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Impact of Cultural on the Communication Process

Communication is the process of sharing meaning by transmitting messages through media such as words, behaviour, or material artifacts. Managers should communicate to coordinate activities, to disseminate information, to motivate people, and to negotiate future plans. It is of vital importance, then, for a receiver to interpret the meaning of a particular communication in the way the sender intended. Unfortunately, the communication process involves stages during which meaning can be distorted. Anything that serves to undermine the communication of the intended meaning is typically referred to as noise.

The more the dissimilar cultures are involved; the more likelihood of misinterpretation is involved. Understanding Intercultural Communication, cultural factors pervade the communication process.

Communication is a complex process of linking up or sharing the perceptual fields of sender and receiver. The perceptive sender builds a bridge to the life space of the receiver. After the receiver interprets the message and draws a conclusion about what the sender meant, he or she will encode and send back a response, making communication a circular process.

The communication process is rapidly changing, however, as a result of technological developments; therefore it is propelling global business forward at a phenomenal growth rate. Because the focus in this text is on effective cross-cultural communication, it is important to understand what cultural variables cause noise in the communication process. This knowledge of cultural noise will enable us to take steps to minimise that noise and so improve communication. The cultural variables that undermine the communication of intended meaning will help international managers to understand business processes.

When a member of one culture sends a message to a member of another culture, intercultural communication takes place. The message contains the meaning intended by the encoder. When it reaches the receiver, however, it undergoes a transformation in which the influence of the decoder’s culture becomes part of the meaning. The attribution of behaviour differs for each participant.

Sometimes, it has been found that Indian employees become frustrated and resign after experiencing communication problems with their German boss. Attribution is the process in which people look for an explanation of another person’s behaviour. When they realise that they do not understand another person, they tend to blame their confusion on the other’s “stupidity, deceit, or craziness.”

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