Intercultural Communication: An Analysis Of Trans-Cultural Communication At Work

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Trans-cultural communication at work
A business meeting takes place in Indonesia between the executives: Jonathan from Australia and Batara from Indonesia. The Indonesian company was authentically interested in the Australian company 's proposal. After communications through fax, Jonathan visits the Indonesian company and meets with Batara for the first time. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, the interactions between the Indonesian and Australian partners were influenced by cross-cultural differences. Thus, the different background knowledge generate unshared interests that leads to individual interpretations.

Indeed, in an intercultural business interaction, certain characteristics of the communication can be interpreted
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Jonathan ignored the importance of building rapport in intercultural interactions (Oatey & Franklin 2009). Rapport refers to the understanding of the use of language in interactions (Cohen & Henderson). From this feature, harmony or disharmony of the conversation may be the outcome of this first interaction. From the Indonesian business culture perspective, this feature of communication is certainly important. Building relationships with business partners is crucial before closing deals (Indosight 2014). For Jonathan, failing to establish a relationship could represent difficulties to achieve collaboration from his counterpart. Collaboration could be difficult to achieve if rapport is not managed well among intercultural speakers specially from their first interaction (Cohen &…show more content…
In social interactions, silence is used as a politeness strategy to avoid embarrassment or unwanted impositions (Nakane 2007). Thus, silence can be considered as a sign of solidarity and good rapport from Batara. In this conversation, the long silence could have meant politeness. Batara may have felt uncomfortable explaining why the President director was not present at the meeting. Considering that this is the normal procedure of doing business in Indonesia, Batara avoids talking about it and opts to discuss about the information previously sent through fax (line 6) . Probably, Batara avoided an embarrassment moment for Jonathan for being unaware of business culture in Indonesia. These features in business culture will be discuss on the following
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