Effective Cross-Cultural Communication for International Business

  • Pavol Sahadevan Guest Faculty, Fashion Management Studies National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kannur, Kerala, India
  • Mukthy Sumangala Assistant Professor, Fashion Management Studies National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kannur, Kerala, India
Keywords: Cross-cultural communication, Miscommunications, International business communication, Non-verbal communication, Stereotypes, Design thinking


In today’s business and pandemic scenario, working in an international team is common with remote workers, overseas offices, and inescapable cultural gaps. The diversity of co-workers may become a cultural barrier that some people don’t know how to overcome. Most of the professionals do not even realize the problems of cultural differences in their work. Cultural awareness helps managers to effectively transact with their employees and other stakeholders. Understanding the diverse workforce and guiding them for effective cross-cultural communication is essential for multicultural firms, or else they may face several issues in the areas of employee relationships, staffing, attrition rates, trade policies, mergers, advertising, business stakeholder relationships, team building, and negotiations. Language, stereotypes, non-verbal signs, emotional display, ethnocentrism, anxiety, uncertainty, perception, and prejudice are the invisible barriers to enculturation. This paper discusses how to effectively communicate in a culturally diverse organization by sharing and exchanging ideas based on mutual understanding, respect, and credibility. Best practices for effective cross-cultural communication are summarized in this chapter for the use of students, academicians, and managers in intercultural contexts. This will help them to gain some insights about multicultural environments and how to get along with people by maintaining etiquette, mutual respect, reciprocal cognition, and avoiding stereotypes. The study also discusses the importance of inclusive communication, constructive transactions, cross-cultural training, and design thinking in modern organizations. The paper may be very effective to teach subjects like Organisation behavior and International business communication.

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