Communication: The Role of the Johari Window on Effective Leadership Communication in Multinational Corporations

Communication: The Role of the Johari Window on Effective Leadership Communication in Multinational Corporations

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9970-0.ch022
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Abstract

Based on previous research, leadership appears to be enacted through communication in such a way that it contains a relational (affective) and task (content) component. Additionally, when leaders communicate effectively, their followers experience greater levels of satisfaction. Thus, the purpose of this chapter is on communication, specifically, the role of the Johari Window (JW) on effective leadership communication in multinational corporations (MNCs). In regards to the JW, many researchers did not question, and even more practitioners did not realize is that, the JW is created based on a domestic paradigm, and not necessarily applicable to a multinational environment where intercultural and multicultural communication are at play for multinational environment within MNCs. Nevertheless, the JW has continuously been applied to cross cultural studies, without a paradigm shift, utilizing a domestic paradigm (no international cultural factors at play) within a multinational environment (various international cultural factors at play), issue at hand persists.
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Multinational Corporations (Mncs) And Communication

According to Tran (2016), due to globalization, MNCs, commonly defined as a corporation consisting of a parent organization (headquarters) and at least one subsidiary organization in a foreign country, have made communication ever inevitable. As such, effective cross cultural management within an MNC requires communication skills, especially communication skills in intercultural communication and multicultural communication. Such communication skills are derived from, historically, three different fields of studies: communication, business, and psychology. Communication is paramount, particularly within any country of immigrants, and it is critical for the country to promote cultural diversity and appreciate different cultural heritages (Dong, 1995). Ethnocentrism is viewed as lacking acceptance of cultural diversity and intolerance for outgroups (Berry & Kalin, 1995).

As the world becomes a global village and more and more people with diverse cultural backgrounds interact with each other constantly, it is imperative to investigate what factors could help overcome ethnocentrism, especially as multinational corporations (MNCs) are expanding overseas. One of the challenges facing those MNCs is the increased diversity of the workforce and similarly complex prospective customers with disparate cultural backgrounds. After all, language barriers, cultural nuances, and value divergence can easily cause unintended misunderstandings and how low efficiency in internal communication in a multinational environment. It leads to conflict among employees and profit loss in organizational productivity. Therefore, effective communication by people from different cultures stands out significantly to American MNCs who want to make inroads into international markets, take advantage of multiculturalism, and avoid possible side effects (Tran, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Communication: Sending, receiving, and understanding information and meaning, or, communication can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another.

Leadership: A multifaceted process of identifying a goal, motivating other people to act, and providing support and motivation to achieve mutually negotiated goals.

Signal: Symbols that are produced and transmitted.

Encoder: The process by which ideas are converted to symbols for transmission to another person.

Group: A number of person gathered or classified together.

Decoder: The process by which symbols are received and converted into ideas by the person receiving the information.

Feedback: the process that allows persons transmitting information to correct and adjust messages to adapt to the receiver.

Emotional Barriers: Barriers that are emotional in nature and lessen the effectiveness of the communication.

Semantic Barriers: The inability to agree on the meaning of certain terms, with a resulting loss in the ability to communicate clearly.

Johari Window (JW): A technique created in 1955 by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, and used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others.

Multinational Corporations (MNCs): A corporation consisting of a parent organization (headquarters) and at least one subsidiary organization in a foreign country, have made communication ever inevitable.

Physical Barriers: The aspects of an environment that make communication more difficult.

Semantic: The study of the development and meaning of words.

Interpersonal Communication: The sharing of information between two persons.

Source: The mind of the person starting the communication process.

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