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The Communication Barriers In International Business Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 1766 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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With the rapid speed of integration nowadays, the cooperation between companies across over the world has become more popular. One of the most important factors to make a success for that process is communication. That is the reason why Griffith (2002) states that “Effective communication between international business partners is critical for global success”. But the tough question is how to make the communication for international business effectively. A number of businesses have endeavoured to address that question due to recognizing the significant affects of communication for their global business activities. To overcome the barriers in communication such as the difference in cultures and languages, the development of communication takes a crucial role, helping business to expand into global markets to increase profitability from successful transactions.

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The purpose of this essay is proposing the importance of developments of communication which have a huge influence on international business. Firstly, it will mention about the communication barriers in international business. Secondly, the paper will move on to the benefits of global communication technology and effective communication ability which are advantageous for international business. Finally, the way of communicating effectively in international business will be presented.

The communication barriers in international business

Misunderstanding, contradictory and language distance epitomise of ineffective communication, leading to a number of negative affects for the appearance and productivity of business. The distance between two difference cultures is the most arduous hindrance for business which is mentioned below.

There are numerous definitions of culture. According to anthropologists Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952), the basic source of culture which includes notions of tradition and values together. Those values are conserved and developed by the next generation. Therefore, Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1963) also defined that “a culture is a way of life of a group of people which are the behaviours, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next”. Another definition is stated by Hofstede and Bon (1988) cited in David A. Griffith (2002) that “culture of each country provide an implicit theory concerning relating to behavioural expectations in a variety of situations, including communication”. In business, before an adventure on a new global market, it is necessary to distinguish cultural differences of one country from the others. Most of differences are intangible hence the awareness of national culture is essential in global business.

The difference of nation culture and the misunderstanding of partners are the main factors to belittle the success of international business. Specifically, each country has its own expression about things, that it can be inoffensive to you but it does not mean not offend others. This is also true with the gesture which is one of the most important factors in diplomatic rituals. The gap of culture between enterprises which are from Western countries and Eastern ones are more obvious.

Another drawback in the international business is the language barrier. That is the reason why translators are always needed when doing business transactions in international trade. That would increase confusion in contract terms which consistently require high accuracy. Moreover, language differences can be a disadvantage for enterprises to completely represent their views as their native languages, especially in complex business requiring greater details.

Benefits of global communication technology and effective communication ability

The speedy evolution of global communication devices can be seen through the obvious alteration of information technology such as the Internet, information and social network which bring many advantages. Computer is used in business involves in many fields such as sales, finance and distribution, helping manufacturing quickly and constantly exchanging information through the computer. Specifically, in business, the requirement of information is necessitated to be extremely quick in order to seize opportunities and the information of competitors must always be updated. The global communication technology can meet those demand by provide a large amount of tools for searching and sharing information.

Another gain of information technology in business is increasing profit for company by supporting business expansion overseas and constructing an effective business management system. The companies are able to manage their branches and subsidiaries around the world through communication technology. In fact, many companies have been building an effective communication technology system for their business activities. For instance, Pepsi Company’s provides laptops to all its salespeople. Ultimately, all salespeople connect their laptops to the phones and sale data will be sent to sever in Dallas and then the data will be distributed to the areas needed information (Ross Dawson, 2010). In that way, they can run the company quickly and effectively.

There are also various examples of successful companies which use e-commerce for their business activities such as Paypal, MSN or Bizrate. All that companies are brought success by global communication technology’s advantages. Another illustration of this, in banking area, if information technology helps people in office applications, accounting software and other specific applications, communication technology assist them to connect to customers, enhance their competitive advantage and bring their brands universally.

Another part has significant influence on the success of international business is communication ability such as language, cultural knowledge and the learning of organization. All factors mentioned above, language skill is considered as one of the most critical ability in international business. Languages are not only needed to boost sales and marketing but also supporting for the achievement of an international business, deciding the success or failure of that business deal. To illustrate, in recent report presented by business leaders namely EU Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban and Business Forum chair Viscount Etienne Davignon , “European business are taking a risk of losing competitiveness as other countries which start outperforming the European in terms of language skills”. The new development economies, mainly in Asia and the Latin America have been evaluating the important role of language and focus on it. Therefore, these countries quickly get a solid foundation of language which is considered a competitive advantage in the business’ efficiency. For more details, the report has also shown that “11% of European companies lose business every year as a direct result of linguistic and intercultural weaknesses”.

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The way of communication effectively in international business

In the international background, apprehending cultural differences will enhance the rate of success in international business. It is clear to identify that if the adaptation to differences through international business is failed which means the business deal is closed. Furthermore, communication in international business is communication through cultural if a business knows how to communicate through the partners’ point of view, it will be one of their competitive advantages. Therefore, it requires the sophistications in choosing the most suitable way to communicate with their partners. For example, being frank and going straight to the problem might be a good method in some business contexts but it cannot use in all situations. In addition, it is necessary to clearly define who they are communicating with and change to match the partners’ styles and cultures. As they say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It is also a modern integration trend globally nowadays.

With the aim of getting an ability to communicate effectively, we should develop listening skills and language skill as well. Additionally, businessmen should build the knowledge of your own culture and other cultures that will give them a better opportunity to surmount differences between languages, gestures and traditions. Another key factor is keeping an open and willing mind and not to build barriers from those differences. Furthermore, it takes great sensitivity and awareness by studying cultures and becoming more perceptive and adaptable in communication efforts. Enterprises can start from small things to learn about specific national culture, but can build a sustainable future for their business.

As the amount of advantages of global communication technology discussed, it is essential for each company to construct an adequate communication technology system and electronic infrastructure. Business should consider communication system as a strategic plan and allocate capital appropriately on developing it. It means the communication technology should be updated and upgraded regularly to get new features.


In conclusion, the trend of extending the business’ scale into international markets is currently top target for their long-term development. The communication incompatibility is one of difficulties that businesses have to face with, hindering effectiveness. The acquisition of effective communication is acknowledged as strategic advantages in conducting business overseas (P.R.Cerotti et al, 1998).

All these differences may lead to communication difficulties. Cultural inconsistence is one of the major factors of communication which is caused the misunderstanding and hampering the successful international business. Having effective global communication technology and potential cultural awareness can offer companies various prospects of a global market.

Communication contains a large number of aspects and factors. This essay is a brief study hence it is difficult to discuss all those effects of the development of communication for international business. In my opinion, all businesses currently should be looking for the effective methods to hurdle communication barriers in order to achieve success in global market.


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