Understanding Communication And Intercultural Adjustment Anxiety And Uncertainty

Understanding Communication And Intercultural Adjustment Anxiety And Uncertainty

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E. Managing Uncertainty
Uncertainty is defined as “a cognitive response and refers to the inability to predict or explain the behavior of others.” [J2] Personality of team members like degree of empathy, emotional reaction and interest towards other cultures influence how they manage uncertainty. The level of uncertainty avoidance varies between different cultures. American culture is low on uncertainty avoidance compared to Russian culture. According to [J1], when people have a high level of uncertainty, their ability to understand another person’s message is decreased and they face a hindrance to predict the other person’s behavior perfectly. Increasing anxiety follows this high level of uncertainty. [J4] To understand effective communication and intercultural adjustment anxiety and uncertainty are key factors. [J3]
The overwhelming majority of literature related to managing uncertainty is based on Anxiety/Uncertainty Management (AUM) theory. Anxiety and uncertainty cause obstacles of communication, when people have too high or too low levels of uncertainty. [J5] Reducing uncertainty does not always show managing uncertainty in a positive way. If people do not experience uncertainty because of overconfidence, they may have misapprehension and listlessness. [J6]
Managing uncertainty is very important since uncertainty is inevitable in most of our workplaces, especially in a multi-cultural team. When people meet strangers having unfamiliar culture, uncertainty is higher. [J4] When a team has just started, uncertainty is strongly related to communication with others, especially people who came from different cultures. So, managing uncertainty is a crucial process for team building. While people do not express any inconven...


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...nication [J5]
● International orientation is a skill acquired by exposure to multiple nations and helps improve communication through better understanding and tolerance of different cultures (Refer to IIIA above).
● Building commitment [K2] and communication [10] lead to more effective multi-cultural teams.

VI Future Research
There are many other skills which affect the effectiveness of multicultural teams. Future research into the interaction of a larger skill set would help fill out this research.
Given the research from this paper, it would be better (if time allows) to confirm this paper’s conclusion by doing empirical studies.
Although this paper has discussed research into the importance of these skills, not enough work has yet been done to show that the skills chosen in this paper are the most important skills towards making an effective multi-cultural team.

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