The Art and Science in Communication: Workplace (Cross-Cultural) Communication Skills and Competencies in the Modern Workforce

The Art and Science in Communication: Workplace (Cross-Cultural) Communication Skills and Competencies in the Modern Workforce

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3917-9.ch008
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One of the challenges facing the modern workforce is the increased diversity of the workforce and similarly complex prospective customers with disparate cultural backgrounds. 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 in the modern workforce who want to make inroads into international markets, take advantage of multiculturalism, and avoid possible side effects. The purpose of this chapter is on communication, specifically, the art and science in communication, resulting in communication skills and competencies in the modern workforce. The chapter will cover the meaning of communication, language, and history/philosophy of communication and will conclude with factors to be sensitive about when becoming effective cross cultural managers in the modern workforce.
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According to Tran (2016a, 2016b, 2016c), Scott (2005) defined communication as sending, receiving, and understanding information and meaning, and claimed that receiving and understanding are the most important operations in the communication process since the response of the receiver defines whether or not the communication attempts are successful. Communication, however, can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another (Keyton, 2011). The word communication is derived from the Latin word, communis which means common. The definition underscores the fact that unless a common understanding results from the exchange of information, there is actually no communication. The two elements in every communication exchange are the sender and the receiver. The sender initiates the communication. The receiver is the individual to whom the message is sent. The sender encodes the idea by selecting words, symbols, or gestures with which to compose a message. The message is the outcome of the encoding, which takes the form of oral or written verbal and nonverbal symbols (Tran, 2016b).

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