MGF Wk 4: Cross cult comm/ High low context (Analyse (not all high and low…
MGF Wk 4: Cross cult comm/ High low context
Halls high & low context refer to how people communication and interact through context.
High and low context refer to the general way that people communicate and interact with each other. In low context cultures such as Australia and the US, communication is often direct and messages are expressed explicitly through langauge. Whereas in high context cultures, such as Japan and China, messages and meaning is conveyed by more subtle, varied and implicit forms of communication. Put simply, low context cutlures focus on explicit communicaiton whereas high context cultures convey messages implicitly
People communicate differently depending on their culture and national context. Language and communication are used very differently around the world and internatioal mangaeers must be aware of the differences between high and low context cultures. for example if an Australian manager was going into negotiations with a Japanese business partner, they would have to be aware of the signfiicnt differences in communition and also language barriers. People differ by in language and communicaiton depending on their national context.
simply speaking the same language is not enough to ensure successful communition. Meaning and context are bound together and verbal & non verbal communication are very different in high and low context cultures. International managers should be aware of these differences, especially when doing business with international cultures
high context culture - gestures, facial expressions, intuitive understanding, or even silence
not all high and low context cultures are the same, and while the theoretical framework gives managers a set of guidelines and a place to start, internatonal managers should carefully look into the specific communication styles of the country they are doing business in.
While the theory is useful for distinguishing major differences between high and low context cultures, it does not explain the differences between similar cultures. For example, China and Japan are both high context cultures yet their forms and verbal and non-verbal methods of communication are highly different. Similarly, the US and Australian, although both highly similar and both low context socieites, have very different communication styles and international busiensses shouls be aware of these specific styles of comm when doing int bus.
While Hall's high and low cultural contexts are incredibly useful for exploring differences in cross cultural communication, international mangers should be wary of the limitations of the theory
there are many other cultural variables in cross cultural comm that go beyond just high and low context culture. these include aspects like perceptions of time, dress, haptics, displaying of emotions, etc
in addition, there's much controversy about classifying different cultures as 'high' or 'low' context, as different regions are different and there may be mixes of both high and low contexts throughout different countries and industries
example & apply example
The workers who are part of the low context culture need to be aware of the implications of Japanese high context culture. They should listen carefully to their Japanese partners, pay careful attention to body language, facial expressions and the meaning behind the words in order to pick up what they are really saying.
For example, Japanese workers often won't disagree outright and therefore direct questions like 'can you do this?' or 'will this work' will unlikely to met with a straight up 'no' answer to save face and avoid embarassment. this can seriously put the project in jeopardy if the team is miscommunicating.
For example, the changes of miscommunication are incredibly high in a team of automotive engineers of 3 Japanese, one Australian, 2 Americans & 2 Danish. The Australians, Americans & Danish workers will communicate with low context. They will say exactly what they mean and ask very direct questions. Although Japan is a world leader in automotive engineering and design, these workers may not be able to get their ideas through if the other low context cultures do not allow them to communicate in a way that is familiar to them
Verbal comm types ESCAPI
succinct - few words used, allow for pauses and breaks to convey meaning, a lot expressed through context and non-verabally, assoc w high context cultures
Contextual - focuses on the speaker and relations between the parties
elaborate - high quantity of info, focus on precsions and specifics, lots of talk on details, friends fam, very descriptive
Personal - aims to remove barriers between pax
affective - language that requires pax to listen carefully and observe how things are said as comm is largely non-verbal
Insrumental - very direct and goal oriented language, focuses on getting message across to the other side
Proxemics - space & distance
Material possessions & phy appearance
Kinesics - gesttures/facial expressions & mannerisms
Oculesics - giw ti yse eyes, oft part of negotitations
haptics - body language
Chronemics - attitudes to time, monochronic vs polychronic