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Hurdles to Cross Cultural Business Communication

Author: Neil Payne

International businesses are facing new challenges to their internal communication structures due to major reforms brought about through internationalization, downsizing, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Lack of investment in cross cultural training and language tuition often leads to deficient internal cohesion. The loss of clients/customers, poor staff retention, lack of competitive edge, internal conflicts/power struggles, poor working relations, misunderstandings, stress, poor productivity and lack of co-operation are all by-products of poor cross cultural communication.

Cross cultural communications consultants work with international companies to minimise the above consequences of poor cross cultural awareness. Through such cooperation, consultancies like Kwintessential have recognised common hurdles to effective cross cultural communication within companies.

Here we outline a few examples of these obstacles to cross cultural co-operation:

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“Unusual Overseas Etiquette”


In case you were wondering about how etiquette varies depending on where you are, read on. The following is from the News.com.au story titled “Unusual overseas etiquette.”

IF you kiss in public, forget to flush the toilet or wear a mask you may be surprised to find yourself in hot water in some countries.

Below are some lesser-known acts that may breach the etiquette rules of some of the most popular tourist destinations around the world.

St. Louis, Missouri, US

It is actually illegal for firemen to rescue women who are still in their nightdresses or other various underwear attire. Interestingly, it’s also illegal to sit on the curb of any city street and drink beer from a bucket.

United Arab Emirates

Public nudity is a criminal offence in the UAE and a kiss on the cheek can Read more »