1 Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences - Ph.D. Program in Psychology, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University6 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
The power to essentialize communication styles
Purpose - Purpose: Intercultural communication problems are most often argued to be caused by differences in cultural values. In this exploratory paper, we argue that attention should not only be directed at national differences. Alternatively, we argue that more interest should be paid to the actual use of those differences in communication. Design/methodology/approach - Methodology: Ethnographic field study including 12 interviews and observations. Findings - Findings: We use a short case on interaction between expatriates and local managers in a Chinese subsidiary of a Danish multinational corporation. This illustrates how individuals and groups may essentialize cultural differences during intercultural business encounters and how this fixation of cultural traits can be used in social stratification. Originality/value - Originality: Only scant extant research has focused on the active use of cultural differences in an intra-subsidiary context.
Journal of Communication Management, 2012, Vol 16, Issue 4, p. 405-419
Intercultural communication; Communication styles; China; Subsidiary management; Expatriates