The effects of cultural differences on business communication : A study in OnlineFactory.asia

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle; Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Abstract: Cultural differences have always been the ground to barriers within communication. Due to globalization this is becoming an increasingly important aspect of how business communication is done.  Therefore, there is a need for organizations to have the skillset to deal with the cultural differences that a cross-cultural business environment entails.  To understand the effect of cultural differences in business communication, more specifically the Swedish and the Filipino culture at OnlineFactory.asia, a qualitative research approach was used to conduct a case study. Interviews with two employees were conducted, one of Filipino descent and the other with both Swedish and Filipino roots. The study has followed the structure as can be seen in the frame of reference according to the studies three main subjects: globalization, culture and communication and business communication.    The data gathered through the interviews showed that cultural differences have a significant impact on business communication, as can be seen through the study done at OnlineFactory.asia. The two cultures that were studied differ in cultural values which in turn had an effect on their communication. The Hofstede framework was used to analyze the differences between the two cultures and used as guidance throughout this study. Factors like language barriers, adaptability and cultural values have shown to have an impact on the way that the two employees communicate within business. OnlineFactory.asia’s educational program is a way to use cultural differences and turn them into their competitive advantage. Having an understanding of each other's cultural differences, provides the tool needed to minimize miscommunications that often occur in a cross-cultural workplace.

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