Purpose - Functionalist models of intercultural interaction have serious limitations relying on static and decontextualized culture views. This paper sets out to outline newer developments in anthropological theory in order to provide inspirations to a more dynamic and contextual approach for understanding intercultural communication research in cross-cultural management (CCM). Design/methodology/approach - The paper analyzes the established approaches to the cultural underpinnings of intercultural communication in CCM and examines how newer developments in anthropology may contribute to this research. Findings - The standard frameworks for classifying cultures in CCM are based on a view of culture as static, formal mental codes and values abstracted from the context of valuation. However, this view, underwriting the dominating research stream, has been abandoned in the discipline of anthropology from which it originated. This theory gap between intercultural communication research in CCM and anthropology tends to exclude from CCM an understanding of how the context of social, organizational and power relationships shapes the role of culture in communication. Practical implications - The paper proposes to substitute the view of culture as comprising of abstract values and codes as determinants of communication with concepts of culture as dynamically enfolded in practice and socially situated in specific contexts, in order to give new directions to theories on intercultural communication in CCM. Originality/value - Scant research has compared intercultural communication research in CCM with new anthropological developments. New insights from anthropology are analyzed in order to open up analytical space in CCM.
Critical Perspectives on International Business, 2009, Vol 5, Issue 3, p. 207-228