Some Barriers to Effective International Communication

The preciseness of message broadcasting can be impaired in a number of ways when communication content is decided on the foundation of expectations. If you go back to the chapter ‘Focus on Skills’ in part I, you will find explanations regarding cognitive dissonance, stereotyping, reference frame and much more. Compoundation of these problems are basically are done by language subtleties, cultural differences, and geographical distance.

Frame of reference

Opinions change as per the requirement of individuals. However, it is also a fact that our options can be swayed by the reference groups existing in the company where we work. This is highlighted at the beginning of this chapter and stated as are reference frame. This can be explained with a simple example which explains that with the help of acquisition route can a business be expanded internationally.

The feeling of possession will be more related to towards the company in the mind of the employees than regarding those officials who at present has possession of the company. It is with their own viewpoint that the employees will operate and will be having controlled behaviour. This is to refrain themselves and their interpretation from getting misapprehended by the new employers. It is a fact that there are problems when acquisitions take place, but the intensity is higher in case of internal ones.

There have been several attempts tries to state and construe similar recognition. However, there are many companies who prefer to highlight their achievements and not to consider those which are achieved by organisations of other countries. There are no doubts on the fact that a healthy competition amongst companies canprove to be an advantageous factor.

Nevertheless, the instance it gets in the negative zone, it can be the reason for the destruction of those companies. One of the examples, in this case,is the negative competitiveness between a Germany and Britain (based on a car assembling plant). Distorted concept regarding achievements of ‘other’ people became the main problem in this context.


There are few stereotypical expectations regarding behavioural acceptance from Americans and British. When the same is seen from the standpoint of the Irish, their thinking analogy is more towards ready to fight attitude and nonstop blabbering. There are unimaginative, crude stereotypes that Germans follow, whereas status obsession and romantic nature is something you can expect from French people. Where brash and loud nature is highlighted for Americans, look a likes are thoughts for Chinese individuals. As for the others, haughty nature is for Spaniards, fatalists for Arabs, and aloofness is reserved for English.

These are the common stereotypes that are generally reserved for people from a different nationality. This also explains a huge problem. It is imperative that people should have an open mind with no fixed thought on any specific culture. One should not misinterpret anybody else only on the grounds of cultural difference. You need to understand this fact that not all Spaniards have a snobby attitude.

It is better to have a well-informed idea when associating with foreigners and highlight a sensitive approach. This will allow them to open up and make the assessment process easier. 

Cognitive dissonance

This does more harm than benefits as it distorts any action, causing a false impression. This leads to the people in having a confused idea, not having an idea which action to take and finally engage in disagreement of the provided information. One of the common reasons for such disparity is the idea of seeing or listening to that info what they want to see, hear and comprehend. They don’t want to engage themselves in real and challenging work.

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 17Language

Issues with language are a common sight in the corporate sector. There is a specific terminology by Shell International highlighting meeting categories to be flocking in nature. As per this, people do come to one place and share their ideas. But the meeting type for German and French are more like moving in a herd where they cannot comprehend the intricacies of business terminologies.

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 18Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 19



The most important issue with jargon is that it provides the intricate meaning of a terminology, but most people cannot follow the exact denotation of it. If a person does not have a specialised knowledge regarding a term, there are chances that the person misinterprets the actual meaning.Management circles and its complete acceptance is the requirement that is explained by Maslovian hierarchy.

Na example of misinterpretation is regarding a student who wrote ‘high Iraqui’ in place of ‘hierarchy.’ When asked, he said that he heard the former term and not the latter one. As the word ‘hierarchy’ was an unfamiliar term, the student wrote what he heard rather than asking the professor to repeat the word once again. This approach was mainly to fill in the space to make sense in the entire sentence.

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 20

Corporate culture

In order to inculcate a corporate culture in a corporation, HR uses the method of circulating information within all the units so that their efforts bear fruits. The same is when done in national and internal boundaries helps in integration and collaboration of business. This provides better understanding in different units operating within a company.

It can be said that with this process, awareness can be raised with comprehensive communication in wider market. As per the suggestion that Mallet and Foulds have relayed for international communication and its purpose in 1989 –

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 21To support changing values, information circulation is required on a constant level. And for that, communication is also required to be on a similar steady level. It is important that the operation in a company work as a whole on a universal level. It is not that the work has to be done by a few units. The work can only bear positive result, and the communication can only be effective if the enterprise works as a single functional unit.

Whenever a company works on an international level, the pattern related to work flow is logical and clear. Added to it, it has a systematic channel when it comes to communication.

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 22Communication channels

This is a systematic and impersonal extreme which focuses less on individual behaviour. You will find it more on communication channel. The concerning factor, in this case, is related to all those details that are important for the company and how that information can be circulated or distribute in every unit inside that company.Effective communication in a company can ensure that more opportunities are grabbed and utilised.

It is a fact that interpersonal communication and organisational communication are completely different from each other, but they are necessary for each other. Hence, they are associated with each other.

Some Barriers to Effective International Communication 23

Individual behaviour

If you consider the 2 extremities for international HR management, there are a number of challenges related to communication management.At one extreme you will find communication which is an activity related to highlighting personal style. The other one, in this case, is personal behaviour of an individual. This explains about the skill related to explaining or expressing themselves or their ideas in front of others. The other aspects in the 2ndextremity are:

  1. Developing conventions and behavioural norms
  2. Expanding heightened sensitivity
  3. Accepting different various reference frames
  4. Overcoming language barriers
  5. Agreement negotiation in various cultural backgrounds
  6. Utilizing the skills of persuasion to make others do their respective jobs

Here the requirement for HRM is language training and cultural awareness. Here the role of a manager is of an expert performer who has a strong grasp in various communication types.

It can be beneficial for a company to use communication system but to depend solely on this can be a wrong move. This should be used for building confidence,and also to improve interaction between the employees and employers. This approach can be extremely helpful as more ideas and suggestions can be shared. Confusions also reduce,and comprehension regarding any of the corporate aspect also improves.


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