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On business culture stereotype elimination in the context of cross-cultural communication

Abstract : Research in the wide range of issues connected with formation, affect and attempts to eliminate stereotypes has cross-disciplinary character, while its increasing importance is obvious, being largely determined by the globalization processes. These ambiguous and manifold processes deal with such categories as ethnic stereotype, social beliefs, rituals and social adaptation, cultural values, ethnocentricism, tolerance and other aspects of cross-cultural business communication. open borders have enabled a great number of representatives from various cultural backgrounds to travel, to enjoy the opportunity of getting an education abroad through all sorts of student exchange programs, to have an opportunity of getting a job in a foreign country or working for some local subsidiary of a giant multinational, as well as to experience new educational internet technologies, which are being impetuously developed nowadays. this greatly contributes to cultural enrichment through studying representatives of the whole ethnic groups as well as representatives of business professional groups in the framework of carrying on business negotiations in particular. the latter presumes thorough consideration of communication specificity, perception, interaction, structure and many other important aspects, for communication deals not only with the exchange of information. enhancing the business communication which involves various ethnic groups and nationalities is possible on the basis of cross-cultural studies which have had a long history so far. No expert in this field can do without works by e.Hall and G.Hofstede [1, 2] who were among the first to outline the basic principles for differentiating various ethnic attitude to a wide range of values of culture and civilization. Of major importance to the students of inter-cultural communication is the cross-national analysis undertaken by the named authors, where the characteristic features on different cultures are outlined, with a special stress on socio-geographical, historical, ethnic and gender peculiarities. Being the basis to the actual practices of intercultural communication, these analyses might become the means of solving various conflicts that aggravate the international business procedures and practices. in the academic field these works could make the basis for further analysis of the cross-cultural business communication, and, at the same time, provide the tools for educational systems in their efforts aiming at training future experts in business education. a successful outcome of cross-cultural communication is largely conditioned by linguistic commonness of the communicators, in other words - by common means of communication in the form of some particular language. it is quite obvious though, that the ability to speak a language of international communication is not sufficient for an effective cross-cultural business communication. Certain aspects of a particular business culture stereotyping could represent a serious obstacle in achieving the goals. Stereotyping acts as a crucial effect of social perception and an immediate cause for all sorts of problems involved in understanding or misunderstanding of a particular partner's/ interlocutor's verbal and non-verbal behaviour. Business culture stereotypes are seen as "schematic, standardized images or ideas about social phenomena or objects, the former arising under the influence of present and past experiences" [3]. Even though stereotypes awareness enables communicators to foresee their business partners' behaviour to a certain extent, these stereotypes may often represent false, simplified or preconceived ideas, which, together with the lack of knowledge about the social context, can sometimes cause conflict situations. In connection with that, a primary practical task faced by the representatives of business communities is that of changing ethnic stereotypes, including disruption of negative auto-stereotypes. ethnocentricism as recognition of one's own culture's superiority generally has a negative effect on cross-cultural professional and business communication, arrogant behaviour and cultural chock being the most wide-spread consequences. this sort of problems can be removed through resolving certain tasks of applied and research character, such as : - studying the actual modern format of different cultures (social norms, traditions, lifestyles, values); - acquiring the experience of immediate verbal and non-verbal communication with representatives of ethnic groups (which increases the awareness and the scope of knowledge about certain groups); - using the multi-cultural countries' experience in the field of cross-cultural communication, particularly in the aspect of tolerance; - creating readiness for the cross-cultural communication within the procedures of business games, as well as with the use of computer stimulators, training simulators, and other interactive methods of teaching. Being an essential factor for effective business negotiations planning, the need for intercultural training has been rising in its importance. Moreover, it is obvious that new strategies of intercultural communication should be worked out, oriented to enhance both national and cultural potential of a society, as well as psychic, mental and spiritual interpersonal resources of every individual [4]. Globalization "dictates" the overall inclusion of cultural-linguistic components into the educational programs, and stresses its principal role in training specialists in various professional spheres of activity. it is obvious that the higher school's programs, meeting contemporary requirements, should be based on understanding all the importance of an international level specialist training. Moreover, the question arises of the need to develop international standards in business communication which can be effected only in case some "super-cultural" level has been formed. Further research might demonstrate the possibility of this, and the former should concentrate on the analysis of the role of the English language, practically the official language of international communication, of the USabusiness culture and its position in various situations of business communication, as well as the position and the role of cultural and ethnic characteristics of a specific ethnic group (balance of the cultural constituents of different ethnic groups), etc. in most cases those constituents turn to be a cornerstone of business negotiations, especially when the counterparts are representatives of extremely different cultures, such as, for example, the american one and the Japanese one, as described in numerous articles covering cultural values, attitudes, behaviour patterns and communication styles of modern Japan [5]. in connection with the above, it should be mentioned that, although english has been adopted by different non-english companies and multinationals as a global language of communication, many people are not interested in it as a carrier of english culture [6]. We suppose that in the perspective there should be worked out a new educational paradigm based on the changes in the educational programs on the global scale and aiming at the optimization of the balance between culture-oriented constituents in the learning process. In addition, it is supposed that the first outline of such disciplines should be included into the primary school programs, which have so far comprised unfortunately only subjects important for the local cultural community (for example, the insights into the religious education, etc.) although ambiguous in the perception of people, the globalization processes should in any case make for the strengthening of individuals' motivation to profit by the benefits of the intercultural communication in all spheres of activity.
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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 6:13:24 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 6:13:24 PM

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Anastasiya Shevtsova, Olga Suchkova. On business culture stereotype elimination in the context of cross-cultural communication. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. ⟨hal-00840682⟩

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