Business Culture And Communication Of Australia Management Essay

The Report is an endeavour to demonstrate the feasibility of an Australian based University to open their new campuses in Taiwan and Japan. It presents a detailed informative study about the cross cultural means of communication, business culture and practices as well as business strategies in different regions of Asia-Pacific. There are significant issues presented in this report that will provide the readers an in-depth understanding of the topic presented.

Moreover, the report is an ongoing attempt to focus on the social and cultural differences and how they play an important role in doing business across the world, important cultural aspects that influence business such as verbal communication in business, dress code, scheduling and appointment and other factors are discussed in this research, which provides guidelines for University staff.

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Introduction

Culture and communication require people to communicate across different cultures and geographical locations. In a lecture, Informatics, Culture and Communication (COMM 20036), Mr. Alexander Hoetzer described culture as involves work habits, life style, communication style, religious instruction, human behaviour and business activities. To do business successfully around the globe, all organizations need to overcome cultural barriers.

background:

Australian University intends to open new campuses in Tokyo and Taipei. The guidelines will be provided on cross cultural communication for Australian staff who will be liaising with the university staff in Japan and Taiwan. The guidelines must incorporate computer mediated communication channels such as videoconferencing, teleconferencing, memos, email, staff meetings and discussion forums with procedures and protocols which take into account the different cultures involved and promote effective cross cultural communication.

Aim:

The most aim for this report is provide guidelines on Cross-Cultural Communication for the Australian University, which intends to open their University campus Tokyo and Taiwan.

1.3 Scope:

In this report, our Group presents guidance for Australian staff of a University who will be liaising with university staff in Taiwan and Japan in order to open a new university campus there. Present Report analyses the Cross-cultural issues and emphasizes the main streaming of the cultural values of Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

This report examines the issues related to Australia University which intend to open campuses in Taiwan and Japan that considers not only the establishment of effective communication can be achievement.

Moreover, the report illustrates the pros and cons of an organization that must have adequate knowledge of the cultural backgrounds of its members and the management must educate its employees in the aspects of cross-cultural communication. Besides, this report recommends the commitment of the strategic management to consider the culture and business issues of a country. The ability to learn within this multifaceted context to translate learning into effective decisions will add to the Australian university success.

Methodology:

A wide range of majority of the information formed for this proposed report will consist of research primarily from a number of online articles, case studies, journals and different resources from various websites were used to gather relevant information for this research and more over available market research reports. The literature where there is extensive contributing to be competently searched those methods currently in used. Gathering information with respected to improvements and innovations.

Discussion

Business Culture and Communication of Australia:

Australia is great multi cultural society .Australians are friendly, outgoing, informal people who move to a first name basis quickly.

Business Ethics, Culture and Meetings of Australia:

Australia has a tradition of consensus that can make it an easy place to do business. Australians are generally wary of appearing boastful or arrogant. They usually don’t praise any one for doing good job, because they think everyone doing their best in their jobs .This extends to their own accomplishment, successes and expertise, often point withholding information about themselves (Maria J.C.P, Ik-Whan G. K, Philipp A. S,& Raymond.B, 2003).Generally Australians way of contacting will be on the basis of the first name of the person ,preceded by Mr, they greet both men and women by smiling, eye contact and shaking hands. Australians values friendship, they believe being good mates which is as important as doing business together and consider mutual respectful and beneficial relationship and is termed to be more important. Australians are generally result oriented and they prefer to make quick decisions, they are conservative and move fast to put their decisions into action. In smaller businesses, one person could be the sole decision maker for the entire company and makes decision immediately. Though, they generally take time to committing to a deal. Negotiating is not generally part of Australian business culture. They offer what they believe is a fair deal and expect you to do the same. In the business world traditional business suits are standard for men. Skirted suit or suit with pant for women. Avoid excessive jewellery or accessories. All business dealings will be in English. Australians’ dislike the negotiating and aggressive sale techniques because they value directness; presentation of any kind should be straight forward with both positive and negative outcomes.

Meetings start on time .Appointments is mandatory to meet someone and they believe it is easy to schedule meetings and meetings should start on time if someone is running late, let your associate know in advance. Australians will not exchange business card in social meetings, because they operate more than one relationship with a contact and they never discuss about the business in social meetings.

3.1.1 Business culture and communication of Tokyo:

Overview:

Japan is a country of peace and harmony that continues to develop in a positive construction of tradition and modernization. Japan has been extended and colourful history and culture, a separate model hierarchy, the EEA and the etiquette that still makes social and business practices today. Due to the influence of Confucianism, it is important to have more respect for the oldest members appear in Japanese business culture. Age and rank are strongly linked. A change in the current business environment requires educational background and power often about age appropriate.

Culture:

Wa – The most valuable principle alive in the Japanese society today is the concept of “WA” or “harmony”. The preservation of the first Constitution in 604 AD and teamwork is required when who live and work in collective farms, which dates back to social harmony. In the operating conditions, “WA” is reflected in the avoidance of self-assertion and individualism and the maintenance of good relations despite differences of opinion.

Kao – One of the fundamental elements of the Japanese social system is the concept of “face”. Glance is a trademark of personal pride and is the basis of an individual reputation and social status. Preservation of sight is delivered via the confrontations and direct criticism to avoid when possible.

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Omoiyari – Closely linked to the concepts of “wa” and “kao”, “omoiyari” refers to the sense of empathy and loyalty in Japanese society, encouraged and authorised in Japanese business culture.

Business Culture in Tokyo:

In terms of business culture, Japan remains the second largest economic position in the world and its economic environment is forcing the local population to the so-called ‘ Japan style “of the corporate culture and rules by which they have lived for a long time to make drastic changes. Japan has with its elaborate culture, a separate model hierarchy, the EEA and the etiquette that still reflected in many social and business practices today.

A significant part of the former Japanese business protocol was a gift. In the modern contemporary Japanese business culture, it is not expected that the gesture is still practiced and accepted with gratitude. However, be careful not to take great gift as it can be thought of as a buy.

It is good business practice in small talk before negotiations. The Japanese counterpart questions relating to education, family and social life. More private questions are not acceptable.

Greet Hofstede Cultural Dimensions for Japan:

http://www.geert-hofstede.com/graphs/hofstede_japan.gif

Image courtesy: Hofstede (2009)

According Hofstede (2009), above diagram terms are:

Power Distance Index (PDI).

Individualism (IDV).

Masculinity (MAS). 

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI).

Long-Term Orientation (LTO) (Hofstede 2009).  

Business Culture, Meetings and Workings Practises in Japan:

In the Japanese, companies will be reflected in the negotiating process. They begin at the executive level and continue at the middle level. Decisions will be made, however, often within the group. It is important to realise that in today’s Japan, even a low-ranking individuals allows a Manager to receive his or her performance as well. Because of the great contemporary business competition in Asia, the old concept of the “unhurried” Japanese negotiation process no longer applies the decisions quickly and efficiently. When a business appointment, will arrange a personal call more effective than sending a letter and seen as good ways

Late is as a sign of violation punctuality is essential in Japan .Due to the influence of Confucianism, it is important to have more respect for the oldest members appear in Japanese business culture. Age and rank highly connected, but a change in the current business environment means that educational background and power often about age appropriate. Physical contact, other than a handshake is never displayed in public. It is good business practice in small talk before negotiations.

In General, Japanese business meetings will be aligned in order of seniority, with the leading person on the front and at the very least, a senior person closest to the door. In addition to this rule, however, it can happen that the highest person where choose. Physical contact, other than a handshake is never displayed in public. The Japanese counterpart questions relating to education, family and social life. More private questions are not acceptable.

Japanese Business Etiquette:

DO use apologies where the intention is serious and express gratitude frequently as it is considered polite in Japan.

DO avoid confrontation or showing negative emotions during business negations. Express opinions openly but evade direct or aggressive refusals.

DO greet your counterparts with the proper respect and politeness. If your counterpart bows make sure you return the gesture, which is usually performed shortly and shallowly. More often than not, a handshake is sufficient.

Business Culture and Communication of Taipei:

Overview

Taiwan is located east of the Taiwan Strait, off the south-eastern coast of mainland China, is the largest island in the Republic of China. Taiwan’s population is mostly Han Chinese, who were born on the mainland and divided into three groups based on the dialect of Chinese they speak (Taiwan’s Country information 2007). Taiwanese value a well crafted message. They appreciate sharing a deep and broad contextual understanding in order for the core message to be delivered and understood. That context comes in the form of words, gestures and facial expressions.

3.1.2 Taiwanese Communication and culture:

Communication in Taiwan can be difficult, if someone does not speak official languages such as Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese, a southern Fujian dialect, which are broadly spoken. Levels of English will be irregular even within Taiwanese multi-nationals and major large companies based in the country. Within small to large-sized businesses, little or no English at all will be spoken. It may, therefore, be necessary to employ the use of a translator, which will further slow down an already slow process. Be prepared for the inevitable delays and confusions (Taiwanese Communication Styles n.d.).

As in several Asian cultures, language is infrequently used in a completely literal fashion. Much of what is actually meant can be hidden behind a smoke screen of vagueness and coded language. It is not polite and disrespectful to disagree openly and therefore anything other than a clear ‘yes’ (Taiwanese Communication Styles n.d.) should be viewed with some wariness. Search for further information; go back to the subject later in the meeting and apply diagrams, charts etc. to support to mutual comprehension. Unlike Japan, it is not unknown for meeting to become emotions, with heated, erupting and then subsiding quickly. It’s better to try to ignore this lack of reserve and avoid referring back to it in an attempt to score points. This could result in loss of face and a fracture in the relationship (Taiwanese Communication Styles n.d.).

Hofstede (2009) analysis for Taiwan is almost all identical models for Republic of China. Like other Asia countries relationships are in Taiwan, a primary part of the culture. Individualism is the lowest ranking factor, Long-term Orientation (LTO) is the peak factor and the Taiwanese are a collectivist society.

Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions for Taiwan:

http://www.geert-hofstede.com/graphs/hofstede_taiwan.gif

Image courtesy: Hofstede (2009)

According Hofstede (2009), above diagram terms are:

Power Distance Index (PDI).

Individualism (IDV).

Masculinity (MAS). 

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI).

Long-Term Orientation (LTO) (Hofstede 2009).  

Taiwanese Business Culture ,Meetings and Business Practices:

In general in Taiwanese society, the business culture is Confucian with strong hierarchical and family influences, particularly in the important small to large size business sector. Decision-making tends to be concentrated in the hands of organization or company owners. They are proud of their achievements and history and continue to be energetic, in the main economical. They have a natural commercial style and are welcoming to foreigners. Relationships are the key issues to success in Taiwan, its take time be familiar with your business partners (Taiwan economy brief 2008). The best relationships usually meet testing times before belief and trust develop.

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Taiwanese are generally tough negotiators, while they are enjoying negotiating. But Taiwanese are not formal as Japanese, it is good to continue formalities until they invited to do otherwise, self addressing like Dr Alex, Chairman Alex, Mr Alex etc (Taiwan economy brief 2008). Business visiting cards are compulsory and business cards are should be presented and received with both hands, starting with the top manager present. Instead of place the card in a pocket, treat the card with respect at the meeting. If possible print names at back of business card in Chinese and it is advisable to carry a passport for identification when dealing with government agencies (Taiwan economy brief 2008).

A thoughtful gift is a suitable gesture for introduction and indicates of person desire to explore and build a good relationship. Taiwan economy brief (2008) suggested that do not give clocks, umbrellas, white flowers, handkerchiefs and sharp objectives, those are indicating that cutting or breaking a relationship. “Time is money” (Taiwan economy brief 2008) normally Taiwanese are comfortable to quick response and they expect quick action and decision-making. Face feeling are important in great business dealings, it is polite to speak of others in glowing expressions and be modest and deprecating about the negotiator. Never let others lose face, even in worry situation.

Meeting schedules are not highly structured in Taiwan. There may be an agenda, but it serves as a guideline for the discussion and may act as a springboard to other related business ideas. As relationships are valued, there may be some time in the meeting devoted to non-business discussions. Time is not considered more important than completing a meeting satisfactorily, therefore, meetings will continue until the discussion is completed and may extend well past a scheduled end time (YVONNE .S, JEANNE H. Y & STEVEN CHIH-CHIEN L, 2008). For formal meetings it is best wear a suit and tie, after relationships are made strong, it is appropriate to dress according to the occasions and season (Taiwan economy brief 2008). Asians and Taiwanese in particular, have high regard for those older than themselves. Between 9.30 am and 11.30am, and between 2.30pm and 4.30pm are the best times to seek appointments. However eating is a serious business in Taiwan, offers of lunch and dinner are accepted and when suitable, reciprocated. When dinning out it is common for Taiwanese to rise from the dining table promptly at the end of the meal (Taiwan economy brief 2008).

Business practices:

Men should wait for a woman to extend her hand.

If you are in a group, try to assemble in rank order, with the most senior person first.

Greet or introduce the most important person first.

A handshake is the common greeting.

Handshakes are not as firm as in many other countries.

Many Taiwanese lower their eyes during the greeting as a sign of respect.

People are usually addressed by their title and surname (Yvonne et al., 2008)

3.2 Effective Cross-Culture Communications:

Globalisation makes every country interdependent with each other. As more companies join the globalisation role, diversity in the corporate world will become renowned. This diversity is the inclusion of all groups at all level regardless of locations, competition, background and position. Besides, there is some pattern in cross-cultural communication that has to be considered to achieve successfully (Cross Cultural Communication n.d).

One of the significant changes this has triggered is the required to communicate effectively with different people in different languages and from different cultures. It is now recognised that linguistic and cultural knowledge are both, most essential areas of knowledge that organizations must come to obtain if they are to join together, progress and succeed in the marketplace. Cross cultural communication is a must (Cross Cultural Communication n.d).

3.2.1 Computer mediated channels

In this Globalization age, computer mediated communication channels are the most important elements to conduct the business in cross-cultural environment (Anderson et al. 1995).

This section explains how the intercultural communication, mediated by cultural artefacts such as internet communication tools, E-mail, Videoconferencing, staff meetings.

Nowadays computer-mediated communication is playing the key role in everyone’s life, it is the most effective way to communicate with the people no matter how far away they are. People using communication technologies to develop new contacts, save existing relationships, and maintain relationships with others. Most popular means of communications are videoconferencing, teleconferencing, and email, internet.

Knowing the relationship of ideas between the technologies and the cultural differences is vital for two reasons. One is with the worldwide rapidly increased use of technology and interactions between different people are more often mediated through individual extensions. Rapidly, personal use communication technologies to, find, learn about and communicate with each other. Secondly the communication between people, especially between the cross culture people are developed and maintained through these technologies. So selecting the proper technology for communicating with personals across a cross culture requires an understanding of how people use these technologies in their culture. ( Arun V, Hao C,2008)

3.2.1. a Digital telecommunication channel: Videoconferencing.

Video conferencing is tool in communication channels which enables people to meet and work together through the sight and sound medium no matter where there are located throughout the world. Video conferencing allows two or more location to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. Participants should join meeting at least 10 minutes before the start. Make sure all the equipment is working properly if not consult the technician. Video conference goes out of control unless someone take the job of traffic cop. Dressing up appropriately is important avoid very bright colours. Do not zoom cameras extremely close up on the participant. It is imposing. Be loud and clear always if audio is not clear on the other side try adjusting settings and avoid screaming. Avoid double talk wait for other side to finish before replying. Look straight imagine that you are making eye contact with the person other side. Do not move adjust your settings to ensure you are visible to the person on the other side. Make spot where the camera can view you best. Do not mute microphone when starting the connection, mute the microphone after the connection is established if you want. Make sure the presentation slides should be in the large format. Mute the microphone because even murmur can be heard out loud.

3.2.1. b Digital telecommunication channel: email.

E-mail is used to maintain the relationships with people, and it used to expand and strengthen people, and it can be used to notify issues to the group to resolve problems more effectively, it can be also used to communicate with different people though there are not at their desks, used to communicate with different people irrespective of location. (Laurie M, 2007)

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The use of e-mail is one of the primary features of the internet and is still the most popular function. In this all the parties need not be considerate all the time as in face-to-face situation but can still participate fully in the conversation via e-mail without losing track of the argument (Anderson et al. 1995). They can read messages and respond to proposals in their own time, as their own tempo. But as the Taiwanese and Japanese have a non-verbal communications and high context culture and use indirect language to correspond, they prefer to communicate by telephone or personally rather than by impersonal means such as E-mail. However the Australians have low context culture, so they tend to use overt, plainly and explicit coded messages to make everything else, and convey plain and literal meaning. Therefore E-mail will be a superior way of communication for Australians (Anderson et al. 1995).

3.2.1. c Digital telecommunication channel: Teleconferencing

Teleconferencing systems are ideally for meetings, new program introductions, seminars and all forms of personnel and management training. In effect, teleconferencing is the most powerful communications technology developed to date; it is the most effective way of communication which saves time and money. (Laurie M, 2007)

3.2.1. d Digital telecommunication channel:

3.2.1. e Digital telecommunication channel:

3.3 Effective written communications:

Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium by means of a series of characters or symbols. Writing is an extension of human language in time and space. Write probably began as a result of political expansion into the old cultures, which reliable resources needed for the transmission of information, maintaining financial accounts, historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium v. Chr. the complexity of the trade and the Administration outgrew the power of memory and writing was a more reliable method of recording and transactions in a final form to present

3.4 Effective verbal communications:

The basis of communication is the interaction between people.  Verbal communication is one way for people to communicate face-to-face.  Some of the key components of verbal communication are sound, words, speaking, and language.  Aside from written communications, Australian Universities staffs are supporting the communication through conferences, negotiations and videoconferencing.

Asian culture value silence when talking and are patient and understanding. The formality of Asians, while speaking in English is high and will avoid slang, jargon and also avoid confrontations as much as possible. Asians often prefer to speak what is implicitly rather than explicitly, in order to prevent conflicts, and to a more ambiguous interpretation of meaning open .In Discussions, Asians like harmony and piece. Most of the time non-native English speakers prefer to know what one is saying as face is important to them. They use words that are common and understandable as they mostly prefer facial expressions are important to them. Avoid of casual, and they appreciated politeness and formal way of communication. Asian values personal relationships; they prefer actual meeting rather than phone conversations or video conferences. In conducting a video conference where they mind gesture, eye contacts, body movements, and facial expressions as these are given more attention by the Asians rather than the messages. Therefore, opinions are often better proposed discretion; instead of directly expressed (Seltman 1991).This is reinforced by the fact that the Asians instructors are generally a direct translation methodology. If resources permit install translation software, which is termed to be particularly helpful. In negotiations, an agreement may need to be amended from time to time. So, remember that the deal is not final even if the signature has been affixed. People in general are not hard to talk, touching, unless forced by overcrowding or other disturbance in places that are traditionally considered to be public. People keep to themselves and between strangers

In contrast, Australian English speaker’s value clear and concise conversations and they speak words carefully, they understand and prefer written formats rather than the verbal massage, on the other hand, their way of communication is more direct and constant .Silence is regarded as confusion in the case of Australians. In negotiations a deal is finalized and binding up on the signing for approval only.

high and low contexts culture

High context refers to groups or societies where people have close relationship over a long period of time. Several aspects of cultural behaviour are not made explicit because the majority members know what to do and what to think from years of interaction with each other. Hall (1976) states that most Asian countries include Japan and Taiwan are classified as high Context cultures.

Low context refers to groups where people tend to have many connections but of shorter period or for some specific reason. In these groups, cultural behaviour and beliefs might need to be spelled out explicitly so that those coming into the cultural environment know how to behave. Australians are classified as low context cultures (Hall 1976).

Conclusion:

This report concludes with the reflections of cross cultural business communications of different places like Australia, Tokyo and Taipei. The results of this studies about the awareness and understanding of the cross cultural and communicational characteristics of the country and are termed to be crucial for the successful business interactions between members of different countries. More precisely, too effectively and ethical business in countries like Australia, Japan and Taiwan requires an understanding and acceptance of collectivism, saving face particularise and the maintenance of the harmony.

With the advent of globalisation means of doing business have changed dramatically. Most organizations open at store to working with different people across the globe. For this reason it is essential to understand how cultural adversity effects and how business is being conducted in various countries

Asians and Australian culture vary greatly in terms of their believes, life style and business practices, Asians have high context culture which gives much importance to inter personal relationship ,whilst Australians belong to low context culture where individualism is highly regarded , in order for these two countries to collaborate in business venture. It is important to understand these differences.

Communication strategies are affected by cultural differences in a number of ways. For this reason, respect on each other’s culture should be regarded to avoid any conflicts that arise.

In nut shell cultural differences should not be a hindrance to a successful business venture .Rather, understanding an embracing these differences will help improve the relationships of countries across the globe.

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