined to local and national boundaries because of increasing globalisation (Anawati & Craig, 2006). As teams become more international, the cultural diversity of the teams increase resulting in increased potential for distortion and misunderstandings (Lane et al 2006, 23). This challenge is even more serious in online or virtual teamwork which are enabled and facilitated by advancements in computer and communication technology (Lurey & Raisinghani 2001, 524). Virtual teamwork reduces the advantages of face-to-face interaction (Lane et al 2006, 176) especially nonverbal communication which is estimated to make up two third to three fourth of our communication (Novinger, 2001). A good mastery of intercultural interaction especially in the fast growing virtual teamwork environment is very essential in today’s culturally diverse international business environment.

This paper explores the subject of intercultural communication with special focus on intercultural interaction in virtual teamwork. The topic of cultural difference is examined in the first part of this paper. Here, the concept culture is defined; and cultural difference and cultural awareness are discussed. In the second part the concept of cultural interaction is explained. Finally, intercultural interaction in virtual teamwork is discussed in the third part. The communication challenges are identified and suggestions for better communication in the international virtual teamwork proposed.

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