Intercultural Communication In The Business Environment


The article is devoted to the interpersonal culture of communication between representatives of different nationalities in the modern world. It is revealed that communicative intensity and effectiveness depend primarily on the interaction between the individual and society, on the socio-psychological stereotypes that appear as a result of interpersonal communication in the process of joint activities and mutual knowledge of people. The article considers the cultural differences between employees of one organization originating from different national cultures. The article describes the ways of solution to the problem faced by representatives from different cultures. It is shown how to consider the joint work in a multinational corporation which is inevitably associated with difficulties and problems caused by cultural differences. The purpose of synergy is defined as the creation of the most effective production atmosphere based on the connection of various representations about the world, experience and knowledge for the common good. The interaction of cultures influences the development of the complex of the social and political life of a person: new social communities and relations between them, new institutional structures of spiritual production, new relations between peoples and new information channels are formed.

Keywords: Business environmentintercultural communicationinterpersonal culturemultinational corporationnationalitiessocio-psychological stereotypes


In today's world, because of creating the largest international multinational corporations (IMC)and close interaction of representatives of different cultures, people who find themselves in new working conditions are faced with a new corporate culture, experience a cultural shock. Today world culture looks like the diverse panorama of national cultures, it is a worldwide integration process in which various ethnic cultures are mixed (Baydasheva, 2018).

Problem Statement

Many creative production teams that unite people from different cultures create synergy (from Greek synergeia-cooperation, сommonwealth), i.e. joint action which (as a result of connection and skillful association of components, sometimes heterogeneous parts and elements) leads to better results, than a simple set of activity of individual elements (Knyazeva, 2002). So, Americans look at objects and connect them linearly (in a linear way). Harmony for them is a symmetrical balance between equal objects. The Japanese see the harmony between objects and spatial relations. Combining these different approaches can lead to unexpected production decisions. There is an example when one American company, that joined hundreds of scientists with different cultural traditions to develop an international project, failed. The international project faced many challenges because of: 1. German scientists could not understand the behaviour of the Japanese, who were accustomed to having a rest with their closed eyes, if the issue did not concern them at the meetings; 2. Americans resented the punctuality and passion of the Germans to plan everything; 3. the Japanese avoided making clear decisions (Kon, 1968). These examples demonstrate the need to take into account the cultural differences among the staff of one organization and to teach them how to act effectively in different countries, respecting the culture of each people.

Research Questions

Intercultural communication is the understanding that everything related to self-esteem and perception, personal needs, values, norms and expectations are culturally conditioned (Persikova, 2002). The person who is aware of it understands the impact of cultural factors on communication and is ready to review and expand his perceptions of the world. He not only seeks to learn a foreign language but also closely follows the additional symbols and meanings carried by language, gestures, looks, etc., that is all that can lead to cultural misunderstandings (Sadokhin, 2014).

Purpose of the Study

Today we must consider the "universality" of communication, taking into account cultural sensitivity and susceptibility in a particular cultural environment or an international organization. Cultural sensitivity is an awareness of the cultural phenomenon in general and accumulation of communicative experience and activity in a particular cultural environment (in an organization with a cultural minority in its country or a foreign culture) (Falkova, 2007). Having such experience, a person understands the influence of culture on behaviour and turns theoretical knowledge into effective practical interaction with those who differ from him.

Research Methods

The intensity and effectiveness of communication depend on the interaction of the individual and society, on the socio-psychological stereotypes which arise as a result of interpersonal communication in the process of joint activity and mutual knowledge of people (Zinchenko et al., 2007).

The interpersonal culture of communication between representatives of different nationalities considers national norms of behaviour which traditionally determine the style, level and nature of relations with representatives of other peoples (Karaulov, 1999). It should be noted that the culture of interethnic communication includes respect for people of different nations, their traditions, language, history, national dignity, which implies the observance of legal and moral standards in a multinational environment (Kartashova et al., 2000). It is also moral and aesthetic literacy, which helps the individual to understand the psychological state of people involved in the ethnic-conflict situation and to determine the ways of rational solution of the problem. Therefore, the actual problem is the communication of production teams.


Cultural synergy is an additional capacity building through cultural diversity in the world for joint growth and development by cooperation. Cultural synergy emphasizes similarities and common intentions and reduces differences to enrich human activity and existence. The combination of the best features of different cultures creates unconventional approaches and new solutions (Kholopova & Lebedeva, 1995). Cultural synergy is the individual components (in this case, the values, sensations, perceptions and artefacts of different cultures) that function together to achieve a common goal and make a single creation. Cross-cultural skills are needed to carry out such complex tasks.

Working (corporate, industrial, professional) culture means the application of general characteristics of culture to specific working conditions in a certain place and time (Bennett, 1998). In a broad sense, the working culture can be analyzed from the point of view of the stages of human development that means the professional culture of the hunter, farmer, worker, scientist, etc. In a narrower sense, the working culture can be understood as the culture of individual industries, organizations (corporate culture), professional groups.

World culture (culture on a global scale) assumes realization that although at all stages of human development various national cultures had many similarities, nowadays, under the influence of the media, telecommunications, Internet networks which destroy the barriers that were traditionally separating cultures, the stage of origin of single world culture emerged (Fischer & Merrill, 1976). This is also facilitated using transnational strategies in the business world.

The law of synergy states that there is a set of elements in which its potential will always be either significantly greater than the simple sum of the potentials of its constituent elements (people, computers, etc.), or significantly less. The task of the manager is to find a set of elements in which synergy will be creative (Suzdalova et al., 2017). This requires the corporate culture to adapt to such important social phenomena as language and communication, law and policy, values and perceptions, education and training, technological and material resources. Analysis of the average working day of the manager shows (Friedman, 1999) that about 85% of the working time is spent on speaking, listening, correspondence, i.e, conversation or communication. The communication is the dynamic exchange of ideas, opinions, knowledge and information between people at different levels: formal or informal, intellectual or emotional. Despite technological advances in satellite communications everyday life requires us to be able to communicate with each other at an interpersonal level. To make such communication more effective, we need to overcome the language barrier and get rid of stereotypes.

Synergy occurs when there is a perfect match between people and their organizational culture. For international success, world-class managers should make more efforts to ensure such compliance.

One way is to carefully find and select personnel who will feel comfortable in a particular organizational system and then ensure that they adapt to a strong corporate culture by assimilating corporate values, engaging in corporate rituals, encouraging them to follow the behavioural models that managers demonstrate: "as we do". We agree with S. I. Madzhaeva's opinion that personal sense which they mean allows one to change a person's inner world, develop language, because of changing of the objective world, therefore, the ways of knowing are dynamic.

Another way is to adjust and adapt the organization to people especially if it concerns a certain place or time. Overtime not only the plant and its equipment are destroyed but some values and norms, practical and theoretical methods, management principles and technologies become obsolete and unnecessary. And if outdated approaches constrain the development and improvement of productive labour, they are systematically eliminated, replacing them with new, aimed at new managing methods and ways of development of the organization in the light of changing conditions and human values.

Synergy is a complex phenomenon that occurs when radically different groups of people work together. The goal of synergy is to create the most efficient production environment based on the combination of different worldviews, experience and knowledge for the common good. The rapidly increasing exchange of values and interaction of cultures, the destruction of borders and the reduction of distances between them are forcing people to learn how to use existing intercultural differences for the benefit of humanity.


Working abroad is associated with a reassessment of values, changes in self-esteem, style of behaviour. Upon return, such employees tend to get a more responsible position, new opportunities for professional growth. The organization must be prepared for their increased demands as its benefits from their experience in international activities. Intercultural communication leads to a range of social outcomes. The interaction of cultures influences the development of the complex of the social and political life of a person: new social communities and relations between them, new institutional structures of spiritual production, new relations between peoples and new information channels are formed.


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28 December 2020

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Multicultural context, learning environment, modern society, personality formation, informatization of the society, economics and law system of the region

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Baydasheva, E. M., & Dzhabrailova, S. G. (2020). Intercultural Communication In The Business Environment. In N. L. Shamne, S. Cindori, E. Y. Malushko, O. Larouk, & V. G. Lizunkov (Eds.), Individual and Society in the Modern Geopolitical Environment, vol 99. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 93-97). European Publisher.