Chapter 1: business in the information age


i. Challenges of the Information age workplace



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i. Challenges of the Information age workplace


-Disruptive technologies and social media

UNDERSTANDING CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION


-When different cultures come together, significant misunderstanding can occur; therefore, special sensitivity and skills are necessary
-Culture may be defined as the complex system of values, traits, morals and customs shared by a society
-Globalization, growing diversity and social networking demand that we adjust and adopt new attitudes
-There are five key dimensions of culture: context, individualism, time orientation, power distance and communication style

High and low context


-Context refers to the stimuli, environment or ambience surrounding an event
-Low-context cultures (such as those in North America, Scandinavia, Germany, …) depend little on the context
+Tend to prefer direct verbal interaction
+Tend to understand meaning at only one sociocultural level
+Are generally less proficient in reading nonverbal cues
+Value individualism
+Rely more on logic
+Say no directly
+Communicate in highly structured, detailed messages with literal meanings
+Give authority to written information
-High-context cultures such as China, Japan assssume that the listeners do not need much background information
+Tend to prefer indirect verbal interaction
+Tend to understand meaning embedded at many sociocultural levels
+Value group membership
+Are generally more proficient in reading nonverbal cues
+Rely more on context and feeling
+Talk around the point, avoid saying no
+Communicate in sometimes simple, sometimes ambiguous messages
+Understand visual messages readily

Individualism and Collectivism


-Individualsim refers to an attitude of dependence and freedom from control
-Members of low-context culture, particularly North Americans, tend to value individualism
-Collectivism emphasizes membership in organizations, groups and teams; it encourages acceptance of group values, duties and decisions
-Members of high-context cultures are more collectivist
-Newer research suggests cultural convergence, a lessening of group differences and a trend toward greater global similarity particularly in higher individualism and lower power distance


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