International Business Case Study: Communication Across Cultures

1632 words 7 pages
| Charles Foster Sends and Email | Exam 1 | | Richard Greer | 9/26/2012 |

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The case, Charles Foster sends an email, is a perfect example of the how globalization and increased cross cultural interaction is increasing the complexity and ambiguity facing the managers of large multinational companies. The specific focus of this case is to address the repercussions that can occur by using inadequate communication methods, given the importance and complexity of a situation. Also, the case addresses the possibility of cross cultural communication misinterpretation leading to confusion and confrontation amongst the parties involved. The objective of this qualitative analysis is to utilize both theory and practical
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Hassan does not understand the hierarchal communication process used in western-style management. He feels insulted by the strong wording and direct criticism of Fosters’ email and does not understand why Foster did not approach him directly and did not “call” him to ask him about his business but rather expressed his concerns to his manager. Hassan’s choice to call Foster demonstrates how differences in culture cause differences between his and Foster’s interpretation of the severity of the situation. Given the sequence of events and the actions and responses of the Charles Foster, Richard Howe, Maurice Leblanc, and Ahmed Hassan, both communication method, and lack of understanding of one another’s culture are the main issues causing the confrontation between Hassan and Foster. Foster, Howe, are both from the US, and Leblanc, of France and possess and western style view on business and communication methods. They all choose to address the situation presented to them, and seek the appropriate person that can solve the problem. Their actions are based on a hierarchal system which does not necessarily permit direct communication between the party being addressing the problem and the party being criticized. The main cause of the confrontation that occurred were due to differences in culture between the four men. Ahmed Hassan, although having lived in France for most of his

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