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This is a€?The Communication Processa€?, section 1.2 from the book A Primer on Communication Studies (v.
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Communication is a complex process, and it is difficult to determine where or with whom a communication encounter starts and ends. Although models of communication provide a useful blueprint to see how the communication process works, they are not complex enough to capture what communication is like as it is experienced. The internal cognitive process that allows participants to send, receive, and understand messages is the encoding and decoding process. The transmission model of communicationDescribes communication as a linear, one-way process in which a sender intentionally transmits a message to a receiver. Since this model is sender and message focused, responsibility is put on the sender to help ensure the message is successfully conveyed. Although the transmission model may seem simple or even underdeveloped to us today, the creation of this model allowed scholars to examine the communication process in new ways, which eventually led to more complex models and theories of communication that we will discuss more later.
The interaction model of communicationDescribes communication as a process in which participants alternate positions as sender and receiver and generate meaning by sending messages and receiving feedback within physical and psychological contexts. As the study of communication progressed, models expanded to account for more of the communication process. To review, each model incorporates a different understanding of what communication is and what communication does. The transaction model of communicationDescribes communication as a process in which communicators generate social realities within social, relational, and cultural contexts. The roles of sender and receiver in the transaction model of communication differ significantly from the other models. Norms are social conventions that we pick up on through observation, practice, and trial and error. Relational contextThe previous interpersonal history and type of relationship we have with a person.
Cultural contextAspects of identities such as race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and ability that influence communication. Cultural context is influenced by numerous aspects of our identities and is not limited to race or ethnicity. When cultural context comes to the forefront of a communication encounter, it can be difficult to manage. Communication models are not complex enough to truly capture all that takes place in a communication encounter, but they can help us examine the various steps in the process in order to better understand our communication and the communication of others. The transmission model of communication describes communication as a one-way, linear process in which a sender encodes a message and transmits it through a channel to a receiver who decodes it.
The interaction model of communication describes communication as a two-way process in which participants alternate positions as sender and receiver and generate meaning by sending and receiving feedback within physical and psychological contexts. The transaction model of communication describes communication as a process in which communicators generate social realities within social, relational, and cultural contexts.
Getting integrated: How might knowing the various components of the communication process help you in your academic life, your professional life, and your civic life?
Use the transaction model of communication to analyze a recent communication encounter you had. Science, Technology and Medicine open access publisher.Publish, read and share novel research. In a world where abundance, not scarcity, is the challenge, your business’ ability to compete directly maps to the strength of its marketing and sales presentations. Our corporate training experts, which include seasoned marketing, management and sales executives who’ve built successful international businesses and teams, are proud to partner with your organization to help you craft programs and pitches that resonate. Scott delivered an inspiring keynote address at our strategic retreat. The combination of theory and life experiences he presented, coupled with industry examples, delivered a powerful message that stimulated much thought and discussion from our leadership. I heard Scott speak at a business event and had to buy his book not only for my staff but all the companies in the UTD Venture Development Lab. Tremendously entertaining and insightful, Scott’s presentations consistently keep audiences on the edge of their seat. Having Scott Steinberg headline our conference turned out to be the best decision we could have possibly made for the kickoff of our 2012 Global Entrepreneurship week activities.
In addition to being a dynamic and engaging speaker, Scott’s insights into coming trends, and how to stay ahead of them, are impeccable – associations and businesses of every size would do well to heed them. Scott is an engaging, knowledgeable speaker who brings a wealth of experience and insider expertise. Scott delivered a thought provoking, dynamic address on the importance of innovation in an increasingly competitive world.
With over a hundred advertising agency and marketing executives attending, Scott’s leading with innovation speech hit the mark.
Scott’s messages about change, culture, innovation, and becoming remarkable provide wisdom from which every company should learn. Scott offered a thought-provoking perspective on what every business can learn from technology companies, regardless of industry or niche.
Scott delivered an inspiring keynote session that was thought provoking, coherent and succinct, backed by real world consulting experience.
Scott was phenomenal: We were very impressed by not only his content but also his presentation style. Scott does a fantastic job of staying tuned to the ever-changing technology landscape.  As a young father with real skin in the game, he connected with many of our parents and teachers and has them seeing things in a different light. A great speaker for financial and government audiences… his workshop on finance and online fundraising was well worth attending.
Scott Steinberg is a world-renowned pundit on the merits of technology, content and video engagement. Scott’s keynote address on the importance of innovation was made all the more relevant as he brought his insights to an engaging panel discussion on big data, and how to make better use of large and complex data sets.
Scott was a great chairman for our Cloud Conference and led the audience through a highly insightful and relevant discussion throughout the two-day agenda. Scott helped create real understanding about how to become more innovative and rapidly responsive to new ideas and change. As a keynote speaker for thousands of EMC employees, customers, and partners, and in intimate conversations with top executives, Scott was a dynamo.
A polished and professional speaker, Scott’s ability to captivate investors and corporate leaders while making complex concepts simple has been of marked benefit to our programs.
We invited Scott to participate in a high profile management training course at our company. Scott not only delivered a brilliant and extremely well-researched message, but his passion resounded throughout the entire presentation as he energized everyone in the room. Scott’s unique expertise is wide and deep: He has a gift for making complex ideas easily understood.
Colleges, high schools and middle schools should keep Scott’s number handy: Teachers and educational institutes will find that his speeches, seminars and training programs offer powerful insights.
Scott is a well-known expert and prolific speaker capable of effortlessly delivering messages on target. One of the best gurus on innovation and competitive advantage strategies to accelerate growth. Genuinely inspiring and practically applicable… Scott’s key note address radically expanded the whole question of what innovation is really all about.
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Models of communication simplify the process by providing a visual representation of the various aspects of a communication encounter. The first two models we will discuss, the transmission model and the interaction model, include the following parts: participants, messages, encoding, decoding, and channels. This model emphasizes clarity and effectiveness, but it also acknowledges that there are barriers to effective communication.
This model is not quite rich enough to capture dynamic face-to-face interactions, but there are instances in which communication is one-way and linear, especially computer-mediated communication (CMC).
Those early steps turned into huge strides in the late 1980s and early 1990s when personal computers started becoming regular features in offices, classrooms, and homes. While the transmission model focused on how a message was transmitted and whether or not it was received, the interaction model is more concerned with the communication process itself. Many scholars view communication as more than a process that is used to carry on conversations and convey meaning.
The transmission model views communication as a thing, like an information packet, that is sent from one place to another. Instead of labeling participants as senders and receivers, the people in a communication encounter are referred to as communicators.
The interaction model portrays context as physical and psychological influences that enhance or impede communication. We may not even know we are breaking a social norm until we notice people looking at us strangely or someone corrects or teases us. Since intercultural communication creates uncertainty, it can deter people from communicating across cultures or lead people to view intercultural communication as negative. This model captures the interactive aspects of communication but still doesna€™t account for how communication constructs our realities and is influenced by social and cultural contexts. This model includes participants who are simultaneously senders and receivers and accounts for how communication constructs our realities, relationships, and communities. To succeed, executive management must immediately be able to connect with clients and customers, and immediately communicate value at a glance. From initial planning to setup and execution, our associates will work closely with your management team and workforce to structure, script and deliver powerful and engaging presentation skills training solutions. Among the most popular speakers at our events, associations and meeting planners would do well to keep his number on hand. His passion and talents show through when brainstorming, creating plans, and strategically putting the pieces together when solving client issues. A tremendous speaker who’s capable of engaging and entertaining audiences of every background, including business and association leaders of every field – Scott’s presentations are a must-see for leaders at every level.
He gave concrete, actionable examples for our students, was an absolute pleasure to work with and I highly recommend him as a teacher and speaker! Drawing on a wealth of case examples and research, Scott captured the audience’s attention with high energy and pacing, and a healthy dose of good humor. The session was fantastic – I suspect his speech will be a frequently downloaded presentation in our webinar archives. His strengths are that he delivers “in the moment” information and examples of pertinent industry issues that resonate well with the audience. As our closing keynote speaker, his motivational message about driving change through innovation and growth was a perfect way to end a successful event! Innovation in this context can mean better business decisions and an advantage in this increasingly competitive world.
There was great engagement with the attendees, and his panel facilitation with the panel helped to drive the message home. He uses tangible examples to illustrate his insights and make them come alive for the audience.
His speeches and presentations not only deliver powerful insight for business and consumer leaders, they also deliver massive value and takeaway for organizations of every kind.
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His involvement included contributing to the development of the content as well as delivering his message on video. From the minute he was introduced, he connected with the audience and both educated and entertained.
His presentations always offer valuable insight for audiences of all backgrounds and experience levels.
He understood the nuances of our industry and tailored the talk perfectly.Scott was a pleasure to work with and we would recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone searching for a vibrant and thoughtful speaker.
He has a wonderful ability to recognize and communicate evolving patterns that are driving the market. His unique talents proved invaluable to our project and we are eager to work with him again. He recently gave a keynote address and received high marks from the audience, and brought home to them the importance of creating a culture to implement change. After just a brief conversation about potential applications to the nonprofit sphere, I left with a toolbox of strategies to test and new ways of thinking. We had our annual conference on innovation technology… and it was an intense, motivational segment he provided. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (291 MB) or just this chapter (21 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
Some models explain communication in more detail than others, but even the most complex model still doesna€™t recreate what we experience in even a moment of a communication encounter.
NoiseAnything that interferes with a message being sent between participants in a communication encounter.
As the following a€?Getting Plugged Ina€? box explains, CMC is integrated into many aspects of our lives now and has opened up new ways of communicating and brought some new challenges. I remember getting our first home computer, a Tandy from Radio Shack, in the early 1990s and then getting our first Internet connection at home in about 1995. Rather than illustrating communication as a linear, one-way process, the interaction model incorporates feedback, which makes communication a more interactive, two-way process. In fact, this model acknowledges that there are so many messages being sent at one time that many of them may not even be received.
Stress, anxiety, and emotions are just some examples of psychological influences that can affect our communication. We dona€™t send messages like computers, and we dona€™t neatly alternate between the roles of sender and receiver as an interaction unfolds. In this model, we dona€™t just communicate to exchange messages; we communicate to create relationships, form intercultural alliances, shape our self-concepts, and engage with others in dialogue to create communities. Unlike the interaction model, which suggests that participants alternate positions as sender and receiver, the transaction model suggests that we are simultaneously senders and receivers. As we are socialized into our various communities, we learn rules and implicitly pick up on norms for communicating.
For example, as a new employee you may over- or underdress for the companya€™s holiday party because you dona€™t know the norm for formality. We communicate differently with someone we just met versus someone wea€™ve known for a long time. We will learn more about these identities in Chapter 2 "Communication and Perception", but for now it is important for us to understand that whether we are aware of it or not, we all have multiple cultural identities that influence our communication.
But if you avoid communicating across cultural identities, you will likely not get more comfortable or competent as a communicator. This model is usually too simple to capture FtF interactions but can be usefully applied to computer-mediated communication. Speech presented at the American Embassy as part of the 2nd Korea America Student Conference, Seoul, Korea. Chang, Innovation implementation in the public sector: An integration of institutional and collective dynamics. Gehani, Mary Parker Follett’s constructive conflict: A “psychological foundation of business administration” for innovative global enterprises. Communications and presentation skills training experts TechSavvy, a favorite with Fortune 500 firms from AT&T to Intel, is proud to partner with corporate enterprises in every industry to provide courses, classes, workshops and seminars that allow teams and individuals to unlock their full potential.
I highly recommend him to any company interested in building innovative culture, disruptive problem-solving approaches or positive change in their organization. The outcome was spot-on – not only by infusing his brand of knowledge and expertise but by energizing and challenging the participants. He was easy to work with in developing content, able to build his presentation to fit our audience, professional, and engaging. Models still serve a valuable purpose for students of communication because they allow us to see specific concepts and steps within the process of communication, define communication, and apply communication concepts.
As we will learn later, the level of conscious thought that goes into encoding messages varies.
Although the receiver is included in the model, this role is viewed as more of a target or end point rather than part of an ongoing process. I set up my first e-mail account in 1996 and remember how novel and exciting it was to send and receive e-mails. We also cana€™t consciously decide to stop communicating, because communication is more than sending and receiving messages. The interaction model views communication as an interaction in which a message is sent and then followed by a reaction (feedback), which is then followed by another reaction, and so on.
In short, we dona€™t communicate about our realities; communication helps to construct our realities.
For example, on a first date, as you send verbal messages about your interests and background, your date reacts nonverbally.
Since the transaction model of communication views communication as a force that shapes our realities before and after specific interactions occur, it must account for contextual influences outside of a single interaction.
Some common rules that influence social contexts include dona€™t lie to people, dona€™t interrupt people, dona€™t pass people in line, greet people when they greet you, thank people when they pay you a compliment, and so on. Although there probably isna€™t a stated rule about how to dress at the holiday party, you will notice your error without someone having to point it out, and you will likely not deviate from the norm again in order to save yourself any potential embarrassment. Initial interactions with people tend to be more highly scripted and governed by established norms and rules, but when we have an established relational context, we may be able to bend or break social norms and rules more easily.


Some people, especially those with identities that have been historically marginalized, are regularly aware of how their cultural identities influence their communication and influence how others communicate with them.
Difference, as we will learn in Chapter 8 "Culture and Communication", isna€™t a bad thing. Leggett, If at first you don’t succeed: globalized production and organizational learning at the Hyundai Motor Company.
Kearney, Cross-functionality and innovation in new product development teams: A dilemmatic structure and its consequences for the management of diversity.
Geffroy-Maronnat, The effects of enterprise resource planning implementation strategy on cross-functionality.
Scott’s unique understanding of products and process combined with his acute eye for marketing provides high educational value. When you become aware of how communication functions, you can think more deliberately through your communication encounters, which can help you better prepare for future communication and learn from your previous communication. We are left to presume that the receiver either successfully receives and understands the message or does not.
Even if a speaker sends a clear message, noise may interfere with a message being accurately received and decoded. The transmission model of communication is well suited for describing the act of text messaging since the sender isna€™t sure that the meaning was effectively conveyed or that the message was received at all.
I wasna€™t imagining a time when I would get dozens of e-mails a day, much less be able to check them on my cell phone! Therefore, communication isna€™t judged effective or ineffective in this model based on whether or not a single message was successfully transmitted and received.
Imagine the different physical contexts in which job interviews take place and how that may affect your communication.
It was challenging to try to communicate because the psychological noise triggered by the stressful news kept intruding into my other thoughts. The transaction model differs from the transmission and interaction models in significant ways, including the conceptualization of communication, the role of sender and receiver, and the role of context.Dean C. From this view, communication is defined as producing conversations and interactions within physical and psychological contexts. You dona€™t wait until you are done sending your verbal message to start receiving and decoding the nonverbal messages of your date. To do this, the transaction model considers how social, relational, and cultural contexts frame and influence our communication encounters. Even though breaking social norms doesna€™t result in the formal punishment that might be a consequence of breaking a social rule, the social awkwardness we feel when we violate social norms is usually enough to teach us that these norms are powerful even though they arena€™t made explicit like rules.
For example, you would likely follow social norms of politeness and attentiveness and might spend the whole day cleaning the house for the first time you invite your new neighbors to visit. Conversely, people with identities that are dominant or in the majority may rarely, if ever, think about the role their cultural identities play in their communication. In fact, intercultural communication has the potential to enrich various aspects of our lives.
Aside from this, he is one of the most professional and easy to work with collaborators I have ever dealt with. The three models of communication we will discuss are the transmission, interaction, and transaction models.
The scholars who designed this model extended on a linear model proposed by Aristotle centuries before that included a speaker, message, and hearer. For example, your instructor may respond to a point you raise during class discussion or you may point to the sofa when your roommate asks you where the remote control is. I have had job interviews on a sofa in a comfortable office, sitting around a large conference table, and even once in an auditorium where I was positioned on the stage facing about twenty potential colleagues seated in the audience.
Seemingly positive psychological states, like experiencing the emotion of love, can also affect communication.
Barnlund, a€?A Transactional Model of Communication,a€? in Foundations of Communication Theory, eds.
The transaction model views communication as integrated into our social realities in such a way that it helps us not only understand them but also create and change them. Instead, you are simultaneously sending your verbal message and receiving your datea€™s nonverbal messages. Once the neighbors are in your house, you may also make them the center of your attention during their visit. In order to communicate well within various cultural contexts, it is important to keep an open mind and avoid making assumptions about othersa€™ cultural identities. IntroductionIn a global environment the ability to communicate effectively can be a challenge. For example, when you say a€?Hello!a€? to your friend, you are sending a message of greeting that will be received by your friend. For example, you may realize youa€™re hungry and encode the following message to send to your roommate: a€?Ia€™m hungry.
If you use an abbreviation the receiver doesna€™t know or the phone autocorrects to something completely different than you meant, then semantic noise has interfered with the message transmission. If thata€™s the case, then youa€™re what some scholars have called a€?digital natives.a€? When you take a moment to think about how, over the past twenty years, CMC has changed the way we teach and learn, communicate at work, stay in touch with friends, initiate romantic relationships, search for jobs, manage our money, get our news, and participate in our democracy, it really is amazing to think that all that used to take place without computers. The inclusion of a feedback loop also leads to a more complex understanding of the roles of participants in a communication encounter. Ia€™ve also been walked around campus to interview with various people in temperatures below zero degrees. During the initial stages of a romantic relationship individuals may be so a€?love strucka€? that they dona€™t see incompatible personality traits or dona€™t negatively evaluate behaviors they might otherwise find off-putting. This is an important addition to the model because it allows us to understand how we are able to adapt our communicationa€”for example, a verbal messagea€”in the middle of sending it based on the communication we are simultaneously receiving from our communication partner.
To go back to the examples of common social rules mentioned before, we may break the rule about not lying if the lie is meant to save someone from feeling hurt. If you end up becoming friends with your neighbors and establishing a relational context, you might not think as much about having everything cleaned and prepared or even giving them your whole attention during later visits. While you may be able to identify some aspects of the cultural context within a communication encounter, there may also be cultural influences that you cana€™t see. Even when both parties speak the same language there can still be misunderstandings due to ethic and cultural differences. Do you want to get pizza tonight?a€? As your roommate receives the message, he decodes your communication and turns it back into thoughts in order to make meaning out of it. Think of how a radio message is sent from a person in the radio studio to you listening in your car. I enjoy bargain hunting at thrift stores, so I just recently sent a text to a friend asking if she wanted to go thrifting over the weekend.
But the increasing use of CMC has also raised some questions and concerns, even among those of you who are digital natives. Rather than having one sender, one message, and one receiver, this model has two sender-receivers who exchange messages. Although I was a little chilly when I got to each separate interview, it wasna€™t too difficult to warm up and go on with the interview. Feedback and context help make the interaction model a more useful illustration of the communication process, but the transaction model views communication as a powerful tool that shapes our realities beyond individual communication encounters. We often interrupt close friends when wea€™re having an exciting conversation, but we wouldna€™t be as likely to interrupt a professor while they are lecturing. Since communication norms and rules also vary based on the type of relationship people have, relationship type is also included in relational context. A competent communicator shouldna€™t assume to know all the cultural contexts a person brings to an encounter, since not all cultural identities are visible. Over the last decade, there have been countless examples from the business sector that demonstrate how poor communication can lead to poor organizational performance. Of course, we dona€™t just communicate verballya€”we have various options, or channels for communication. The sender is the radio announcer who encodes a verbal message that is transmitted by a radio tower through electromagnetic waves (the channel) and eventually reaches your (the receivera€™s) ears via an antenna and speakers in order to be decoded. Other people talking in a crowded diner could interfere with your ability to transmit a message and have it successfully decoded.
After she replied with a€?What?!?a€? I reviewed my text and saw that my a€?smarta€? phone had autocorrected thrifting to thrusting! Almost half of the students in my latest communication research class wanted to do their final research projects on something related to social media. Each participant alternates roles as sender and receiver in order to keep a communication encounter going. During a job interview in Puerto Rico, however, walking around outside wearing a suit in near 90 degree temperatures created a sweating situation that wasna€™t pleasant to try to communicate through. Since norms and rules vary among people and cultures, relational and cultural contexts are also included in the transaction model in order to help us understand the multiple contexts that influence our communication.
For example, there are certain communication rules and norms that apply to a supervisor-supervisee relationship that dona€™t apply to a brother-sister relationship and vice versa. As with the other contexts, it requires skill to adapt to shifting contexts, and the best way to develop these skills is through practice and reflection. Understanding the impact of globalization on cross-culture communication is imperative for organizations seeking to create a competitive advantage in the global market.
Encoded messages are sent through a channelThe sensory route on which a message travels., or a sensory route on which a message travels, to the receiver for decoding.
The radio announcer doesna€™t really know if you receive his or her message or not, but if the equipment is working and the channel is free of static, then there is a good chance that the message was successfully received. While environmental noise interferes with the transmission of the message, semantic noiseNoise that occurs in the encoding and decoding process when the participants do not understand a symbol. You have likely experienced similar problems with text messaging, and a quick Google search for examples of text messages made funny or embarrassing by the autocorrect feature proves that many others do, too. Many of them were interested in studying the effects of CMC on our personal lives and relationships. Although this seems like a perceptible and deliberate process, we alternate between the roles of sender and receiver very quickly and often without conscious thought. Whether ita€™s the size of the room, the temperature, or other environmental factors, ita€™s important to consider the role that physical context plays in our communication.
Recent economic challenges further highlight the need for organizations to develop the internal communication capacity necessary to control and monitor external threats.
This desire to study and question CMC may stem from an anxiety that people have about the seeming loss or devaluing of face-to-face (FtF) communication. As society becomes more globally connected the ability to communicate across cultural boundaries has gained increasing prominence. If your roommate has headphones on and is engrossed in a video game, you may need to get his attention by waving your hands before you can ask him about dinner.
Aside from concerns about the digital cocoons that many of us find ourselves in, CMC has also raised concerns about privacy, cyberbullying, and lack of civility in online interactions.
Global businesses must understand how to communicate with employees and customers from different cultures in order to fulfill the organization’s mission and build value for stakeholders.
We will continue to explore many of these issues in the a€?Getting Plugged Ina€? feature box included in each chapter, but the following questions will help you begin to see the influence that CMC has in your daily communication.
The use of technology has had a profound impact on how businesses communicate globally and market their products and services.
Semantic noise can also interfere in communication between people speaking the same language because many words have multiple or unfamiliar meanings. However, with the advancements in technology organizations must still be cognoscente of the culture nuisances that can potentially present obstacles in trying to increase profits and market share.
According to Genevieve Hilton, “cultural proficiency doesn't mean memorizing every cultural nuance of every market. It's knowing when to listen, when to ask for help, and when—finally—to speak” [1].For companies involved in global business operations the relationship of managers and subordinates in multinational firms is important. In research conducted by Thomas and Ravlin [2] it was found that participants to whom nationality was more important indicated lower perceptions of similarity with the manager, lower intentions to associate, and lower perceptions of managerial effectiveness. The results of the study strongly indicate that teaching members of different cultures to behave like each other is an ineffective approach to improving intercultural interactions in business settings [2]. Training and development of individuals involved in intercultural interactions should involve more than simply promoting cultural adaptationCommunication is vital for businesses to effectively explain how their products and services differ from their competitors.
Companies that are successfully able to communicate cross-culturally have a competitive advantage because they can devote more time and resources to conducting business and less time on internal and external communication issues [1].
Communication is necessary for individuals to express themselves and to fulfill basic needs. To illustrate the importance of communication on building relationships globally consider the example of the United States and South Korea.
In 1884, the United States government became the first foreign entity to purchase property in Korea [3]. Despite significant cultural differences, South Korea and the United States have been able to develop a communication process that other countries seek to replicate.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Korea was established in 1953 with the chief purpose to promote the advancement of trade and commerce between Korea and the United States. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, summed it up by saying, “we must use our shared interests and values to compliment and transform each other’s growth” [5]. The main purpose of this study is to develop a cross-cultural communication model that can be applied by companies that communicate with employees from different cultures. The aim is to identify the steps that leaders of organizations competing in a global environment should consider when communicating to different cultures. This study uses a group a college students participating in the 2nd Korea America Student Conference (KASC) as the main research source for creating the model. The researchers used a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to generate the model. A comparative literature review is conducted and organizational examples of Samsung and Hyundai are considered to demonstrate the impact of globalization on cross-culture communication practices. The study also highlights the action research methodology that was employed to design the cross-culture communication model. In conclusion, the 4 C’s Global Leadership Model is introduced to demonstrate how organizational leaders can create innovation in a global environment by managing conflict, communication, creativity, and connectivity. Literature reviewResearch on cross-cultural communication often focuses on understanding how individual differences influence our ability to communicate with others.
Since most individuals grow up within a single culture having to interact with others from a different culture or background can represent a challenge [7]. Exposure to different cultures affects our ability to communicate with others in a way that leads to positive outcomes.
Fink, Neyer, and Kolling propose that researchers involved in cross-cultural studies should develop an understanding of the interrelations between cultural dimensions, cultural standards, and personality traits [7]. This increased awareness helps an individual to manage their own cross-cultural behavior as well as that of others. Reza Najafbagy refers to co-orientation, the ability to familiarize all aspects of one’s own life in relation to someone of a different culture, as a primary component of intercultural communication [8]. Individuals that have experienced different cultures are more cognizant of how to alter their communication style so that others understand the information they are trying to transfer.
Research conducted by Seak and Enderwick revealed the importance of providing cross-cultural communication and training skills for expatriates assigned to foreign locations in particularly, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea [9]. Now more than ever global organizations must ensure that their employees have the skills required to communicate across cultural boundaries. Cross-cultural communication enhances innovation by allowing for collective problem solving and the open dissemination of information [10].Cohen and Levinthal define the term absorptive capacity as an organization’s ability to identify and recognize the value of new external information, absorb it, and implement it into their business operations [11]. Organizations that understand the importance of external information are better able to use their core competencies to create a competitive advantage. However, when information flows are random and there is no apparent directive of how to apply the outside knowledge the organization will not benefit [11]. Productivity decreases when organizational leaders are not able to communicate clear and concise expectations.
Furthermore, conflict and tension arises when employees do not understand how their personal efforts contribute to the overall success of the organization.Culture can affect how we perceive the actions of others.
Ambassador Stephens gave the example of a “cheerleading group from North Korea that was participating in a sports competition in South Korea.
She then proceeds to get off the bus in the rain to get a poster of the North Korean leader that was getting wet. Effective cross-culture communication requires that we base our perceptions on facts and not merely on personal biases and prejudices. The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project (GLOBE) examined cultural values of organizational practices and leadership. The study focuses on identifying cultural influences on leadership and management practices.
Some scholars believe that as society becomes more interconnected cultural differences will converge [12]. Even though some convergence may occur over time, countries will still maintain distinct cultural differences that will transcend technology and external influences.Successful business leaders must be able to balance organizational objectives with external global challenges. As organizations become more interconnected the role of leaders in managing global teams is becoming increasingly important. Being able to navigate through different cultural nuances is a key skill for global leaders. Rabotin defines cultural intelligence as “the ability to interact with others from diverse cultural backgrounds, being aware of our cultural values that drive our attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs” [13].
Regardless of their geographic location leaders must be able to communicate across borders in order to create a competitive advantage and achieve results. A global leader must be aware of their personal cultural biases and be willing to change their opinions by learning from those that are different from them [13]. In research conducted by Choi and Chang it was noted that organizational culture directly impacts the attitudes and motivation of employees towards innovation [14]. The researchers identified three organizational factors of management support, resource availability, and support for learning as key enablers for innovation [14]. All three factors were found to be significantly correlated to implementation, however; only management support was determined to be a significant predictor of innovation [14]. This research supports the conclusion that when employees are fully engaged in the process of innovation success is more likely to be achieved.
Organizations must have in place procedures that encourage innovation throughout the entire company.
Every employee must feel vested in the company and continually seeking ways to improve processes.3.


MethodologyA qualitative and quantitative research strategy consisting of group observations, interviews, and surveys were used to gather information. These methods are most appropriate because of the complexity involved in studying culture and communication from an individual perspective.
By using these methods the researchers were able to ascertain underlying factors that are relevant to understanding the affects of culture on communication when two different groups interact with each other. Participants were undergraduate and graduate students from South Korea and the United States selected to participate in the 2nd Korea America Student Conference (KASC). Participation in the study was completely voluntary and students were asked to complete a consent form. The researchers focused on collecting data from participants to assist in the development of a cross-cultural communication model. The researcher addressed the differences and similarities in communication strategies and the affect on building relationships. Previous research on culture has applied a field-based approach that allows for the exchange of information from multiple sources. The researchers followed a similar structure when participating in KASC over a two-week period. The role of the researchers was that of consultants that sought to serve as a bridge between the participants and the administrators of the conference. It was important for the researcher to develop a level of trust with the participants quickly. To accomplish this, the researchers assisted staff with administrative tasks during the conference and shared in activities with the participants. The researchers used current programs established by KASC to expand opportunities to exchange information.
During group observations the researchers focused on key words and phrases that were used by the students and categorized them according to relevant themes.
Based on the words and phrases a concept map was created that helped to identify the predictors used in the study.Five cultural measurements of acceptance, conflict, individualism, risk, and sharing were used to predict the country of residence. The country of residence index was selected as the dependent variable because it is directly affected by culture.Rigor and validity were addressed by continuously redefining the key issues identified by participants.
Participant feedback was vital to this study and was used to form and shape the cross-cultural communication model.
The survey that was developed for this study consisted of 23 items that were rated on five point Likert scale with 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree.
Each of the items assessed one of the cultural measurements of acceptance, conflict, individualism, risk, or sharing. ResultsA multiple regression analysis was conducted to evaluate how well the five independent variables for culture predict the country of residence. Cross-cultural communication modelThe purpose of communication is to transfer ideas and knowledge from one entity to the other. The first step in communication is input; someone must say something that is received by someone else.
The communication loop is successful when the receiver demonstrates that he or she understands what was being communicated. From an organizational perspective there are many barriers than can impede the flow of communication. For the purpose of this model culture refers to the traditions and customs that are prevalent in the country where each company is located. Technology is simply the use of mediums such as email, Internet, text messaging, and cell phones to communicate. When a company does not have experience using a particular technological medium to communicate it may rely on older methods that the other company views as inadequate. If the languages of the two companies are different, then one company must learn the other’s language or a new language must be created. Workforce refers to the internal structure of the company, including employees, managers, and organizational leaders. For example, the economy can have an adverse impact on an organization and present an obstacle to cross-culture communication.As illustrated in Figure 1, when these barriers are eliminated companies are able to experience innovation, reduced conflict, and better dissemination of information.
Ku-Hyun (personal communication, July 20, 2009) stated “to be successful as a global corporation communication is critical.” Without communication organizations will cease to be. The challenge for organizations that must communicate cross-culturally is to ensure that their message is understood the way that it was intended.
When communication barriers are not removed it is easy to make assumptions about what is being communicated. Our assumptions of what we thought was being communicated can be very different from the original message. Communication takes effort, it is much easier to sit back and simply assume what we think others are trying to tell us. Organizations must be willing to invest the resources needed to support cross-culture communication.Successful cross-cultural communication creates a dialogue, a continuous transfer of information. This exchange of information addresses our assumptions and clarifies points we do not understand. It also provides the opportunity for us to ask questions and confirm the information that was received. Having a dialogue reduces conflict because cultural misunderstandings can be dealt with when they arise. The dialogue only occurs when both parties agree to share information and ensure that the transfer of information is not blocked. Samsung and HyundaiTo illustrate how companies can utilize the cross-culture communication model to improve business practices consider the examples of Samsung and Hyundai.
Samsung is recognized as a global industry leader because of its inner capacity to take advantage of distinct initiatives (J. It hires a small percentage of non-Koreans inside Korea but employs a higher percentage off non-Koreans outside of Korea. Decisions occur in a collective atmosphere that allows for communication at all levels of the organization. However, even when decisions are clearly communicated throughout the organization employees may not always show support.The workforce can represent a barrier to cross-cultural communication when employees feel they are not valued.
However, with the increase of younger employees entering the workforce who had different expectations, Samsung had to make a change. Management made the decision to change the workday from five-to-nine to seven-to-four [15]. The reason for Samsung’s change was to get employees to be more team oriented and more productive. Changing the hours of the workday required employees to work together and it also required managers and supervisors to have a more active role in completing daily tasks.
The seven-to-four schedule was a cultural shift that was instigated by new employees entering the company with a different outlook towards work and personal time. Now employees have to proactively plan their workday in order to ensure that everything is accomplished in a timely fashion.
Samsung has been able to become a global leader because of its commitment to the development of technological capabilities [16]. Management’s objective is to “develop technology capabilities for value creation in diverse business areas” that will ultimately support growth in global competition [16]. The focus on innovation requires the sharing of business practices and technology throughout the organization. Samsung must communicate with employees and customers simultaneously to ensure that company objectives are met.J.
Ku-Hyun (personal communication, July 20, 2009) reports that Samsung’s competitive advantages include 1) commitment to work that is translated into speed advantages, 2) highly skilled engineers and technicians, and 3) management talent and experience. Samsung has used these competitive advantages to enhance its relationship with customers and expand globally.Hyundai Motor Company was formed in 1967 and has established itself as company that focuses on quality improvement and innovation [17]. From the small beginning in Seoul, Korea the company has now expanded to more than ten countries including the United States, Canada, India, China, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia, Sudan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, and Japan [17]. For this expansion to take place requires effective communication that is able to overcome cultural barriers and accomplish global management initiatives. Research conducted by Wright, Suh, and Leggett revealed that Hyundai’s achievement at globalization depended upon its ability to expand international sales as it gained experience in international markets [18]. The move from domestic to global production means Hyundai must operate in “unfamiliar and uncertain economic and cultural contexts” [18].Over the years Hyundai has learned valuable lessons on the importance of knowing and valuing the needs of its customers.
In the early 1990s, Hyundai experienced problems when trying to expand production to Canada.
The primary issue was that the company did not adapt the design of the Sonata for North American customers [18]. Another important lesson was learned when Hyundai made the decision to start production in Turkey because of the lower cost for workers. Because of the lower wages management decided to use more hand-operated technology instead of the automated manufacturing processes utilized in its domestic plants. As a result, the production rate of the Turkish plant was 25% lower than that in Korea [18].
From these experiences Hyundai learned the importance of researching the culture of a country before making profound business decisions. Cross-culture communication involves adapting organizational policies to fit the context of where business transactions will occur.Key to Hyundai’s success is its corporate philosophy that places the needs of customers as top priority in all business areas. This customer-oriented management style requires organizational leaders to be receptive to new ideas and to think outside the box. To encourage employees to expand their cultural awareness the company encourages three-month assignments to its overseas sites. For example, when the company was building a site in Alabama it allowed employees to visit and study the culture [19].The company promotes an employee backpack travel program around the globe where teams of three design their cultural experience. The teams compete for a company sponsorship of 15-day expeditions by writing what they hope to learn [19]. During a visit to the Asan Plant located in Chungchungnam-do, Korea, it was very apparent of how the company is being innovative.
The plant has a production capacity of 300,000 units and utilizes the latest in robotic technology to assemble vehicles (Tour Guide, personal communication, July 27, 2009). The plant operates two ten-hour shifts and provides numerous incentives for employees that are innovative on the job.7.
ConclusionThe researchers proposed attending the 2nd Korea-America Student Conference in order to develop a relationship with participants that have a vested interest in global issues and to define the criteria for the proposed cross-culture communication model by using various qualitative methods. These objectives were accomplished and much insight gained into understanding how culture affects communication. Samsung and Hyundai are only two examples of organizations that are effectively communicating cross-culturally.
Both organizations have been able to learn from their past mistakes and create strategies that support their growth in the global market. The sharing of information makes it possible for other organizations to also benefit from the mistakes made by these organizations. During one of the group observations a Korean participant stated, “A smile is a basic tool of communication” (personal communication, July 16, 2009).
How true it is that a simple smile can break down communication barriers and build bridges of understanding. Cross-culture communication is not easy, especially when we are unfamiliar with the receiver of the information. Mistakes are a normal part life and at times if we are not careful our mistakes can have lasting consequences.
The cross-culture communication model developed from this study provides a mechanism for obtaining feedback from the global market.
The model identifies the barriers to cross-culture communication and summarizes the outcomes that can be achieved when these barriers are tackled.The results of study verified that the five independent variables of acceptance, conflict, individualism, risk, and sharing could be used to predict country residence. In order to validate the validity and reliability of the study a larger sample size should be used in future studies.
The participants of the study were also aware of the need to increase cultural awareness and displayed a desire to gain a deeper understanding of American and Korean relations. The study adds to the current body of knowledge on cross-culture communication by demonstrating the importance of culture in business settings.Organizational cross-functionality or connectivity is essential to innovation because it brings together a diverse group of people from different functional backgrounds [20]. Management must take steps to ensure that cross-functionality does not create conflict and hinder communication within the team [20].
To effectively generate innovation the level of expertise and individual skill set of each team member must be ascertained. Research indicates that cross-functional teams are more effective at new produce development that is valued by the customer [21]. Leadership is the foundation to cross-functionality because it provides the oversight and direction necessary for it to work.
Leaders that are innovators are receptive to change and value feedback from those around them. This is done by having in place recruitment strategies that target successful applicants that possess the skills necessary to the organization to the next level [22].
There should also be in place a well-developed talent-management process that identifies innovators, connects them to the mission of the organization, and provides the necessary internal resources for them to be successful. Figure 2.The 4 C’s Global Leadership ModelA comparison of leadership strategies between Samsung and Hyundai provides the basis for developing the 4 C’s Global Leadership Model that can be employed by organizations to make certain that they have the right person for the job. The model consists of four key factors: communication, conflict, creativity, and connectivity. Being aware of what types of individuals make good global leaders allows the organization to develop HR policies to support recruitment and succession. By creating a pipeline of capable global leaders the organization is able to sustain innovation and change. Leaders are the main link responsible for harnessing the ideas of employees to create innovation. Bringing together individuals from different cultural backgrounds will lead to conflict; however, this does not have to be perceived as a negative.
Gehani and Gehani define conflict as simply the result of natural differences that occur between people from different backgrounds [23].
Leaders must be aware of the communication styles that are needed when working with multicultural teams. The use of the email, conference calls, and other technological innovations to communicate need to be addressed to ensure that all members are able to participate fully. When members feel they are not able to communicate openly innovation is hindered and the organization suffers. As global competition continues to increase, successful organizations must evolve to meet the changing needs of consumers.
Innovation provides the opportunity for organizations to think outside the box and “produce better product, faster, cheaper and more efficiently than competitors [24].
Increased attention on innovation has caused organizational leaders to develop systems to manage the process and support the efforts of employees.
According to Dooley & O’Sullivan being able to identify the correct process for implementing innovation will directly impact the success [24].
It is easier to implement innovation when the culture of the organization allows for employee feedback, planning, and evaluation.
In research conducted by Barnett and Storey it was found that there was a strong connection between learning and innovation in organizations [25].
The researchers studied 220 employees at a manufacturing company, Tensator, located in the United Kingdom. Key to Tensator’s success is their ability to integrate succession planning with sustaining innovation [25]. Instead of focusing solely on keeping top management positions filled, the organization seeks to keep the pipeline of skilled laborers in amble supply to support innovation. This strategy requires the company to continually provide learning and development opportunities for employees to ensure that they remain at the top of their game.Microsoft is applying a holistic approach to innovation in seeking to compete with Yahoo and Google in the development of search engines [26]. Management is aware they must do more than simply try to catch up with their competitors; they must redesign the way that search engines are viewed and utilized.
The holistic approach is further supported by Porter in work done with organizations to help them improve their supply chains [27]. Organizations that use a holistic approach are able to obtain a broader view of how they fit into the global market.
Instead of focusing on small segments of their business operations, attention is given to the entire process. This allows for the organization to implement innovation that will create value for customers.Connectivity is defined as the ability to orchestrate organizational networks to move in the same direction in order to accomplish the company’s mission. Employees must feel contacted to the organization and understand how their individual effort contributes to the bottom line. Global leaders must look for opportunities to connect everyone within the organization to the overall goals and objectives. When employees understand the big picture and the direction the organization is taking innovation and change are supported.The 4 C’s Global Leadership Model is designed to provide a basis for organizational leaders to use in mapping out strategies for working globally with multicultural teams.
The business environment is continually evolving and global leaders must persistently develop new organization strategies to meet global challenges. Although, Samsung and Hyundai both compete in different industries there are parallels that can be gleamed from how they communicate and inspire innovation from their employees.
The Cross-Culture Communication Model and 4 C’s Global Leadership Model are tools designed to assist organizational leaders to compete in the ever-changing global environment.The core aspects of global leadership critical to leading innovation and change are vision, communication, and responsibility. In 2008 a group of scholars and business leaders identified twenty-five factors that are important for managers in implementing innovation [28].
Effective communication requires that organizations not become bogged down with hierarchal thinking that can typically slow down the communication process. Large organizations must operate like small organizations and be able to respond quickly to organizational and market changes [28].Successful organizations must focus on goals that are socially responsible [28].
Innovation is not just creating the coolest new gadget but it is creating the coolest new gadget that serves the environment in a sustainable manner. As organizations become more global the focus on corporate social responsibility increases.
According to Westlund it is no longer sufficient for organizations only to make a profit and comply with the law [29].



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