Globalization has invited companies to branch into different parts of the world, establishing satellite offices to decrease production costs, forge relationships in new territories and access new consumer markets. Because globalization necessitates interaction between individuals from different countries, ethnicities, languages, cultural attitudes and other variations, business communication becomes crucial to facilitate effective business meetings, transactions and negotiations. The importance of business communications cannot be overstated, but identifying its key components can help devise more effective strategies for global interaction.
One of the reasons why business communications becomes important in a global economy is that many individuals look at the world from a viewpoint that incorporates their own particular background. Basing perceptions and judgments on your own experience, upbringing and education is known as ethnocentrism. This concept encourages people to judge other cultures as inferior to their own, and can create misconceptions and misunderstandings when not addressed. Effective business communication helps business partners identify common goals and characteristics so that interactions take place in an environment of respect and understanding. When engaged in business communications, try looking at problems or business deals from your global partner’s perspective in order to better address concerns.
Business communication is also an important component of globalization because of the multiple platforms available to convey and receive messages effectively. In-person business communication can help build effective relationships because of personal contact, body language and proximity. However, language barriers (including strong accents or hesitancy speaking a foreign language) can impede negotiations. Written communication allows international business partners more time to compose thoughts and accurately express intentions or concerns. Audio and video conferencing facilitate live business interaction at low cost, although there may be confusion because of technical difficulties.
Globalization relies on large consumer bases to purchase products and services. Business communication can include global marketing efforts that transmit a company’s products, mission and brand image to a wide audience. Without marketing-related business communications, companies may struggle to identify and reach customer bases to boost demand as production capabilities escalate. Broad marketing campaigns can be strategically altered to take cultural variations and preferences into account throughout the global economy.
Another reason why business communications remains an important factor in globalization is that companies increasingly face a multicultural workforce. This can work to great advantage when companies hire regionally experienced employees to represent their business in unfamiliar environments. Multicultural workers can tap into a global area’s culture, subtle preferences and buying habits and convey these to their employer via communication channels, including focus groups and survey reports. Large companies can also rely on cohesive policies to effectively communicate their business’ culture, expectations and strategies to workers of different backgrounds. For example, the same company policy can be translated into different languages to accommodate the literacy abilities of workers whose first language is not English.
- Diversity Training Today: Globalization, Cultural Diversity and the Importance of Intercultural Communication
- GlobalEnglish: The Globalization of English Report
- "International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education"; Educating the Business Graduate of the 21st Century; Carmela Briguglio; 2007
- Doshisha University Research Center for Worldwide Business; Business Communication Strategies for Japanese Companies in the Globalization Era; Naoki Kameda
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images