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How can international organizations successfully communicate with their multi-cultured employees By Lilly van der Hoek 515281


Table of Contents Part One - The Research Design Problem Analysis...............................................................................................................................................1 - Introduction.......................................................................................................................................1 - Client Question..................................................................................................................................1 - Demarcation and Research Goal..........................................................................................................1 - Possible Solutions................................................................................................................................2 - Draft Study Design..............................................................................................................................2 Final Research Design.......................................................................................................................................3 - Setting................................................................................................................................................3 - Population..........................................................................................................................................3 - Time .................................................................................................................................................3 - Money................................................................................................................................................3 Part Two - Desk Research - Research Question One.....................................................................................................................4 - Research Question Three.....................................................................................................................5


Part 1

Introduction Operating on a worldly scale brings a lot of opportunities for international organizations but also a lot of complications such as communication between people from different cultures. Working with different cultures is not the easiest thing to do and a lot of companies are having trouble with it. That is why the research question is called: ‘’How can international organizations successfully communicate with their multi-cultured employees.’’ With ‘international organizations’ meaning organizations with departments spread over different cultural areas throughout the world and ‘successfully communicate’ meaning to satisfaction of both employee and management.

Client Question Because the communication between cultures is becoming more and more relevant, and more of a problem, the International Organization of Business Communications has requested research on the topic. They want to use the research to advise their international clients on how to do properly communicate with their multi-cultured employees.

Demarcation + Goal The main problem that’s going to be approached is the misunderstanding between cultures, mainly focusing on how an international organization can adjust to fit in the new society they decided to operate in. (i.e. there will not be looked at how a managers and organizations should handle one individual employee that has a different nationality) This research will serve to find out if this situation can be improved to both satisfaction of management and employee. To help answer the research question, there were made several sub-questions: ‘‘What is a culture and what are the aspects of a culture?’’, ‘‘What is the situation right now in international companies’’, ‘‘how does culture influences communication’’ and ‘‘How can communication be culture-focused’’.

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Part 1

Possible Solution There are several possible outcomes of this research. There could be easy and less easy ways to improve communication between organizations and employees, or maybe there is not a way to communicate successfully.

Study Design To implement this research, several researching techniques will be used: First of all, the sub question will be used to answer the central question. - Sub-question one, ‘‘What is a Culture and what are its aspects’’, will be answered by doing desk research. This sub-question is important because the word ‘culture’ should first be defined (in relation to organizations), before it can be researched. - Sub-question two, ‘‘What is the situation right now in international organizations’’, will be answered by doing an open interview with 10 individuals, from all over the world, who work in an international organization. Also desk research will be implemented. This way, there will be gained an international overview on how organizations are handling culture differences right now. - Sub-question three, ‘‘How does culture influence communication’’, will be answered by doing desk research and using the answers of the open interview. By answering this sub-question, information will be gained on how different cultures look at communication in their own way. - Sub-question four, ‘‘How can communication be culture-focused’’, will be answered by doing desk research and will, hopefully, show how to adjust an organizations communication.

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Part 1

Final Research Design Setting: The setting will be international. However, ‘international’ is a bit too broad so there were chosen (by random) 10 countries in which this research takes place. Those are: Brazil, The Netherlands, Italy, Japan, China, the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, South-Africa, Turkey and Russia. Population: The population in this research are the people who are interviewed: 10 individuals who work in international companies. Time: This research will be completed in half a year. This because it is an international operation and it takes time to collect all the data needed. Money: The cost of this research will not be that high. The interviews will be done over email and literature research is usually free of charge.

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Part 2

Sub-question One The sub-question chosen was sub-question one ‘‘What is a culture and what are its aspects’’ Relevant terms: (national) Culture Aspects What are Specific Definition Organizations Geert Hofstede (by asking around, people told me about Geert Hofstede and his research on cultures) Combined terms: Aspects, culture, what are, definition Organizations, culture, aspects, what are International organizations, culture, aspects definition, culture, specific, Geert Hofstede Note: Because culture is such a broad topic and has many many definitions, it was hard to get just 10 hits. In the end I used several combined terms. However, I still got thousands of hits in Google Scholar (with the lowest 5170) and I really had to search for articles that used culture in the right context.

Best Hits:

Definition, culture, aspects Hits: 1,880,000

Kroeber, A., Kluckhohn, C., (1952) Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. This book can be used to define the right definition on culture. It’s a well known and used book, so it is relatively dependable to use Tayeb, M., (1994) Organizations and National Culture: Methodology Considered. Organisational studies, vol 15. This article states the relationship between Culture and Organizations and has been peer reviewed and therefore quite reliable. Definition, Culture, Specific, Geert Hofstede Hits: 5,170 3 Hofstede, G. H., Hofstede, G. J. & Minkov, M., (2003) Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival This book is useful to find out the different aspects of cultures and also it relation to organizations. Geert Hofstede has done a lot of research into cultures so his work can be called reliable. Hofstede, G. H., (2001) Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions And Organizations Across Nations This book defines the different aspects of cultures, which is exactly what this sub-question is about.

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Sub-question Three The chosen sub-question was: ‘‘How does culture influence communication’’ Relevant terms: communication culture how influence Geert Hofstede Combined Terms: Influence, Communication, Culture Communication, culture, how, influence Culture, communication, Geert Hofstede

Best Hits:

Culture, communication, influence Hits: 3,070,000 (again, because the word ‘culture’ has so many definitions, it gets many hits) Gudykunst, W. B., Ting-Toomey, S. & Chua, E. (1988) Culture and interpersonal communication. Sage series in interpersonal communication, Vol. 8. This is a book about how culture and interpersonal communication can go hand in hand.

Wursten, H., Lanzer, F., & Fadrhonc, T. How to improve efficiency in your HR capital. Retrieved from http://www.itim.com An article about how to improve the HR capital by being aware of different cultures. Gudykunst, W.B., Matsumoto, Y., Ting-Toomey, S., Nishida, T., Kim, K. & Heyman, S. (1996) The Influence of Cultural Individualism-Collectivism, Self Construals, and Individual Values on Communication Styles Across Cultures. Human Communication Research, Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 510–543 An article that is exactly about the sub-question.

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